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PINANACA INDIANS. The Pinanaca (Pimanco, Pinaca, Pinanca, Piranaca, and other variants) Indians are primarily linked with eastern Coahuila, but their range extended northward across the Rio Grande south of the Edwards Plateau. They were first recorded in 1674–75 in northeastern Coahuila and the adjoining part of Texas, where they were said to live on roots, fruits, fish, deer, and bison. In 1687 they seem to have been associated with the Cabezas and other groups of southern Coahuila, and in 1693 they were listed as one of the Indian groups of western Coahuila and eastern Chihuahua. They survived in Coahuila until at least 1762. Their extension northward into Texas was probably connected with seasonal movement to fish in the Rio Grande and to hunt bison north of the river. Although Swanton listed the Pinanaca Indians as probably Coahuiltecan-speakers, their linguistic status remains uncertain. Hodge suggested that the Pinanacas may have been the same people as the Pamaque Indians of southern Texas, but no evidence supports this linkage.


Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la época colonial (Mexico City: Editorial Cultura, 1938; 2d ed., Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1978). Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). J. Jesús Figueroa Torres, Fr. Juan Larios, defensor de los Indios y fundador de Coahuila (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1963). William B. Griffen, Culture Change and Shifting Populations in Central Northern Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969). Charles W. Hackett, ed., Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773 (3 vols., Washington: Carnegie Institution, 1923–37). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Esteban L. Portillo, Apuntes para la historia antigua de Coahuila y Texas (Saltillo: Tipografía "El Golfo de México" de Severo Fernández, 1886). 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, "PINANACA INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.