The Coahuiltecans

BY: Giselle Kieweg

What region did the Coahuiltecans live in?

The Coahuiltecans lived in the South of Coastal Plains. They did not live in one area of the Coastal plains though, because they were nomadic. That means that they moved where all their resources did.

Their Food

The Coahuiltecans were hunter gatherers, which means that they didn't grow anything. So they got their food by hunting and finding in the wild or even stealing from other tribes. They hunted animals like deer, antelope, but they did not eat bears, birds or fish. The food that they found in the wild are things like fruits, roots and nuts, and those were to break their large meat diet.

The Coahuiltecans Houses

They lived in house called Wickiups, Wickiups were like round tepees. They are covered with brush or grass and had an oval frame. Even though they are not tepees they are still mobile, but are harder to take with. That is because it is all connected and cannot fold up like a tepee so they have to take it apart, and then once they find a place to settle they build it back up.

Weapons & Tools

The Coahuiltecans used weapons like bows and arrow, which they made from long cane roots. They also used spears that use rock arrow heads, the arrow heads are not smooth though it is rugged. Some tools that they used are knives, scrappers, hammers and curved wooden sticks that were used for digging, scrapping, and prying.

Traditions and Religion

They believed in many gods and held many religious ceremonies which were called mitotes. At mitotes they had feats and danced many dances, and mitotes were held regularly

Organization of Leadership

The Coahuiltecans didn't follow a chief, they followed a shaman. The shaman were their spiritual and medical leaders. They were very skilled and healed people with plants and animals, the shaman healed things like illness within their tribe.

What Became of Them

Many of the Coahuiltecans died in the 1700's when the Spaniards began establishing missions to study their marriages, conversations, etc. When they came they spread disease, increased warfare and pushed the Coahuiltecans out of their normal routine.

Unique Facts

The Coahuiltecans had many tattoos on their faces, arms, legs and torsos. To do that they would numb the persons skin and use a sharp object to make incisions and rubbed charcoal to make it black. Even boys were given tattoos to mark their transition form a boy to a man.