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The Eyeish were a Native American tribe from eastern Texas.[1]



The Eyeish were part of the Caddo Confederacy,[2] although their relationship to other Caddo tribes was ambiguous, and they were often hostile to the Hasinai.[3] They historically lived on the Eyeish Creek, located between the Neches and Sabine Rivers.[4]

Spanish explorers encountered the tribe in 1542 and reports large herds of buffalo in the area. The tribe was not on the best terms with tribes located west of the Trinity River or those to the north near the Red River.[4]

Francisco monks who traveled on Domingo Ramón's 1716-17 expedition through Texas founded Nuestra Señora de los Dolores Mission; however, the Eyeish did not respond to Spanish missionary efforts. After 50 years, the mission only recorded eleven baptisms, seven burials, and three marriages.[4]

In the 18th century, the tribe contracted European diseases such as smallpox and measles from the French and Spanish explorers in the region. The populations decreased but rebounded, from a low of 20 tribal members recorded by John Sibley in 1805, to 160 families recorded in 1828. By then, they lived between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers.[4]

Ultimately, they joined the Wichita[4] and Caddo tribes in Indian Territory.


The tribe is also known as the A'-ish, Aiaichi, Aliche, Aliches, Ayays, Hais,[2] Ays, or Ahijitos.[4] They are not, however, considered to be the same tribe as the Aijados encountered by the Mendoza Expedition of 1683-84,[5] nor are they the same as the Ais tribe from Florida.


Explorer John Sibley wrote that the Eyeish language was one of three unique languages spoken by the Eyeish, Adai, Yatasi, and Natchitoches people. The Eyeish language was mutually intelligible to the Adai language and part of the Caddoan language family.[6]


  1. ^ Sturtevant, 617
  2. ^ a b Sturtevant, 616
  3. ^ Bolton, 32
  4. ^ a b c d e f Eyeish Indian History. Access Genealogy. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  5. ^ Bolton, 55
  6. ^ Sturtevant, 616-7


  • Bolton, Herbet E. The Hasinais: Southern Caddoans As Seen by the Earliest Europeans. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0806134413.
  • Sturtevant, William C., general editor and Raymond D. Fogelson, volume editor. Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast. Volume 14. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2004. ISBN 0-16-072300-0.

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