Thomas N. Campbell

PATAGUO INDIANS. Between the years 1670 and 1688 the Pataguo Indians were mentioned in several documents that refer to northeastern Coahuila and the adjacent part of Texas, particularly east and northeast of the site of modern Eagle Pass. Pressure from Apache groups of the Edwards Plateau region seems to have displaced these hunting and gathering people farther to the east and southeast, for between 1690 and 1716 they were seen by Spanish travelers along the Frio and Nueces rivers southwest of San Antonio in the area now covered by Dimmit, Zavala, and Frio counties. Here, for better protection against Apache attacks, they shared the area with at least fifteen other Indian groups. By 1700 some of the Pataguos began to enter Spanish missions. Small numbers are known to have entered three missions near the Rio Grande at the locale of present-day Guerrero, Coahuila: San Bernardo, San Francisco Solano, and San Juan Bautista. A considerable number of Pataguo Indians entered San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio after it was established in 1718. At least thirty-six Pataguo individuals can be identified in the Valero registers (1720–82). Evidently the Pataguo lost their ethnic identity at San Antonio late in the eighteenth century. The observations of Damián Massanet seem to indicate that the Pataguos spoke the language now known as Coahuilteco. Nothing specific was ever recorded about the Pataguo culture. J. R. Swanton erroneously identified Patague, Patan, and Patou as names of three different Indian groups. Analysis of entries in the registers of San Antonio de Valero Mission reveals that these are all variants of the name Pataguo.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). Thomas N. Campbell, Ethnohistoric Notes on Indian Groups Associated with Three Spanish Missions at Guerrero, Coahuila (Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1979). Lino Gómez Canedo, ed., Primeras exploraciones y poblamiento de Texas, 1686–1694 (Monterrey: Publicaciones del Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, 1968). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). San Antonio de Valero Mission, Baptismal and Burial Registers, San Antonio. 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, "PATAGUO INDIANS," accessed June 16, 2019,

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

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