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Author: Subject: Native California Indians in the 1700s as illustrated by the Jesuits
David K
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[*] posted on 2-10-2016 at 03:15 PM
Native California Indians in the 1700s as illustrated by the Jesuits


Of the three Catholic Orders of missionaries who operated in Baja California (1683-1855), only the Jesuits (1683-1768) showed special interest in reporting on the Indians' lifestyles and appearance. In many reports from the peninsula are the Californians described during the Jesuit period.


Three published works by the Jesuits contains illustrations of the Native California Indians. Here are a few of those illustrations:


From Padre Miguel Venegas in 1739 (published in 1757):

California Indian men, women, and infants:



Notice the baby in a carrier-net.
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From Padre Jakob Baegert 1751-1768 (published in 1772):


A Californian, with his catch of rats.


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From Padre Ignacio Tirsch 1762-1768 (published in 1972):


California Indians with a killed deer.


“Out of the wilderness a heathen and his wife are coming with their daughters and son to the mission to be converted.”


Christianized California Indians





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[*] posted on 2-10-2016 at 04:08 PM


Cool, thanks David.



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[*] posted on 2-10-2016 at 05:12 PM


Quote: Originally posted by dtbushpilot  
Cool, thanks David.


You're welcome David.
These are some of the illustrations that will appear in the new book.
Padre Ignacio Tirsch (who drew the last three images above) was the last Jesuit missionary at Santiago (and San José del Cabo, which was a visita of Santiago from 1748 to 1768). So, those are likely how he saw the natives who walked about where you now live!

Here is another, by Tirsch of the Santiago mission circa 1765. The church entrance is just above the cemetery:



The Santiago mission ruins in 1919:



The new mission-site church in 1950:



The modern church being built on the mission site in 1957:



That Santiago church in 2012:





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[*] posted on 2-10-2016 at 06:09 PM


pretty cool!



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[*] posted on 2-10-2016 at 06:23 PM


Pretty interesting pictures, David
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[*] posted on 2-12-2016 at 09:05 PM


Thank you! I think so, too...



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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 12:01 PM


David, do you have any info about the Indians depicted in your post? Can you tell us where they (and the artists, priests, etc ) were when the pictures were sketched?

What did they call themselves? Did they speak Yuman? Many descriptions of southern Indians showed them to be much more primitive than the people in these sketches. Do you think the priests made their converts or potential converts look more noble than they appeared in real life?

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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 12:58 PM


Those natives definitely look well fed.



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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 01:55 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Osprey  
David, do you have any info about the Indians depicted in your post? Can you tell us where they (and the artists, priests, etc ) were when the pictures were sketched?

What did they call themselves? Did they speak Yuman? Many descriptions of southern Indians showed them to be much more primitive than the people in these sketches. Do you think the priests made their converts or potential converts look more noble than they appeared in real life?



David may correct about this but these appear to be natives of Baja California as depicted by the Jesuits. That being the case, they are likely Cochimi, Guaycura, or Pericu. Although they spent most of their time scraping for food, they were reported of being "well built." The same held true for the Indians of Upper California.




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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 03:39 PM


Thank you Lancesf.
I have a little additional data to yours if I may contribute it:

The first TWO (not 4) images come from Padre Miguel Venegas's book. He was a Jesuit writer in Mexico (not Europe) and recorded the activities based on letters from the peninsula. The first two illustrations appear on his map that was published in 1757. His book was originally written 18 years earlier.

The second TWO images are from Padre Baegert who was the Jesuit at Mission San Luis Gonzaga from 1751 to 1768 (Guaycura Indians) and while his book was published in Germany in 1772 it is from his pen.

The final THREE images are from Padre Ignacio Tirsch who was the Jesuit at Mission Santiago from 1763 to 1768 (Pericú Indians) and administered the visita of San José del Cabo as it was reduced from mission to visita in 1748. Tirsch's art was unknown to the historical world until they appeared on a Czechoslovakian calendar in 1970!

Yes, Barco's is a good book:





[Edited on 2-13-2016 by David K]




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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 04:13 PM


Its to bad ... The camera wasn't around at that time

Enjoy this guys "work" and have a couple of prints ... that I bought from the New York Times ... Photographic collection

Well worth the money ... and they have actually gone up in value ...

Still enjoy looking back in time .... at things

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/edward-curtis-epic-pro...

Thanks DK ... and "hunter gathers" were still around in the 1700's in the "America's" ... big time ... Hard to imagine the amount of natural resources that would have been available in that time period, in certain locations which had not been impacted by European settlers ... or Invaders .. depending on one's position in the pecking order at that time



[Edited on 2-13-2016 by wessongroup]
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 05:13 PM


Regarding "resources", then and now: I am always fascinated with so-called "before and after" photos when recent photos of wild lands are compared with photos taken in the 1800's of the exact same spot. Many (most?) times the abundance of vegetation in the "now" photos is vastly more than the sparse vegetation in the historic photos.
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 05:41 PM


Me too ... Its one of the reason I watch old movies

Check out The Big Trail .. filmed on location in WY in 1930

John Wayne is really, really young

Amazing ... just amazing from a lot of different standpoints

The pictures I got of Curtis were from: early 1900's ... hard to find much earlier than that ... here is a cool site

https://www.archives.gov/research/american-west/

I'll bet the Salmon runs were a bit different ... :):)

Not to mention the Buffalo ...

And Owens Valley was a paradise... compared to now, its still pretty nice ... but, what it must have been like in 1710 :):)

[Edited on 2-14-2016 by wessongroup]
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 05:54 PM


Quote: Originally posted by wessongroup  
Me too ... Its one of the reason I watch old movies

Check out The Big Trail .. filmed on location in WY in 1930

John Wayne is really, really young

Amazing ... just amazing from a lot of different standpoints

The pictures I got of Curtis were from: early 1900's ... hard to find much earlier than that ... here is a cool site

https://www.archives.gov/research/american-west/

I'll bet the Salmon runs were a bit different ... :):)

Not to mention the Buffalo ...

And Owens Valley was a paradise :):)


There are 100's of old photos from the 1869 and 1870's river trips of John Wesley Powell (Green and Colorado Rivers), and at least one huge book of photos taken about 1965 or so of the duplicate shots-----------and they are amazing!!! I have those books somewhere, and I will have to dig them up again. LOL

Owens Valley is STILL a "paradise" in my book. The "Salmon" have taken a huge hit in the coastal rivers, but vastly more trout in Owens Valley now, and lots of deer and elk, birds, and other creatures. 2 years ago my son and I were up on top of the Coyote Plateau, west of Bishop, and laughed a lot as the Indian's were all over the place hunting from ATV's-----we did not see one white-eye up there that day. LOL

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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 06:10 PM


Haven't been up ... since my last trip, which was just before I went in for fusion surgery on my back ... that was 2001

Used to make it up just about every year, opening day was a tradition :lol::lol: ... but, would try and make it up at least one time in addition to opening day ... Lived for 10 years on the others side ... and used that side ... but, I've always liked the East side of the Sierras over the West side .. not sure, maybe cuz of the Westerns filmed around Lone Pine ... as a kid it WAS THE PLACE both my brother and I couldn't wait to get to every summer with the old man

Glad to hear things are getting better ...as it was looking a bit worn out at that time ... hope the Court Ruling has helped on the water pulled by LA from the region

Didn't get back into the back country ... just the usual ... Owens River, Convict, South and North Lakes and some on Bishop Creek .. a favorite place to camp and fish

Our jumping off point when growing up ... and in my 20's to the John Muir Trail

Had starting liking Baja better by that time, in the 60's .. less people and a lot of good fishing too

Thanks had forgot about Powell ... He did some pretty amazing stuff ... will check him out :):)

Sorry DK for the hijack ... Let's get back to Baja ... as it is still pretty cool in places too and the people who were able to (make a living there are still interesting) :):)

btw ... good to see ya posting again Barry

[Edited on 2-14-2016 by wessongroup]

[Edited on 2-14-2016 by wessongroup]
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 08:00 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Lancesf  
Sorry didn't mean to refer to the place Venegas wrote, just to the engravings themselves. Although Venegas wrote at an earlier time, the book itself was not published until 1757 and contains those engravings. The engravings in Venegas were done in Europe, weren't the engravings in Baegert done in Germany for publication there?


Baegert in the other 16 Jesuits were removed from California like prisoners. If he drew that while in California (what we call 'Baja' today) it likely would have become toilet paper to the soldiers, as what happened to some mission records in Norther Baja?

So yes, those two very well could have been drawn in Germany between the time Baegert was released by Spain and when he wrote the book (~1771). If it was Baegert's artwork or someone doing it under his direction, I don't know.

Again, this is pretty much ALL we have to show how the Indians looked, accurate or exaggerated?

Obviously, the final image of a Christian Pericú Indian man and woman looks no different that any other Christian couple, in Tirsch's eyes. Hopefully, it showed the Native Californians as regular people to other Spaniards or Europeans and not as "savages" as the Dominicans have been quoted calling them.




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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 08:10 PM


Back in the 50's hardly anyone went down south of Ensenada

And most that got down to the some of the nice locations "flew"

Tough "sledding" back in those really old days ... until the "Highways" got in

It was what I liked about Baja as a kid of 10 ... nothing to worry about ... other than what one had already learn about : snakes, sharks, stickers, bears, "cats", look out for strangers .. et al ... pretty basic stuff .. work's just about any place ya go :):)

Really cool your dad took pictures ... and something you picked up and carried over .. From you old man .. nice touch
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 08:35 PM


Thanks ... An interesting painting technique used by Padre Ignacio Tirsch in that first illustration "California Indians with a killed deer" ... for that time period

Would appear he was really ahead of his time by a few hundred years ... appears he did do any more .. too bad
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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 09:06 PM


Quote: Originally posted by wessongroup  
Thanks ... An interesting painting technique used by Padre Ignacio Tirsch in that first illustration "California Indians with a killed deer" ... for that time period

Would appear he was really ahead of his time by a few hundred years ... appears he did do any more .. too bad


There's an entire Dawson series book with Tirsch's art.
In my new book I also include his paintings of Santiago and San José del Cabo.




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[*] posted on 2-13-2016 at 09:20 PM


Thanks .. will check it out ... glad you read between the lines

This guy did some photographic work from the civil war and into the next few decades .. .His work is also interesting to view a time long gone .. in photographs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_H._O%27Sullivan

I have his shot of Canyon de Chelly ... preferred it over Curtis's ... did like a couple of Curtis that I got ... had to imagine native american's running around horse back as late as 1910

[Edited on 2-14-2016 by wessongroup]
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