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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Juan Tafur
Years active1518-1541
EmployerSpanish Crown
Known forSpanish conquest of the Muisca
Construction of first church of Chipaque
Spouse(s)N.N, Antonia Manuel de Hoyos
Francisca de Ulloa
ChildrenIsabel Tafur
  • Juan Pérez Tubera (father)
  • Isabel Díaz Tafur (mother)
Martín Yañéz Tafur
Hernán Venegas Carrillo
Pedro Fernández de Valenzuela
Encomendero of Bogotá
In office
Preceded byAntonio Díaz de Cardoso
Succeeded byJuan Díaz Hidalgo
In office
Preceded byJuan de Céspedes
Succeeded byPedro de Colmenares
In office
Preceded byJuan Muñoz de Collantes
Succeeded byGonzalo Rodríguez de Ledesma
In office
Preceded byGonzalo García Zorro
Succeeded byJuan Ruiz de Orejuela
In office
Preceded byGonzalo Rodríguez de Ledesma
Succeeded byAntonio Bermúdez

Juan Tafur (1500, Córdoba, Andalusia, Castile - ?, ?) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca people. He was a cousin of fellow conquistadors Martín Yañéz Tafur, Hernán Venegas Carrillo and Pedro Fernández de Valenzuela. Juan Tafur was five times encomendero (mayor) of Santa Fe de Bogotá. He also received the encomiendas of Pasca, Chipaque and Usaquén. The encomienda of Suesca was shared between Tafur and Gonzalo García Zorro.

Knowledge of the life of Juan Tafur has been provided by the work El Carnero (1638), by chronicler Juan Rodríguez Freyle.

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Juan Tafur was born in the year 1500 in Córdoba, Spain. His parents were Juan Pérez Tubera and Isabel Díaz Tafur. Tafur took the surname of his mother.[1] Other family members were also conquistadors: Pedro Fernández de Valenzuela, Hernán Venegas Carrillo and Martín Yañés Tafur.[3]

American Expeditions

In 1518 he left Spain for the New World under the command of Pedro de los Ríos, governor of Tierra Firme in Panama. De los Ríos sent Tafur with two ships to retrieve the dissatisfied members of the Pizarro expedition. In 1531 or 1533, Tafur left for Santa Marta, where he was sent to the Valle de Upar, together with conquistadors Antonio de Lebrija, Juan de Sanct Martín, Juan Muñoz de Collantes and Juan de Céspedes to force the submission the Chimila people to the Spanish.[4]

In April 1536, Tafur was appointed cavalry leader in the expedition led by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada[5] which left the Caribbean city of Santa Marta in search of El Dorado.[6] Tafur participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca people and received the encomiendas of Pasca, Usaque, Itaque and Chipaque, where he built the first church in 1538.[7].[2] The encomienda of Suesca was shared between Juan Tafur and Gonzalo García Zorro.[8]


Juan Tafur was five times encomendero of Santa Fe de Bogotá: in 1541 succeeding Antonio Díaz de Cardoso and preceding Juan Díaz Hidalgo; from 1546 to 1547 succeeding Juan de Céspedes and succeeded by Pedro de Colmenares; in 1552 between the reigns of Juan Muñoz de Collantes and Gonzalo Rodríguez de Ledesma; in 1554 succeeding Gonzalo García Zorro and before Juan Ruiz de Orejuela; and finally in 1559 after the rule of Gonzalo Rodríguez de Ledesma and preceding Antonio Bermúdez.[9] In 1552, he requested 72 emeralds from Diego de Aguilar.[10]

Mistreatment of native Americans

He committed various atrocities against the indigenous people, including against the Panche people to the west of the Bogotá savanna. He mistreated the Cacique (leader) of Pasca and the Cacique of Chita, whose body he threw at the dogs.[11] In 1543, he was convicted for the mistreatment of the indigenous Muisca of Pasca.[10]

Personal life

Juan Tafur was married three times: to an unnamed woman; to Antonia Manuel de Hoyos; and to Francisca de Ulloa. He had a daughter named Isabel Tafur.[1]


Encomiendas of Juan Tafur on and around the Bogotá savanna
Juan Tafur was one of the soldiers in the expedition along the green route from Santa Marta into the Muisca Confederation
Juan Tafur was one of the soldiers in the expedition along the green route from Santa Marta into the Muisca Confederation

See also



Further reading

This page was last edited on 9 May 2019, at 01:51
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