Aguapalam Indians

By: Thomas N. Campbell

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

The Aguapalam Indians appear to have been first recorded in 1670, under the distorted name Gamplam, as one of thirty-four small Indian groups said to have been involved in raiding Spanish settlements north of Monterrey and Saltillo. They were reported living under native conditions only in 1691, at which time they were on lower Hondo Creek southwest of San Antonio, apparently near the boundary between the future Frio and Medina counties. The Aguapalams shared that area with twelve other Indian groups, probably because their combined manpower gave them better protection from attacks by Apaches of the Edwards Plateau to the north. No population figures were recorded for any of these groups. After 1691 the Aguapalams may have moved farther to the east. They evidently declined in numbers, but a few of them managed to maintain their ethnic identity until 1741, when three adults and four children were recorded at San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio. Between 1741 and 1768 they and their descendants were recorded by missionaries under such name variants as Ajuiap, Aujuiap, and Ujuiap. Scholars have failed to note that Aguapalam, minus the suffix -alam, is Aguap, which in Spanish phonetics is virtually the same as the Valero recordings. H. E. Bolton saw no similarities in these names and, through faulty analysis of the Valero registers, concluded that Ujuiap was the name of a separate Indian group of Tonkawan affiliation. No evidence of this Tonkawa linkage has been found in European documents. The Ujuiaps of Valero were almost certainly the Aguapalams of 1691, who were associated with Indian groups southwest of San Antonio and who, according to the observations of Damián Massanet, spoke the language now known as Coahuilteco. Jean Jarry, the Frenchman who deserted the La Salle expedition and became a leader of Indians in the area east of Eagle Pass, seems to have known the Aguapalams/Ujuiaps by the name Huiapico. No documents have been found that contain descriptive details of Aguapalam culture, but circumstantial evidence indicates that they lived by hunting and gathering.

Lino Gómez Canedo, ed., Primeras exploraciones y poblamiento de Texas, 1686–1694 (Monterrey: Publicaciones del Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, 1968). William B. Griffen, Culture Change and Shifting Populations in Central Northern Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969). Mattie Alice Hatcher, trans., The Expedition of Don Domingo Terán de los Ríos into Texas, ed. Paul J. Foik (Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Historical Society 2.1 [1932]). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Alonso de León et al., Historia de Nuevo León (Monterrey: Centro de Estudios Humanísticos de la Universidad de Nuevo León, 1961). San Antonio de Valero Mission, Baptismal and Burial Registers, San Antonio.
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Tribes (Other)

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

Thomas N. Campbell, “Aguapalam Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995