Are there cannibals in Louisiana?
All of the tribes of Louisiana would be interesting to study in depth; but, because of their gruesome habit of eating people, one tribe occupies a particular position of interest-the Atakapa of Southwestern Louisiana.
What crops did the Atakapa grow?
They grew corn, beans and other crops. They also hunted when they could for meat. The area they lived in was on the southern edge of the East Texas Piney Woods.
What was the cause of the decline of the Atakapa?
By 1908 there were only nine known descendants. Their demise was primarily caused by the invasion of European diseases rather than through direct confrontations with European settlers.
What kind of weapons did the Atakapa Indians use?
What were Atakapa weapons and tools like in the past? Atakapa hunters used bows and arrows. Fishermen used nets, traps, or hooks made of bone. An Atakapa warrior fired his bow or fought with a hand-to-hand weapon like a club.
What kind of language do the Atakapa Indians speak?
Most Atakapa people speak English today. Some Atakapas, especially older people, speak a Cajun French dialect. In the past, Atakapa Indians spoke their own Atakapa language. The Atakapa Indian language has not been spoken since the early 1900’s, but some Atakapa people are trying to learn their ancestral language again.
When was the first European contact with the Atakapa?
Atakapa oral history says that they originated from the sea. An ancestral prophet laid out the rules of conduct. The first European contact with the Atakapa may have been in 1528 by survivors of the Spanish Pánfilo de Narváez expedition.
What did the Europeans do to the Atakapa Indians?
The Europeans never fought the Atakapas directly, but European diseases like smallpox devastated the Atakapa population and their villages disbanded. Some survivors joined neighboring tribes like the Caddo, while others intermarried with local Cajun and African-American communities.