Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share


PETARO INDIANS. The Petaro Indians are known only from records of the La Salle expedition, which indicate that in the late seventeenth century these Indians lived well to the north or northeast of Matagorda Bay, possibly between the Brazos and Trinity rivers. The Petaros have been erroneously equated with the Petao and Petzare Indians, whose names also occur on the same list of Indian groups. The affiliations of all three groups are still undetermined. However, sound correspondences in the names suggest that the Petaros may be the same as the Patiri Indians, an Atakapan-speaking group that lived in the same general area during the first half of the eighteenth century.


Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Pierre Margry, ed., Découvertes et établissements des Français dans l'ouest et dans le sud de l'Amérique septentrionale, 1614–1754 (6 vols., Paris: Jouast, 1876–86).

Thomas N. Campbell


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "PETARO INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.