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The Formation of Mission Indian Communities in South Central California: An Ethnohistorical Case Study

Author(s): John Johnson

Year: 2015

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The Mission Period in Spanish-Mexican California resulted in the breakdown of original independent native polities. Depopulation from introduced European diseases coupled with intermarriage between people from different tribal groups at the missions led to the disappearance of linguistic differences and the formation of new community identities named after the different missions. Alongside these processes of coalescence and ethnogenesis, political and traditional ceremonial activities continued that allowed social memory to be preserved of ancestral ethnic identities. Ethnohistorical study of records kept by Franciscan missionaries, as well as the rich ethnographic and oral historical information collected by anthropologist J. P. Harrington, permit a detailed examination of the incorporation of Chumashan peoples into the mission communities, processes of social change, and persistence of cultural identities in South Central California.

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The Formation of Mission Indian Communities in South Central California: An Ethnohistorical Case Study. John Johnson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395508)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America