The Tula are known to history only from the chronicles of Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto's exploits in the interior of North America.
The Tula were possibly a Caddoan people, but this is not certain. Based on the descriptions of the various chroniclers, "Tula Province", or their homeland, may have been at the headwaters of the Ouachita, Caddo, Little Missouri, Saline, and Cossatot Rivers in Arkansas. They are also thought to have lived in the northern Ouachita Mountains in the Petit Jean and Fourche valleys.
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.
- Sturtevant, 617
- Swanton, 29
- Perttula, 23
- Charles Hudson (1998). Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms. University of Georgia Press. pp. 320–326. ISBN 978-0-8203-2062-5. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Carter, 21
- Carter, 363
- Swanton, 7
- Swanton, 8
- Swanton, 30
- Carter, Cecile Elkins. Caddo Indians: Where We Come From. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8061-3318-X
- Perttula, Timothy K. The Caddo Nation: Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Perspectives. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-292-76574-0.
- 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.
- Swanton, John Reed. Source material on the history and ethnology of the Caddo Indians. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8061-2856-6.