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The Coahuiltecan Indians

In his book La Relacion, Cabeza de Vaca describes the Coahuiltecan Indians. The Coahuiltecan Indians lived south and west of the Karankawas in what is now south Texas and northeastern Mexico. They were not one big tribe, but lived in hundreds of bands of about 30 people. Sometimes bands would form alliances with each other. They spoke at least two languages, which means there were at least two cultures of Coahuiltecans.

Most Coahuiltecan Indians were prosperous and peaceful and lived in camps with large wickiups. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who traveled widely to find food. When they met the first Spanish explorers, the Coahuiltecans provided great feasts. Cabeza de Vaca also described how the Coahuiltecans used peyote, the fruit of a cactus found in the region, in their religious ceremonies.   [more]