Tejano History


Indians |

       QUIVIRA. Quivira (Cuivira, Quebira, Aguivira) was the legendary Indian province first mentioned to Hernando de Alvarado and Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in the fall of 1540 by the Pawnee captive El Turco. According to the Turk's stories, Quivira lay far to the east of the New Mexico pueblos somewhere on the Buffalo Plains. The region was said to contain a large population with much gold and silver. However, when the Spaniards reached the supposed site of Quivira in 1541, they found only villages of grass huts and a partly agricultural, partly bison-hunting economy. El Turco, after confessing that he had told his stories to lure the conquistadors away from the pueblos, was garroted. Nevertheless, the legend of Quivira remained strong; the unsuccessful expedition of Francisco Leyva de Bonilla and Antonio Gutiérrez de Humaña in 1595 and that of Juan de Oñate in 1601 also visited Quivira, with the same disappointing results. Fray Juan de Padilla, who had accompanied the Coronado expedition, was martyred there after attempting to establish mission work among the Indians of Quivira.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.