Auxiliary Indians or indios auxiliares were the name used in old Spanish chronicles and historical texts for the indigenous peoples who were integrated into to the armies of the Spanish conquerors with the purpose of supporting their advance and combat operations, during Conquest of America. They acted as guides, translators or porters and in this role were also called Yanaconas particularly within the old Inca Empire and Chile. The name was also used for formations composed of indigenous warriors or Indios amigos (friendly indians), which they used for reconnaissance, combat, and as reserve in battle. The auxiliary Indians remained in use after the conquest, during some revolts, in border zones and permanent military areas, as in Chile in the Arauco War.
The formations of auxiliary Indians arose commonly from alliances established by the Spaniards, exploiting ethnic and tribal antagonisms that they found during their occupation of the territory they were attempting to conquer. Hernan Cortes was one of the first captains who was known for their ability to strengthen their columns with these natives. Commonly after the conquest these auxiliary Indians were divided among the settlers of the territories already conquered. Commonly they constituted the most numerous group of the conquerors followers:
The expedition of Pedro de Alvarado to Guatemala was composed of 250 Spaniards and between 5000 and 6000 auxiliary Indians.
Ruiz-Esquide Figueroa, Andrea. Los indios amigos en la frontera araucana. Santiago: DIBAM, Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, 1993. p.116 Ubicacion: Seccion Chilena 10;(846B-39) N sistema: 272958
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