501 Life Magazine | UCA to host Caddo Conference
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UCA to host Caddo Conference

The University of Central Arkansas will host the 61st Caddo Conference on Thursday, March 21, through Saturday, March 23, in the McCastlain Hall Ballroom, with a special “Caddo Art and Heritage” public session on Saturday, March 23. 

The Caddo Conference is an annual event that brings together people interested in the language, culture, history and archaeology of the Caddo area in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. The conference is unique in that both professional researchers and Caddos attend and participate in the conference through papers, posters, discussion sessions and traditional song, drumming and dance.

“I’m excited that UCA is hosting, for the first time, the Caddo Conference and special Saturday session. Having the conference at UCA provides an opportunity to highlight the value and importance of cultural diversity,” said Dr. Duncan McKinnon, assistant professor of anthropology at UCA and the event organizer. “Students and invited community members will have a unique opportunity to engage and experience Caddo art, history, culture and tradition as presented by members of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.”

The Saturday “Caddo Art and Heritage” public session, scheduled from 1-7 p.m. in the McCastlain Hall Ballroom, will feature six Caddo artists who will discuss their artwork, along with the methods they use and the inspiration for their work. Traditional singing, drumming and dancing will follow by members of the Caddo Culture Club and the Metro Caddo Cultural Club. The dances and songs celebrate aspects of Caddo history and origins, community ties and family life and heritage. The lead singer will announce the dances and explain their meaning to the audience. The Saturday session is free and open to the public.

The Saturday session is supported in part by a grant from the UCA Foundation. Additional funding comes from the Caddo Conference Organization, the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology at UCA, the Arkansas Archeological Survey and the Arkansas Archeological Society.

More information and a schedule of papers and events can be found at the Caddo Conference Organization website, caddoconference.org, or by contacting McKinnon at 501.450.5477 or dmckinnon@uca.edu.