Toboso people

Last updated

The Toboso people were an indigenous group of what is today northern Mexico, living in the modern states of Chihuahua and Coahuila and along the middle reaches of the Conchos River as well as in the Bolsón de Mapimí region. They were associated with the Jumano and are sometimes identified as having been part of the Jumano people.

The Toboso were associated with the inhabitants of La Junta de los Rios near Presidio, Texas. However their living further south and more exposed to Spanish slaving raids led to them having a different reaction to Spanish explorers. For example while the Indians at La Junta, often collectively called Jumanos, welcomed Antonio Espejo's expedition in 1583, the Toboso fled from his expedition in terror. [1]

The Toboso began to attack Spanish controlled and Tarahumara inhabited missions and mines to their west in the 1640s. Later many of the Toboso were taken to the missions around Monterrey, Mexico. While there they learned Spanish. A large number of the Toboso left the missions and rejected Christianity. The Toboso were classed as "ladinos" Indians by the Spaniards, a term meaning "cunning" and indicating they knew the Spanish way of life and used it to be more effective in fighting the Spanish. [2] The Toboso also made significant raids against the Tarahumara missions and ranches in the 1690s. [3]

In the 1680s the Jumano at La Junta were so little aligned with the Toboso that Juan Sabeata was still willing to cooperate with Juan de Retana after Retana spent some time fighting against the Toboso. [4]

The Toboso were organized by bands. The number of bands decreased over time. In the 1680s there were 12 bands. As of 1693 the Spanish identified only four Toboso bands, the Osatayogliglas, Guazapayogliglas, Chichitames, and Sisimbles. [5]

By 1800 the Toboso who remained in modern Mexico had been essentially absorbed into Hispanic culture. [6] However other Toboso migrated to coastal Texas where they resided in and near Mission Nuestra Señora del Refugio from 1807 until at least 1828. These dates are based on baptismal records kept at that mission identifying Toboso present there. [7] Matagorda Island was known in the 18th century, at least from 1776 on as Toboso Island and was inhabited by people who had fled Mission Rosario and Mission Espiritu Santo as well as Karakawans. [8] It is possible this name reflected some Tobosos people being among those who lived on the island.

Related Research Articles

The Puebloans or Pueblo peoples, are Native Americans in the Southwestern United States who share common agricultural, material, and religious practices. Among the currently inhabited Pueblos, Taos, San Ildefonso, Acoma, Zuni, and Hopi are some of the best-known. Pueblo people speak languages from four different language families, and each Pueblo is further divided culturally by kinship systems and agricultural practices, although all cultivate varieties of maize.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Presidio County, Texas</span> County in Texas, United States

Presidio County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 6,131. Its county seat is Marfa. The county was created in 1850 and later organized in 1875. Presidio County is in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas and is named for the border settlement of Presidio del Norte. It is on the Rio Grande, which forms the Mexican border.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Presidio, Texas</span> City in Texas, United States

Presidio is a city in Presidio County, Texas, United States. It is situated on the Rio Grande River, on the opposite side of the U.S.–Mexico border from Ojinaga, Chihuahua. The name originates from Spanish and means "fortress". The population was 4,169 at the 2000 census, and had increased to 4,426 as of the 2010 US census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rarámuri</span> Indigenous people of the Americas living in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico

The Rarámuri or Tarahumara is a group of indigenous people of the Americas living in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They are renowned for their long-distance running ability.

Lipan Apache are a band of Apache, a Southern Athabaskan Indigenous people, who have lived in the Southwest and Southern Plains for centuries. At the time of European and African contact, they lived in New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and northern Mexico. Historically, they were the easternmost band of Apache. Early adopters of horse culture and peyotism, the Lipan Apache hunted bison and farmed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karankawa people</span> Former Native American tribe from Gulf of Mexico

The Karankawa were an Indigenous people concentrated in southern Texas along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, largely in the lower Colorado River and Brazos River valleys. They consisted of several independent seasonal nomadic groups who shared the same language and much of the same culture.

The Suma were an indigenous people who lived in northern part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua and western part of the U.S. state of Texas. They were nomadic hunter gatherers who practiced little or no agriculture. The Suma merged with Apache groups and the Mestizo population of northern Mexico, and are extinct as a distinct people.

The Piro pueblo of Senecú was the southernmost occupied pueblo in New Mexico prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. It was located on the west bank of the Rio Grande within sight of the Piro pueblo of San Pasqual. Colonial Spanish documents consistently place the pueblo opposite of Black Mesa, which is near San Marcial. Due to changes in the floodplain and the establishment of San Marcial, however, no surface remains of the pueblo survive in the area.

Antonio de Espejo (1540–1585) was a Spanish explorer who led an expedition into New Mexico and Arizona in 1582–83. The expedition created interest in establishing a Spanish colony among the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande valley.

Jumanos were a tribe or several tribes, who inhabited a large area of western Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, especially near the Junta de los Rios region with its large settled Indigenous population. They lived in the Big Bend area in the mountain and basin region. Spanish explorers first recorded encounters with the Jumano in 1581. Later expeditions noted them in a broad area of the Southwest and the Southern Plains.

Juan Sabeata was a Jumano Indian leader in present day Texas who tried to forge an alliance with the Spanish or French to help his people fend off the encroachments of the Apaches on their territory.

Gaspar Castaño de Sosa was a Portuguese settler, colonist, explorer, and reputed slaver who was among the founders of the towns of Saltillo and Monclova, in Coahuila, Mexico. He led an expedition, deemed illegal by Spanish authorities, and attempted unsuccessfully to establish a colony in New Mexico in 1590 and 1591.

La Junta Indians is a collective name for the various Indians living in the area known as La Junta de los Rios on the borders of present-day West Texas and Mexico. In 1535 Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca recorded visiting these peoples while making his way to a Spanish settlement. They cultivated crops in the river floodplains, as well as gathering indigenous plants and catching fish from the rivers. They were part of an extensive trading network in the region. As a crossroads, the area attracted people of different tribes.

The Yojuane were a people who lived in Texas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. They were closely associated with the Jumano and may have also been related to the Tonkawa. They have no connection to the Yowani in Texas, a Choctaw band.

The Coahuiltecan were various small, autonomous bands of Native Americans who inhabited the Rio Grande valley in what is now southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. The various Coahuiltecan groups were hunter-gatherers. First encountered by Europeans in the sixteenth century, their population declined due to imported European diseases, slavery, and numerous small-scale wars fought against the Spanish, criollo, Apache, and other Coahuiltecan groups. After the Texas secession from Mexico, the Coahuiltecan culture was largely forced into harsh living conditions. It is because of these harsh influences that most people in the United States and Texas are not familiar with Coahuiltecan or Tejano culture outside of the main population groups mostly located in South Texas, West Texas, and San Antonio.

The Diego de Guadalajara expedition of 1654 was a Spanish expedition dispatched to follow up on the finding of freshwater pearls from pearl mussels in the Concho River in what is now Texas. Although results were disappointing, the expedition led to continued contact with the people of the area and then to Spanish settlement in and around San Angelo, Texas.

Fray Juan de Salas was a Spanish Franciscan friar who provided religious instruction to the people of New Mexico and what is now Texas in the first half of the seventeenth century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Juan Domínguez de Mendoza</span> 17th century Spanish soldier from New Mexico

Juan Domínguez de Mendoza was a Spanish soldier who played an important role in suppressing the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and who made two major expeditions from New Mexico into Texas.

Domingo Jironza Pétriz de Cruzate was a Spanish soldier who was Governor of New Mexico from 1683 to 1686, and again from 1689 to 1691. He came to office at a time a large part of the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was independent of Spanish rule due to the Pueblo Revolt. With limited resources, he was unable to reconquer the province.


  1. Elizabeth John, Storms Brewed in Other Men's Worlds (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1975) p. 32
  2. Anderson, The Indian Southwest, 1580-1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) p. 24-25
  3. Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962), p. 30, 34
  4. John, Storms Brewed in Other, p. 182-183
  5. Anderson, The Indian Southwest, p. 25
  6. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest, p. 39
  7. "Toboso Indians" Handbook of Texas Online
  8. Robert S. Weddle, "TOBOSO ISLAND," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 10, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.]