The Caddo Native American tribe originally lived in the southwestern portion of what is now Arkansas and in nearby areas in what are now the states of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. The Caddo communities were made up of households of sedentary farmers and hunters that were separated by woodlots and garden plots. When first approached by the French and Spanish explorers, the Caddo were part of an organized confederacy of three tribes that shared similar customs and languages.
Spanish and French missionaries traveling through Caddo lands and settlements introduced infectious European diseases. Because the Caddo did not possess any acquired immunity, their numbers were decimated by diseases such as smallpox, influenza and malaria.
During the American expansion of the 1800s, the Caddo lost their tribal lands and were forcibly relocated, first to Texas and then to reservations that were set aside as Indian Territory. During the 1930s, the Caddo became a federally recognized tribe. The capital is in Binger, Oklahoma.