Language of the Tejas
Atakapa was a language of the Tejas (Teyas) who were the first people of what is now known as Texas
and Louisiana. We had to adapt and speak other languages and it evolved. Our language has
almost disappeared, but with help it can be retained and revived. There is a project
to produce the Bible in its whole entirety with our language.
There needs to be a Spanish and French addition also as our people
had three major influences of language and several minor ones.
Some Words Used by the Tejas:
Studying the Language
The language itself comes from antiquity but there is a movement
afoot to revive the language. Today there are very few living
Atakapa speakers. The following are two examples of published
research material both of which give a comprehensive look at the
language and how it is used in "everyday" conversation.
1) A Dictionary of the Atakapa Language
Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin
Albert S. Gatschet and John R. Swanton
United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1932
Note: This dictionary was purchased through Powell's Bookstore
as a used book. They can be found on the Internet at http://www.powells.com/
The following are a couple of pages from the dictionary. Click
on the links and a window will popup displaying the page. When
done viewing the page, close the pop-up window,
Page 158, Atakapa
2) Language of the Atakapas-Ishak Indians
A Primer (Steps one - four)
Hubert Daniel Singleton
This is actually a text book of sorts handmade by Mr. Singleton.
It's not a real work of art but it is most definitely filled
with useful and interesting content. Want to brush up on
your conversational Atakapa? This is the book for you. Copies
of this book can be purchased directly from Mr. Singleton. Requesting
all four primers of Atakapa Language- 4 lessons at $ 100.00 usd-
shipping and handling $25.00 usd- delivery is very slow- keep
in mind that Hubert is in his 90s
We have copied a single book (Step 1) of the series to show as
an example of what this series contains. This is for educational
purposes only. It is copyrighted material.
of Atakapa Primer
This is an Acrobat PDF file. To open and read the file you will
need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC. The Reader
can be downloaded free from Adobe -
We will add more language resources later.
Step One of Atakapa Primer is out of print at this time- you may request a reserve order by contacting us.
Updated notes- soon to come will be the dictionary on CD format- here is where you can click to order
such CD when available - check with us soon and often.