Conejero Indians

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: October 19, 2020

The Conejero (Conexero) Indians were a Plains Apache band who roamed along the Canadian River valley in northeastern New Mexico and the western Texas Panhandle, as well as in western Kansas and southeastern Colorado, during the seventeenth century. The name is Spanish for "rabbit people" and may have been derived from the types of dwellings they built. In the light of contemporary Spanish documents, the Conejeros appear to have been an early band of Lipan Apaches. Apparently they had some contacts with the French in the Mississippi valley. These contacts were not always friendly, however; in 1695 some Chipayne Apaches visiting Picurís Pueblo reported that White men from the east had attacked a band of Conejeros in western Kansas. In 1706 Juan de Ulibarri conferred with Conejeros in the vicinity of present Cimmaron, New Mexico. After the Comanches invaded the Southern Plains during the early eighteenth century, nothing more was mentioned of the Conejeros; it is possible that they were among the Plains Apache bands that were wiped out or scattered by Shoshonean invaders, although they may have subsequently merged with the Jicarilla Apaches in New Mexico.

José M. Espinosa, Crusaders of the Rio Grande: The Story of Don Diego de Vargas and the Reconquest and Refounding of New Mexico (Chicago: Institute of Jesuit History, 1942). John Upton Terrell, The Plains Apache (New York: Crowell, 1975). Alfred B. Thomas, After Coronado: Spanish Exploration Northeast of New Mexico, 1696–1717 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1935). Albert H. Schroeder, A Study of the Apache Indians: The Mescalero Apaches, Part III, Vol. 1 (New York: Garland, 1974).


  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Tribes (Other)

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

H. Allen Anderson, “Conejero Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 19, 2020