An Ancient Caddoan Ceremonial Mound in Historic Nacogdoches
A large oak grows from the summit of the only remaining Caddo Mound in the Washington
Square District that once was a ceremonial plaza for the Hasinai Caddo that lived in this
region and reached the pinnacle of a highly developed social, economic, and political
culture sometime between 1250 and 1450 A.D. Nacogdoches is built on top of an Hasinai
village that existed here. This group, known as the Nacogdoche, and by its variants,
Nacadocheeto, Nacodissy, Nacodochito, Nagodoche, Nasahossoz, Naugdoche, and Nocodosh,
is the basis of the name of the city. And from the Hasinai Caddo is derived the name of Texas.
Even before the arrival of the Spanish in East Texas, the Hasanai used the word "tejas" and
it variations, (tayshas, texias, thecas, techan, teysas, techas), to describe their relationship
with other tribes in the confederation as "those who are friends," or as "Allies,"
and in the form of a greeting meaning, "Hello, Friend". Later the Spanish applied this term
to designate the Hasinai group of Caddo that occupied this area rather than to the
geographical region itself. Yet the name of Texas came down from this source and its
intentional meaning carried forward even in the state motto of Texas which is: "FRIENDSHIP".¹
(Next Picture: The Statue of the Country Doctor on Mound St.)