Dr. Frank de la Teja discusses Cabeza de Vaca and La relación
This video discusses the history of Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, the origin of his name and where his family fit in the structure of Spanish society at the time. It also describes the origins of the expedition and what role Cabeza de Vaca was assigned to play.
This video discusses the problems with the expedition and some of the questionable leadership decisions that plagued it from the beginning. It touches on the conquistador’s first contact with Native Americans in Florida and their decision to return to the Gulf of Mexico on rafts.
This video explains theories about exactly where along the Texas coast Cabeza de Vaca’s raft crashed and the different experience they had with the Indians in Texas vs. Florida.
Discussion of how Cabeza de Vaca and one of his men, a North African slave named Esteban, operated as faith healers among the Native American tribes and how they eventually became protectors of the tribes when they came back in contact with Spanish forces.
This video discusses the fate of Esteban after the events depicted in La relación.
Discussion of how Cabeza de Vaca found his way back to Spanish forces after being lost for so many years. It also describes the brutality of how the Spanish were treating the Native Americans and ultimately how Cabeza de Vaca came to defend the indigenous people’s right to be treated more fairly.
This video describes how Cabeza de Vaca’s views changed through his experiences, and how these views clashed with the usual treatment of the indigenous population by the Spanish.
This video encourages readers of La relación to suspend their preconceptions and try to recognize the viewpoint of a Spanish Catholic in the early 16thcentury.
This video describes different elements of La relación that might interest readers
This video suggests that Cabeza de Vaca may have written his book to convince the king of Spain to treat the Indians more humanely (and make some money for himself as well).
This video describes book publishing and education in early 16th century Spain.
This video describes the possible differences between reading original texts versus modern translations.