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PIGUIQUE INDIANS. The Piguique (Piguicane, Pihuique) Indians are known only during the eighteenth century, and there is some doubt about their linguistic status. They lived along the Texas coast between the San Antonio and Nueces rivers and seasonally visited the offshore islands, particularly St. Joseph's Island and Mustang Island. This territory was a boundary zone between Karankawan and Coahuiltecan speakers. Since no sample of Piguique speech has survived, it is possible to argue that these people were either Karankawan or Coahuiltecan. However, the documentary evidence seems to indicate that they were Coahuiltecan in speech. Their earlier associations were with Coahuiltecan bands, particularly the Pamaques and the Pasnacanes. In fact, some Spanish writers say that the Piguique, Pasnacane, and Viayan Indians were subdivisions of the Pamaque Indians. The Piguiques appear to have been associated with Karankawan groups somewhat later in time. After their numbers had been greatly reduced by epidemics of measles and smallpox, the Piguique Indians entered several missions in both northeastern Mexico and southern Texas. Some went to San Francisco Vizarron Mission south of the Rio Grande; others went to Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga and Nuestra Señora del Refugio missions near the coast; and still others went to certain San Antonio missions-Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña and San Juan Capistrano. The ethnic identity of the Piguique Indians was lost after abandonment or secularization of these various missions.


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


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

Thomas N. Campbell, "PIGUIQUE INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.