Indigenous Northeastern Mexico: The Ancestors of the Tejanos

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John Schmal’s presentation “Indigenous Northeastern Mexico: The Ancestors of the Tejanos” will discuss the native peoples who originally lived in the present-day states of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. Today, virtually all of the native tribes of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas have disappeared as “distinguishable cultural entities.” In their place, social and cultural assimilation created an unusual ethnic mix that epitomizes the people of this region. San Luis Potosí has also experienced its own brand of assimilation, which has been discussed in several publications, but the state still has a substantial population of indigenous speakers (over 10%). Together, the Spaniards who settled in this region and the Indian groups who had been there earlier represent the ancestors of many of today’s Tejanos. Their journey through the colonial period to the present-day will be discussed.

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