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Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants

The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers

Kent Lightfoot (Author)

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Paperback, 355 pages
ISBN: 9780520249981
November 2006
$33.95, £24.95
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California’s earliest European colonists—Russian merchants and Spanish missionaries—depended heavily on Native Americans for labor to build and maintain their colonies, but they did so in very different ways. This richly detailed book brings together disparate skeins of the past—including little-known oral histories, native texts, ethnohistory, and archaeological excavations—to present a vivid new view of how native cultures fared under these two colonial systems. Kent Lightfoot’s innovative work, which incorporates the holistic methods of historical anthropology, explores the surprising ramifications of these long-ago encounters for the present-day political status of native people in California.

Lightfoot weaves the results of his own significant archaeological research at Fort Ross, a major Russian mercantile colony, into a cross-cultural comparison, showing how these two colonial ventures—one primarily mercantile and one primarily religious—contributed to the development of new kinds of native identities, social forms, and tribal relationships. His lively account includes personal anecdotes from the field and a provocative discussion of the role played by early ethnographers, such as Alfred Kroeber, in influencing which tribes would eventually receive federal recognition. Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants takes a fascinating, yet troubling, look at California’s past and its role in shaping the state today.
List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Dimensions and Consequences of Colonial Encounters
2. Visions of Precolonial Native California
3. Franciscan Missions in Alta California
4. Native Agency in the Franciscan Missions
5. Russian Merchants in California
6. Native Agency in the Ross Colony
7. Missionary and Mercantile Colonies in California: The Implications
8. The Aftermath
9. Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index
Kent G. Lightfoot is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Prehistoric Political Dynamics: A Case Study from the American Southwest (1984), among other books.
“Lightfoot . . . gives us an excellent history of cross-cultural influences in old California.”—Westerners International
“Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants involves an impressive synthesis of complementary data sets--oral, documentary, and archaeological. . . . [Lightfoot] presents a dynamic picture of the colonial encounter of Native Americans and Europeans that goes beyond the domination-resistance polarity. . . Overall, this is a clearly written and argued book that presents a rich and sophisticated view of colonial encounters on the California Coast. Lightfoot combines practice theory with a comparative approach that allows him to deftly relate the microspace of the everyday life of people engaged in colonial encounters to the macroscale of historical processes. The book is an impressive demonstration of archaeology’s potential contributions to an historical anthropology of colonialism.”—Arthur A. Joyce Journal Of Colonialism And Colonial History
“Lightfoot not only adds a useful text to the study of colonial effects on the Indians of California, but fosters his arguments for the developing field of ‘historical anthropology.’”—Glenn J. Farris Journal Of California & Great Basin Anthropology
"This is a remarkable contribution by an extraordinary anthropologist."—David Hurst Thomas, author of Skull Wars

"A groundbreaking work that will be welcomed by both scholars and the general reader who wishes to understand the role of California's past in shaping its future."—Robert L. Hoover, Professor Emeritus, California Polytechnic State University

"This is essential reading for every California historian and archaeologist and a superb choice for undergraduate classrooms. Lightfoot's authoritative account gives a long-silenced voice to the many Indians of California."—Jeanne E. Arnold, editor of The Origins of a Pacific Coast Chiefdom

James Deetz Book Award, Society for Historical Archaeology

Chapter One

Dimensions and Consequences of Colonial Encounters

Voices of the past become muted over time. Such is the case with the telling of California's colonial history. We accentuate Spanish recollections that indelibly mark the contemporary landscape with Mission Revival buildings, reconstructed missions and presidios, place names, and even Taco Bell restaurants. But the full diversity and significance of the state's colonial past has been lost in the hustle and bustle of our twenty-first-century world. An eerie silence pervades the memories of thousands of native peoples and Russian colonists who, like the Spanish, participated in the creation of the California frontiers. We tend to forget that this state was forged at the crossroads of the world, for it was here that the extensive colonial domains of Imperial Spain and Tsarist Russia first touched on the Pacific coast. The roots of our modern ethnic diversity can be traced back to this colonial encounter among Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, Russians, Native Alaskans, and many other peoples.

As the site of one of the last major colonial expansions of the Spanish Crown in the late 1700s, California became the northernmost province of a vast empire that stretched across much of southern North America, Central America, and South America. By 1812, California was also the southernmost frontier of an extensive Russian mercantile enterprise centered in the North Pacific (see map 1). With the coming of the Russians, the fertile coastal shores of central California were transformed into the borderlands of two distinctive colonial domains. A chain of Franciscan missions and presidios, extending from San Diego to the greater San Francisco Bay, emerged as the cornerstone of the Spanish colonial enterprise in what became known as Alta California. But just beyond the northern reaches of the Presidio of San Francisco, Russian workers felled redwood to build the impressive palisade walls and stout log structures of Ross—the administrative center of the first mercantile colony in California. In transforming the region into a unique contact zone in North America, Spanish and Russian colonists populated the coastal landscape with their own distinctive adobe and Siberian-style wooden houses, churches, and forts and laid the foundations for two very different colonial programs.

Caught within and between the Spanish and Russian colonies were thousands of native peoples residing in a plethora of small communities that dotted the coastal zone of southern and central California. As hunter-gatherer peoples, they made their living from both the sea and land by hunting marine mammals and terrestrial game, fishing for coastal and freshwater fishes, gathering edible plant foods, and collecting shellfish. These native communities varied greatly in language, tribal affiliation, population, and settlement pattern, yet they had much in common in their material cultures, broader world views (religious practices, dances, ceremonies), trade networks, and subsistence pursuits. Most coastal groups were organized into small polities, which have been traditionally defined by anthropologists as "tribelets," "village communities," or "tiny nations." Anthropologists have grouped those individual polities of which the members spoke similar languages into broader ethnolinguistic units. The Spanish and later the Mexican colonial system incorporated native peoples from eight major language groups of coastal California: Miwok, Ohlone (Costanoan), Esselen, Salinan, Chumash, Gabrielino, Luiseño, and Diegueño. The Russian managers of Colony Ross interacted primarily with native peoples who spoke Coast Miwok, Kashaya Pomo, and Southern Pomo languages.

Missionary and Mercantile Colonies

The hunter-gatherer communities of the central and southern coasts of California were initially incorporated into one or other of two kinds of colonial institutions—missionary and mercantile colonies.1

Franciscan Missions

Spain relied on the Franciscan Order to manage the Indian population of its northernmost frontier, where the padres implemented a plan to transform the coastal hunter-gatherer peoples into a peasant class of neophyte Catholics. The Spanish, and later Mexican, colonial system consisted of twenty-one Franciscan missions, four military presidios, and three civilian pueblos along the coastal zone of southern and central California (map 2). The first mission and presidio were constructed in San Diego in 1769. The last Franciscan mission, San Francisco Solano, was erected in Sonoma in 1823, after an independent Mexico had assumed political control of Alta California. The Franciscan missions were designed from the outset to be the focal node of native and Hispanic interactions in colonial California. The missions typically housed two padres (the majority from Spain), a mission guard of six soldiers (most of whom were mestizos or mulattos of Spanish, African, and/or native ancestry from northern Mexico), and a thousand or more baptized Indians or neophytes recruited from nearby coastal villages and, in later years, from more distant communities in the interior (e.g., the Great Central Valley). Situated within or near the central mission quadrangle was the adobe church, convento or residence for the priests, dormitories and houses for neophytes, residential quarters for the mission soldiers, storerooms, work areas for the preparation and cooking of communal meals, and rooms for craft production. Developed as agricultural centers, the outlying mission lands incorporated hundreds of hectares of fields bursting with wheat, barley, and corn, as well as smaller walled gardens and orchards. Thousands of head of cattle and sheep, grazing on open livestock range, dotted the agrarian mission landscape.

Colony Ross

The first mercantile colony in California was founded by the Russian-American Company, a commercial monopoly representing Russia's interests in the lucrative North Pacific fur trade. In establishing the Ross settlement in 1812, on the rugged coastline 110 kilometers north of the Spanish Presidio of San Francisco, the Russians created the administrative and mercantile center of the Ross colonial district (or counter). This counter eventually included a port at Bodega Bay (Port Rumiantsev), three ranches or farms, and a hunting camp, or artel, on the Farallon Islands (map 2). Known collectively as Colony Ross, the district served as the California base for harvesting sea otter and fur seal pelts, for raising crops and livestock, and for producing manufactured goods—many of the latter of which were traded, both legally and illegally, to Franciscan missions in return for wheat and barley. The Russian-American Company assembled an international, multiethnic workforce for its California colony that included Russians, Creoles (persons of mixed Russian and native blood), and Native Alaskans. The company also recruited local Pomo and Miwok Indians as laborers. The majority of the pluralistic population resided at the Ross settlement, where the formidable redwood log stockade contained residences for the Russian managers and staff, a barracks for single men, an official quarters for visitors, kitchen facilities, administrative offices, and storehouses. Beyond the walls of the stockade ethnic neighborhoods were established where other workers resided, including lower-class Russian and Creole craftspersons and laborers, Native Alaskan sea-mammal hunters, and the Pomo and Miwok men and women who became part of the Ross community.

The Franciscan missions and Colony Ross exemplify two ways that European colonial powers integrated local indigenous peoples into colonial infrastructures. At the vanguard of colonial expansion across the Americas, missions and fur trade outposts constituted the social settings where many North American Indians experienced their first sustained interactions with colonial agents. The arrival of missionaries and merchants in native territory often preceded, by many years, the waves of settlers that poured across much of North America in search of land to establish private homesteads, ranches, and farms. Because the settlement of California took place late in Spain's and Russia's colonial expansion in the Americas, both countries had many decades of experience in managing and overseeing native peoples in other regions, as well as in observing the colonial practices of other European nations.

Missionary colonies in North America were founded by various Christian sects that sponsored evangelization among native peoples. A steady stream of missionaries representing many Protestant denominations, Roman Catholic orders (e.g., Franciscan, Jesuit, Dominican), and the Russian Orthodox Church descended upon Native American communities, commencing in the late 1500s and 1600s, flowing rapidly across the Eastern Seaboard, the American Southwest, the American Southeast, and the North Pacific. Missionary colonies soon became established in most of the North American colonial territories of Spain, France, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, Britain. Even if somewhat suspicious of overzealous evangelists, European governments supported and even advocated missions in North America, because the missions offered a relatively inexpensive way to transform "wild" native peoples into a laboring class (see, e.g., Beaver 1988:435-439; Brown 1992:26; Jackson and Castillo 1995:31-39; Wagner 1998:443; and Weber 1992:242). Many missionary settlements were designed to be self-sufficient, with natives serving as a communal work force for constructing the mission infrastructure (e.g., churches, residential buildings, agricultural features), for raising their own food (through agriculture, gardening, and ranching), and for manufacturing their own household objects, clothing, and craft goods.2

Significant theological differences permeated the policies and practices of the missionary orders.3 But, in stepping back from this evangelical diversity, we see that what differentiated the missionary settlements from other colonial institutions in North America was a focus on the two "c's"—conversion and civilization. Missionaries launched explicit enculturation programs designed to teach native peoples the Gospels, Christian worship, language skills, and the central importance of European and Euro-American world views, life ways, and economic practices. Most missionaries not only strove to make their colonies self-sufficient but also introduced European menus, dress, and crafts to indigenous populations.

Mercantile outposts, such as Colony Ross, were typically founded by commercial companies that had in common an agenda of exploiting available resources (land, animal, mineral, and people) for great profits.4 The lucrative fur trade propelled many merchants to participate in the intensive harvesting of both terrestrial and marine mammals. Following the first European explorations of the Atlantic Coast and New Mexico in the late 1500s and early 1600s, the fur trade shifted to the tributaries of the Upper Missouri, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Slope, as other areas became overhunted.5 By the late 1700s and early 1800s, the fur trade was dominated by British companies (Hudson's Bay Company, North West Company) and American enterprises (American Fur Company, Pacific Fur Company) in the United States and Canada, and by the Russian-American Company in the North Pacific. These companies hunted or trapped diverse land mammals for furs and skins, but the primary economic engine of the terrestrial fur trade was the beaver, the fur-wool of which was used in the manufacture of hats for European and American gentlemen, from the 1500s through the early 1800s. The maritime fur trade focused on the hunting of sea mammals, primarily sea otters and fur seals, along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California.

Like the missionaries, the merchants focused also on Indians. They depended on native peoples for economic success, using them to procure and process furs and exploiting them as porters and manual laborers.6 But in contrast to the administrators of mission colonies, the businessmen who managed mercantile companies put little emphasis on directing the path of culture change among native groups. The primary reason that mercantile companies interacted with natives was not to transform their values and cultures; it was to exploit them as cheap labor. Thus, although missions measured success as a colonial endeavor by the number of native conversions and by the inroads made in modifying "pagan" life ways, mercantile colonies measured success by the economic bottom line—profits generated for owners and stockholders.7

Colonial Consequences

Since missionary and mercantile colonies were founded on fundamentally different principles, the two types of colonial programs instituted differing policies and practices for the treatment and administration of native peoples; native entanglements with the missionaries and merchants appear to have produced divergent trajectories of culture change. The central questions I pose are twofold. How did native negotiations within the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross transform the natives' tribal organizations, cultural practices, and Indian identities? And how did these cultural transformations ultimately influence which native groups would become federally recognized in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?

At first glance, the answers to these questions may seem pretty straightforward. The Franciscans have been portrayed in the academic literature as highly destructive to traditional native cultures, in contrast to the more benevolent Russian merchants. The Franciscan missionary program has been viewed and depicted as either white or black, seldom with shades of gray. Written descriptions of the California missions have focused on variations of the "white legend" or the "black legend," either ennobling the missionaries for their personal sacrifices or vilifying them as brutal and heartless in their treatment of Indian neophytes. When I attended grade school in the late 1950s and early 1960s in northern California, I learned about the kindly Franciscan fathers who dedicated their lives to helping the California Indians (see Thomas 1991 for the historical genesis of this perspective). Then, in the late 1960s and 1970s, with the rise of the "Brown Power Movement" in California universities (Monroy 1990:xiv), a very different story of the Franciscans' participation in California history emerged. With the vitriolic confrontation that greeted the proposed canonization by the Catholic church of Father Serra, the first president of the California missions (see, e.g., Costo and Costo 1987), the general public became aware of how destructive the Franciscan colonial program was to traditional Native California life ways and cultures.

Yet this point had been made in the anthropological literature for more than a century. Scholars had declared , until quite recently, that most mission Indians and their cultures had become extinct by the late 1800s and early 1900s. Stephen Powers made this observation in one of the first systematic ethnographic studies of California Indians in 1871 and 1872. "There will be found in these pages no account of the quasi-Christianized Indians of the missions. Their aboriginal customs have so faded out, their tribal organizations and languages have become so hopelessly intermingled and confused, that they can no longer be classified" (Powers 1976:16-17). The eminent historian Hubert Howe Bancroft added to the perception that the mission Indians had ceased to exist (see Haas 1995:173-174). But the most significant pronouncement was made by Alfred Kroeber, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who helped establish its Anthropology Department and University Museum (now known as the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology) in 1901. Kroeber's perspective proved extremely influential since he (and his Berkeley colleagues) laid the foundations for California anthropology and the academic study of Native Californians. Kroeber (1925:275, 544, 550-551, 621) observed that most of the hunter-gatherers who once resided along the coastal zone of central and southern California had either become extinct or had "melted away" to a handful of survivors.

As noted, scholars have characterized Russian and native encounters in California as much more benign than those engendered by the Franciscan mission system. There is a general perception that local Indians were well treated by the Russians. For example, Heizer and Almquist (1971:11-12, 65-66) noted that the commercial agenda of the Russian-American Company encouraged colonial administrators to cooperate with local Indians and to treat them kindly and fairly. Spencer-Hancock and Pritchard (1980/1981:311) were even more laudatory in praising the Russians for their humane treatment of the Kashaya Pomo and contrasted this relationship to the "often harsh colonization policies of the Spanish."

These one-dimensional views of colonial interactions suggest that what happened to coastal hunter-gatherers in southern and central California depended largely upon whether they became entangled with the cruel Spaniards or with the more humane, good-natured Russians. But the outcomes of colonial encounters are never quite so simple. An analysis of the current roster of federally recognized Indian tribes in California brings this point home. In 2002 the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognized 108 tribal groups as "official" Native American corporate entities.8 The spatial distribution of these tribes is remarkable.

At first glance, there appear to be few federally recognized tribes in the coastal zone of central and southern California. This was the picture I got when Roberta (my wife) and I first visited the impressive visitor center at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills, one of the few parks in California devoted to Indian history. While viewing the prominent wall map displaying past and present Indian lands, I was struck that, with the exception of a small dot representing the Santa Ynez Band near Santa Barbara, a vast coastal strip was devoid totally of acknowledged tribes and Indian reservations. In fact, there was so much empty space on the map that the exhibition designers had inserted a prominent caption, "Indian Lands Today," to cover up the extensive blank area once home to hundreds of coastal Indian communities.

Yet a closer look at this spatial distribution presents a more complex picture, as illustrated in map 3. North of San Francisco Bay, in the area of the historic Russia frontier, are the Kashaya Pomo, who have maintained their Stewarts Point reservation since 1914, and the Coast Miwok/Pomo peoples of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who were granted federal recognition in the closing days of the Clinton Administration. A gap of 540 kilometers exists between the northern area of San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles, in which only a single federally recognized group is found—the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians (in Santa Barbara County). But a plethora of federally recognized tribes materialize in the southernmost portion of the state—well within the colonial frontier of the Franciscan missions. Of the more than thirty tribal groups who can trace cultural and genetic affiliations back to the mission Indians, almost all were associated with the two southernmost Franciscan missions (Missions San Diego and San Luis Rey) (table 1). These groups include Cahuilla and Cupeño peoples, who were recruited into the missions from the interior, and Luiseño and Diegueño peoples from the coastal zone, who today reside on a number of small and medium-sized reservations in the upland valleys of San Diego and southern Riverside Counties (Carrico and Shipek 1996; Shipek 1978; Stewart and Heizer 1978).

It is clear from this closer inspection of current tribal distribution that in comparing the long-term implications of missionary and mercantile colonies we must rise above the one-dimensional stereotypes that have characterized past depictions of native and colonial relationships. In the aftermath of European colonialism, the descendants of most mission Indians have been portrayed as having become extinct, but this is not the case. Today every major language grouping incorporated into the Franciscan missions is represented by descendant Indian communities. Tribal organizations that trace genetic and cultural affiliations to the Coast Miwok, Ohlone, Esselen, Salinan, Chumash, Gabrielino, Luiseño and Diegueño linguistic territories are political players in contemporary California. But the majority of these groups are not acknowledged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and they continue to seek federal recognition and legal status as Indians.9 In considering the long-term implications of tangling with padres and merchants, I think the real issue to address is why some native groups who were engaged with the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross became federally recognized tribes, but other mission Indians to this day remain unacknowledged, stuck in a cultural limbo with their Indian identities continually contested.

To evaluate critically these questions—what happened to native peoples in missionary and mercantile colonies, and why some tribal groups ultimately became federally recognized and others did not—I have undertaken a detailed cross-cultural comparison of the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross. The research methodology for undertaking this comparative analysis is holistic, multidimensional, and diachronic. The approach is holistic because its emphasis on historical anthropology draws on sources from ethnohistory, ethnography, native texts, and archaeology to construct a fairly balanced and multivoiced perspective on the past. The approach is multidimensional because my analysis of mission and mercantile colonial programs is structured around seven dimensions of colonial encounters (enculturation programs, native relocation programs, social mobility, labor practices, interethnic unions, demographic parameters, and chronology of colonial encounters) potentially important in the divergent outcomes of Indian survivors in the Hispanic and Russian frontiers. The analysis is diachronic because it considers not only colonial encounters among Indians, missionaries, and merchants but what happened to tribal groups in the colonial aftermath, specifically in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when they confronted anthropologists and agents of the U.S. government.

Historical Anthropology

Archaeology, in concert with other data sources of historical anthropology, anchors my study of colonial encounters along the Hispanic and Russian frontiers. I have thought long and hard about the critical role that archaeology should play in the construction of colonial histories, since my own encounter with an inquisitive visitor during an excavation at the Fort Ross State Historic Park in 1991. That encounter began with a flash of white light that nearly blinded me. Standing in an excavation unit directly south of the reconstructed Ross stockade, I acknowledged the man in topsiders (no socks), pure white linen pants, and white turtleneck sweater, with a bulky flash camera hanging from his neck. It was a spectacular day: the sun was just breaking through the morning fog, revealing the nearby wooded mountains, grass-encrusted marine terrace, and choppy grey Pacific Ocean. "Found any gold yet?" called the white-clothed man. He grinned, taking a snapshot of me and of several University of California, Berkeley, students earnestly troweling sediments around abalone shells, fire-cracked rock, and glass and ceramic artifacts freshly unearthed in the historic Native Alaskan Village site. I looked quickly at his gold-embroidered captain's cap. A yachtsman, probably from one of the affluent coastal communities in southern California.

"No gold ," I replied, "just another chest full of these damn Russian kopec coins from the 1820s. You know, with the fall of the Soviet Union, they are worthless today." The razor sharp sea dog looked skeptical: "You're kidding aren't you? then what are you finding?" I immediately commenced with a well-rehearsed routine on the discovery of an important midden deposit associated with the interethnic household of an Alutiiq man and Kashaya Pomo woman. With my minilecture only half-finished, he stopped me with a sarcastic "midden deposit—that is a code word for garbage, right? Spending your time excavating rubbish seems like a waste of time." The man continued with a sharp question, "Why excavate trash from an historic-age site when you can read written records on what happened here?" As I stood silent, thinking how to respond, he walked briskly away, noting in a loud voice to his wife that he could not understand why we didn't do "real" archaeology, such as working on temple sites in Mexico, finding lost cities in South American jungles, or recording Paleolithic cave art paintings in France.

I recall that after the man left, I turned to face a number of skeptical undergraduate students who wanted to know why we were point-plotting each artifact from midden deposits. They asked two excellent questions: Was it really worthwhile to spend all summer digging garbage? And what kind of information would this work provide that we could not already glean from the archives of the Russian-American Company and the journals of the Russian workers stationed here? My first response was to make a note to ask Ranger Bill Walton to keep any well-dressed yachtsmen out of the park during the remainder of our excavation. But in retrospect the incident forced me to think carefully about how archaeology should be integrated into the construction of colonial histories.

Archaeology, archival documents, ethnographic observations, and native narratives together comprise the holistic study of historical anthropology, the most powerful approach for investigating the past, outside of a time machine. The integration of multiple lines of evidence from documentary, oral, and archaeological sources produces a broader and more inclusive view of history. Most important, the sources contribute distinctive historical perspectives from the vantage of peoples from varied cultural backgrounds and homelands. In the investigation of missionary and mercantile colonies characterized by pluralistic populations from around the globe, the multiple perspectives provided by historical anthropology take on added significance. They allow us to hear the muted voices of the colonial past.

I recognize, however, that using documentary, oral, and archaeological sources to study the past is anything but simple and straightforward. Each is characterized by its own analytical constraints, biases, and interpretive problems.

The primary sources for writing most histories of North American missionary and mercantile colonies are texts penned in most cases by affluent or educated European and Anglo-American men. For the California colonies, these sources include the baptismal, marriage, and burial books of the Franciscan churches, letters and journals of the padres, written correspondence of the Russian-American Company, and journals of company employees (see, for example, Kostromitinov 1974; Khlebnikov 1990; Palóu 1966; Geiger 1976; and Serra 1955b). Letters and journals of erudite European men who visited the colonies, often as part of military, trading, or scientific expeditions to the Pacific coast of North America, are another important source.10

Although these documentary sources remain the backbone of most historical analyses today, there is a move afoot by some scholars of colonial California to de-emphasize European accounts because of their biased view of lower-class laborers, specifically Native Californian men, women, and children (see discussion in Phillips 1993:10-11). It is true that many European observations of local native peoples were spotty and filtered through the puritanical eyes of Franciscan padres or the less than empathetic attitude of Hispanic soldiers, Russian merchants, and other foreign visitors. They often portrayed Indians as pitiful creatures who were only a minor backdrop in the construction of a European history of the California colonies (see Rawls 1984).

But as Sahlins (1992:4-14) emphasizes in his own research in the Pacific, most European writings in colonial contexts are not so much biased representations of history as culturally constructed texts that present eyewitness accounts from the vantage point of elite, literate, Western males. Firsthand observations of the Hispanic and Russian frontiers are invaluable sources, as they present a necessary European perspective on events and encounters that unfolded in each colony. These sources are particularly helpful in constructing the policies and practices that Franciscan missionaries and Russian merchants devised for colonizing and subjugating local native peoples—what I refer to as colonial structures. Such written accounts are often quite explicit about how the writers intended to incorporate native peoples into the California colonies. I employ these sources to reconstruct the "intended" colonial structures of the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross.

Native narratives offer a much-needed indigenous perspective on colonial history. The recent use of these texts has led to significant breakthroughs in our understanding of colonial California.11 But, like European accounts, native narratives are characterized by analytical problems. Writings of natives who participated in colonial encounters are rare in California (see Castillo 1989a:117). Most native narratives are either oral histories or oral traditions. Oral histories are accounts told by individuals of events that happened in their lifetimes, often many years after they happened; most reminisces about the Franciscan missions were collected in the late nineteenth century by historians interviewing elderly ex-mission Indians, primarily through Herbert Bancroft's history project, or by early twentieth-century anthropologists, such as John P. Harrington (Castillo 1989a, b; Librado 1979). Narratives that have been transmitted by word of mouth from one generation to another are defined as oral traditions (see Vansina 1985:11-13, 27-30). Many Native Californian groups maintain rich oral traditions of their colonial encounters. We are fortunate that Robert Oswalt, a linguistic anthropologist, transcribed in the late 1950s a number of stories detailing the experiences of Kashaya Pomo men and women with Russians and Native Alaskans at Colony Ross in the early 1800s (Oswalt 1966).

An extensive scholarship exists on the use of oral histories and traditions in anthropology, folklore, and history. The many challenges of using oral narratives (especially oral traditions) to broaden our understanding of the past are outlined in detail elsewhere.12 My point here is that these sources can provide a unique perspective on history by providing an insider's view to the past, a window for contemplating the world views, myths, ideological constructs, and social relationships of past peoples (see, for example, Dundes 1980; Echo-Hawk 2000; Erdoes and Ortiz 1984; Finnegan 1996; Lummis 1992; and Mason 2000). Such sources are particularly useful in the study of missionary and mercantile colonies because they present indigenous perspectives on European colonial structures, and hint at how the policies and practices of colonization were perceived, mediated, and even transformed by the actions of native peoples.

Archaeology presents yet another window for viewing the life ways and interactions of Europeans and natives in colonial contexts. Although native populations may be largely invisible in some European accounts, or presented in a biased and unrealistic manner, the material remains left behind by poorly documented people can often be recovered and interpreted by archaeologists. In "democratizing" the past, archaeologists advance new perspectives on minority populations and on their entanglements with the dominant colonial culture (see Deagan 1991; Deetz 1991). Archaeology is especially relevant for studying the day-to-day practices of native peoples in colonial contexts; how people conducted their daily lives—their organization of space and the built environment, their performance of mundane tasks, their use of material culture—can tell much about their identities, world views, and social relationships.13 A "practice-based" approach in archaeology that dwells on everyday activities and routine interactions can provide new insights on how native people in pluralistic colonial settings both organized and made sense of their lives during their encounters with "others."14

It is the little routines that people performed day in and day out that produced much of the patterned material remains recovered in the archaeological record. Here is where the study of midden or garbage deposits can play such a critical role in the construction of colonial histories. Through the careful recovery of material remains from such deposits, we can examine the social actions of natives in missionary and mercantile colonies. We can see how they processed and cooked foods, what they ate, what kinds of craft goods they produced, and how they incorporated European objects into their daily lives, and we can even glimpse the social gatherings and ceremonies in which they participated. By considering the spatial organization of these deposits and identifying those associated with "public" and "private" spaces, we can generate interpretations about how native peoples "acted" in the public arena and what they actually did behind closed doors in their own residences. This practice-based approach offers the opportunity to examine native agency—the kinds of strategies and tactics natives employed in their encounters with European colonists. In concert with native narratives, archaeology provides a perspective for considering how Indian peoples negotiated and mediated colonial structures in the practice of daily living.

California is an ideal place to examine native agency within missionary and mercantile colonies, given the massive amount of archaeological fieldwork completed in recent years. Funded primarily by cultural resource management (CRM) legislation at the federal and state level, archaeological research has now been undertaken at most of the twenty-one missions, four presidios, and three pueblos of the Hispanic frontier. Many of these projects have excavated and analyzed midden deposits from mission quadrangles, neophyte quarters, and nearby Indian villages (see, for example, the recent studies undertaken by Rebecca Allen 1998; Julia Costello 1989a, 1989; Paul Farnsworth 1987, 1992; Glenn Farris 1991, 1998; Larry Felton 1987; Roberta Greenwood 1975, 1976; Robert Hoover 1989, 1985; Ruben Mendoza 2001, 2002; and Phillip Walker and John Johnson 1992, 1994). The archaeological remains of Colony Ross have also been the focus of study by scholars and tribal elders from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Kashaya Pomo tribe, and the University of California at Berkeley (see, for example, Farris 1986, 1989b; Farris 1990; Lightfoot, Schiff, and Wake 1997; Lightfoot et al. 1991; Martinez 1997, 1998; Parkman 1996/1997; Parrish et al. 2000;, and Wake 1995, 1997a, b).

But this flurry of work has yet to make much of a dent on mainstream interpretations of colonial history in California, despite the millions of dollars spent on archaeology in the Golden State each year. A perusal of the history books on colonial California readily available to the public shows rarely a mention of this work. Most people would probably still agree with the skeptical yachtsman—why do archaeology when you can read about the past in historical documents? But, as we shall see, the holistic approach of historical anthropology—with a strong dose of archaeology—can provide new and powerful insights about colonial California.

Incorporating Historical Anthropology in Comparative Analyses

How are historical sources, native narratives, and archaeology employed in my comparison of the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross? My approach focuses on how native peoples negotiated the varied policies and practices of missionary and mercantile colonies in California—what I refer to as the conjuncture of colonial policies and native agency. Using documentary, oral, and archaeological sources, I trace through time what happened to native peoples who confronted different colonial structures—that is, the intended social and economic hierarchies that colonial administrators devised to keep native peoples in their "proper" places. I then consider how native peoples employed varied strategies and tactics to negotiate these structures. A critical component of this approach is reconstructing the intended colonial structures designed to subjugate and control the labor, life ways, and even souls of native peoples. Many of the structures imposed on tribal groups were experiments in social engineering calculated to dominate the action of natives and colonists alike (Stoler and Cooper 1997:4-5). This kind of social engineering often involved formal enculturation programs, massive relocations of native peoples, the perpetuation of colonial status hierarchies, and the employment of highly stratified systems of labor that were explicit attempts to regulate and exploit the social, political, and economic relations of the laboring underclass.

Native actions in these oppressive social environments were never unrestrained or unfettered. Colonial administrators attempted to control peoples' movements and actions by force, surveillance, corporal punishment, and other means (see Dietler 2000). Thus, native agency in colonial settings involved the dialectical struggle between native intentions and desires and the dominance hierarchies these confronted. As Silliman (2001a:194-195) notes, the daily practices of native peoples may best be viewed as "practical politics" in which they negotiated their social positions and identities within the social and political hierarchies of colonial frontiers that were only partially their own construction. Any perspective that attempts to understand the diverse outcomes of colonial encounters must take into account not only the native viewpoint—the natives' cultural values, practices, families, tribal organization, and histories—but also the nature of the dominance hierarchies and colonial contexts that engaged them.

A top-down perspective is best for understanding the specific set of colonial structures imposed on native peoples in any colonial setting (see Silliman 2001b:382). Written accounts by Europeans involved directly with the planning and implementation of the colonization program provide the best sources for reconstructing the intended colonial structures. In contrast, the study of native agency is best undertaken through a bottom-up perspective—what actually happened when individual people confronted colonial hierarchies in the practice of day-to-day living (Silliman 2001b:382). Native narratives and archaeological sources are ideally suited for examining native experiences in colonial contexts, specifically how native persons negotiated and moderated colonial structures in the process of conducting day-to-day social actions.

Dimensions of Colonial Encounters

Seven dimensions of colonial encounters serve as common variables in my comparative analysis of the Hispanic and Russian frontiers. These dimensions structure my examination of the interface between the intended colonial structures and native agency—that is, of how the dominance structures of missionaries and merchants were mediated in practice by native peoples. Using these variables, I examine how the different principles that guided missionary and merchant interactions with native peoples were played out in day-to-day practices. My ultimate purpose is to evaluate those dimensions (or combinations of dimensions) of colonial encounters that may have been most critical in the genesis of native strategies leading to the divergent outcomes of northern mission Indian groups (such as the Ohlone), the southernmost mission peoples (Luiseño, Diegueño), and the Kashaya Pomo.

Enculturation Programs

Enculturation programs were employed to transform the social, economic, political, and religious practices of indigenous peoples. These programs varied along a continuum of "directed" culture change. As first articulated by acculturation researchers in the 1930s and 1940s, directed culture change involves encounters in which one society clearly dominates another and forces its values, life ways, and world views upon the subservient one (see Linton 1940c:502). At one end of the continuum were the directed enculturation programs of missionaries and slave plantation owners in North America, who explicitly tried to alter the basic values and ideological structures of native groups using a suite of coercive, and often brutal, methods, such as spying, corporal punishment, curtailment of freedom, among others (Jackson and Castillo 1995:31-39; Saunders 1998; Singleton 1998:179-181; Wilkie 2000a). The purpose of these enculturation programs was to create a reliable, subservient labor class that would imitate, to some degree, the cultural practices (language, clothing, diet, work ethics) of the dominant order. Other forms of directed enculturation programs were employed by the U.S. government on Indian reservations, where explicit attempts were made to transform traditional nomadic hunter-gatherers into sedentary farmers (Elkin 1940; Harris 1940; Heizer and Almquist 1971:67-91; Phillips 1997).

At the other end of the continuum were colonial enterprises that lacked formal enculturation programs and strategies of directed culture change. Mercantile companies typically exerted little effort in directing cultural transformations among native peoples. They could employ oppressive methods to obtain furs, goods, and labor from native peoples, and they often treated their Indian hunters poorly (see, e.g., Crowell 1997:10-16; White 1991:94-141), but merchants rarely forced the natives to change their diets, dress, language, tools, or house types. In some cases, colonial administrators allowed native workers to follow their traditional life ways and ritual practices, at least as long as these did not adversely affect the profitability of the mercantile colonies.15

The comparison of the missionary and mercantile enculturation programs and how they were received by natives may be useful for understanding the varying historical trajectories of Indian peoples in California. To what degree were the Franciscan padres successful in their directed efforts to modify the cultural values and practices of mission Indians? And how did the consequences of such efforts compare to the less stringent enculturation program used on native peoples at Colony Ross? Can one see an association between directed and less directed enculturation programs, and the acceptance or assimilation of European material objects and cultural practices among native peoples over time? Or did the more rigid enculturation efforts result in native strategies of insubordination, open resistance, and even violence against cultural innovations forced by particular colonial regimes (see Cusick 1998:6)?

Native Relocation Programs

The founding of new European colonies often involved the removal of native peoples from their ancestral lands and their resettlement in newly created colonial places, including missions, plantations, mines, and barrios. Native relocation programs varied greatly in the manner (e.g., force, economic incentives) in which indigenous populations were "persuaded" to move, in the distances they were moved from homeland villages, and in the kinds of social and physical environments in which they were resettled. The most "directed" and disruptive native relocation programs in North America took place on Indian reservations, slave plantations, and mission colonies. The creation of federal reservations in the United States often involved uprooting native peoples from their tribal lands, transporting them even hundreds of miles to alien regions, and forcing them, in many cases, to share reservation lands with other native groups, some of whom might be traditional enemies (for examples, see papers in Linton 1940b). Slave plantations in the American South and Caribbean created oppressive social landscapes populated by peoples uprooted from distant homelands, in which white planters dictated the placement and arrangement of workers' housing and exerted considerable influence on the kinds of material culture obtained by enslaved peoples (Armstrong 1998:383; Thomas 1998; Wilkie 2000b; Wilkie and Farnsworth 1999).

Missionary orders in North America, especially the Franciscans, deployed native relocation programs to facilitate the settlement of native converts at mission complexes. Franciscan priests advocated the reducción (aggregation) of native peoples into mission centers to facilitate the natives' indoctrination, provide a more formidable defense against hostile natives and other antagonistic colonial agents, and enable the missionaries to maintain better surveillance of their neophyte wards. The specific practices of reducción programs varied in time and space. Where traditional native settlement patterns were dispersed and/or residentially mobile, such as among hunter-gatherer communities in Texas and California, missionaries commonly removed natives from settlements in the hinterland for relocation into centrally placed missions. Where native peoples were already aggregated in villages and towns, such as among some agricultural tribes in Florida, or the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, however, missions tended to be built in existing native settlements. This latter strategy created far fewer disruptions to local populations, although some resettlement did take place among sedentary natives to maintain the size of mission towns after lethal epidemics swept through local populations.16

The least directed relocation programs tended to be associated with mercantile colonies, such as fur trade outposts, where colonial agents typically gave local natives a wider latitude in where they could live. However, the spatial organization of these settlements usually reflected the underlying social and status hierarchies of the colonizers, and typically involved the segregation of residential neighborhoods into class-based segments for managerial elites, non-Indian workers, and Indians (Crowell 1997a:224-227; Lightfoot 1997b:4-5). Merchants often employed economic incentives to induce some natives to live near colonial settlements and participate as local laborers; this stimulated a process of population aggregation around many trade outposts, where "post" or "Home Guard" Indians resided (Swagerty 1988:370).

The comparison of missionary and mercantile resettlement programs is important for understanding how different kinds of native identities were constructed in colonial settings. Much has been written recently about the importance of place and Indian identity (see Basso 1996; Momaday 1974). The cultural meaning of landscape is paramount to many native peoples, since their creation stories and history are often embedded in the "landmarks of memory" where both mythical ancestors and deceased relatives once lived. In his seminal book, Cycles of Conquest, Spicer (1962:576-577) concluded that a critical factor in the continuation of native identities in the American Southwest was the maintenance of residence patterns within traditional tribal territories. The sacred relationship between land and ancestors appears to have been significant in symbolizing the continuity of group identities. Kicza (1997:14-15) also observed that consistency in the occupation of rural indigenous communities facilitated the maintenance of identities, political organizations, and ritual systems over time.

In considering this dimension, I examine the impact that missionary and mercantile relocation programs had on native peoples' identities in colonial California. What are the implications of the fact that some groups maintained villages in their ancestral homeland, and how might this continuity have contributed to the nourishment of a tribal identity, especially on the Russian frontier? And what are the long-term implications of the Franciscan reducción program, which forced natives from many alien communities to reside in centrally located missions some distance beyond their traditional tribal territories? Could this resettlement program have instigated a process of tribal fragmentation that led to the reconstitution of new social groupings among some northern mission Indians, such as the Ohlone speakers in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Social Mobility

Social mobility refers to the permeability of colonial hierarchies and the ability of native workers to advance to positions of greater responsibility and social status within the colonial system. European colonies in North American were typically organized into tightly stratified, segregated hierarchies. One's position in the colonial hierarchy largely determined one's social status, living quarters, job title, and compensation. Since the dominant culture defined the positions, one's perceived ethnicity typically played a critical role in where one was initially placed. For example, the large fur companies (Hudson's Bay Company, North West Company, Russian-American Company) recruited a pluralistic labor force to populate trade outposts. At the apex of the hierarchy were a few Europeans who managed the company's affairs at home and in the field. The next tier, divided into various ranks, consisted of a larger number of lower-class Europeans and peoples of mixed European and native blood who served as clerks, traders, artisans, and skilled or semi-skilled tradespersons. The lowest tier of the pyramid contained the contract and day laborers who performed the bulk of the manual labor. They tended to be native peoples, enlisted from local and distant tribes (see Burley 1985; Lightfoot et al. 1991; Monks 1985; Ray 1988). Stratified hierarchies also permeated most missions, which inevitably placed European missionaries at the top, lower-ranking European and mixed-blood soldiers and mission staff personnel in the middle, and Indian converts at the bottom (see, e.g., Costello and Hornbeck 1989:316-317).

The dimension of social mobility varied greatly in both mercantile and missionary colonies. Fur companies, such as the Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company, differed in degree of stratification, segregation of managers and workers, and flexibility in the ways people could advance in the colonial hierarchy (Prager 1985). Outposts situated in the distant frontier tended to be less rigidly structured than those located near company headquarters. Missions also varied in degree of social mobility, as some Protestants provided training for the native ministry (Beaver 1988:433, 436). Some Roman Catholic orders (e.g., Franciscans) developed their own hierarchy of Indian officials, who were accorded status and responsibility in mission colonies. Neophytes promoted to these positions managed Indian labor and helped maintain discipline in missionary communities (Jackson and Castillo 1995:37-38). This system of promotion produced a dual layer of traditional (chiefs, shamans) and colonial Indian officials (alcaldes) in many California missions.

The ability of native peoples to initiate strategies of upward mobility for perceived social, political, or economic advantages may have been an important dimension stimulating culture change and identity transformation in colonial settings. Advancement in the colonial hierarchy may have provided benefits that translated into higher-paying positions, greater access to manufactured commodities and high-status goods, expansion of the pool of potential marriage partners, consumption of a broader range of foods and medicine (which may have prolonged the survival of family units under unhealthy conditions), and occupation of colonial residential housing. Native people seeking social mobility forged close relations with colonists and/or manipulated their own identities to assimilate into higher-status colonial groupings. This usually entailed the adoption of symbols, behaviors, and ideologies associated with members of higher-ranking groups. Consequently, people choosing this strategy would have broadcast their close connections with high-status groups or constructed new colonial identities by embracing new forms of dress, foods, architecture, and ceremonial practices (Lightfoot and Martinez 1995; McGuire 1982:164). I consider the dimension of social mobility in missionary and mercantile colonies in California, and evaluate how different strategies of native activism may have produced diverse kinds of outcomes for Indian groups.

Labor Practices

As Silliman (2000:18-28; 2001b) recently wrote, labor practices permeated and structured the experiences of most native peoples in colonial settings in North America. Since colonial regimes almost universally exploited native peoples as cheap labor, an important dimension of colonialism is the labor practices—how individuals were incorporated into labor systems, the means of recruiting them, their compensation, their selection for specific kinds of jobs (e.g., by skill, gender, social status), and their overall treatment. Labor practices involving the recruitment, organization, and compensation of workers varied considerably among individual missionary and mercantile colonies. For example, laborers were "recruited" by enslavement and force (e.g., kidnapping, war captivity), by religious conversion, by laws mandating that natives work for colonists, by military alliances that stipulated the allocation of native workers to colonial agents, and by economic incentives (Cook 1976b:300-316; Phillips 1980; Silliman 2000, 2001b).

In North America, native peoples were incorporated into forms of labor organizations ranging from enslavement to communal, peonage, convict, and day (or contract) systems. Labor systems dependent on slaves for the economic success of colonial enterprises are exemplified by the slave plantations of the American South, but other colonial programs in North America also incorporated aspects of these labor systems by enslaving or forcing natives to work against their will. In communal systems of labor, often associated with missions, each member of the community contributed labor to a common pool of agrarian and craft activities, from which each individual received support in the way of food, shelter, clothing, and other necessary goods (Cook 1976b:301-302). Peonage systems, especially prevalent on Hispanic ranchos and early Euro-American ranches in California, were based on patron/client relationships between owners and Indian workers. Native peoples furnished a wide range of laboring activities in the fields and served as domestic workers for the rancho owner, who in return provided them with a place to live, food, some manufactured goods, and security (Cook 1976b:302; Monroy 1990:100-101,150-154; Phillips 1990:37-38; Silliman 2000). Convict labor systems, commonly employed in many colonial contexts, forced Indians accused of breaking colonial laws to serve time undertaking hard manual work (Langellier and Rosen 1996:71, 75,111-112; Monroy 1990:71, 150-151).

Day or contract labor systems characterized many of the mercantile companies. Company managers hired native workers for a specified number of days, as contract laborers to complete specific tasks, or as salaried employees. The workers were compensated in a variety of ways. Some were paid in trade goods (e.g., iron and copper goods, textiles, tobacco, fire arms, alcohol) or in kind (e.g., food or goods produced in the colony), others by scrip that could be exchanged for goods in company stores, or by money (see, e.g., Cook 1976b:316-322; Gibson 1988:386-388; Kardulias 1990; Monks 1985; Pyszczyk 1985; Wolf 1982:175). It was not uncommon for some workers or native trappers to be paid in advance, in a credit system that could put them into debt for life (Ray 1988:340-342).

A comparison of labor practices may provide a better understanding of why native workers initiated a diverse range of responses to specific colonial regimes. Peoples' identities in colonial settings were often associated with the jobs they performed, which varied from unskilled manual laborers and domestic servants to semiskilled or skilled craftspersons, artisans, agricultural specialists, and managerial staff (clerks, accountants, administrators, and owners). A thorough examination of the colonial labor system is necessary in order to consider whether native peoples could be promoted to higher-ranking jobs and how this possibility influenced their social status and economic stature and the interactions among both natives and colonists. As a significant symbol of colonial oppression, labor also rallied workers to resist the regimentation and imposition of colonial managers (Silliman 2000, 2001b). Since most native peoples' encounters with colonial regimes centered around labor practices, their treatment as laborers colored how they chose to respond and negotiate with the imposed colonial structure.

Specifically, I examine the different labor regimes in the California frontiers, and consider how the Kashaya Pomo and mission Indian groups, such as the Ohlone, initiated different strategies for coping with the labor burdens placed upon them.

Interethnic Unions

A growing body of research explores how members of interethnic unions or marriages played important roles as cultural brokers and intermediaries in pluralistic colonial contexts. Cohabitation between colonial agents and tribal members promoted political alliances (especially between colonial agents and elite native families), facilitated trade relations, produced polyglot translators and interpreters, and provided sex partners (Deagan 1995:452-453; Swagerty 1988:371; Wagner 1998:442; Whelan 1993:254-256). Colonial and native partners could also serve as conduits for introducing each other's cultural values and material objects into the daily practices, in pluralistic families on colonial frontiers. More important, the offspring of interethnic unions produced mixed blood or "creole" populations, who were often at the forefront of creating innovative, synergistic cultural practices that were neither purely native nor purely colonial but something new. Some mixed-blood populations constructed their own group identities in colonial settings, through the process of ethnogenesis (Deagan 1998).

The frequency of interethnic unions varied greatly across space and time in North American colonies, tied to such factors as the population size and sex ratios of colonial and indigenous populations and the changing perceptions of mixed marriages among the colonizers and natives. Although some European governments may have attempted to prohibit interethnic fraternization on moral and racial grounds, it is not clear that such policies succeeded on the distant frontiers. Furthermore, some colonial powers, including Spain, Russia, and France, favored and even encouraged interethnic marriages in specific colonial contexts as strategies for populating faraway colonies with political allies and workers.17 Tribal groups differed in how they perceived sexual relations with outsiders (Ronda 1984:62-63, 208, 232-233), and their views about interethnic unions often changed over time from their experiences with colonizers (see, e.g., Aginsky 1949:290). Gender politics and cultural proscriptions influenced interethnic unions, since the majority involved colonial men and native women. Several studies have noted the power and influence that non-European women wielded in colonial societies through interethnic unions (Deagan 1990:240-241; Martinez 1998; McEwan 1995:228-229).

I examine the frequency and kinds of interethnic unions that unfolded on the Hispanic and Russian frontiers and the degree to which these relationships manipulated or transformed colonial identities. Did the creation of interethnic unions stimulate the process of ethnogenesis in certain colonial contexts? And did the process of ethnogenesis displace or modify traditional Indian cultural practices and identities, thereby contributing to the creation of new cultural constructs among some native peoples, especially women and children?

Demographic Parameters of Colonial and Native Populations

The dimension of demographic parameters has probably received the most attention, primarily because of the ongoing debate about the introduction of Euro-Asian pathogens to Native Americans, and the devastating effects that epidemics had on local populations.18 Some scholars view native depopulation as a significant factor in the transformation of colonizer-native interactions. They argue that native population collapse resulted in the extinction of native languages; contributed to the loss of traditional knowledge, material culture, and rituals as entire cohorts of elders were eliminated; produced refugee communities in which survivors amalgamated into fewer and fewer settlements; and fostered the development of creole communities and cultures, as the frequency of interethnic and intertribal marriages increased (see Deagan 1998:28-29; Dobyns 1983:311, 328-332; 1991:550-552; Milanich 1995:xvii; Rogers 1990:53-54, 81-84, 92; and Salisbury 1982:101-106). There is no question that early European exploration and later colonization had grave effects on the health and cultural survival of native groups; the real puzzle revolves around the specific timing and spread of epidemics, and around the magnitude of native population loss (see Baker and Kealhofer 1996; Larsen 1994; Larsen and Milner 1994; Verano and Ubelaker 1992).

In considering the outcomes of native entanglements with specific colonial regimes, it is important to examine the changing relation between native and colonizer population parameters (such as the number of people, sex ratios, and family sizes). Changing population ratios of colonizers/natives would have had important ramifications for the kinds of encounters that might take place. A context of a relatively small number of single men, rotating in and out of a colony's workforce during the initial period of colonization, has far different implications for colonizer-native interactions than has a colonial context where hordes of settler families are unleashed into an area suffering from severe native depopulation.

I will compare the different demographic histories of native peoples in the mission and mercantile colonies of California. What is the evidence for demographic decline among native peoples in the Franciscan missions and Colony Ross? And how did certain demographic histories contribute to later perceptions that some mission Indian groups had become extinct or simply melted away?

Chronology of Colonial Encounters

The temporal dimension of colonial encounters received considerable attention by early acculturation researchers and by later culture-contact scholars. The former traced the adoption, acceptance, and spread of innovations among native peoples through different stages of the acculturation process (Linton 1940a:470; Smith 1940:34). More recent investigators highlight the differences in kind of colonizer-native interactions that take place in the early and later episodes of encounters. Much attention has focused on "first contacts," including early European explorations and the establishment of new colonies, but recent papers stress the importance of examining later postcontact interactions in well-developed colonial settings, as such relationships often differ significantly from first encounters, where dominance patterns and cycles of violence have not been fully established (Hill 1998; Ruhl and Hoffman 1997). That an important dimension of the chronology of colonial encounters is the transformation of colonizer-native interactions over time becomes especially germane when comparing the encounters of first-generation colonizers and native peoples, with those of second-, third-, and fourth-generation persons born and raised in the colonies. For example, Kicza (1997:13-14) suggests that it takes about three generations for creole populations to become distinct ethnic entities in colonial settlements.

I evaluate the implications of the differences in chronologies of colonial encounters represented by the Franciscan missions and by Colony Ross. Catholic padres worked with several generations of neophyte communities over seventy years or so. In contrast, Russian-American Company managers and laborers spent a total of only twenty-nine years in northern California. Did the extended chronology of the missions contribute to the disintegration of traditional tribal entities and the creation of new social forms and political organizations? Did the shorter chronology of Russian colonialism facilitate the maintenance of native cultural practices and tribal identity on the Russian frontier?

Diachronic Perspective

My comparative analysis considers not only encounters that took place between native peoples and colonists, but also what happened to tribal groups in the aftermath of European colonization in California. I evaluate how these colonial experiences contributed to the development of new kinds of native identities, social forms, and tribal relationships. I then examine how scholars and government agents reacted to these innovative tribal groupings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These gatekeepers of Indian authenticity accepted some of the novel tribal developments as "legitimate" Indian traits but challenged the authenticity of others and so ultimately provided the basis for denying federal recognition to many native groups. An important point I make in this book is the critical role that anthropologists played in defining the cultural traits or "essences" of California Indian cultures, and how the anthropologists' models of tribal organization and Indian identity influenced the decision-making process involved in the allotment of federal lands to "homeless" Indians between 1906 and 1930.

 

 

 

Chapter One Backnotes

1. In focusing on missionary and mercantile colonies, my intention is not to minimize the significant differences within each colonial institution or to ignore the deep antagonisms between the religious and secular communities within the Spanish frontier. I recognize that presidios and pueblos also incorporated native peoples as laborers, and that this is a critical research issue. But the Franciscan padres were given the primary responsibility for integrating Indians into the Spanish colonial system and this will be a primary focus of this book. I also recognize that other colonial institutions, such as ranchos, were created to integrate native peoples as laborers in colonial California, but my comparison will highlight the missionary and mercantile colonial programs.

2. Some government administrators viewed missions as potential sources of colonial citizens who would help populate the new colonies. It was expected that Christian Indians would serve as laborers and domestic servants, pay taxes, and even participate in militias to help protect colonial provinces from hostile forces. See Weber (1992:112).

3. There is a wealth of information on the varied missionary colonies of the French, British, Spanish, Russians, and Americans in North America. Some of the more readable accounts of Protestant, Catholic (Franciscan, Jesuit), and Russian Orthodox missionary activities, which provide details not presented here on the similarities and differences of their evangelical efforts, are in Axtell (2001), John (1996), Kan (1988:506), McEwan (1993), Milanich (1995:178-212), Taylor (2001), Weber (1992), and White (1991).

4. In using the term mercantile in this work, I refer to colonial activities pertaining to or connected with merchants or trade. Specifically, I am concerned primarily with commercial enterprises involved in the terrestrial and maritime fur trade in North America. My use of mercantile should not be confused with the more specific meaning of mercantilism, employed by economists and historians, that speaks of an integrated system of policies of protectionism, balance of trade, and political unification in the development of European nation states in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and mid-eighteenth centuries. I recognize that there is considerable debate about the meaning and usefulness of the concept of mercantilism (e.g., whether such integrated policies ever existed, how much they differed from later laissez faire practices, and whether the term should be avoided). See Coleman (1969), Harper (1969), Heckscher (1955), Heckscher (1969), Judge (1969), Magnusson (1994), Minchinton (1969), and Wallerstein (1980:37). It is not my intent to enter into this debate, but only to note that some aspects of orthodox mercantilism may or may not apply to the fur trade companies mentioned in this work.

5. The movement of fur traders into the western United States and Canada took place rapidly. British and American fur companies continually searched for pristine rivers and creeks where new outposts could be established near untapped beaver dens. As local regions became hunted out, traders felt constant pressure to move into new territories before competitors did. In relatively short order, strings of trade outposts and rendezvous sites materialized across western North America, many hundreds of kilometers from the nearest "white" towns. The Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806 passed no fewer than eleven separate parties on the Missouri River who were trading for furs, with Arikara, Sioux, and Pawnee peoples (Swagerty 1988:361). By the mid-1830s most tribes in the intermountain West and the Northern Plains had access to trade outposts, placed in strategic locations on major rivers and their tributaries. See Ray (1988:336-338, 344-346) and Swagerty (1988:366, 369-370).

6. Most fur-trade companies were dependent on native producers to provide furs, hides, and robes. Although some native peoples incorporated fur trapping in their traditional seasonal round, other natives became procurement specialists dependent on white traders for goods and even food. See Kardulias (1990), Whelan (1993), and Wolf (1982). Still others served as day laborers or employees of fur-trade companies, paddling canoes, carrying freight, or providing supplies to outposts See Swagerty (1988:365).

7. Although missionary and mercantile colonies were founded on different principles in regard to how native people were viewed and administered, these colony types were not mutually exclusive. Colonial administrators sometimes dispatched priests to work with native peoples in mercantile colonies—as happened in New France, where the Jesuits worked side by side with traders. This also took place in Russian America, where fur companies supported, at least in principle, the missionary program of the Russian Orthodox Church. However, tensions often arose between the agents of the cloth and fur traders, because of their fundamentally divergent goals for colonialism and because they often disagreed in policy and practice on the treatment of native peoples. See Taylor (2001:107, 417) and White (1991:56-70). Missionaries accused mercantile companies of injustices stemming from the sexual abuse of native women and the exploitation of both men and women as expendable laborers. Merchants, in turn, often viewed the clergy as a hindrance to mercantile enterprises, especially when the priests attempted to protect their neophyte flocks from abusive labor practices. See, for example, Kan (1988:507).

8. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (2002:46328-46331) lists 108 federally recognized Indian entities for California. The count includes as three separate entities: the Capitan Grande Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of California; the Barona Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Barona Reservation, California; and the Viejas (Baron Long) Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Viejas Reservation, California. For a description of each federally recognized Indian group, see Kammeyer et. al. (2002:53-61).

9. The 2002 Field Directory of the California Indian Community (Kammeyer et al. 2002:41-46) presents a partial list of California Indian tribes who have either petitioned for federal recognition or remain unacknowledged. Of the eighty-one unacknowledged native groups listed in either category, thirty-nine groups, or a little under half, appear to be descendant communities of former mission Indians. For more information on contemporary Ohlone, Esselen, and Salinan descendant communities, see Field (1992), Leventhal (1994), Sayers (1994), and Yamane (2002:205-220).

10. These accounts provide periodic windows for observing the California colonies through time, beginning with the early visits of Jean Francois Galaup de La Pérouse in 1786, George Vancouver and Archibald Menzies in 1792-93, and George Langsdorff and Nikolai Rezanov in 1806, and including a whole cohort of visitors in the 1810s, 1820s, and 1830s. SeeLa Pérouse (1989), Langsdorff (1968), Menzies (1924), Rezanov (1989a), and Vancouver (1954). The later visitors' accounts are especially germane for this study because these visitors often compared their observations of Colony Ross with their observations of visits to the northern missions near San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay. See, e.g., Duhaut-Cilly (1999), Golovnin (1979), Kotzebue (1830), Lazarev (1989), and Lütke (1989).

11. This point is very much appreciated by contemporary historians who are reinterpreting the classic histories of colonial California written by Hubert H. Bancroft (1886b), Herbert E. Bolton (1921), Zephyrin Engelhardt (1908-1915), Charles Lummis (1936), and Irving Richman (1911). Since the 1970s, new life has been infused in the study of California's colonial past by an active cohort of historians and historical anthropologists who have built upon Sherburne Cook's (1943a) pioneering work that focused on native and European interactions. Edward Castillo (1978, 1989a), Lisbeth Haas (1995), Albert Hurtado (1988), Robert Jackson (1994, 1995), John Johnson (1982, 1989, 2001), Randall Milliken (1995), Douglas Monroy (1990), George Phillips (1975, 1990, 1993), James Rawls (1984), and others have put the native back into California history. These "new" historians present a more balanced consideration of the past, by carefully deconstructing European texts that make observations of native peoples, and by incorporating California Indian "voices" through native writings, oral histories, or oral traditions.

12. See especially Vansina (1985. However, the current consensus among scholars is that oral traditions cannot be taken at face value. In reality, such traditions are often representations of the past as told in the present, and, as contemporary remembrances, are subject to processes (memory loss, social and political reorientations, reevaluations of the past, and the like) that can modify, update, or restructure oral accounts over time.

13. With the development of practice theory, a substantial literature now exists on how the study of daily practices provides insights into peoples' cultural meanings and social identities. See, e.g., Bourdieu (1977, 1990), Giddens (1979), and Ortner (1984).

14. For examples of practice-based archaeological studies of colonial California, see Lightfoot, Schiff, and Wake (1997), Lightfoot, Martinez, and Schiff (1998), Martinez (1998), Silliman (2001a, 2001b), and Voss (2002).

15. For examples of mercantile colonial relations with local native peoples, see Lightfoot (1991:11-28), Swagerty (1988), Wagner (1998:437-442), and Whelan (1993).

16. An extensive literature discusses the diverse relocation programs employed by missions. See Graham (1998), Jackson (1994:13-54). Milanich (1995:178-190), Saunders (1998:405), Spicer (1962:570-571), and Weber (1992:107-108).

17. The kinds of colonial settings that encouraged the establishment of interethnic unions are explored in Deagan (1995:452), Fedorova (1973:206-207), Hoffman (1997:28), Wade (1988:24), and White (1991:68-70).

18. A rich literature exists on the role of disease in native depopulation. See, for example, Crosby (1986), Dobyns (1983, 1991), Dunnell (1991), Hull (2002), Ramenofsky (1987), and Smith (1987).

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