Thomas N. Campbell

TANPACUAZE INDIANS. The Tanpacuaze (Tampaquash, Tompacua) Indians may have been a group of Pakawas who moved down the Rio Grande from the Eagle Pass area in the middle eighteenth century. Tompacua is recorded as the Comecrudo name for the Pakawa Indians along the lower Rio Grande. As the Spaniards sometimes also referred to the Pakawas as Pintos, further confusion has arisen. Whatever its origin, the name Tanpacuaze is firmly entrenched in historical records as one of many small Coahuiltecan bands in northeastern Mexico and southern Texas. Tompacuas, a former small settlement in Hidalgo County, is evidently linked with the Tanpacuaze. Under the name Tampaquash, they figured in Indian raids on the Brownsville area as late as 1855. The argument of A. S. Gatschet that the Tanpacuazes were Karankawas who fled to Mexico in the middle of the nineteenth century does not appear to be valid, for the Tanpacuazes were mentioned as living near the Rio Grande as early as 1780. So far as is now known, there is no connection between the Tanpacuaze and the Tompacua Indians of Florida.

Albert S. Gatschet, The Karankawa Indians, the Coast People of Texas (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, 1891). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Dorman H. Winfrey and James M. Day, eds., Texas Indian Papers (4 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1959–61; rpt., 5 vols., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1966).

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, "TANPACUAZE INDIANS," accessed August 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmt16.

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

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox