Aguastaya Indians

By: Thomas N. Campbell

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

Although there is evidence indicating that the Aguastaya Indians ranged an area somewhere south of San Antonio, no pre-mission document records a Spanish encounter with them. Aguastaya families seem to have entered only one of the San Antonio missions, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. Because the registers of this mission are lost, there is no way to determine the number of Aguastaya individuals in residence. A few documents say that some of the Aguastayas entered San José when it was founded in 1720, but others mention that they came at a later date. It is certain that they entered this mission by 1734, because a document in the Bexar Archives refers to two Aguastaya males from Mission San José giving legal testimony in that year. Some writers have stated that the Aguastayas spoke a dialect of the Coahuilteco language, but there is not enough evidence to demonstrate this linguistic affiliation. Contrary to what has long been assumed, languages other than Coahuilteco were spoken in the inland area south of San Antonio. The name Aguastaya is phonetically similar to two additional Indian group names recorded for southern Texas: the Yguaz, known to Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1533–34, and the Oaz, listed by Isidro Félix de Espinosa in 1708. Name similarities and linkage with the same region suggest that Aguastaya, Oaz, and Yguaz refer to the same Indian population, but this cannot be proved because of scanty documentation for the 200-year period involved.

Thomas N. Campbell, The Payaya Indians of Southern Texas (San Antonio: Southern Texas Archeological Association, 1975). Peter P. Forrestal, trans., The Solís Diary of 1767, ed. Paul J. Foik (Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Historical Society 1.6 [March 1931]). J. Villasana Haggard, "Spain's Indian Policy in Texas: Translations from the Bexar Archives, No. 9," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46 (July 1942). Juan Agustín Morfi, History of Texas, 1673–1779, trans. Carlos E. Castañeda (2 vols., Albuquerque: Quivira Society, 1935; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1967). Pedro de Rivera y Villalón, Diario y derrotero de lo caminado, visto y obcervado en el discurso de la visita general de precidios situados en las provincias ynternas de Nueva España (Mexico City: Porrúa, 1945).
  • 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, “Aguastaya Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995