Map of Chichimeca Nations
Guachichile territory in purple.
|Regions with significant populations|
(e.g. Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí)
|Related ethnic groups|
The Guachichiles roamed through a large region of Zacatecas; as well as portions of San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, and northeastern Jalisco; south to the northern corners of Michoacán; and north to Saltillo in Coahuila.
- " Their strategic position in relation to Spanish mines and highways, made them especially effective in raiding and in escape from Spanish reprisal."
These warriors were known to fight fiercely even if mortally wounded and were a key component in the Spanish defeat during the Chichimeca Wars. Eventually Miguel Caldera, a half-Guachichil mestizo, played a role in effectively ending the war by diplomatic and pacification policies instead of attempting to subdue the Chichimecs by brute force.
- Origin of name
The Guachichiles were known to paint their bodies, hair, and faces in red dye. For this reason they were called "guachichile" by the Mexica; from the nahuatl kua-itl (head) and chichil-tic (red), meaning "heads painted red".
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