Historically, the Guachichiles inhabited the lands of current day Southern Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Nuevo Leon, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, and Taumalipas.
Through oral teachings passed down from generation to generation it is said that the Guachichil date back to 1,000 b.c. from the Hokan family and the Karankawa groups that inhabited the southern parts of Texas.
In the 12th century, the ancestors of the Guachichiles, the Teochichimecas, defeated the Toltecs in the villages of Nextlapan and Texcalapan. Later in the 13th century the Mexica or Aztecs who were once Chichimecas fought extensively against the Guachichiles. But, they were never successful, nor were they able to take their lands.
The Aztecs called them Quahchichitl, which translates to Red Heads because of the Guachichiles’ emulation of their red colored guardian bird.Embed from Getty Images
After the fall of the Tenochtitlan, the pacified Natives told the Spanish about the silver mines in the Northern regions, which triggered the start of occupying Chichimeca territories. Continuous abuse followed the Spanish settling into Chichimeca lands and destruction of their ancestral burial grounds, along with the alliance of the Caxcanes, prompted certain Chichimeca groups to unite.
Once, the Guachichiles formed a confederation with other Chichimeca groups the war between the chichimeca and the Spaniards began. A war that would eventually last nearly 50 years in duration.
The first ten years of the Chichimeca war resulted in over 4,000 Spanish soldiers being killed, prompting them to seek financial help from the king of Spain.
It became clear to the Spanish that they could not defeat the chichimecas militarily so a purchase of peace was established with the help of a Guachichil Mestizo named, Miguel Caldera.
In 1591 Hundreds of Tlaxcaltecas from the city-state of Titzatlan moved into Guachichil territories to help pacify them and aid in converting them to Christianity.
The majority of Guachichiles converted to Catholicism and adopted Spanish lifestyles as well as the language of the Nahuas, but the ones who held
onto their language and traditional teachings escaped into the mountains to avoid Spanish prosecution and tlaxcalan assimilation.
Today the descendants of the Guachichil still live in their respective territories as well large portions of Texas, California, and Colorado dating back to the
end of the chichimeca war.
Many communities in Mexico and now the United States have retained the traditions and customs of the Guachichil to preserve their way of life, as well as, adopting Nahua ideologies, due to Tlaxcalan assimilation.Embed from Getty Images