Onate Fights Escanjaques

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Earliest recorded tribal conflict on the plains was reported by Governor-General Don Juan de Onate in southern Kansas in 1601 when his Spanish expedition found themselves caught between two warring tribes; the Escanjaques, whose lineage is unknown, and the Rayados, generally believed to be Wichitas. The Escanjaques had followed the Spanish to the Rayado village just beyond a broad river thought to have been the Arkansas. That these two primitive peoples were bitter enemies became immediately clear. Approximately 300-400 Rayado warriors occupied a hilltop facing the 70 Spaniards hooting and twanging their bowstrings. To their rear the Escanjaques shouted insults and counterchallenges at the Rayados. After exchanging presents with the Rayados in an attempt to avoid a fight the Rayados invited the Spanish to their village. The next day, Onate found the village deserted. When the Escanjaques began to loot and burn the village, he ordered his men to put a stop to the plundering. As the Spaniards started back to New Mexico, they were attacked by an estimated 1500-3000 Escanjaques.

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