Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

(1110 words)
  • Joseph Chaves (University of Northern Colorado)

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was born late in the fifteenth century in Jérez de la Frontera in Andalucía. His mother’s side (from which was derived his last name, meaning “cow head”) participated in the reconquista of Muslim Spain, while his father’s grandfather served as a conquistador in the Canary Islands. Cabeza de Vaca himself pursued a long military career, which included fighting in Italy and North Africa, before setting out on the expedition to Florida that both made his name and began the plummeting of his fortunes. In 1527, almost a century before the first English settlements in North America, and only a little over a decade after Juan Ponce de León had landed upon the Florida Peninsula, Cabeza …

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Chaves, Joseph. "Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4868, accessed 25 September 2016.]

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Related Groups

  1. Travel writing