SIJAME INDIANS. It has been suggested that the language of the Sijame (Cijame, Hijame, Xixame, Zihame) Indians was Tonkawan instead of Coahuiltecan, but the evidence seems to favor a Coahuiltecan linguistic affiliation. As early as 1698 some Sijames, whose name is said to mean "fish," entered Santo Nombre de Jesus de Peyotes Mission near the site of present Villa Union in northeastern Coahuila, which is a good indication that they originally lived in an area of Coahuiltecan speech. In 1709 Sijame Indians were seen at San Pedro Springs in San Antonio, where they were encamped with Xarame and Siupam Indians, both of which were Coahuiltecan in speech. In 1716 Sijames were encountered with Tonkawan and Coahuiltecan bands at Ranchería Grande on the Brazos River of central Texas (future Milam County area). The Sijames from Ranchería Grande began to enter San Antonio de Valero Mission at San Antonio in 1719, but much later, after 1740, they entered this mission in greater numbers. It was after 1740 that Tonkawan groups began to enter the same mission, and it is upon this and the earlier association with Tonkawans at Ranchería Grande that the argument for Tonkawan linguistic affiliation is based. The much earlier record of Sijame Indians in Coahuila indicates that they were one of many Coahuiltecan bands that fled northeastward into Texas to escape European domination and Apache pressure. Some Sijames continued to live at San Antonio de Valero until as late as 1763, and in 1777 Sijames were reported as the dominant group at Santo Nombre de Jesus de Peyotes Mission in Coahuila. It is evident that the history of the Sijame Indians has two phases, one in Texas and the other in northeastern Mexico. J. R. Swanton listed Sijames and Hijames as separate Coahuiltecan bands, but the available data do not support this distinction.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
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, "SIJAME INDIANS," accessed February 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bms32.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.