Santa Adiva (unknown–unknown)

By: Judith N. McArthur

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 5, 2016

Santa Adiva, a Tejas Indian woman of some undetermined high status, was discovered by Fray Gaspar José de Solís during an inspection tour of the missions of Spanish Texas in 1767–68. Father Solís recorded in his diary for April 30, 1768, that in the Tejas village near the San Pedro River he encountered an Indian woman called Santa Adiva, whose name was said to mean "great lady" or "principal lady" and who was accorded queen-like status. She was described as living in a large, multiroomed house, to which other Indians brought gifts. Solís reported that Santa Adiva had five husbands and a large contingent of men and women in her service.

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Gaspar José de Solís, "Diary," trans. Margaret Kenny Kress, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (July 1931).

  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Chiefs and Other Leaders
  • Women
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

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

Judith N. McArthur, “Santa Adiva,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

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April 5, 2016

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