We Came Naked and Barefoot: The Journey of Cabeza de Vaca by Alex D. Krieger

By Alex D. Krieger

Maybe nobody has ever been this sort of survivor as ?lvar N??ez Cabeza de Vaca. Member of a 600-man excursion despatched out from Spain to colonize "La Florida" in 1527, he survived a failed exploration of the west coast of Florida, an open-boat crossing of the Gulf of Mexico, shipwreck at the Texas coast, six years of captivity between local peoples, and an hard, overland trip within which he and the 3 different closing survivors of the unique excursion walked a few 1,500 miles from the significant Texas coast to the Gulf of California, then one other 1,300 miles to Mexico urban. the tale of Cabeza de Vaca has been advised time and again, starting along with his personal account, Relaci?n de los naufragios, which used to be incorporated and amplified in Gonzalo Fernando de Oviedo y V?ldez's Historia basic de las Indias. but the course taken by means of Cabeza de Vaca and his partners continues to be the topic of putting up with controversy. during this e-book, Alex D. Krieger correlates the money owed in those fundamental resources together with his personal huge wisdom of the geography, archaeology, and anthropology of southern Texas and northerly Mexico to devise out level through degree the main possible path of the 2,800-mile trip of Cabeza de Vaca. This e-book involves a number of elements, most well known of that's the unique English model of Alex Krieger's dissertation (edited via Margery Krieger), during which he strains the path of Cabeza de Vaca and his partners from the coast of Texas to Spanish settlements in western Mexico. This rfile is wealthy in information regarding the local teams, plants, geography, and fabric tradition that the partners encountered. Thomas R. Hester's foreword and afterword set the 1955 dissertation within the context of more moderen scholarship and archaeological discoveries, a few of that have supported Krieger's plot of the adventure. Margery Krieger's preface explains how she ready her past due husband's paintings for book. Alex Krieger's unique translations of the Cabeza de Vaca and Oviedo money owed around out the quantity.

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Extra info for We Came Naked and Barefoot: The Journey of Cabeza de Vaca across North America (Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory Series)

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Here (though he mentions it much later in his narrative) Cabeza de Vaca apparently did more ‘‘curing,’’ for which the Indians gave him and his companions nuts and hides (see Appendix , Chapter ). Turning back now to April , when the Dorantes party of twelve left Malhado, the adventures of this group are recounted at length by Oviedo (Appendix , Chapters  and ). From the mainland opposite Malhado they ‘‘walked two leagues to a large river, which was beginning to grow 7 The de Soto expedition in  or  is reported to have found Lope de Oviedo alive and well in an Indian town somewhere east of the Mississippi River.

The next ancón they reached was wide and very deep, ‘‘and it seemed to us as we saw it it is the one that they call the Holy Ghost [del Spíritu Santo]’’ (Appendix , Chapter ). Evidently Cabeza de Vaca had been this far along the coast while plying his trade. Other Indians came across the ancón and told them that three other Christians were ahead, still alive. They said that if the Spaniards would go to a river  league from there and wait, in two days’ time the other survivors would come there, for it was a favorite place for harvesting nuts.

The commissary, Fray Juan Suarez, ‘‘thought that this was some kind of idolatry and burned the boxes with the corpses’’ 3 (Appendix , Chapter ). ’’ Clearly, the Indians were beginning to realize what was important enough to these invaders to persuade them to leave. There fol2 This area was known to the Spaniards, as Ponce de Leon appears to have landed here in . Editor’s note: Cabeza de Vaca leaves us with the mystery of how ‘‘boxes of merchants of Castile’’ could have found their way to western Florida in .

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