Locating “lo Indio” in the Tejano World
This chapter focuses on the report presented to General Manuel Mier y Teran by prominent Bexareno Francisco Ruiz regarding the Indians living in the Department of Texas in 1828. Ruiz's observations carried the weight of a native of the region and an individual involved in indigenous relations as an agent and soldier. His notes distinguished between dozens of indigenous groups with an eye toward the possibilities of peace and alliance or war. Of the Lipan Apache, Ruiz wrote, “In my opinion, the southern Lipans are the most cruel of all the barbaric nations I know. . . . I have been told by some of these Indians that they sometimes eat those they kill in war.” By describing them as cannibals, Ruiz depicted Apaches as cruel and barbaric. His words also enlarged the cultural gulf between Apaches and Mexicans by marking the Apaches as dishonorable in warfare and, by extension, unmasculine.
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