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TAMCAN INDIANS. In the early eighteenth century the Tamcan Indians were reported as living somewhere north of the Rio Grande in the vicinity of present Eagle Pass. Nothing else is known about them. Since the Tamcans were linked with an area dominated by Coahuiltecan groups at that time, J. R. Swanton listed them as Coahuiltecans. H. E. Bolton once suggested that the name Tamcan might be a variant of either Tacame or Tonkawa. The areas occupied do not coincide, and no specific documentary evidence has been found that will support either identification. Another possibility, also unprovable, is that the Tamcans were the same people as the Tancacoamas, who lived in northern Nuevo León in the seventeenth century.


Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). 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, "TAMCAN INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.