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Cabeza De Vaca Journey In Texas, Describes The Indians And Cultures He Discovered. Tribulations He Experienced And How He Survived Throughout His Stay In Undiscovered Texas

1548 words - 6 pages

Texas HistoryThe Journey of Cabeza de VacaCabeza de Vaca departed Spain via the port of San Lucar de Barrameda on 27 Jun 1527. He was accompanied by Governor Panfilo de Narvaez on a fleet which consisted of five vessels and 600 men. Cabez de Vaca held the position of treasure and alguacil mayor, the purser and the majesty's inspector was Alonzo de Solis. A month after setting sail Cabeza and his crew encountered a tropical storm, in which Cabeza describes as a "tempest and peril…never has such a fearful thing been witnessed in these parts". While in search of the coast of Florida, the vessel landed in Habana. There, they met some Indians who told them they would take them to a place with many maize, Cabeza discovered some boxes with corpses which were covered with painted deer skin, and also found some linen and cloth and samples of Gold. Cabeza asked the Indians where these things came from and the Indians told them of a province called Apalachen in which there was much gold. After reaching the province of Apalachen, Cabeza saw large wild animals like bears, lions and kangaroos, there were also ducks, geese and egrets. The soil in Apalachen was sandy and earthy. This type of soil gave growth to nut trees, laurels and cedar. Cabeza also noticed that the climate in Apalachen was very cold and the population was poor and thinly inhabited. Cabeza and his men had some trouble traveling through this land due to timber and lagoons. The Governor wanted to proceed inland, and against Cabezas advice, they proceeded in land and discovered some Indians who were wonderfully built, gaunt and had much strength and agility. The Indians provided the Spaniards with fish and roots (which tasted like nuts) and in return the Spaniards gave the Indians some beads and bells. These trinkets mad the Indians feel rich.During the month of May, Cabeza ate mostly toasted maize, although there was horse meat to be eaten, Cabeza could not bring himself to partake in it. When the Indians saw how much misery and distress Cabeza and his men had fallen into, the Indians began to weep. The Indians carried Cabeza and his men to the Indians dwellings, along the way the Indians provided food and warmth. Now, while Cabeza was exploring he had left some men behind at the coast. There, with no food, the Christians quarterd on the coast began to eat each other up until only one remained. Upon arriving at the Indians dwelling, Cabeza called the island, the "Island of ill fate". Here, Cabeza witnessed a custom in which when one of the Indians died, they mourned them for a year, parents wept before sunset and the tribe wept after sunset. Now, although they mourned for their dead, they did not mourn for the elderly, the Indians felt that the elderly had their time and were no longer of good use to them. The medicine men of the tribe enjoyed greater privileges. Another custom Cabeza discovered was how the Indians married. When an Indian took a wife, whatever the Indian hunted or...

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