Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

A more unknown explorer, yet still very instrumental in the discovery of the new world.

 

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (Jerez de la Frontera, c. 1488/1490/1492[1] – Seville, c. 1557/1558/1559[1]/1560[2]) was a Spanish explorer of the New World, and one of four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition. During eight years of traveling across the US Southwest, he became a trader and faith healer to various Native American tribes before reconnecting with Spanish colonial forces in Mexico in 1536. After returning to Spain in 1537, he wrote an account, first published in 1542 as La Relación ("The Relation", or in more modern terms "The Account"[3]), which in later editions was retitled Naufragios ("Shipwrecks"). Cabeza de Vaca has been considered notable as a proto-anthropologist for his detailed accounts of the many tribes of American Indians that he encountered.

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