Who was cabeza de vaca

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who was cabeza de vaca

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer of the New World, and one of four survivors of the Narvaez expedition. During eight years of.

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Spanish journer in north america. Early Life. His parents died while he was young, so he moved in with an aunt and uncle, and he probably had a fairly comfortable early life. During his teenage years he was appointed chamberlain for the house of a noble family, and he later served the household in a war in Italy where he fought with distinction. When he asked his leading men what to do next, he received two responses. Others, however, appealed to the aspiring conquistador to march inland and to search for treasure. The party soon met with some Indians whom they forced to locate a supply of corn for the hungry Spaniards.

By September all but his party of 60 had perished; it reached the shore near present-day Galveston , Texas. In the following years he and his companions spent much time among nomadic Indians, serving as slaves in order to be cared for by them. Though he found only the gravest hardship and poverty during his wanderings, he made his way back to Mexico in He recounted his adventures in Naufragios. His power was usurped by a rebel governor, Domingo Martinez de Irala , who imprisoned him and had him deported to Spain , where he was convicted of malfeasance in office and banished to service in Africa.

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

Journey of Cabeza de Vaca from Florida to the Pacific 1528-1536

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca Facts

By September all but his party of 60 had perished; it reached the shore near present-day Galveston, Texas. The survivors lived among the natives of the region for four years, and Cabeza de Vaca carved out roles as a trader and a healer in the community. In he and the other three surviving members of his original party set out for Mexico, where they hoped to connect with other representatives of the Spanish empire. They traveled through Texas, and possibly what are now New Mexico and Arizona, before arriving in northern Mexico in , where they met up with fellow Spaniards, who were in the region to capture slaves. After a brief term as governor of a province in Mexico, he became a judge in Seville, Spain, a position he occupied for the remainder of his life. We strive for accuracy and fairness.

Cabeza de Vaca left Spain for the Americas in June Others of the explorers landed, only to die of starvation or Indian attack. Cabeza de Vaca, however, and a few companions survived. From to , Cabeza de Vaca and these others lived a meagre life with the Karankawa Indians, in a state of semi-slavery and often separated from each other. During this time Cabeza de Vaca took advantage of his slight medical skills and remade himself as healer.

Marooned on the Texas coast, he wandered for 8 years in a land no European had ever seen. His account is the earliest description of the American Southwest. His strange name, literally "head of a cow," was won by a maternal ancestor, Martin Alhaja, who showed King Sancho of Navarre a pass marked with a cow's skull. Use of this pass enabled Sancho to win the famous battle of Las Navas de Tolosa against the Moors in Raised by his paternal grandfather, Pedro de Vera, one of the conquerors and governor of the Canary Islands, Cabeza de Vaca joined the Spanish army in and served in Italy, Spain, and Navarre. Upon their return to the coast in August, they discovered the ships had left for Cuba. Desperately short of supplies and harassed by hostile Amerinds, the Spaniards built small boats and set sail along the Gulf coast, hoping to reach Mexico.


After arriving in Tampa Bay in early April , the expedition moved west, facing several Indian attacks. The explorers were scattered, and Cabeza de Vaca sailed along the coast with a small group. Enslaved by Natives, Cabeza de Vaca remained there during the winter of In early he moved down the coast and reached Matagorda Bay, becoming a trader among the Natives. In the summer of Cabeza de Vaca and his companions traveled inland across modern Texas, finding bison and minerals along the way. Their journey was eased by the fact that the Natives believed they had curing powers.

During eight years of traveling across the US Southwest, he became a trader and faith healer to various Native American tribes before reconnecting with Spanish civilization in Mexico in Cabeza de Vaca is sometimes considered a proto- anthropologist for his detailed accounts of the many tribes of Native Americans that he encountered. In , Cabeza de Vaca was appointed adelantado of what is now Argentina , where he was governor and captain general of New Andalusia. Although his sentence was eventually commuted, he never returned to the Americas. He died in Seville. Despite the family's status as minor nobility, they possessed modest economic resources. He had shown the Spanish king a secret mountain pass, marked by a cow's skull, enabling the king to win the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa against the Muslim Moors in

Cabeza de Vaca was born into the Spanish nobility in Little of his early life is known, except that he made his career in the military. In early he left Spain as a part of a royal expedition intended to occupy the mainland of North America. After their fleet was battered by a hurricane off the shore of Cuba, the expedition secured a new boat and departed for Florida. Despite this confident declaration, the expedition was on the verge of disaster. The party soon overstayed its welcome with the Apalachee Indians of northern Florida by taking their leader hostage.

Explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca spent eight years in the Gulf region of present-day Texas and was treasurer to the Spanish expedition under de Narváez. Explorer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca spent eight years in the Gulf region of present-day Texas.
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