Caddo Indians, Carolina Dogs, and Drop City

Editor’s Note: It’s been a long time since our friend George Prell sent along something from his friend Karl. What’s he thinking about these days? – John


Dear G,

We were talking about taking off to uninhabited (by people, that is) regions. It looks like many of us may be forced to leave our homes some day. When we have brought up the possibility of living in abandoned areas, someone will ask, “But how can you survive there?”

My question is, if your present systems go down, how will you live where you are? You know the systems–water, sewage, electricity. Found out a fascinating thing about city sewage systems. They rely on pumps to maintain the flow because of the difference in elevations involved. When electricity goes out, so does the sewage system!

Back to the wilderness idea. How would you live there? Well, many thousands of people once lived there very successfully. A place that has qualities you speak about a lot–availability of water, trees, abundant wildlife, fertile soil, and a wonderful growing climate–was once inhabited by the Caddo Indians.

They really are interesting people. We know what kind of houses they lived in. Replicas are in existence. They must have been smart people and level-headed too. They maintained a high density population, had skilled crafts and traded with other tribes. They had agriculture, crafts, and trade. The more I learn about the Caddoes the more I like them. Could we live as they once lived and in the same areas–West Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and, I believe Oklahoma? I’m just learning about them, but I sure like what I see.

You were talking about how dogs may be our best survival companions. I agree. The great dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, said that the happiest and best adjusted dogs in America are those belonging to homeless people! They are happy because their people spend all their time with them and share their lives with them, good or bad.

Would John post something on native American dogs? Found out they are healthy, happy dogs, that are natural survivors. For instance, they form packs and when puppies are born, the whole pack cares for them. Carolina Dogs are an old variety from South Carolina and Georgia. They are being restored. Some call them the American Dingo.

Read that dog graves have been found of long ago–pets of American Indian people. Some were buried with the people and beside them was their bowl. So they could have it in their next life, I suppose?

Was fascinated by the story of a group who made huts from thrown out materials like rug tubes and cardboard boxes. It was a 60’s be-in. A book was written about it. I called Caroline (Don’t call her Caro-line. It’s pronounced like Lynn.) Downing of Significant Books. Asked her if they had Drop City, by Peter Rabbit. She asked me, “Do people ever hang up on you?”

Don’t hang up on me, G.



Take a Caddo virtual field trip or visit the Caddo Nation homepage.

Watch a video on Carolina dogs.

Click here for info on Drop City and photos of domes built there. More details on community life can be found in Memories of Drop City: The first hippie commune of the 1960’s and the Summer of Love. Also, click here for info on a documentary about Drop City.


5 thoughts on “Caddo Indians, Carolina Dogs, and Drop City”

  1. Caddo story

    This is a very easy to read and enjoyable, interesting and truthful story. The Caddoes seemed to know how to live on this earth with just nature. I think it would be fun to live this way and it is certainly something to consider since this old world seems to be in the beginnings of great destruction. How peaceful it would be to live as the Caddoes did, especailly with dogs. Dogs never dissapoint and are forever our best friends and helpers. What a concept, no telephones, cars, computers and especially computer games!!!! No having to go out to the grocery store. No mortgage payments, gas bills, stress! Everyone in a tribe or group could live together and just stay in their community. The Caddo lifestyle just sounds free and peaceful and would be a great alternative when everything goes to hell in a handbasket. We are well on our way~ Great story. Thank you, G. for sharing it.

  2. In response to the point about the sewage system that was brought up in the article, I advise people to get something like the Luggable Loo. It’s just a 5 gallon bucket with a seat that snaps on to the top, but it sure does solve the problem nicely.

  3. I would like to add to my previous comment about the Caddo story.
    Once I saw the movie, “The Trigger Effect”, my eyes were wide open about the grid system and modern day dependence and existence on it. To me, the Caddo lifestyle is certainly something to think about.

    1. Sarah, thanks so much for your comments. “The Trigger Effect” does indeed give pause for thought. For those who don’t know about it, it tells a story of one family’s attempts to escape L.A. after power has gone out for a long period of time. Circumstances may force us to live a minimalist lifestyle, whether we’re ready or not.

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