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SIGUIPAN INDIANS

SIGUIPAN INDIANS. This name, which has also been read as Siguipam, is known only from a document of 1768 written by Acisclos Valverde, a friar of San Francisco de la Espada Mission at San Antonio. In this document Valverde identified eleven Indian groups, remnants of which seem to have entered that mission in 1753. They originally lived in the northernmost parts of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas and in the lower Rio Grande valley of extreme southern Texas (the area of modern Cameron and Hidalgo counties). Some groups were native to the Rio Grande delta, but others were refugees from the Cerralvo area of northeastern Nuevo León, where a Spanish mining settlement had been established late in the sixteenth century. Apparently these Indians came to Mission Espada because José de Escandón, in 1749 and 1750, had established Spanish settlements on their lands at Camargo, Mier, and Reynosa. Some Indian individuals and families entered missions at Camargo and Reynosa; others went to Mission Espada at San Antonio. The Valverde document of 1767, which contains information taken from the Espada baptismal, marriage, and burial registers (later lost), does not mention how many Siguipans lived in the mission. It does, however, refer to two Siguipan individuals, a man and his daughter. The name Siguipan has not been found in documents pertaining to this group's southern homeland. It may be a shortened form of the name Segujulapem, recorded in 1747 for an Indian group native to the Rio Grande delta, but the equation cannot be demonstrated by specific documentary evidence. Herbert E. Bolton thought that Siguipan was a variant of the name Siupam, but such documents as are now known indicate that these names refer to separate Indian groups who ranged over different areas. Nothing is known about the Siguipan language, and linguists today no longer suppose that they spoke Coahuilteco. As there is no evidence showing that Indians living along the lower Rio Grande practiced agriculture, it may be assumed that the Siguipans lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plant products.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959).

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, "SIGUIPAN INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bms31), accessed December 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.