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ERVIPIAME INDIANS. The Ervipiame (Chivipane, Cibipane, Hierbipiane, Huvipane, Hyerbipiame, Yerbipiame, Yrbipia) Indians were first known in 1673, at which time they lived in northeastern Coahuila and were in close association with bands that have been identified as Coahuiltecan in speech. In 1675 they were encountered by the Bosque-Larios expedition north of the Rio Grande in the southwestern part of the Edwards Plateau, again with bands of Coahuiltecan affiliation. In 1698 some Ervipiames were in the missions of northeastern Coahuila. It was not until 1707 that the Ervipiame Indians appeared in central Texas and became the dominant group in the Ranchería Grande de los Ervipiames, a series of settlements made up principally of Coahuiltecan refugees from northeastern Coahuila and the adjoining part of Texas, but later augmented by refugees from various Spanish missions in Texas and Coahuila. In 1722 the San Francisco Xavier de Náxara Mission was founded at San Antonio for the Ervipiames of Ranchería Grande, and their village near the mission was known as the Ervipiame suburb. Nearly all of the groups associated with the Ervipiame Indians in this village were Coahuiltecans. Most of the evidence indicates that the Ervipiames were originally Coahuiltecans. After this the Ervipiame Indians who remained at Ranchería Grande, or who retired to it from San Antonio after their mission was merged with San Antonio de Valero Mission, were associated mainly with groups identified as Tonkawans-Tonkawas, Yojuanes, and Mayeyes. They were with these Tonkawans at San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas Mission, founded about 1748 on the San Gabriel River near present Rockdale. In the latter part of the eighteenth century the name Ervipiame was rarely mentioned. It seems clear that they lost their identity among the various bands which in the nineteenth century came to be called Tonkawa. Although most modern writers have concluded that the Ervipiames were Tonkawans, the historical evidence suggests that the Ervipiame Indians were originally Coahuiltecans who later became so closely associated with Tonkawans that they were regarded as Tonkawan. Attempts to equate the Ervipiames with the Enepiahe Indians of the La Salle expedition documents are not convincing. The Enepiahes were known only in the late seventeenth century, at which time the Ervipiames were still in the vicinity of northeastern Coahuila.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed. and trans., Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768–1780 (2 vols., Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1914). Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). William W. Newcomb, The Indians of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). A. F. Sjoberg, "The Culture of the Tonkawa, A Texas Indian," Texas Journal of Science 5 (September 1953).

Thomas N. Campbell


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas N. Campbell, "ERVIPIAME INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.