Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Creator||Ãlvar NÃºÃ±ez Cabeza de Vaca|
|Context||Cabeza De Vaca was one of a few survivors of an ambitious Spanish expedition to Florida in 1528 and wandered thousands of miles over several years.|
|Purpose||To win readers, fame, and sympathy|
The PÃ¡nfilo de NarvÃ¡ez expedition of 1528 vividly illustrates how Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans could assume very different roles as conditions shifted. The contingent of 300 plundered its way through Florida before fleeing on makeshift barges from the powerful Apalachee Indians. They landed many miles west, on or near Galveston Island, where they were enslaved by the Karankawa Indians.
Years later, in 1534, Ãlvar NÃºÃ±ez Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors of the NarvÃ¡ez expedition slipped away from their captors and set out for Spanish territory in Mexico. They gained renown as holy men and healers, particularly Esteban, a Moorish slave. In 1836 they ran across some Spaniardsâ€”though the quartet's escort, Pimas, could not believe that the band of Spanish slave hunters could be of the same culture. De Vaca drew a stark contrast between the two groups of outsiders: "We healed the sick, they killed the sound: we came naked and barefoot, they clothed, horsed and lanced; we coveted nothing but gave whatever we were given, while they robbed whomever they found." Cabeza De Vaca had traveled a long wayâ€”in miles, years, and experiencesâ€”from the days of when he had done his part in ravaging the Indians of Florida.
Cabeza De Vaca's account was published in Spain just six years later and depicted indigenous peoples who were at once exotic and humane. The excerpt describes Cabeza de Vaca's arrival on or near Galveston Island, in what would become Texas, and the small party's travels in the interior.