Cabeza de Vaca

Topics: Near death experience, Native Americans in the United States, Change Pages: 2 (832 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Cabeza de Vaca experienced many changes throughout the years he spent with the natives, both in himself and in his view of the native people. At first, his opinion and relationship with the indians was not a good one. However, after receiving much help from them during the difficult times in their expedition, his respect for the native people grew. Also, after getting lost and having to survive alone in the wilderness with no food, he changed significantly as a man. He somehow kept himself alive for five days alone in the wilderness, and he definitely showed a change after this.

In the beginning of Cabeza's account of the expedition, he describes many hostile encounters with the indians. The first encounter began with the indians coming to them in peace, asking for their women and children whom had been captured by Cabeza and his men. They released them, but had detained a cacique(an indian chief) which caused the indians to become angry and attack them. "But the detention of a cacique by the Governor produced great excitement, in consequence of which they returned for battle early the next day [June 26], and attacked us with such promptness and alacrity that they succeeded in setting fire to the houses in which we were." (de Vaca, 160) Following this attack, the encounters that Cabeza and his men had with the indians continued in this way. "…the indians making continual war upon us, wounding our people and horses at the places where they went to drink, shooting from the lakes with such safety to themselves that we could not retaliate…" (de Vaca, 161) It was not until Cabeza's crew was at their weakest point that their relationship with the indians changed. Their ship was wrecked by a large wave on the 5th of November, where they encountered indians with whom they traded hawk bells for arrows, which was a pledge of friendship. They stayed in this place for awhile, working together with the indians to find food. The indians believed that Captain Alonzo del...
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