The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 123
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca. 123
go inland to eat prickly pears, which they begin upon as they
ripen, about August." This fixes these Indians at their homes on
the coast, and shows they knew of the prickly pears inland, though
they were twenty leagues below the Nueces river, and in pursuing
Cabeza's route from the prickly pear region with the Avavares,
their place at the end of these twenty leagues will have a bearing
upon the direction these survivors are going.
It seems from his list of the nations and tongues along the coast
and opposite to these inland, that Cabeza knew these cruel Indians
on the coast before finally starting away with the Avavares, and
he must have known the course he was going was parallel to the
Of his peddling, Cabeza says:
"And now with my business and my wares, I entered inland as
far as I pleased, and along the coast I went forty or fifty leagues.
The principal parts of my stock in trade were pieces of shells of
red conchs and the inside parts of them and sea shells with which
they cut a fruit that is like beans, with which they doctor them-
selves and make their dances and feasts; and this is the thing of
highest appreciation there is among them; and beads of the sea and
other things. So this was what I carried inland; in exchange and
barter for them I bought skins and ocher, with which they rub and
paint their faces and hair; and flints for points of arrows, glue and
hard stalks to make them, and some balls made of deer's hair,
which they dye and make red; and this occupation was agreeable
to me, because, going on in it, I had liberty to go where I pleased,
and was not obliged to do anything and was not a slave, and wher-
ever I went they treated me well and gave me something to eat, out
of respect for my merchandise; and this principally because pur-
suing it, I sought the way by which I would have to go forward,
and among them I was very well known."28
This opens a field for inquiry. To what point did he go along
the coast, and what Indians did he meet with on the way? What
direction, how far, and to what place did he go inland? Where did
he make his exchanges? If the flint and ocher were there close to-
gether then, may they not be so still? And proper answers to these
questions may shed important light upon the subject under con-
s' Naufragios, Cap. XVI.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/131/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.