De Soto entered Tula territory on September 30, 1541 near present-day Fort Smith, Arkansas and violently clashed with the tribe multiple times during the beginning of October 1541. His secretary, Rodrigo Ranjel described the Tula as, "the best fighting people that the Christians met with." A statue was erected in the late 20th century to commemorate the Tula, but de Soto scholars suspect that the location of the statue does not correspond with the Tula's actual homeland. The Tula are thought to be the first Caddo band to encounter Europeans.
The 16th century Spanish chroniclers wrote that the Tula practiced cranial deformation and tattooed their faces. They fought with large spears.
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.