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Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

Bust of Cabeza de Vaca Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (; 1488/1490/1492 1557/1558/1559/1560) was a Spanish explorer of the New World, and one of four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition. During eight years of traveling across what is now the US Southwest, he became a trader and faith healer to various Native American tribes before reconnecting with Spanish civilization in Mexico in 1536. After returning to Spain in 1537, he wrote an account, first published in 1542 as ''La relación y comentarios'' ("The Account and Commentaries"), which in later editions was retitled ''Naufragios y comentarios'' ("Shipwrecks and Commentaries"). Cabeza de Vaca is sometimes considered a proto-anthropologist for his detailed accounts of the many tribes of Native Americans that he encountered.

In 1540, Cabeza de Vaca was appointed ''adelantado'' of what is now Paraguay, where he was governor and captain general of New Andalusia. He worked to build up the population of Buenos Aires but, charged with poor administration, he was arrested in 1544 and then transported to Spain for trial in 1545. Although his sentence was eventually commuted, he never returned to the Americas. He died in Seville. Provided by Wikipedia