Shuman Indians

Shuman Indians. More often known as Jumano or Humano, significance unknown. Also called:

  • Borrados, from Spanish sources, “striped”(?).
  • Chouman, French form of name.
  • Humanas, Jumanas, Xumanas, Spanish forms of name.
  • Ipataraguites, from Mota-Padilla, probably intended for this tribe.
  • Patarabueyes, given by Espejo in 1582.
  • Suma, sometimes regarded as a separate tribe but considered by Sauer merely as a synonym.

Shuman Connections. The eastern division of the Shuman, that to which the name Jumano is oftenest applied, was once thought to have be-longed to the Caddoan stock, but Sauer (1934) appears to have shown that in all probability it was Uto-Aztecan. The western section, oftener called Suma, has been classed, erroneously of course, as Tanoan.

Shuman Location. In early times most of the Shuman lived along the Rio Grande between the mouth of the Concho and the present El Paso but extending westward as far as the Casas Grandes in Chihuahua. Later a part of them entered the Plains in western Texas and eastern New Mexico. (See also New Mexico.)

Shuman Subdivisions and Shuman Villages. Besides the two main divisions to which the names Shuman or Jumano and Suma have been applied respectively, the Suma later became separated into two groups, one about El Paso and the other in the region of the Casas Grandes. The only villages named are: Atripuy, Genobey, Quelotetrey, and Pataotrey.

Shuman History. The Shuman were first met by Cabeza de Vaca and his companions about the beginning of the year 1536 although De Vaca does not mention them by name. In 1582 they were visited by Antonio de Espejo and in 1598 by Juan de Onate. At the latter date a part of them at least were near the Salinas, east of the Rio Grande in what is now New Mexico. About 1622 they were visited by the Franciscan missionary of the Pueblo of Isleta, and in 1629 an independent mission was established for them. By this time, the eastern section of the tribe had gotten as far east as the Conchos, a headstream of the Nueces. About 1670 there were Shuman not far from Pecos River, and from that time through the eighteenth century they seem to have resided principally in the region indicated. As late as the middle of the nineteenth century they are mentioned in connection with the Kiowa, and again as living near Lampazas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Possibly they were the tribe later known as Waco. The name of the western Shuman appears in the form Suma as early as 1630 when it was used by Benavides, and in 1659 some of the northern Suma were at San Lorenzo. During the Pueblo revolt of 1680 they became hostile and united with the Manso and Jano in an outbreak in 1684, but they were reduced 2 years later and formed into several settlements about El Paso, San Lorenzo being the only one to endure. They declined steadily in numbers until in 1897 only one was known to be living, at Senecu. The mission of Casas Grandes was established among the southern branch of the Suma in 1664. Then and for some years afterward they were allied with the Apache and Jocome in raids against the Piman tribes west of them, particularly the Opata, but are supposed to have been destroyed ultimately by the Apache.

Shuman Population. In 1582 Espejo believed that the Shuman numbered 10,000, probably an overestimate. Mooney (1928) does not give them separate entry in his estimates of population. In 1744 the northern branch of that part of the tribe called Suma had become reduced to 50 families; in 1765 there were only 21 families; and in 1897 only one individual was supposed to be left.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top