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JUAMA INDIANS. The name Juama first appears on a list of seventeen Indian groups whose leaders were present when a Spanish mission was established in 1674 at San Ildefonso de la Paz in northeastern Coahuila. This mission, which was soon abandoned by the Indians because of a series of smallpox epidemics, was located about forty miles south-southwest of the site of present Eagle Pass, Texas. It is recorded that these various Indian groups subsisted on roots, acorns, and bison flesh, and that they were sheltered by round "huts" covered with bison hides (apparently not conical tepees). Ten years later, in 1684, Juan Domínguez de Mendoza either saw or heard of Juama Indians when he was encamped for six weeks in the western part of the Edwards Plateau in what is now Texas. The Juamas clearly ranged both sides of the Rio Grande during the latter part of the seventeenth century. As they became known to Europeans at a time when Apache groups were expanding southward in western Texas, the original Juama territory may have been entirely north of the Rio Grande. It seems that their ethnic identity was lost before 1700, for no Juama Indians are mentioned in documents connected with Spanish missions founded after that date in Coahuila and Texas. The primary documents contain no information on the language spoken by the Juama.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). J. Jesús Figueroa Torres, Fr. Juan Larios, defensor de los Indios y fundador de Coahuila (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1963).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "JUAMA INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.