Indian Groups Associated with Spanish Missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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Mission Espada first known as San Francisco de los Tejas, was established in 1690 for certain Caddoan Indians of eastern Texas at a locality some 40 miles southwest of the present city of Nacogdoches. The mission was never very successful, and after 1690 it was abandoned and re-established several times, with slight changes in name and location, before being transferred in 1731 to San Antonio, where it became known as San Francisco de la Espada.

Attempts to discover the names of all Indian groups that were represented at Mission Espada in San Antonio have never been very fruitful because the earlier mission registers have not been found, and because other kinds of documents have yielded so few specific group names. Bolton (in Hodge 1910 Vol. II:435-436, 584) was apparently able to find only five group names in documents which he had examined: Arcahomo, Borrado, Malaguita, Pacao, and Siguipan. If his guess that the Arcahomo represented a subdivision of the Tacame is correct, then the list can be expanded to six names. Schuetz (1980b:51) found late documents that yielded two more names, Pootajpo and Zacuestacán. She omitted Arcahomo and Siguipan from her list but did include Tacame, evidently equating the Tacame with Bolton's Arcahomo. The lists of Bolton and Schuetz can be expanded by one additional name, Mesquite, which Castañeda (1939 Vol. IV:11) and Habig (1968:215) found in documents for the year 1762. Campbell and Campbell (1981:45) have also found a document which shows that at least one Pamaque was at Mission Espada in 1752.

We have been fortunate enough to find another document which adds more names to the Espada ethnic unit roster. In a report of 1767, Acisclos Valverde referred to 11 group names which were said to have been taken from the Espada mission registers for the period 1753-1767. It is evident that Valverde did indeed take the names from the mission registers because he cites numbered entries. Valverde's list, in alphabetical order, includes the following names: Assaca, Cacalote, Caguaumama, Carrizo, Cayan, Gegueriguan, Huaraque, Saguiem, Siguipan, Tuarique, and Uncrauya. If one includes the names of groups collectively known as Pamaque, as many as 25 specific names can be listed for Espada. Valverde's report more than doubles the list of Indian groups represented at Espada. His list shows that a longer list could be obtained if all the mission registers had survived intact.


The name Arcahomo, occasionally rendered as Acoma, Axcahomo, and Azcahomo, refers to an Indian group clearly associated with Mission Espada. Bolton (in Hodge 1910 Vol. II:435, 666) regarded the Arcahomo as an alternative name for the Tacame, or at least a subdivision of the Tacame, but proof of this has yet to be presented. Schuetz (1980b:51) evidently follows Bolton because she lists Tacame at Mission Espada but not Arcahomo. Pacao and Arcahomo deserted Espada in 1737, but most of these were later persuaded to return (Orobio y Bazterra 1737:44-45; Ysasmende 1737:41-42).

No documents seem to have specified a pre-mission location for the Arcahomo, but circumstantial evidence suggests an area lying between the lower San Antonio and Nueces Rivers. Some Arcahomo seem to have entered one of the missions at Goliad (Walters 1951:293, 298). Nothing has been recorded about the language spoken by Arcahomo and, surprisingly, very few writers have suggested that they probably spoke Coahuilteco. It has been speculated that the Como known to Cabeza de Vaca in 1533-1535 were the same as the later Arcahomo (Campbell and Campbell 1981:41).


The name Assaca appears to be known only from Valverde's report of Indian groups at Espada during the period 1753-1767. Assaca could be a variant of some other recorded group name, such as Pajasaque or Masacuajulam, but no demonstration is possible. The Pajasaque, also referred to as Carrizo (Valverde listed Carrizo as being present at Espada), were reported as living with several other groups at the mouth of the Nueces River in 1747 (Bolton 1915:393), and in the same year Masacuajulam were documented as one of many named groups who lived along the Rio Grande near its delta (Escandón 1747:238).


See Concepción: Borrado.


Valverde (1767) listed "Pacalote" as the name of an Indian group represented at Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767. As the name Pacalote has not been found in other documents, it seems likely that Valverde miscopied the name Cacalote from the Espada registers. In the middle 18th century the Cacalote are documented as an Indian group of the Camargo-Mier-Revilla section of northern Tamaulipas (Bolton 1913:450-451; Lopez de la Cámara Alta 1758:133, 141; Saldívar 1943:32).


The report by Valverde states that the Caguaumama of Mission Espada were also known by a Spanish name, Cometabacos ('tobacco eaters'), and that during the period 1753-1767 they were numerous at Espada (hay muchos en esta mision). The name Caguaumama cannot be positively equated with any other name recorded for the region. It may refer to the Camama of Mission San José, recorded by Solís in 1767 (Kress and Hatcher 1931:51), but nothing is known about the identity or pre-mission location of the Camama (Campbell 1975:20-21).


See Concepción: Pamaque and Camasuqua.


At the San Antonio missions, Carrizo were recorded only for Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767 (Valverde 1767). In the second half of the 18th century, the name Carrizo was often used by Spaniards to refer collectively to various Indian groups living along both sides of the Rio Grande between Laredo and the Gulf Coast. These groups were apparently called Carrizo (Spanish 'cane') because they used cane or grass to cover the framework of their houses (Gatschet 1891:38; Kress and Hatcher 1931:35; Wheat 1957 Vol. I:Maps 115 and 149; Wilcox 1946:249, 255-256). Specific groups referred to at times as Carrizo were Comecrudo, Cotoname, and Tusan (Campbell 1979:51). The Pajaseque, who in 1747 lived at the mouth of the Nueces River in Texas, were also once referred to as Carrizo (Bolton 1915:393). The Carrizo of Mission Espada thus probably came from the Rio Grande area of Tamaulipas and southern Texas.


The Cayan Indians were recorded for Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767 (Valverde 1767). No name resembling Cayan has been found in other 18th-century documents, and little can be said about an identity for this group. We can only suggest that Cayan may be a shortened variant of either Cayanapuro or Cayanaguanaja, names recorded for Nuevo León in the middle 17th century (León, Chapa, y Sánchez de Zamora 1961:190-191). The former is linked with the Cerralvo area of northeastern Nuevo León; the latter is not recorded for any particular part of that area.


The name Gegueriguan is linked with Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767 (Valverde 1767). A similar name, Ogeguerigan, given in the same document, is probably a variant of Gegueriguan. We are unable to relate these to any other Indian group name recorded for northeastern Mexico and southern Texas, or adjacent regions.


Valverde (1767) obtained the name Huaraque from the registers of Mission Espada (1753-1767). If appropriate documents can be found, eventually it may be possible to relate this name to an ethnic group of the lower Rio Grande area recorded as Pauraque and Paurague. Pauraque were said to be represented, after 1764, at Mission San Agustín de Laredo of Camargo, Tamaulipas (Bolton 1913:450-451). Davenport and Wells (1919:217-220) discovered a Spanish land survey document of 1777 which records a settlement of Paurague near the Rio Grande in the southwestern part of present-day Hidalgo County, Texas. It is of some interest to note that Parisot and Smith (1897:39) listed a group designated as "Iparoque" for an unspecified mission of San Antonio.


See Concepción: Malaguita.


See San José: Mesquite.


See Concepción: Pacao.


See Concepción: Pamaque.


Schuetz (1980a:51) has discovered a document which refers to an Indian group with the name Pootajpo at Mission Espada. According to Schuetz, the Pootajpo were at Espada "before 1734." Pootajpo could be a badly distorted variant of some other Indian group name, but we are unable to cite any names with which it may be profitably compared.


Valverde (1767) listed the name Saguiem for one of the Indian groups represented at Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767. We are unable to establish an identity for the Saguiem, although we suspect that they came to Espada from the lower Rio Grande area.


See Concepción: Pamaque and Sarapjon.


Siguipan is another group name known only for the period 1753-1767 at Espada (Valverde 1767). As in the case of Saguiem (above), we suspect that the Siguipan came to Espada from the lower Rio Grande area.


See Concepción: Tacame.


See Concepción: Pamaque and Taguaguan.


See Concepción: Pamaque and Tinapihuaya.


From the Mission Espada registers (1753-1767), two similar names were copied by Valverde (1767): Taguarique and Tuarique, which we take to be variants of the same name. The Tuarique of Espada may have been the same as the Toaraque of Concepción, but for this we are unable to present any documentary evidence.


The name Uncrauya is known from one 18th-century document that lists Indian groups at Mission Espada between 1753 and 1767 (Valverde 1767). We can only suggest that perhaps the Uncrauya were the same people as the Icaura (or Incaura), who in the middle 17th century were reported as living in eastern and northeastern Nuevo León (Hoyo 1972:366, 416, 546; León, Chapa, y Sánchez de Zamora 1961:51, 87, 107-109, 114, 116).


See Concepción: Pamaque and Viayan.


The name Zacuestacán appears to have been recorded only in a document examined by Schuetz (1980a:51). According to Schuetz, the Zacuestacán arrived at Espada "before 1734."

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Last Updated: 26-Apr-2007