Read Part 1 here. First Encounters with Europeans Early Explorations The Coast Miwok people’s encounters with Europeans date back to the sixteenth century. In 1579, the English privateer Francis Drake made landfall along the northern California coast. There, he probably met Coast Miwok people. Portuguese explorer Sebastião Rodrigues Soromenho — also known as Sebastián Rodríguez […]
The Coast Miwok are indigenous people of the area north of San Francisco Bay. Coast Miwok Territory The name “Coast Miwok” refers to the Native American communities who lived along the California coast north of the San Francisco Bay, in what is today Marin and parts of Sonoma Counties. The terrain of that area is […]
The Luiseño people are an indigenous group of coastal Southern California with a unique language and culture. The introduction of the mission introduced major changes into Luiseño life, including a new religion (Christianity) and the adoption of the farming and ranching lifestyle. Since its founding, the mission was supervised by Fr. Antonio Peyrí. Fr. Peyrí […]
“He was of gigantic stature, standing six feet seven inches–without his stockings, for he had none. And he was large all over in proportion, with the strength of several men. His name by baptism was Francisco Solano, and by that name he was best known.” – Platon Vallejo
Vaqueros were the most important workers in the mission and rancho eras. And some of the first vaqueros were Native American. Learn more about these unique figures on the California frontier. What Does “Vaquero” Mean? The word vaquero is usually translated as “cowboy” in English, and literally means “someone in charge of cows.” It also […]
The novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson sparked an interest in California’s Mission Era that attracted visitors from all over the country. But Jackson’s novel was much more than nostalgia for a bygone era — it was a cry for human rights. The story of the author, her work and how Cuba’s most famous exile […]
What was daily life like for Native Americans at Mission Santa Cruz? What did they eat? What jobs did they do? An introduction to life at Alta California’s 12th Spanish Mission. Where is Mission Santa Cruz Located? Mission Santa Cruz is located near the northern coast of Monterey Bay, on the west side of the […]
The story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island was made famous by Scott O’Dell’s novel The Island of the Blue Dolphins. In this episode of the podcast, we learn more about her real life with archeologist Elisabeth Rareshide, along with a new exhibit at the Mission Santa Barbara museum. Elisabeth Rareshide Elisabeth Rareshide […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California has its roots in 16th century Mexico. There, Franciscan friars and their native partners sought to record the memories of Aztec elders before their culture was changed forever. The information they collected is contained in the Florentine Codex. Ezekiel Stear Dr. Ezekiel Stear is Assistant Professor of […]
What was daily life like for Native Americans at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel? What did they eat? What jobs did they do? An introduction to life at Alta California’s 4th Spanish Mission. Who Founded Mission San Gabriel? Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was the 4th mission established in Alta California. The mission was founded on September […]
In this second part of the interview we learn about what studying economic history can reveal about the past. In particular, we learn about California’s early connections to the Far East, and how competition over the fur trade created some unusual rivalries and alliances. Highlights of Part 2: Franciscan views of money and morality. The […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California isn’t always what it seems. By delving into Mexico’s National Archives, Dr. Marie Christine Duggan uncovered facts that provide a unique inside view of mission life. From murder trials to Indian militias, we talk about some of the lesser-known aspects of California mission history. Marie Christine Duggan […]
The Kumeyaay are indigenous people who live on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, in southwestern California and northwestern Baja California. They traditionally spoke languages related to each other, and many were connected to Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The Kumeyaay Name In times past, because the Kumeyaay were spread over such a large territory that […]
What was daily life like for Native Americans at Mission San Diego de Alcalá? What did they eat? What jobs did they do? An introduction to life at Alta California’s 1st Spanish Mission. Who Founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá and When Was It Founded? Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Fr. Junípero […]
Native Americans came to the California missions for a variety of reasons. Some of these were: protection from their enemies, access to stable food sources, attraction to Spanish culture and religion, fear of Spanish weapons and a desire to stay together with their clans and kin. Were Native Americans Forced to Enter the California Missions? […]
The Chumash are a widespread group of California native people who lived along the southern California coast and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
In the 1830’s, a young man named Pablo Tac wrote about his experiences growing up at Mission San Luis Rey. It is one of the only firsthand accounts written by a Native American who lived at a mission.
There were probably as many as 21 Salinan villages in the extending just south of Mission La Soledad to the north of San Luis Obispo.
Other names: Costanoan Home region: Greater San Francisco Bay region, including Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and northern Monterey Counties Mission affiliations: San Carlos Borromeo, San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), Santa Clara de Asís, Santa Cruz, San José Historical background: Ohlone is a name used to describe a large number of diverse groups that […]