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TORTUGA INDIANS. The Tortuga Indians, who were probably Coahuiltecan in speech, lived in northeastern Mexico during the eighteenth century. They are firmly linked with a locality on the Tamaulipas-Nuevo León boundary about halfway between Mier and Cerralvo. One source (Uhde) also links the Tortugas with the Texas coast, particularly the section between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. This is based upon hearsay and needs better documentation. Some writers have suggested that the Tortugas may have been Tonkawans, but this has yet to be demonstrated and appears to be very unlikely.

Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Gabriel Saldivar, Los Indios de Tamaulipas (Mexico City: Pan American Institute of Geography and History, 1943). Adolph Uhde, Die Länder am untern Rio Bravo del Norte (Heidelberg: JCB Mohr, 1861).
Thomas N. Campbell

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Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas N. Campbell, "Tortuga Indians," accessed November 17, 2017,

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