Stephen F. Austin State University

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Caddo Historian to speak at Nacogdoches Historic Train Depot Oct. 8

October 3, 2012 - SFA Public Affairs

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A noted author and historian will discuss the Caddo tribe's history at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at the Nacogdoches Historic Train Depot. The Center for Regional Heritage Research at Stephen F. Austin State University is hosting the event, which will feature Phil Cross, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and historian of the Caddo Culture Club.

Beginning with Hernando De Soto's first expedition into the ArkLaTex region in 1542, Cross will discuss the tribe's relationships with various emerging empires and the chaotic and challenging circumstances as it lost its homelands, was demonized and was forced to move from area to area as it attempted to settle under constant threats from state and local militia and local citizenry. Cross also will present information about the tribe's reservation in West Texas, its relocation to Oklahoma and its current situation.

Cross is an expert on primitive bows and arrows, and a collection of his bows and arrows will be on display. He will discuss the use of bows in Caddo history and their continued prominence in modern times in archery circles around the world. An avid big game hunter, Cross has won many bow contests with his traditional hand-made gear. He conducts workshops on primitive bows and arrows at many locations around the country.

Cross grew up on his family's reservation in western Oklahoma and learned Caddo culture and many survival and living skills from his elders. He is the last surviving Caddo who constructs the beehive style grass-thatched house that comprised many Caddo villages at time of European contact and later.

A frequent performer at the Caddo Mounds in Alto, Cross leads Caddo dances and ceremonies and has led seminars and workshops on the music of the Caddo.

Cross will spend the day on the SFA campus as a guest lecturer for an anthropology classes.