NOVEMBER 16, 1616


Taking place in the states of Durango and Chihuahua, the revolt was part of a series of Indian revolts caused by being empressed into labor in the mines, epidemics, and forced adoption of Christianity.  One Tepehuane leader, Quautlatas, urged his followers to return to worshipping their former gods.  On the night of November 16th, the Tepehuán took the Spaniards by surprise, entered Atotonilco and killed 10 Jesuit missionaries & 200 civilians.  They also surrounded Santiago Papasquiaro and got the Acaxees and Xiximes to attack Spanish settlements in western Nueva Vizcaya.  However, when the Tepehuanes advanced on the Christianized Acaxee pueblos, the Acaxee allied warriors sided with the Spaniards.  On December 19, Captain Gáspar de Alvear led a force of armed cavalry and allies to confront the insurgents.  By the revolt’s end in 1620, the Tepehuanes, who may have lost as many as 4,000 warriors, fled to mountains.  Not until 1723 would the Jesuits return to work among them.

Source:  John P. Schmal, “Indigenous Durango: Land of the Tepehuanes,” Indigenous Mexico, 10/3/2019.  Retrieved 8/9/2020,
Map:  Smallchief, 2/10/2011, deriviative of Semhur, 9/24/2008.  Permissive Use.  

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