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HUME INDIANS

HUME INDIANS. The name Hume was first recorded in 1670 in a list of Indian groups said to have been raiding outlying farms and ranches of Coahuila and Nuevo León. In 1674, however, the Humes and other Indian groups of their area began to make overtures of peace to Spaniards. The Humes ranged over an area in northwestern Coahuila and the adjacent part of Texas, but all of their recorded native encampments were seen north of the Rio Grande. These encampments were shared with other Indian groups friendly to the Spaniards. In 1675 Fernando del Bosque visited such an encampment about twenty miles north of the Rio Grande, apparently in the general vicinity of modern Eagle Pass. Bosque was told that many of the Hume Indians and their encampment associates had died in recent smallpox epidemics. In 1684 Juan Domínguez de Mendoza referred to the Hume Indians in his description of a journey from El Paso to the western part of the Edwards Plateau. Some of the Hume Indians entered Spanish missions of Coahuila and Texas. In 1699 Humes were present at San Juan Bautista Mission at its first location on the Río Sabinas of Coahuila, and these seem to have followed the mission when it was moved to its second location near the Rio Grande at the site of present-day Guerrero, Coahuila. The mission censuses of 1734 and 1772, however, recorded no Humes at San Juan Bautista. One Hume Indian was baptized at San Francisco Solano Mission in 1708 when it was at its second location near Zaragoza, Coahuila. Some six or seven Humes are confusingly recorded in the registers of San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio for the years between 1718 and 1757. Although the Hume Indians have usually been listed as a Coahuilteco speaking Indian group, there is no informative documentary evidence pertaining to their language, and it is possible that they spoke one of the unrecorded languages of the area. Little was recorded about their culture. It is said that they had conflicts with some of their neighbors and on occasion took children as captives, presumably for adoption, and ate the flesh of slain enemies. One document notes that Hume women, like the men, were armed with bows and arrows. Analysis of the registers of San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio indicates that the names Junced and Sumi are distorted variants of the name Hume. Junced and Sumi have long been mistakenly regarded as names of separate Indian groups represented at this mission. Hume has sometimes been interpreted as a synonym for Jumano, but both groups were separately recorded in the registers of at least three Spanish missions; and Domínguez de Mendoza, who knew both groups in western Texas, did not equate the two names. The Hume Indians of Coahuila and Texas were apparently unrelated to the Hume Indians known to early Jesuit missionaries of Durango and Sinaloa in western Mexico.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). Thomas N. Campbell, Ethnohistoric Notes on Indian Groups Associated with Three Spanish Missions at Guerrero, Coahuila (Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1979). J. Jesús Figueroa Torres, Fr. Juan Larios, defensor de los Indios y fundador de Coahuila (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1963). William B. Griffen, Culture Change and Shifting Populations in Central Northern Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940).

Thomas N. Campbell

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas N. Campbell, "HUME INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmh20), accessed December 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.