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Cabeza de Vaca came to the New world in 1527 as part of a Spanish expedition to conquer the region north of the Gulf of Mexico. His exploration party lost contact with their ships, set out northward on foot, and traveled, their numbers soon reduced from 300 to 4, across Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico for the next eight years. In addition to being one of the great true adventure stories of all time, Cabeza de Vaca's account of their travels is an unparalleled source of firsthand information on the pre-European Southwest—the variety of its climate, its flora and fauna, the customs of its natives. They were the first to see the opossum and the buffalo, the Mississippi and the Pecos, pine-nut mash and mesquite-bean flour. This book contains the first description in literature of a West Indies Hurricane.
"Cabeza de Vaca was not only a physical trailblazer: he was also a literary pioneer, and he deserves the distinction of being called the Southwest's first writer.... The Relación, while not fiction, possesses most of the attributes of a good novel."—William T. Pilkington
Posted March 13, 2003