The first men to live on the resaca banks likely did not like the scenery nor the geology of the area. While they were no doubt nature worshippers, as are most primitive people, they worshipped nature as a matter of survival and not for its own sake.

It can only be speculated when these first men arrived. Undoubtedly they were a migratory people, staying only briefly, their place being taken by others. One group is reported to have left a burial ground near San Benito. But until people with a better understanding of archeology have investigated the site, no one can say who they or when they came. Only those encountered by the white men are known to history.

It is often thought the principal Indian tribe of the area was the Karankawa, and it is possible some itinerant Karankawa did come through. But the Valley is south of the generally known range of the Karankawa.


Photo from Internet


More likely, the Indians first encountered by white men in 1519 were Borrados, a branch of the Coahuiltecan group which ranged from the San Antonio area south to Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. They were described as a poor people, their bows made of mesquite root strung with plant fibers. Flint was used for arrowheads, knives and scrapers and examples may be seen in the Casa Mata Museum in Matamoros.

For food, the Borrados hunted deer, javelina and other game. Like most Southwestern tribes, they drove large numbers of small game, such as rabbits into a confined area, where slaughter was easier. And like primitive tribes of today, they suplemented their diets with snakes, lizards, insects and small animals.

Agriculture was apparently unknown. They gathered such roots, seeds and fruits as were available. Along the Rio Grande where the trees were plentiful, mesquite beans were a staple. Peyote served in their religious ceremonies.

According to reports, the Coahuiltecan tribes manged to hold out in isolated pockets in Texas until about 1900. By then, those who survived went into Mexico. The remaining bloodlines appear to have been absorbed into the local population.