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PASNACAN INDIANS. The Pasnacan (Panascan, Pasnacano, Tacasnan) Indians, possibly Coahuiltecan in speech, lived near the Texas coast between the San Antonio and Nueces rivers. When first known in the eighteenth century they were closely associated with the Orejones, Pamaque, and Piguique Indians. Some contemporary Spanish writers considered the Pasnacans, Piguiques, and Viayans as subdivisions of the Pamaques, who were linked with the area around the mouth of the Nueces River on Nueces and Corpus Christi bays. At intervals during the first half of the eighteenth century groups of Pasnacan Indians entered at least two of the San Antonio missions-San José y San Miguel de Aguayo and San Juan Capistrano, the latter in 1743. In 1754 a few Pasnacans seem to have been induced to enter San Francisco Vizarrón Mission in northeastern Coahuila along with other groups from the lower Texas coast. It is evident that the Pasnacan Indians lost their identity in the latter part of the eighteenth century in local mission populations of Coahuila and Texas.


Frederick C. Chabot, San Antonio and Its Beginnings (San Antonio: Naylor, 1931). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Juan Agustín Morfi, History of Texas, 1673–1779 (2 vols., Albuquerque: Quivira Society, 1935; rpt., New York: Arno, 1967). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

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