Firsthand accounts of explorers and their travels



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Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

Exploration narratives – firsthand accounts of explorers and their travels



Chronological order – events described in the order in which they occurred

A Journey Through Texaslands in Florida as second in command, but captain and many others died, but Cabeza de Vaca and others land in Texas. He eventually reaches Mexico City.

  • Characters – Cabeza de Vaca, Indians, Alonso del Castillo, Estevancio

  • Plot – Cabeza de Vaca recounts his interactions with a tribe of Indians who are afraid of a nearby tribe that they would encounter if they were to accompany de Vaca. Since the Spaniards are angry, the Indians see that as the reason their own people are falling ill and dying, so they agree to go along. De Vaca also tells of Castillo’s exploration in which he finds people with houses who eat beans and squash. He also finds corn/maize.



Garcia Lopez de Cardenas

Boulders Taller Than the Great Tower of Seville – First European to visit the Grand Canyon. Unable to explain the magnitude of the sight, he reports boulders in the Grand Canyon were higher than the Tower of Seville (300-feet).

What are some points of comparison between these two texts? Both are Spanish explorers. Both detail relations with the Indians. Both detail the landscape.


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