Texas Almanac, 1947-1948 Page: 92
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92 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1947-1948.
ing the Cujanes, Copanes, Coapites, Cocos,
Carancaguases and other tribal subclassifl-
cations. From accounts, they were nomadic
within their rather narrow range along the
coast and without permanent dwellings, and
were sustained by a sea-food economy. They
were undoubtedly cannibalistic and were de-
scribed by Cabeza de Vaca and later writers
as vicious, cruel, undependable, and as main-
taining generally a low cultural status.
Tribes of the Rio Grande Plain.
Extending southward along the sea coast,
and spreading inland from the Rio Grande
Plain as far as the present Del Rio, and
beyond into Mexico were the Coahuiltican
tribes. Whether these were related by blood,
or linguistically, to the Karankawas seems
doubtful, but some ethnologists include both
groups in the Pakawa family. The Coahuil-
tican tribes apparently were not bound by
any sort of confederacy, as were the Caddo
groups, and the individual subtribes were
usually small. Along the coast lay the Paka-
was proper, the Comecrubos, Cotonans, and
farther inland were a large number of weak
tribes, including the Pajalates, Orejones,
Pacaos, Tilijayos, Allsapas, Pausanes, Pa-
cuaches, Mescales, Pampopas, Tacames, Chay-
opines, Venados, Pamiquis, Pihuiques, Bor-
rados, Sanipaos, Manos de Perro and many
The Coahuliticans are generally adjudged
as of low cultural level, though under train-
ing of the early missionaries they showed
themselves capable of appreciable advance-
ment. It was among the Indians of this stock
that the San Antonio missions were most
successful in their *christianizing and civiliz-
Central Texas Tribes.
Lying northwest of the Karankawas and to
ta ohe west of the Didais was a small group of
Indians, including the Tamique, Xaraname
and possibly several other subclassifications.
Records givea scant evidence to show whether
these tribes were related or not to the sur-
rounding powerful groups, the Karankawas
and Coahuilticans to the south, the Coman-
ches to the west. Tonkawas to the north or
Didais to the east. They dwelt primarily
along the lower and middle course of the
Guadalupe, and a series of possibly related
small tribes extended westward and north-
westward between the San Antonio and Colo-
rado Rivers, including the Tojo, Cantuna,
Cavae and others.
Lying to the north of these tribes and
sandwiched between the Caddoes on the east
and the Apaches and Lipans on the west were
the Tonkawa tribes. Their field lay in what
might be designated as present East Central
Texas, extending from Ellis County south-
ward to Bastrop and westward as far as Mills
and Comanche Counties. Among these tribes
were the Tonkawas proper, the Yojuanes, the
Mayeyes and Ervipiames.
The Lipan Apaches.
During the early mission period in west-
ern Texas, from the present site of San An-
tonio as far north as the Panhandle, the
Apache stock held sway. These were not the
true Apaches of New Mexico, but cousins
that were designated usually as Lipan
Apaches. They extended from the region of
the Karankawas and Tamique westward
across the Trans-Pecos. As distinguished
from the settled and seminomadic tribes of
East Texas and the coast, they were a roving
people possessing fine physiques and certain
moral characteristics but sustaining a culture
considerably below that of the Caddoes.
'The editor of the Texas Almanac is indebted
to Dr. Carlos E. Castaneda, author of the five
published volumes of "Our Catholic Heritage," for
much information presented in this chapter.
Conquest by the Comanches.
To the north of the Lipan Apaches lay the
Comanches. During the early mission period
apparently the Comanches, who were an off-
shoot of the Shoshoni, occupied not more of
Texas than the Upper Panhandle. They ad-
vanced rapidly southward, however in sharp
conflict with the Apaches, as well as east-
ward against the Wichitas. By 1750 they had
established themselves as far east as the
Blackland Prairies and as far south as San
Antonio, driving the Lipan Apaches south-
westward and westward across the Rio
Grande and Pecos Rivers. These fierce, no-
madic Indians, who early became expert
horsemen, were destined to play the leading
role in the long conflict between red and
white man in the territory lying between the
Red River and Rio Grande. With a culture
somewhat like that of the Apaches, they
were a people of fine physique and great
courage, but sustained a relatively low cul-
ture, an$l never yielded to civilizing influ-
Other Early Tribes.
Probably at this period there were some
other Indians along the borders of Texas,
notably in the extreme western part of the
Trans-Pecos, who may have been members of
the Ute tribes. Fairly recent traces of Pueblo
or kindred culture are found in this terri-
tory. Mystery surrounds the Jumanos of the
High Plains mentioned by Coeronado and
other early explorers. Possibly these were
an extreme westward extension of the Wich-
itas. They were undoubtedly driven eastward
by the Comanches who came from the north-
west. A small group of Jumanos was eventu-
ally settled on an Indian reservation in
The foregoing is an approximate bird's-eye
view of Indian distribution in Texas as it was
found by the first white men. There is, of
course, a good deal of deduction and some
guesswork entailed in such a picture. Fur-
thermore, a description of the kind must be
in generalities for the reason that boundary
lines between tribal territories were indefi-
It must be kept in mind, too, that the tribal
boundaries shifted constantly and rapidly.
The picture above was vastly different at the
time of arrival of Austin's colonists in Texas.
The principal thrust against the aboriginal
Indian population of Texas seems to have
been from the north as the Comanches and
the Osages drove down against the Lipan
Apaches and the Caddoes, respectively. At a
fairly early date, however, the impact from
the east became noticeable as the expanding
white population of the Atlantic Seaboard
drove the Indians of the Old South westward.
Among the tribes that crossed the Texas bor-
der on the east were the Cherokees, Ala-
bamas, Coushattas, Seminoles, Delawares and
Kickapoos. The total Indian population of
Texas in these early years is a matter of
speculation. Various estimates of historians
and government agencies have ranged from
20,000 to 130,000. Most authorities now agree
that there were not more than 30,000.
Something of the fate of these original
Texans is told on the following pages, which
relate the history of white man on Texas
soil. (See pp. 103, 104 and 107.)
II. EARLY EXPLORATIONS.
Probably the Spanish explorer, Alonzo
Alvarez de Pineda, and his followers were
the first white men to set foot on what is
now Texas soil. In 1519, Gov. Francis de
Garay of Jamaica sent Pineda to explore the
coast of the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida
peninsula to Panuco. Pineda drew a fairly
accurate coast-line map and marked the vast
Another expedition was made a year or
two later, and there is dependable evidence
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Texas Almanac, 1947-1948, book, 1947; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117136/m1/94/: accessed February 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.