Four early inhabitants
These four figures represent Alfredo Nuñez
Cabeza De Vaca and his companions, Alonso Maldanado, Andres Dorantes
and the Arabian Estevancio “The Black.” Cabeza de Vaca was the
first European to describe America from Florida thru Arizona.
His writings are the oldest written history we have of Native
Americans. De Vaca, along with Maldonado, Dorantes, and Dorantes’s
personal servant Estevanico, were a part of the Pánfilo de Narváez
expedition which set out from Spain in 1527. Their mission was
to establish a colony in what is today North America, but it was
destined to end in tragedy. In November, 1528, two barges and
80 men landed on East Island, Louisiana. The barges were destroyed,
and only 15 of the men survived.
Cabeza de Vaca, Alonzo Maldonado and Andres
Dorantes decided to travel eastward, taking with them Dorantes’s
personal servant, Estevanico. They lived among the natives, passing
from village to village, eating straw, roots, worms, spiders,
and bitter fruits and nuts, practicing the art of healing, and
moving on, often accompanied by hundreds of Indian guides and
well-wishers. In late January 1536, they met up with Spanish soldiers
on a slaving expedition, and they arrived in Mexico City in July
of that year.
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