Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, "Indians of the Rio Grande" (1528-1536)
Mexico City had a huge supply of cattle and other animals. The cows, which came from the north, were hunted for their good quality meat and their hair was used to make blankets and shoes…
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We treated many satisfied patients who firmly believed in our abilities. The natives highly respected us. Women treated us with mats and cooked food for us. The natives would abandon anything that was not blessed by us. As a result, we were supposed to breathe on and bless every share that was bought to us.
Moreover, they would seek our advice for all important matters. During our expeditions, other people who feared us and believed firmly in our sacred powers welcomed us. They surrendered all their possessions to us that were distributed to those who were needy of them. During the expedition, we suffered a lot from malnutrition until Castillo and the Negro, left to look for food to a village beneath the river. Good news flowed from here, and the natives came to welcome them with food and water (Barker, pp. 15-20). However, as the natives and the Indians did not get along well, we had to follow the league of the natives, leaving the Indians behind with their food. The natives celebrated our arrival, while we left the next day. The following night, I asked my mates to look for the Christians who were moving away from that part of the country, who nevertheless refused due to the fatigue and weariness. However, I took off with my league in search of Christians. On our journey, we met four Christians who were astonished to see us; I nonetheless, asked them to lead us to their captain Diego de Alcaraz.
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