Salinero Indians

By: Thomas N. Campbell

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: July 1, 1995

The name Salinero, "salt producer," was frequently used by the Spanish to refer to Indian groups that exploited local sources of salt. This name was widely used in northern Mexico and Texas. In Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Coahuila, and Chihuahua various unrelated Indian groups were known as Salinero. The principal Salinero group in Texas lived along the Pecos River, and their range extended northward along this river into southeastern New Mexico. These Salineros are repeatedly mentioned in documents of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Sometimes the Salinero Indians were equated with the Natages. It is clear that the Salineros were Apache Indians and that they were among the groups that eventually became known as Mescalero Apaches.

Herbert E. Bolton, "The Jumano Indians in Texas, 1650–1771," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 15 (July 1911). Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). William Edward Dunn, "Apache Relations in Texas, 1718–1750," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 14 (January 1911). 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.

Thomas N. Campbell, “Salinero Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995