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OREJONE INDIANS

OREJONE INDIANS. In the early eighteenth century these Coahuiltecan Indians lived near the Texas coast between the San Antonio and Nueces rivers. What is now Bee County may have been the approximate center of their territorial range. The Orejone (Orejón, Orejana) Indians were the principal band for which San Juan Capistrano Mission was established at San Antonio in 1731, and at this mission they frequently intermarried with the Pamaques, their former neighbors. Some Orejone Indians were also at the nearby Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña Mission as early as 1733. A few Orejone individuals were taken from San Antonio to the short-lived Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Mission on the San Gabriel River near the site of present Rockdale in Milam County, where they served as interpreters. Since Orejone Indians were reported near the coast as late as 1780, it is evident that not all of them entered the San Antonio missions. The Spanish name Orejón suggests that these people had something distinctive about their ears, perhaps mutilation and enlargement of the lobes for wearing earplugs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959).
Thomas N. Campbell

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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, "Orejone Indians," accessed September 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmo13.

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