Thank you for your response to my article. I was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1933, on my mothers side they were all born in Texas going back to 1528.
I am very proud of my heritage, and thankful for the fact that my ancestors had a tradition of passing down history from one generation to the next. I have no written documents, court records, pictures or video records to offer, as non existed back then in Texas, at least not till after the conquest of Mexico.
The Spaniards that were left in Texas after the failed landing in Florida by the Panfilo Narvaez expedition were gifted with the knowledge of raising and training horses, shoe making, tailoring and working with iron, or otherwise smelting.
Alvar NuÃ±ez Cabeza de Vaca, one of the four survivors to make it back to Mexico and Civilization in 1536, gave a report to the Viceroy of Mexico, describing the horrors and hardships encountered and sustained in his eight year long trek getting back Mexico.
Of course, you must realize that Cabeza de Vaca was actually trying to discourage anyone from going into the "Unknown Interiors of North America". He wanted that choice reserved for himself. But while in Spain reporting to the King, the Viceroy in Mexico authorized an expedition led by Hernando de Soto, and again by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado.
So it was supposed to be to Cabeza de Vaca's advantage to lie somewhat. But what he did relate to the King about the great grass prairies of Texas, prompted the King to issue a land grant to one of his Noble subjects, Don Palacios, for the purposes of cattle raising in the New World. This cattle ranch was supposed to take care of the needs of all the New World.
Don Palacios, was a descendant of Don Palacios, one of the men in Panfilo Narvaez's expedition of 1528. This Palacios along with 5 or 6 other men were washed up on a sand barge off the mainland of Texas, in what is now known as, "Matagordo Bay". Palacios and his friends had no way of reaching the mainland and were slowly starving to death. From the reports that Cabeza de Vaca gave to the King of Spain, Palacio was the first to die. The surviving companions of Palacios turned to cannibalism and ate Palacios, he was the first. One by one as they died they in turn were eaten. The Last survivor (Don't have his name handy) died of starvation.
But it was to this Bay that Don Palacios the descendant Don Palacios came to in 1629, to begin a new settlement and found a large cattle ranch. The cattle he brought with him were known as Castillian Cattle, now known as "The Long Horn".
Now back to the subject which deals with the men left behind by Cabeza de Vaca. The surviving Spaniards banded together because of language, culture, and Spanish knowhow. Each contibuted to the whole, from experiences received back home in Spain. One was good at leather work, such as, making shoes. Another was knowlegable in tailoring or making clothes. Yet another was knowlegable in the art of weaving, making rugs, etc.
So by combining their knowledges, they were able to found a community that was able to make things and thereby enable them to trade with the Indians. Some of the culture and traditions attributed to the Indians as being developed by the Indian, were in fact, developed by Spaniards stranded with the Indians. One example is the "Indian Shawl". "The Shawl" was originated in India and by the Jews of ancient Israel. Thousands of years before. Many of the Spaniards that came to the New World, were of the Jewish faith and retained some of their Jewish culture and traditions.
These things were passed on to the Indians by those Spaniards stranded in Texas in 1528. You don't have to believe what I am saying. It takes faith to believe what is told by another, and that is why, one has to have faith in ones father or gandfather when he is relating "orally" ones family history.
We are not certain as to when, if ever, those stranded Spaniards came into contact with Spaniards of the civilized world. Cabeza de Vaca, came into contact with NuÃ±o Beltran de Guzman, who was exploring the Northern frontiers of Mexico in 1530, in areas now known as Saltillo, Coahuila, and parts of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas.
Cabeza de Vaca, would not join Guzman, because Guzman, was inciting the indians by taking them as slaves. No Cabeza de Vaca, was not in such dire straits as he would later report being in, when giving his report to the Viceroy of Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca, did not return to Mexico City till 1536, so as you can see, he was in hurry to return home.
One of the things mentioned by Cabeza de Vaca, that is so important to bear in mind is the fact that the Indians had such great faith in the Spaniards as being "Healers" and for that reason the Spaniards were encouraged to become "Curanderos". It was a tradition that was passed on from father to son thereafter. My grandfather Teodoro Gutierrez, was a "Great Curandero", he new all the herbs and cures that one can imagine. If you are a descendant of one of these Sapniards that was stranded in Texas in 1528, then your ancestor was also a "Curandero" believe me.
The fact that Cabeza de Vaca was in the area of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, when he happened across NuÃ±o de Guzman is proof that the Indians called the Yaqui, were roaming throughout the State of Texas, and Northern Mexico.
Rug Weaving was developed by the Bhuddist Monks of Asia and introduced to Ghingis Khan ruler of China, from there Marco Polo introduced it to Europe. From Europe and Spain, the art Rug Weaving was brought to the Americas. The Indians acquired the knowledge of Rug Weaving and they used it as a means of earning a living. Rug Weaving is a tedious occupation, and left to the lower class of Spaniard as an occupation.
Angelina, make no doubt about it, if you are a Gutierrez with beginnings in Texas, we are related. As far as trying to obtain records to tie you in to a Gutierrez that was with Narvaez, forget it, unless you received it as an oral history passed down from an ancestor. The Gutierrez's of Spain, had very light complexions. My Grandfather had a dark complexion very Indian like, yet he was very proud and stood tall and straight. I wish that I had his knowledge of herbs and such, what he knew he took to the grave, as his sons my uncles engaged in other occupations. Uncle Bill became the first Hispanic to become a Police Officer in Michigan in 1932. My Uncle Joe worked for the Ford Motor Co at the River Rouge Plant.
So many things important in life and passed down as traditions in a family, were lost after the 1800s, a way of life came to an end. How tragic that the "Great Curanderos" are disappearing, what would modern medicine be today without the knowledge obtained from the "Great Curanderos".
Rodolfo JosÃ© Villalba y Gutierrez Aguirre Garcia Escobar Palacios