The Life and Times of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

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  • Topic: Karankawa, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico
  • Pages : 2 (549 words )
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  • Published : February 17, 2013
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Aitken 1
Tammy K. Aitken
Dr. Jean Stuntz
HIST 2301.70 - Texas History
22 January 2013
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
The life and times of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca consisted of countless times of survival and preservation of relationships to survive. Cabeza de Vaca’s partnerships began with three other castaways, Andres Dorantes de Carranza, Alonso Del Castillo, and an African slave named Estevanico from the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez which left Cuba in 1528 of which Cabeza de Vaca was the Treasurer. This expedition was destined for Florida, but the four found themselves tattered, torn and, hungry as they washed ashore near Galveston Island about seven months later at the feet of the Capoques. The four men cried and the Capoques cried along with them out of pity. Their next partnership to survival began when the Capoques brought them food. This relationship eventually soured and Cabeza de Vaca became enslaved to the Capoques through most of 1529-30 as he was expected to enter the cold coastal waters to gather food for them, among other duties. Eventually, Cabeza de Vaca earned the respect of the tribe and was offered the opportunity as a native trader. In 1535, the four survivors collected to forge ahead in their travels where they encountered more tribes, including Deguanes, Quevenes, Mariames, Guaycones, Yeguazes, and Arbados. From 1533-34, Cabeza de Vaca lived as a trader with the Mariames who occupied South Texas. Next, he stayed with the Avavares in the summer of 1534. He took this opportunity to reunite with Dorantes, Castillo and Estevanico. They planned a meeting in the summer of 1535 Aitken 2

and struck out through many Indian bands including the Coahuilteco, who offered venison, as well as blessings. The four eventually were revered as faith healers and allowed safe passage from band to band. Next, they encountered the “people of the cows” who were later identified as Teya, in 1541. On to the...
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