Atakapa -Ishak Bands of SouthWest Louisiana and SouthEast Texas
“The Heron Band” inhabits the prairies surrounding present day St Landry Parish. The Opelousas Band painted their lower legs and feet black during mourning ceremonies, mimicking the long black legs of the Heron.
“The Eagle” represents the Calcasieu Band. These Members inhabit the areas between the Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes in South Western Louisiana. This clan was named for the Eagle which could be seen flying over the lakes.
“The Snake ” represents the Teche Band, who inhabits the prairies and coastal marshes surrounding St. Martinville in South Central Louisiana. They are named for the snake that symbolizes the winding and twisting course of Bayou Teche.
“The Alligator” represents the Alligator Band on the Vermilion River in the South Central Louisiana.The Alligator was very important to this Band; its oil was used for cooking and to treat minor arthritis and eczema symptoms, its scales were used as arrow heads,and its meat was used for food.
“The Panther” represents those Atakapa who inhabited South East Texas in the areas around the Sabine River.
“The Red Bird” represents the band of the Western-Moist lands in Louisiana. This Band inhabits the prairies and coastal areas of South Western Louisiana near what is now Lake Charles Louisiana.
- Chief Crying Eagle, Principal Chief of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation