Borrado Indians

By: Thomas N. Campbell

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

Borrado is a misspelled Spanish name that was used to refer to Indians who practiced body painting, usually in stripes. In Texas this name was applied to Indian groups in two separate areas, one in western Texas, the other in southern Texas and adjoining northeastern Mexico. In western Texas an early reference (1693) mentions "Borrados" and "other Borrados" who lived somewhere north of the Rio Grande and "between Texas and New Mexico." Today these Borrados still cannot be more precisely identified or located. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the second group of Borrados ranged over a large area that extended from Saltillo, in southeastern Coahuila, eastward across Nuevo León into Tamaulipas. In the eighteenth century they appeared in southern Texas, particularly along the coast and in the lower Rio Grande area. At various times during the second half of the eighteenth century, groups of these Borrados entered three of the missions at San Antonio–Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, and San Juan Capistrano. These Borrados spoke a Coahuiltecan language.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Jack Autrey Dabbs, trans., The Texas Missions in 1785 (Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Historical Society 3.6 [January 1940]). Charles W. Hackett, ed., Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773 (3 vols., Washington: Carnegie Institution, 1923–37). 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).
  • 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, “Borrado Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995