Thomas N. Campbell

PAJARITO INDIANS. Pajarito, which is Spanish for "little bird," occurs as a group name in two different sections of Texas. It appears in an early list (1693) of tribes reported as living in western Texas (north of the Rio Grande and "between Texas and New Mexico"). Nothing further is known of these Pajaritos. The second group of Pajarito Indians were Coahuiltecans who lived in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico during the latter half of the eighteenth century. The earliest records place these Pajarito Indians in northeastern Nuevo León. Later some of the Pajaritos seem to have migrated northwestward to the north bank of the Rio Grande above the site of present Laredo. Eventually most of the Pajarito Indians ended up along the lower Rio Grande near the coast, principally in northern Tamaulipas. A small group of Pajaritos entered the mission at Camargo. The Pacaruja Indians of the South Texas coast may be the same as the Pajarito Indians.

Charles W. Hackett, ed., Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773 (3 vols., Washington: Carnegie Institution, 1923–37). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940).

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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, "PAJARITO INDIANS," accessed July 20, 2019,

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

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