Thomas N. Campbell

MANSO INDIANS. The Manso (Maise, Mansa, Manse, Manxo) Indians, also known under the alternate name of Gorreta (Gorrite), were first reported in 1598, when they were living along the Rio Grande in the area of present El Paso. It is commonly held that the Mansos were the same as the Tanpachoa Indians, reported in the same area in 1583–84, but this has yet to be conclusively demonstrated. The greater part of the Manso area was in New Mexico north and northwest of El Paso. In 1659 Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Mission was established for the Manso Indians at present Juárez, Chihuahua. In the seventeenth century the Mansos were closely associated with various Apache bands, particularly those that later became known as Mescalero Apache Indians, and in the eighteenth century the Manso Indians lost their ethnic identity among these Apaches. A few remnants of the Mansos were reported as living in the vicinity of El Paso as late as 1883. The linguistic affiliation of the Manso Indians is still being debated. Some writers consider that the Mansos spoke a Uto-Aztecan language; others, possibly swayed by common association of the Mansos with the Apaches, think that the Manso Indians spoke Athapaskan. It seems likely that both interpretations are correct, and that the Mansos eventually lost their original language through absorption into southern Apache bands.

Adolph F. A. Bandelier, Final Report of Investigations among the Indians of the Southwestern United States (2 vols., Cambridge, Massachusetts: Archaeological Institute of America, 1890–92). Jack D. Forbes, "Unknown Athapaskans: The Identification of the Jano, Jocome, Jumano, Manso, Suma, and Other Indian Tribes of the Southwest," Ethnohistory 6 (Spring 1959). Anne Eugenia Hughes, The Beginnings of Spanish Settlement in the El Paso District (University of California Publications in History 1.3, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1914). Carl Sauer, The Distribution of Aboriginal Tribes and Languages in Northwestern Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1934).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas N. Campbell, "MANSO INDIANS," accessed July 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox