Indios Bravos and Indios Reducidos

By: Teresa Palomo Acosta

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

In Spanish Texas, indios bravos were Indians who remained as yet out of the sphere of influence of the Spanish missions. That influence included an introduction to European customs, training in European skills, and, most importantly, conversion to Christianity. The term indios bravos, "courageous (or warlike) Indians," was used to denote both Indians who were resistant to Spanish inculturation and those who simply had not yet been encountered by the Spanish. The indios reducidos, on the other hand, had undergone the conversion and inculturation desired by the missionaries and, in many cases, had moved to the missions. Even the reducidos, however, often became so in order to escape the ravages of warlike Indians. Perhaps much of the mestizo population of Mexico is descended from indios reducidos.

New Catholic Encyclopedia (16 vols., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967–74). William W. Newcomb, The Indians of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

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

Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Indios Bravos and Indios Reducidos,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995

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