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HENIOCAN INDIANS. In 1675 Fernando del Bosque visited a Heniocan encampment during a journey northward from Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, into what is now Texas. Bosque made a head count and reported a population of 178. Of these, sixty-five were adult males. It is difficult to determine where this encampment was, but the locality was somewhere near the southern margin of the Edwards Plateau and probably in or near the area of present-day Kinney County. The Heniocans were evidently the same people as the Xinicar Indians, listed in 1670 as one of numerous northern Indian groups raiding Spanish farm and ranch settlements in Coahuila and Nuevo León. No variant of the name Heniocan has been found in Spanish documents dated after 1675, and it is possible that the Heniocan Indians rapidly diminished in numbers and lost their identity by merging with some larger group of their area. Although at times modern scholars have guessed that the Heniocans spoke Coahuilteco, no primary information on the Heniocan language is recorded. According to Bosque, the Heniocans were one of many Indian groups in the area who lived by hunting and gathering, bison being the most important game animal. Some groups were allied and fought other allied groups for unspecified reasons. The Heniocans took children captive and ate the flesh of slain enemies.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). William B. Griffen, Culture Change and Shifting Populations in Central Northern Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "HENIOCAN INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.