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TENU INDIANS. The Tenu (Tena, Tina) Indians are known only from records of San Antonio de Valero Mission at San Antonio, and their status remains in doubt. Since they entered this mission about 1740, a time when many Tonkawan groups were also entering the mission, it has been suggested that the Tenus may have been a Tonkawan group. It is also possible to argue that they were a Coahuiltecan group and that the name is a shortened form of either Tenicapeme or Tinapihuaya. The Tenicapeme Indians lived in northern Tamaulipas, and some members of this band were at San José y San Miguel de Aguayo Mission in San Antonio. Indirect evidence suggests that the Tinapihuayas originally lived on the coast between the Nueces and San Antonio rivers. Tenu identification must await better documentary evidence.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "TENU INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.