Jumano Indians

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In studying the history and the effect of the contact of the Southwestern Indians with civilization, the writer was baffled by what appeared to be the sudden and almost complete disappearance of a populous tribe which played a rather prominent part in the history of the early exploration and colonization of the Southwest, which occupied villages of a more or less permanent character, and among whom missionaries labored in fruitless endeavor to show them the way to Christianity. It is not usually difficult to account for the decimation or even for the extinction of a tribe ravaged by war or by epidemics, of which there are numerous instances; but of the Jumano Indians, of whom this paper treats, there is no evidence that they were especially warlike in character, that they had a greater number of enemies than the average tribe, or that they had suffered unusually the inroads of disease.

The Jumano were first visited by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions of the ill-fated Narvaez expedition, while making their marvelous journey across Texas and Chihuahua in 1535. The name of the tribe is not given by them: they are called merely the “Cow Nation”; but the relation of an expedition nearly half a century later makes it evident that no other people could have been meant. The narration of Cabeza de Vaca is so indefinite that from it alone it would be difficult even to locate the place where the Jumano were found; but the testimony, meager though it be, tends to indicate that in 1535, as in 1582, they lived on the Rio Grande about the junction of the Rio Conchos and northward in the present state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

The first Jumano seen by Cabeza de Vaca was a woman, a captive among an unknown tribe, members of which were guiding the forlorn Spaniards across the desolate and broken country toward the west in southwestern Texas. Reaching the Rio Grande, Castillo and the Negro Estevanico, who had journeyed ahead, came to a town at which the captive woman’s father lived, “and these habitations were the first seen, having the appearance and structure of houses.” The inhabitants subsisted on beans and squashes, and the Spaniards also had seen maize. Besides food, the natives gave the white men buffalo-robes seemingly the first of their sort mentioned in history. The Indians came in numbers and took the Spaniards “to the settled habitations of others, who lived upon the same food.” It may, I think, be assumed that these other habitations were those of other Jumano, although Cabeza de Vaca mentions that from the second settlement of houses onward was another usage. “Those who knew of our approach, ” he says, “did not come out to receive us on the road as the others had done, but we found them in their houses, and they had made others for our reception. They were all seated with their faces turned to the wall, their heads down, the hair brought before their eyes, and their property placed in a heap in the middle of the house. From this place they began to give us many blankets of skin; and they had nothing they did not bestow. They have the finest persons of any people we saw,” he continues, “of the greatest activity and strength, who best understood us and intelligently answered our inquiries. We called them the Cow Nation, because most of the cattle [buffalo] killed are slaughtered in their neighborhood,[1] and along up that river for more than fifty leagues they destroy great numbers.”

The narrator continues: “They go entirely naked after the manner of the first we saw.[2] The women are dressed with deerskin, and some few men, mostly the aged, who are incapable of fighting. The country is very populous. We asked how it was they did not plant maize. They answered it was that they might not lose what they should put in the ground; that the rains had failed for two years in succession, and the seasons were so dry the seed had every where been taken by the moles, and they could not venture to plant again until after water had fallen copiously. They begged us to tell the sky to rain, and to pray for it, and we said we would do so. ”

Seeking information regarding their route westward, the Spaniards were told that “the path was along up by that river [the Rio Grande] towards the north, for otherwise in a journey of seventeen days we could find nothing to eat, except a fruit they call chacan, that is ground between stones, and even then it could with difficulty be eaten for its dryness and pungency, which was true. They showed it to us there, and we could not eat it. They informed us also that, whilst we traveled by the river upward, we should all the way pass through a. people that were their enemies, who spoke their tongue, and, though they had nothing to give us to eat, they would receive us with the best good will, and present us with mantles of cotton, hides, and other articles of their wealth . . . Their method of cooking is so new that for its strangeness I desire to speak of it; thus it may be seen and remarked how curious and diversified are the contrivances and ingenuity of the human family. Not having discovered the use of pipkins, to boil what they would eat, they fill the half of a large calabash with water, and throw on the fire many stones of such as are most convenient and readily take the heat. When hot, they are taken up with tongs of sticks and dropped into the calabash until the water in it boils from the fervor of the stones. Then whatever is to be cooked is put in, and until it is done they continue taking out cooled stones and throwing in hot ones. Thus they boil their food.”

We dwell thus at length on Cabeza de Vaca’s account, as it is the first reference to the Jumano in history, and because it affords the earliest information as to what manner of people they were. There are few Indian tribes, whose history forms part of that of our own land, that have a record traceable to the first half of the sixteenth century.[3]

The next Spaniards to pass through the Jumano country were Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado and his party in company with three missionaries, in 1581; but no new light is thrown on the tribe in question, and indeed there is no definite evidence in the account of two of the soldiers[4] who were members of the little party that they were seen at all, although the Rio Grande was followed northward from its junction with the Conchos.

Much more definite information, however, is afforded by the next Spaniards to traverse their territory, led by Antonio de Espejo, who, in November, 1582, set out from San Bartolome”, in Chihuahua, and followed the bank of the Rio Grande northward from the mouth of the Conchos. From about the junction onward for twelve days’ journey Espejo was among these people, who, he says, occupied five villages with an aggregate population of ten thousand perhaps four-fold the actual number, as Espejo’s estimates are always greatly exaggerated. The Jumano did not at first receive the strangers with the same friendliness as was shown Cabeza de Vaca and his companions, although it might be said that the latter met with a reception, owing to the magic power that they were supposed to possess and the awe inspired by it, such as perhaps has never been experienced by white men since their time. Espejo gives a rather definite account of the Indians under discussion, who, it will be observed, occupied the valley of the Rio Grande from the Conchos northward almost to the boundary of the present New Mexico. He says they were called Jumanos, and by the Spaniards Patarabueyes. Some of their houses were terraced, while others were of straw. The faces of the Indians were striated, evidently meaning tattooed, as the sequel will show. They cultivated maize, calabashes, and beans; hunted animals and birds, and especially the buffalo, and caught fish of many kinds in the two streams that united within their territory. They had lakes within their domain, from which they obtained salt during certain seasons as good as that from the sea. Of special importance in the identification of the people met by Cabeza de Vaca, Espejo states that three Christians and a negro had passed through the Jumano country years before, in whom he naturally recognized “Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, y Dorantes, y Castillo Maldonado, y un Negro, ” who, as is well known, finally reached Culiacan and the City of Mexico after trials and suffering almost beyond belief.[5]

Juan de Onate, colonizer of New Mexico and founder of Santa Fé, passed over Espejo’s route for a part of his journey through Chihuahua to the new province, but instead of traversing the Conchos to its junction with the Rio Grande, he made a more northerly course to the crossing of the latter stream at the present El Paso, consequently leaving the country of the Jumano on his right.

Whether the Jumano had entirely shifted their habitat between 1582 and 1598 is not definitely known, but it seems probable that they had not. Espejo had returned to Mexico by way of the Rio Pecos, leaving it for the Conchos some 120 leagues below Pecos pueblo, hence missing the Jumano territory of eastern New Mexico which later became known. And, as we have seen, Onate did not follow a course in the journey northward with his colonists that would have enabled him to see the Jumano of the Conchos-Rio Grande junction.

But we have definite knowledge that the Jumano lived in the present New Mexico at least as early as the time of Onate, i. e. in 1598, for on October 6 of that year he departed with the father commissary “to the salinas of the Pecos, which are of many leagues of indefinite salt, very beautiful and white; and to the pueblos of the Xumases or Rayados, which are three: one very large, and they saw the others.”[6]

There were in reality four instead of three important villages of the Jumano in New Mexico at the close of the sixteenth century, their names, according to Oñate, being Atripuy, Genobey, Quelotetrey, and Pataotrey.[7] These, with many villages of the Pueblo Indians from Pecos south ward through the country known as the Salinas, were placed under the ministration of Fray Francisco de San Miguel; but there is no evidence that the friar visited all of them, and it is quite certain that no churches were built in this immediate region at so early a date.[8]

The Salinas referred to are situated in the central portion of that part of Valencia county, New Mexico, lying east of the Rio Grande. Bounding the salt lagoon area on the south is the Mesa de los Jumanos, or, as it is termed on present-day if not altogether “modern” maps, “Mesa Jumanes.” This landmark of course derived its name from the tribe, which formerly occupied the vicinity, a fact illustrating the persistency with which aboriginal names are sometimes retained in the Southwest, even where good excuse may exist for forgetting them.

The Salinas country, although known far and wide for its generally inhospitable and forbidding character, was inhabited at the opening of the seventeenth century and for twenty-five years later, by the eastern divisions of the Tigua and Piro (the latter sometimes being known as Tompiro), as well as by the Jumano. The former two groups belong to the Tanoan linguistic family and inhabited several pueblos similar to those of their Rio Grande congeners. When, in 1626, Fray Alonso Benavides, the Father Custodian of the missions of New Mexico, appealed for additional missionaries, he had particularly in mind the conversion of the tribes of the Salinas region, especially the Jumano, among whom Fray Juan de Salas had already been. Says Benavides, writing in 1630, ” I kept putting off the Xumanas who were asking for him [Salas], until God should send more laborers.” Through their affection for Salas, the founder of the mission of Isleta, the Jumano went year after year for some six years prior to 1629 to visit him at that Rio Grande mission station in the hope, they asserted, that he might come to live among them. Finally, on July 22, 1629,[9] a delegation of some fifty Jumano visited the pueblo of San Antonio de Isleta, where the custodian (probably Estevan de Perea) was then staying, for the purpose of again asking for friars; and ” being questioned as to what induced them to make this demand, they said that a woman wearing the habit had urged them to come; and being shown a picture of Mother Luisa de Carrion, they rejoiced, and speaking to each other said that the lady who had sent them resembled the picture, except that she was younger and more beautiful.” Fray Juan de Salas and Fray Diego Lopez volunteered to go, accompanied by an escort of three soldiers. They found the Jumano this time more than 112 leagues (about 300 miles) to the eastward from Santa Fe”, or possibly in the western part of the present Kansas in the vicinity of what later became known as El Quartelejo. The cause of this shifting may have been due to the hostility among the tribes of the Salinas about this time, of which Benavides speaks, for subsequent history seems to indicate that the Jumano were never an aggressive people. Not to enter into detail regarding the miracles which Salas and his companion are

said to have performed among the Jumano on the plains, some 30 or 40 leagues west of the “Quiviras” (who are identified with the Wichita tribe of Kansas), it may be said that the missionaries found 2,000 of these Indians, who, with many others from neighboring tribes (Benavides says there were 10,000 in all), clamored loudly for baptism, while two hundred lame, blind, and halt rose up well “when the sign of the cross was made and the words of the Gospel pronounced over them. “Indeed, they were inspired “with so great devotion to the cross that they fell on their knees before every cross and adored it, and in their houses,[10] over their doors, they put crosses.”

After remaining some days, the fathers departed for the valley of the Rio Grande; and it would seem that the Jumano soon followed, for, according to Vetancurt, “owing to the continual invasions, and wars with their enemies the Apaches, this conversion could not lead to a permanent result in that place, and hence they removed to the Christians near Quarac,” whence they were ministered.

There has been much discussion regarding the location of the “pueblo” occupied by the Jumano that was dedicated to “the glorious Isidoro.” We may assume that it was not until after the visit of Salas to the Jumano on the plains in July-August, 1629, that this mission was founded, since the new friars did not arrive from Mexico until Easter of that year, and prior to that time no permanent missionaries were available even had the Jumano not been three hundred miles away on the prairies. We learn from the Relacion of Fray Estevan Perea,[11] the successor of Benavides as custodian of the missions of New Mexico, and under whose guidance the new missionaries came in the spring of 1629, that there were sent to the pueblos of the Salinas “in the great pueblo of the Xumanas, and in those called Pyros and Tompiras” six priests and two lay religious, one of whom, Francisco de Letrado, is known to have been assigned to the Jumano alone. It does not seem necessary to look for the ” great pueblo of the Xumanos” of which Benavides speaks, among the ruins of eastern New Mexico, from amongst the debris of which the massive walls of former Spanish churches and monasteries still rise, for it is scarcely likely that the Jumano occupied a village other than their own, or that the settlement was anything but an aggregation of dwellings of the more or less temporary kind which they were found to occupy when visited by Cabeza de Vaca and by Espejo on the lower Rio Grande.[12]

That active missionary work was conducted by Letrado among the Jumano is certain. We have seen that this friar was assigned to the tribe soon after his arrival in New Mexico as a member of Perea’s band in the spring of 1629; but three years later we find him at Zuni on his way to convert the savage and little-known “Cipias,” although he was murdered by the Zuni before he reached them, on February 22, 1632 a century to the day before the birth of Washington.

Why missionary work among the Jumano was thus apparently abandoned, there is no definite knowledge, but it would seem to have been due to another shifting of the tribe from New Mexico to the plains, and another change from their erstwhile sedentary life to that of buffalo hunters. There is a suggestion of this, indeed, in an account written by Fray Alonso de Posadas,[13] who states that Fray Juan de Salas and Fray Juan (Diego?) de Ortega, with an escort, visited the Jumano on a stream which they called Rio Nueces, and Ortega remained among them for six months. From this account the Rio Nueces might have been almost anywhere in the country of the plains, and not necessarily the present Rio Nueces of Texas.[14] The important point, however, is the fact that Letrado had abandoned his station among the Jumano in eastern New Mexico in 1632, and that in the same year Salas went forth again on the plains apparently for the purpose of bringing them back.

The history of New Mexico between Benavides’ time and the great Pueblo rebellion of 1680 is meager indeed, consequently of the shiftings of the Jumano, if any there were during that period, little is known. In 1650 they were evidently still on the plains, for, according to Posadas, Captain Hernan Martin and Diego de Castillo in that year went with some soldiers and Christian Indians 200 leagues from Santa F6 to the “Rio Nueces” where the Jumano were again found. They remained in the region more than six months, going southeastward down the river for 50 leagues, visiting the Cuitoas, Escanjaques, and Aijaos, and finally the Tejas. During their journey the party traversed, from north to south, a distance of 250 leagues, or, according to Posadas, from the latitude of Santa Fe in 37 to that of the Tejas in 28. It should here be noted that the Escanjaques have always been identified with the Kansas or Kaw Indians, and such may be the case. The Cuitoas, the Tejas (Texas or Hasinai), and the Aijaos, however, were Texan tribes, and indeed the last, as later will be seen, are identifiable with no other than the Tawehash, the name of the southern branch of the Wichita, sometimes applied to the entire Wichita group, as well as to the Wichita proper. This point should be borne in mind, as the Jumano and the Aijaos are here mentioned as if two distinct tribes.

In 1654 another journey was made to the Jumano on the Rio Nueces by Lieutenant-Colonel Diego de Guadalajara, with 30 soldiers and 200 Christian Indians. The Cuitoas, Escanjaques, and Aijaos were this time at war. Captain Andres Lopez, of the party, with twelve soldiers, together with some of the Christian Indians and Jumano, were sent forward, finding a rancheria of Cuitoas, 30 leagues eastward, whom they severely defeated.

These facts are mentioned for the purpose of showing that the Jumano, at least, although friendly toward the Spaniards, had apparently not occupied eastern New Mexico for some twenty-two years prior to 1654, but that they were living on the plains and leading their customary semi-sedentary life.

As previously stated, Fray Juan de Salas, earlier in the century, found the Jumano on the prairies about 112 leagues eastward from the Rio Grande. But distances given by the early Spanish travelers must be regarded as only approximate, and there is no reason for believing that the tribe had moved farther away simply because Captains Martin and Castillo, in 1650, are said to have found the Jumano on the Nueces 200 leagues from Santa Fe. They may have been in practically the same spot during this quarter century.

There is ground for strong suspicion that the village or villages of the Jumano on the plains at this time were in proximity to if not actually at the Quartelejo, or Cuartelejo, mentioned frequently by writers of the 18th century. The distance of the Jumano from Santa F, according to two writers above cited, varied from 112 to 200 leagues (300 to 530 miles); while El Quartelejo, according to the record, was from 130 to 160 leagues (350 to 425 miles) from the New Mexican capital.[15] This Indian outpost was situated in the valley of Beaver creek, in northern Scott county, Kansas, as has been shown by Williston and Martin.[16]

El Quartelejo first appears in history about the middle of the seventeenth century, when  some families of Christian Indians of the pueblo and tribe of Taos uprose, withdrew to the plains of Cibola [i. e. the buffalo plains], and fortified themselves in a place which afterward was for this reason called the Cuartelejo. And they were in it until Don Juan de Archuleta [in 1652?], by order of the Governor, went with 20 soldiers and a party of auxiliary Indians and brought them back to their pueblo. He found in the possession of these revolted Taos, casques and other pieces of copper and tin; and when he asked them whence they had acquired these, they replied ‘from the Quivira pueblos,’ to which they had journeyed from the Cuartelejo. . . . From Cuartelejo in that direction one goes to the Pananas [Pawnees]; and today it is seen with certainty that there are no other pueblos besides the said [Panana] ones, with which the French were by then already trading. Besides this in all the pueblos which the English and French have discovered, from the Jumano to the north or northeast, we do not know any to have been found of the advancement and riches which used to be imagined of the Gran Quivira.”[17]

It has been seen that the Jumano were still on the plains in 1654, and that their former settlement in the Salinas of New Mexico had evidently long been abandoned. It is said that, in 1670, ” many Indians from the Pueblo of the Jumanos were at El Paso, but the roads to the [former] Jumano country [the Salinas] were closed by the Apaches,”[18] whose depredations soon became so serious that between the years 1669 and 1675 every settlement of the Piro and Tigua east of the Rio Grande had been permanently abandoned on their account. I find no evidence that any Jumano inhabited that part of New Mexico at this time, however,[19] nor is there any indication that they were in New Mexico at the outbreak of the Pueblo rebellion of 1680 or that they participated in that bloody revolt during the succeeding twelve years.

During this period the government of New Mexico was administered from El Paso, the provincial capital (Santa Fe) having been completely abandoned in 1680. On October 20, 1683, more than 200 Jumano visited El Paso for the purpose of asking for missionaries, “stating that thirty-two tribes were waiting for baptism, because, being on the point of fighting a great battle, and anxious because they were few while the enemy were more than 30,000 in number, they invoked the aid of the holy cross, of which they had heard from their forefathers, and at once there descended through the air a cross wrought in red, with a pedestal two yards in breadth. . . and that when this cross was put on their banner, they had conquered their enemies without losing a man, and gaining much spoils of war.” Having acknowledged the miracle, they came to ask for baptism. Three friars went to them and found “a great multitude of Xumanas and Tejas; they decided to return with better preparation and a greater number of ministers. . .Some friars returned with the intention of going among the Xumanas and Tejas, to Caracoles river, where it is said that pearls are fished, in order that they might ascertain the truth. . . The apparition of the cross turned out to be uncertain, because it was a ruse devised by an Indian of the Tejas in order that the Spaniards might help them to cross the Con chas river to their land, which passage the Apaches were trying to prevent; and such chimeras are often tried by the Indians, because they know how easily the Spaniards can be made to believe them.”[20]

This statement is generally too indefinite to be of much value beyond the fact that the Jumano or at least some of them again ventured across the plains as far as El Paso, with another miracle to unfold. We may not assume from course east of the ruins of Abo. Vetancurt, however, who wrote in 1692, lost sight of the fact that all the pueblos of the Salinas country had been abandoned on account of Apache depredations prior to the revolt of 1680, hence there is little likelihood that the Jumano neophytes remained. The foregoing statement that the Jumano at this time were dwelling in the neighborhood of the Conchos-Rio Grande junction, where they were first met, as there is definite evidence that their old home had become occupied by the Conchos, Julimes, and Chocolomos,[21] who, so far as is known, were unrelated.

In December, 1683, according to Escalante, “there arrived at El Paso, Juan Sabeata,[22] an Indian of the Jumano nation, saying that all his people wished to be reclaimed to the Faith, and asked for ministers; and that not very far from their country were the Tejas, of whom he related so many things that he caused it to be believed that that province was one of the most advanced, fertile, and rich in this America. For which reason Fray Nicholas Lopez, then vice-custodian, desirous of propagating the Gospel, determined to go apostolically, without escort or defense, to this exploration with Fray Juan de Zavaleta and Fray Antonio de Acevedo. ” The governor, however, thought it unsafe for the fathers to go alone, so he formed an expedition of volunteers under command of Juan Domingo (Dominguez) de Mendoza, who accompanied the friars to the junction of the Conchos and Rio Grande, where the docile Conchos, Julimes, and Chocolomos now resided. Father Acevedo remained with them while the expedition set out for the Rio Pecos, and after many days “arrived at a rancheria of Indians who then were called Hediondos ["Stinkers"]. Among them were some Jumanes; and of the latter [tribe] was Juan Sabeata.”[23] The party later returned to El Paso.

Henceforward historical references to the Jumano are fewer and farther between. Bandelier even asserts that they “were lost sight of after the great convulsions of 1680 and succeeding years, and their ultimate fate is as unknown as their original numbers.[24] This is largely true, yet there are a few allusions to this erratic people, under the name by which they were known to the Spaniards, reference to which will prove of interest.

In 1700, according to contemporary documents,[25] the Jicarilla Apache brought word to Taos, the northernmost of the New Mexican pueblos, that the French had destroyed a village of the Jumano on the eastern plains; and in 1702 a campaign was made by the Spaniards in that direction which resulted only in loss of life at the hands of the Apache. It would seem from the circumstance of the destruction of the Jumano settlement, and from the facts that the Jicarilla Apache at this time were at the Quartelejo[26] and the French had penetrated as far westward as Nebraska or Kansas,[27] as well as into Texas, that the Jumano village was in the north. [28] There is distinct evidence, however, aside from that already presented, that a part of the tribe had been in Texas for several years, since they are mentioned in French documents of this period (in Archive General of Mexico, kindly communicated by Professor H. E. Bolton, now of Leland Stanford Junior University) . Early in January 1687, for example, La Salle heard of the Choumans, or Choumenes as they were called by the Teao (Tohaha) Indians among whom he then was, a short distance east of the Colorado River of Texas. These people, he was informed, were friends of the Spaniards, from whom they got horses; “that most of the said nation had flat heads, that they had Indian corn, which gave M. de la Salle ground to believe that those people were some of the same he had seen upon his first discovery.[29] Again, in 1691, we are informed, a few rancherias of the Jumano were visited by Governor Terán de los Bios, Father Massanet, and others, on the Rio Guadalupe of Texas.[30]

The cause of the disruption between the French and the northern Jumano in 1700 does not appear, but the breach seems to have been healed by 1719, in which year Governor Antonio Valverde y Cossio led an expedition northward and northeastward from Santa Fe against the Ute and Comanche. On a stream called Rio Napestle (probably the present main Arkansas river), the Governor met the Apache of Quartelejo (i. e. the Jicarillas), and found men with gunshot wounds “received from the French and their allies, the Pananas [Pawnees] and Jumanas. ” Here[31] again we have definite evidence that a branch of the Jumano was still in the north during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. It should be noted also that the Jumano here mentioned were allies of the Pawnee.

No definite reference to the northern Jumano between 1719 and 1750 has yet been found. The members of the ill-fated Villazur expedition from Santa Fe to the north eastern plains, and probably as far as the Missouri river, in 1720, saw nothing of them, so far as the meager account of the expedition[32] shows, although other tribes are mentioned.

In 1750, however, definite and important testimony was offered by one Pedro Latren, a Frenchman at Santa F6, who spoke of a tribe, evidently the Tawehash (Taovayas), called by the French “Panipiques (Panipiquets) alias Jumanes.” Latren referred to these Indians as “parciales de los Franceses con los Cumanches.” He also called them Piniques and said they were four or five days from the French fort “Canes” or Arkansas.[33] Here we have more definite information regarding the affiliation of the Jumano than has yet appeared, and accounts to a greater or less extent for the persistent references to the existence of a Jumano band in the north during a period of many years, as well as explains the mention of the Jumano and the Aijaos together in 1650. Now, the Paniques, Panipiquets, etc., as they were designated by the French, were the Wichita, the tribe which, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was known to the Spaniards as “Quiviras. ” The French designation, of course, had allusion to their common practice of tattooing the face, and indicates also relationship with the Pawnees; that is, they were “pricked, or tattooed, Pawnee,” a designation recalling the Jumanos or “Rayados” of Onate in 1598, and the alliance between the Jumano and the Paw nee mentioned by Valverde y Cossio in 1719. The name Jumano, it will also be seen, was applied to both the Wichita and their immediate relatives the Tawehash, or Taguayazes, as they were called by the Spaniards, a southern or Texas branch of the tribe, long before the Wichita drifted south ward from Kansas to the vicinity of the mountains in Oklahoma that still bear their name.

Another important item in the historical testimony dates from 1778, on June 15 of which year a junta de guerra was held in Chihuahua, at which were present most of the military authorities of the province. The report of the junta says: “The Taguayazes [Tawehash] are known in New Mexico by the name of ‘Jumanes’ also.”[34] The “Taguayazes” were then on upper Red river, hence not far from the region of the Wichita mountains, their subsequent and present home.

A few years later, in 1789, M. Louis Blanc, commandant at Natchitoches, Louisiana, wrote General Ugarte urging the opening of trade between New Mexico and Louisiana by establishing a presidio among the Jumano;[35] and in 1812, or thereabouts, it was said (probably an inspiration due to the exploit of Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike in 1806-7) that the Americans had established “gun factories” among the Jumano and Caigues (Kiowa), and that muskets and powder from this source were obtained for New Mexico.[36] The item is interesting as being probably the first reference to the association of the Wichita-Tawehash and Kiowa, who from 1866 occupied the same reservation in Indian Territory and Oklahoma until a large part was allotted and the remainder sold in 1901.

Reference has been made to the settlement of the Wichita in the country of the Wichita Mountains in the present Oklahoma, after having occupied the so-called Quivira country of Kansas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Further evidence of the connection of the Wichita-Tawehash people with the Jumano is afforded as late as 1844 by Josiah Gregg, who was engaged in the Santa Fe trade and was personally familiar with the plains and their aboriginal occupants. Gregg says that the northern portion of the Wichita Mountains was known to Mexican ciboleros and comancheros as Sierra Jumanes,[37] which recalls the name still applied to the mesa in the Salinas region of New Mexico. In the same connection Gregg makes the interesting statement that the range of hills known as the Wichita mountains are also sometimes called Towyash by hunters, “perhaps from Toyavist, the Comanche word for mountain.” Gregg evidently was unaware that Tawehash, or Towyash as he calls it, was the name of a Wichita division, evidently for the reason that by his time the entire group had become generally known to the whites as Wichita, while at the same time Indians of other branches of the Caddoan stock, to which the Wichita belong, designated, as they still designate, the entire Wichita group as the Tawehash.[38]

The name Jumano, as applied to the tribe, had disappeared by this time, so far as the written record goes; but a trace of the name, dating from the middle of the century, lingered in the memory of an informant of Bandelier about 1890.[39] Of these people he says: ” I have found a trace dating as late as 1855. They were then living in Texas, not far from the Comanches, and the characteristic disfiguration of the face through incisions which they afterward painted, was noticed by my informant who visited them about thirty-three years ago.” The facial decoration was plainly tattoo, and their proximity to the Comanche accords with information previously given.

We may now summarize the testimony as follows: In 1535 and again in 1582 the Spaniards found a semi-agricultural tribe living in more or less permanent houses, some of them built of grass, on the Rio Grande at the junction of the Conchos in Chihuahua and along the former stream northward for a number of leagues. They subsisted partly by hunting the buffalo, and raised beans, calabashes, and corn. At the date last mentioned they were called Jumano, and the Spaniards named them also Patarabueyes. A distinguishing feature of the tribe was its tattooing, for which reason, when found east of the Rio Grande in New Mexico in 1598, they were called “Rayados” by the Spaniards. They were erratic in their movements. The Franciscans established a mission among them in New Mexico in 1629, but it does not seem to have been successful, for the Indians appear to have been here today but elsewhere tomorrow. In the seventeenth century they were found on the plains of Texas, and again living on the prairies to the northward, evidently in Kansas, the name seemingly being applied to each of two divisions of the same tribe or confederacy. Their custom of tattooing, the character of their houses, and their semi-agricultural mode of life during the century they were first known, suggest relationship, if not identification, with the Wichita people. References in unpublished Spanish documents of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries indicate that the Jumano of the Spaniards of New Mexico were the Tawehash of Texas; and it is known that Tawehash, the name of a division of the Wichita, was also the term by which other Caddoan tribes knew the Wichita tribe proper. There is direct information from the beginning of the nineteenth century that the Wichita Mountains, which received their name because the Wichita tribe dwelt thereabouts, were also called “Jumanes Mountains” and “Tawehash Mountains’ thus further substantiating the testimony that the Jumano and the Tawehash were one people. The Tawehash have been absorbed by the Wichita proper, and their divisional name is now practically lost. Likewise the term Jumano, which, originating in Chihuahua and New Mexico passed into Texas, but seems to have been gradually replaced by the name “Tawehash,” which in turn was superseded by ” Wichita.”

Thus is accounted for the disappearance of a tribe that has long been an enigma to ethnologists and historians.[40]

Bureau of American Ethnology
Smithsonian Institution
Washington D.C.


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  1. The neighborhood here referred to was not the immediate vicinity, and the stream alluded to was much more likely to have been the Pecos than the Rio Grande, up which they were now journeying, the former river having been named “Rio de lac Vacas” by Espejo in 1583.
  2. The rude Indians of the eastern coast of Texas.
  3. See Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca, translated by Buckingham Smith, New York, 1871; The Journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, translated by Fanny Bandelier, New York, 1905; The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, edited by F. W. Hodge, in Original Narratives of Early -American History, New York, 1807.
  4. See the Relacion of Barrundo and Escalante, and other documents bearing on the journey, in Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos del Archive de Indias, xv, pp. 80-150, Madrid, 1871.
  5. For the Espejo expedition, see Coleccion de Documentos Ineditot del Archive de Indias, xv, 101 et seq., 1871.
  6. Discurso de las Jornadas, Documentos Ineditos del Archivo de Indias, xvi, 266-267, Madrid, 1871.
  7. Bandelier (Final Report, pt. i, p. 167, 1890) suggests that the pueblos of Cuelóce Xenopué, and Patasce, mentioned in the Obediencia y Vasallaje a Su Magested por los Indies del Pueblo del Cuéloce (Doc. Ined. de Indias, xvi, 123-124) are identifiable with Quelotetrey, Genobey, and Pataotrey, respectively. Indeed, it seems practically certain that such is the case. The Obediencia says: … “el Pueblo de Cuelóce que llaman de los rayados. . . Yolhá, Capitan que dicen sér del Pueblo y gente deste Pueblo de Cuelóce; Pocastaquí, Capitan del Pueblo de Xenopué; Haye, Capitan del Pueblo de Patasce y Chili [pueblo of Chililí by error?], Capitan del Pueblo de Abo” These names are transcribed in the hope that eventually they may prove of some linguistic service.
  8. “Al Padre Fray Francisco de Sant Miguel, la provincia de los Pecos con los siete Pueblos del a Ciénega que le cae al Oriente, y todas los baqueros de aquella cordillera y comarca hasta la Sierra Nevada, y los Pueblos de la Gran Salina, . . . i asi mismo los tres Pueblos grandes de Xumanas ó rrayados, llamados en su lengua, atripuy, genobey, quelotetrey, pataotrey con sus subgetos. ” Obediencia y vasallaje a Su Magestad por los Indies del Pueblo de San Juan Baptista, Doc. Ined. de Indias, op. cit., xvi, 113-114.
  9. Benavides, Memorial, 1630, in Land of Sunshine, Los Angeles, California, vol. xiv, p. 46, 1901. Vetancurt, Cronica, pp. 302-305, Mexico, reprint 1871.
  10. According to Vetancurt, op. cit., Benavides says: “They each one placed it [a cross] on the front of his tent, ” indicating that they were living in temporary abodes while hunting the buffalo on the plains.
  11. Translated in the Land of Sunshine, xv, BOS. 5 and 6, Nov. and Dec., 1901.
  12. Compare Bandelier, Gilded Man, p. 255, 1893, and Final Report, pt. 1, 131, 132, 168, and pt. n, p. 267; also Fifth Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Archeological Institute of America, pp. 37, 85, 1884. We must assume that the four “puercblos” occupied by the tribe in Onate’s time (1598) had all been abandoned and that the “great pueblo of the Xumanos” mentioned by Benavides had been established after the Jumano had been induced by Salas to return from the plains. Bandelier suggests that the Piro pueblo of Tabirá was probably the village of the Jumano, but I find no evidence that the Piro and the Jumano occupied a settlement together (Bandelier, Final Report, pt., I, pp. 131, 132). Escalante (op. cit., Land of Sunshine, March, 1900, p. 248) states that on account of Apache hostilities the pueblos of Chililí, Tafique (Tajique), and Quarac of the Tehua (Tigua) Indians; and Abó, Jumancas, and Tabira of the Tompiros, were abandoned. That “Jumancas” and the “Pueblo de los Jumanos ” were one and the same there appears to be no doubt, consequently if Jumancas and Tabira had been the same village they would hardly have been mentioned as distinct. Escalante, who wrote in 1778, gathered his information from the official archives at Santa Fe”.
  13. “Informe a S. M. sobre las tierras de Nuevo Mejico, Quivira y Teguayo, ” in Fernandez Duro, Don Diego de Penalosa, Madrid, 1882, p. 59. Posadas was custodian of the missions of New Mexico in 1661-64, during the governorship of the notorious Don Diego de Penalosa y Briceño, and was a missionary there for ten years previously. His Informe was written after 1678.
  14. Compare Bandelier, Final Report, pt. i, 167, note, 1890; Bancroft, North Mexican State and Texas, i, 386, 1886.
  15. Bandelier in Arch. Inst. Papers, Am. Series, v, 182, 183, 1890; Bancroft, Hitt. Arizona and New Mexico, 237, 1889.
  16. Some Pueblo Ruins in Scott County, Kansas, ” in Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 6, p. 124, Topeka, 1900. See also a comment on the article by the present writer in American Anthropologist, vol. 2, 1900, p. 778. For the location of Quivira, which, as we have seen, was beyond the Jumano settlements on the plains, see Hodge, “Coronado’s March to Quivira,” in Brower, Harahey (Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi), St. Paul 1899.
  17. Letter of Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante, April 2, 1778, translated in Land of Sunshine, Los Angeles, Cala., vol. xii, p. 314, 1900. The citation tends also to show the proximity of El Quartelejo and the “Quivira” or Wichita settlements.
  18. Libro Primer o de Casamientos de el Paso del Norte, fol. 12, cited by Bandelier, Final Report, pt. n, p. 267.
  19. See Vetancurt (Cronica, p. 325, reprint 1871), who says: “San Gabriel Abbo [Abó] tiene su sitio en el Valle de las Salinas . . . Tiene dos pueblos pequenos, Tenabo y Tabira, con ochocientas personas que administraba un religiose: hasta aqui llega la administracion hacia el Oriente, aunque quince leguas de alli hay algunos xumanas, que eran de Quarac [Quarrá or Cuaraí] administrados. ” This would indicate that these Christian Jumano were settled a number of miles east of their old villages or rancherias at the Mesa de los Jumanos, which is only 10 or 15 miles in a straight.
  20. Vetancurt, Cronica, pp. 302-306.
  21. See Escalante, op. cit., p. 311, and compare Bandelier, Final Report, pt. i, pp. 80-81, 85, 167, 246. I do not find any substantial evidence that the Julimes and the Jumanos were identical, or that the various small tribes mentioned in Spanish documents of the period were in any way related to the latter. Of the languages of the myriad small tribes mentioned in the annals of Texas, practically nothing is known. Fray Nicolas Lopez recorded a vocabulary of the Jumano language in 1684, but it has disappeared.
  22. Born in the Jumano pueblo of New Mexico, according to Confessiones y Declaraci-ones, etc., 1683, cited by Bandelier, Final Report, pt. i, p. 132.
  23. Escalante’s Letter (1778) translated in Land of Sunshine, Los Angeles, vol. xii, no. 5, April, 1900, p. 309. Confirmatory of this account is the mention of the same Juan Sabeata, of the Jumana tribe living on the Rio Nueces, three days’ journey eastward from the mouth of the Conchos, by Cruzati, evidently Governor Cruzat or Cruzate of New Mexico, who assumed the office in 1683. Sabeata refers to thirty-six tribes that lived on the Rio Nueces in 1683 (Cruzati in Mendoza, Viage, manuscript.
  24. Final Report, pt. i, pp. 168, 169. Bandelier quotes an early document to the effect that “as late as 1697 a Jumano Indian, a female described as ‘a striated one of the Jumano nation, ‘ was sold at Santa F for a house of three rooms and a small tract of land besides. This woman had been sold to the Spaniards by other Indians, who had captured her. “
  25. Quoted by Bandelier, Contributions to the History of the Southwestern Portion of the United States, p. 181, 1890; also Final Report, pt. i, p. 168, 1890. See also Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 222, 1889.
  26. Bandelier, Contributions, Arch. Inst. Papers, Am. Ser., v, 183-184, 1890; Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 222, 236, 237, 1889. The Quartelejo is here reported to have been 130 leagues from Santa Fe.
  27. Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, states, on the authority of Padre Niel, that about the year 1700 two little French girls had been ransomed from the Navaho, and that in 1698 “the French had almost annihilated a Navaho force of 4,000 men. ” The latter statement is probably an error, while in regard to the former the Navaho probably obtained the French girls from some other tribe, perhaps their kindred, the Apache.
  28. I fear that Bandelier (Final Report, pt. i, 168) has not sufficient ground for his assertion that the Jumario village of 1700 could not have been beyond the confines of New Mexico. The nearest Jicarilla settlement was 40 leagues (100 miles) north east of Taos, while the main body those of the Quartelejo were 130 leagues (360 miles) northeast of Santa Fe i. e. in Scott County, Kansas. See page 13, note 16.
  29. Joutel’s Journal in French, Historical Collections of Louisiana, pt. I, p. 139, 1846.
  30. Terán and others cited by Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas, i, 416, 1886.
  31. Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 236, 1889; Bandelier, Contributions, 182-183 1890.
  32. See Bandelier, Contributions, p. 179 et seq.; also “Some Unpublished History -A New Mexican Episode in 1748,” Land of Sunshine, viii, February, 1898, p. 129.
  33. Declaration, recorded in Spanish, of Pedro Latren, March 5, 1750, manuscript in Archivo General de Mexico, Provincias Internas, tomo 37. Information kindly communicated by Professor Herbert E. Bolton.
  34. Cabello, Informe, 1784, folio 20, manuscript. Information kindly communicated by Professor Herbert E. Bolton.
  35. Manuscript cited by Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 276, note, 1889.
  36. Pino, Exposition Sucinto, Cadiz, 1812, and Noticias Historicas, Mexico, 1849, cited by Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 286, note.
  37. Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, n, 147, 1844. Ciboleros were buffalo hunters, and comancheros were New Mexican Indian traders.
  38. One of the latest references, from personal knowledge, to the Tawehash and the Wichita as distinct divisions, is that given by Isaac McCoy in The Annual Register of Indian Affairs, Washington, 1838, p. 27.
  39. Bandelier, Final Report, pt. I, 246, 1890.
  40. This entire work is otherwise titled The Jumano Indians, By Frederick Webb Hodge, 1910, The Davis Press, Worcester, Massachusetts

MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 23 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/jumano-indians.htm - Last updated on Nov 3rd, 2012

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