‘no bastan los indios’ – the Chapel of Mission San Juan de Capistrano

Author(s): Kevin Coffee

Year: 2013


This study investigates the chapel of Mission San Juan de Capistrano [San Antonio] from C18 through C20, and queries social relationships ranging from the initial organization by the Franciscans, their interactions with indigenous groups, the secularisation of the missions in early C19, neglect following secularisation, and reclamation by the Catholic diocese and the National Park Service. Two periods are of interest. One is the founding relationship between the Franciscans and the indios bárbaros who were both objects and subjects of the colonial misión. This relationship is recorded in the first phase of building fabric, and in the incomplete ruins of the Mission compound. Second is the NPS monument maintained as a simulacrum of the Spanish Colonial past. Some Mission buildings display the failure of the Franciscans to recruit indigenous labor, an important part of the Mission narrative. Cloaking that narrative masks key social relationships of the Colonial past.

Cite this Record

‘no bastan los indios’ – the Chapel of Mission San Juan de Capistrano. Kevin Coffee. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428229)

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Temporal Keywords
C18 - C20

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 111