TEPELGUAN INDIANS. In 1590 Gaspar Castaño de Sosa encountered a group of Indians with this name in western Texas. Castaño's route had been in dispute, but studies have convincingly demonstrated that he followed the Pecos River and not the Rio Grande from Coahuila to the Pueblo Indian towns of northern New Mexico. This permits placement of the Tepelguans on the eastern side of the Pecos River, possibly in present Crockett County. Here the Tepelguans lived by hunting and gathering wild plant products. The identification of the Tepelguans remains in doubt. The name is very similar to that of the Tepehuanes, a Uto-Aztecan group that originally occupied a large area in Durango and adjoining states in northwestern Mexico, but no one has yet considered seriously that the Tepelguans of the lower Pecos were refugees from Durango. It seems more reasonable to regard the Tepelguans of Texas as an indigenous group that lived along the lower Pecos River and perhaps also in northern Coahuila. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Tepelguans were reported north of Monterrey in Nuevo León during the late seventeenth century. These were probably the same Tepelguans that entered San Francisco Solano Mission near present Eagle Pass in 1706. However, further research should be directed toward determining the relationship between the Tepelguans of Texas and the Tepehuanes of Durango. The resemblance in names may prove not to be fortuitous.
Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, A Colony on the Move: Gaspar Castaño de Sosa's Journal, 1590–1591, annot. Albert H. Schroeder, trans. Dan S. Matson (Santa Fe: School of American Research, 1965). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Thomas N. Campbell, "TEPELGUAN INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmt37), accessed February 08, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles