Cabeza de Vaca's Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America

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UNM Press, 1983 - History - 160 pages
27 Reviews

Cabeza de Vaca came to the New world in 1527 as part of a Spanish expedition to conquer the region north of the Gulf of Mexico. His exploration party lost contact with their ships, set out northward on foot, and traveled, their numbers soon reduced from 300 to 4, across Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico for the next eight years. In addition to being one of the great true adventure stories of all time, Cabeza de Vaca's account of their travels is an unparalleled source of firsthand information on the pre-European Southwest--the variety of its climate, its flora and fauna, the customs of its natives. They were the first to see the opossum and the buffalo, the Mississippi and the Pecos, pine-nut mash and mesquite-bean flour. This book contains the first description in literature of a West Indies Hurricane.


"Cabeza de Vaca was not only a physical trailblazer: he was also a literary pioneer, and he deserves the distinction of being called the Southwest's first writer....The Relación, while not fiction, possesses most of the attributes of a good novel."--William T. Pilkington

  

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Review: Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America (Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory)

User Review  - Erin Skellerman - Goodreads

I only read this because it was assigned for one of my classes, but it wasn't half bad. I don't think I would ever read it for pleasure, but it was interesting. Read full review

Review: Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America (Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory)

User Review  - Lewis Lacook - Goodreads

Excellent primary text on early European contact. de Vaca, unlike many of the Conquistadors who were burning through the country at the time and later, treats the Native Americans he comes across with dignity, recognizing in them industriousness and humanity. Read full review

Contents

Proem
26
The Sailing of the Armada
27
The Governors Arrival at Xagua with a Pilot
30
Our Landing in Florida
31
Our Penetration of the Country
32
The Governors LeaveTaking
35
The Entry into Apalachen
39
Adventures in and out of Apalachen
40
Our Escape
84
Our Success with Some of the Afflicted and My Narrow Escape
85
More Cures
87
The Story of the Visitation of Mr Badthing
89
Our Life among the Avavares and Arbadaos
91
Our Pushing On
93
Customs of that Region
94
Indian Warfare
95

The Ominous Note at Aute
43
Our Departure from Aute
44
The Building of the Barges and Our Departure from the Bay
45
The First Month at Sea after Departing the Bay of Horses
47
Treachery in the Night Ashore
49
The Disappearance of the Greek
50
The Indian Assault and the Arrival at a Great River
51
The SplittingUp of the Flotilla
52
A Sinking and a Landing
54
What Befell Oviedo with the Indians
55
The Indians Hospitality before and after a New Calamity
56
News of Other Christians
58
Why We Named the Island Doom
60
The Malhado Way of Life
61
How We Became MedicineMen
64
My Years as a Wandering Merchant
65
The Journey to the Great Bay
68
The Coming of the Indians with Dorantes Castillo and Estevanico
69
The Story of What Had Happened to the Others
71
Figueroas Further Story of What Had Hap pened to the Others
73
Last UpDating on the Fate of the Others
76
The Life of the Mariames and Yguaces
78
The Tribal Split and News of the Remaining Barge
82
An Enumeration of the Nations and Tongues
98
A Smoke a Tea Women and Eunuchs
99
Four Fresh Receptions
100
A Strange New Development
103
Rabbit Hunts and Processions of Thousands
106
My Famous Operation in the Mountain Country
108
The Severe Months March to the Great River
111
The Cow People
115
The Long SwingAround
117
The Town of Hearts
121
The Buckle and the Horseshoe Nail
122
The First Confrontation
125
The FallingOut with Our Countrymen
127
The Parley at Culiacan
130
The Great Transformation
132
Arrival in Mexico City
134
My Voyage Home
135
What Became of the Others Who Went to the Indies
138
Afterword
141
Epilogue
145
Index
153
Copyright

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About the author (1983)

Alvar N ez Cabeza de Vaca (1507-1558). Espa a. Era nieto de Pedro Vera, conquistador de las Islas Canarias. Fue educado por su t a y dej la ciudad de Jerez (Andaluc a) a los doce a os de edad para unirse a los Medina Sidonia en Sanl car de Barrameda. De all parti en 1521 una flota al mando de Fernando de Magallanes en el primer viaje alrededor del mundo. En 1527, a los veinte a os, Cabeza de Vaca fue autorizado por P nfilo de Narv ez para embarcar. Administraba dos nav os, sus aparejos y v veres. La primera parada fue en La Espa ola (Rep blica Dominicana y Hait ). All desertaron m s de 150 hombres. Los que continuaron fueron a Cuba y consiguieron reclutar m s gente. Cabeza de Vaca estuvo casi diez a os andando desnudo y descalzo y recorri m s de 18 mil kil metros. Durante su largo viaje fue comerciante y despu s esclavo. En esas circunstancias encontr otros espa oles y a os despu s lograron escapar. Practicaron el curanderismo, entre otras costumbres ind genas. Tras sus fracasos en la conquista de nuevas tierras, Cabeza de Vaca se convirti en un conocedor del mundo aborigen.

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