|The Coahuiltecans were native people that were encountered in the Caminos Reales area. They lived in arid South Central Texas. Since it was so desert-like it is surprising that a civilization could live so long there. The Coahuiltecans managed to survive out there in small structures that consisted of reed mats and animal hides bent over small saplings. These structures were easily portable and were good for the nomadic ways of the Coahuiltecans.|
There was never enough food in this region but the Coahuiltecans managed to survive. Since big game could not easily be found, the Coahuiltecans relied on smaller game such as rabbits, small rodents, reptiles, birds, and bugs. The Coahuiltecans also relied on plants when there was not enough small game. They ate, cacti, mesquite beans, nuts, sotol, and agave. Besides the small game that the Coahuiltecans ate, they ate some pretty strange stuff, such as: ant eggs, spiders, worms, lizards, snakes (including rattlesnakes), dirt, rotten wood, and deer dung. They ate everything that the human digestive system could handle.
Since South Central Texas is very hot, the Coahuiltecans wore little clothing. They wore breech clouts, fiber sandals, and in bad weather, the Coahuiltecans wore cloaks that were made out of rabbit hides, coyote hides or any hides that were available.
The Coahuiltecan's religion was like many Indian tribes of North America. They believed in many gods and held many religious ceremonies called mitotes. At these ceremonies the Coahuiltecans used peyote. Mitotes celebrated many things, such as puberty rights, and were held mostly in the summer when enough food could be gather ed to hold a feast. Mitotes were all night celebrations in which the guests came dressed in their finest clothing. During the celebration dances were held and drums were played. Cabeza de Vaca must have enjoyed these festivals a lot while he stayed with the Coahuiltecans.
Soon after the Spanish came, missionaries came and converted to christianity most of the Coahuiltecans that were in the San Antonio region where many of the missions were built.
Sadly, not much else is known about the Coahuiltecans. By the 1800s the Coahuiltecan civilization had been destroyed or completely absorbed into Spanish society.
Other Native American Tribes also traveled along the road,
long before the Spanish.
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