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ORCAN INDIANS. The Orcan Indians are known only from documents of the La Salle expedition, which indicate that in the late seventeenth century these people lived inland well to the north of Matagorda Bay, probably near the Brazos River or between the Brazos and Trinity rivers. In some editions of Henri Joutel's journal the names of two groups, Orcan and Piou, were erroneously combined to give a hybridized name, Orcampion or Orcampiou, which in later Spanish publications came out as Orcamipia. The linguistic and cultural affiliations of the Orcan and Piou remain undetermined. It has been suggested that the Orcan Indians may have been the same as the Ebahamos, but no evidence can be found to support this interpretation.


Isaac Joslin Cox, ed., The Journeys of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (2 vols., New York: Barnes, 1905; 2d ed., New York: Allerton, 1922). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Henri Joutel, Joutel's Journal of La Salle's Last Voyage (London: Lintot, 1714; rpt., New York: Franklin, 1968).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "ORCAN INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.