Atakapan Tribes

By Sara Stanley


The Atakapans started in Houston and went east into Louisiana. Some of them lived along the coast and others lived farther north going up to the Caddo Indian area. Most of the campsites in Texas are near the major rivers in this area, the Trinity river and Sabine river. This area has several very different environmental zones and the zone a group lived in made a difference in how they lived.


Atakapa hunters used bows and arrows to kill large animals like deer, buffalo, and alligators. Fishermen used nets, traps, or hooks made of bone to kill fish.


Atakapa people lived in small huts called brush shelters made of grass and reeds built around a simple wooden framework. They were easy to build and move from place to place, so they fit the Atakapa lifestyle. But in the 1800s they lived in wood cabins.


Most of their diet was fish and seafood like crab, shrimp, and fish. Atakapa men also deer, buffalo, and alligators, while the women gathered fruit and nuts. But rumor has it, some people think that the Atakapa's were cannibals.

Where they are now

In the late 18th century smallpox was spread and it killed most of their tribe. By the late 19th century the Atakapas were being added to other ethnic groups. This made the Atakapa population be really hard to keep track of. The Atakapas are now "recognized" by the government but not "acknowledged" because they never signed a treaty.


The Atakapans used wet bark for baby carriers and moss for diapers. Every so often a father would rename himself after his son was born of if he was famous

Unique Fact

The Atakapans were known for their red clay pottery.