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MANOS COLORADAS INDIANS. The native name of the Manos Coloradas (Spanish for red or reddish hands) Indians has not been identified. In 1674 these people were recorded for the area that lies between the Río Sabinas and the Rio Grande in northeastern Coahuila. No documents refer to encounters with Manos Coloradas north of the Rio Grande in what is now Texas, but in 1728 one teenage Manos Coloradas boy was baptized at San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio. The earliest missionaries in northeastern Coahuila noted a few cultural traits that can be attributed to the Manos Coloradas: foods that included acorns, unspecified wild roots, and bison flesh; and round houses covered with tanned bison hides (apparently not conical tepees). The Manos Coloradas Indians were probably not the same people as the Colorados of central Coahuila, or the Colorados farther west in Chihuahua. Although nothing is recorded about the language spoken by the Manos Coloradas, J. R. Swanton thought that they might have spoken Coahuilteco. Today it seems better to say that the linguistic affiliation of the Manos Coloradas remains unknown.


J. Jesús Figueroa Torres, Fr. Juan Larios, defensor de los Indios y fundador de Coahuila (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1963). 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, "MANOS COLORADAS INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.