304 pages, 6 x 9
33 b&w illustrations, 9 tables
Release Date:16 Oct 2018

Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California

The University of Arizona Press
Between 1769 and 1834, an influx of Spanish, Russian, and then American colonists streamed into Alta California seeking new opportunities. Their arrival brought the imposition of foreign beliefs, practices, and constraints on Indigenous peoples.

Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California reorients understandings of this dynamic period, which challenged both Native and non-Native people to reimagine communities not only in different places and spaces but also in novel forms and practices. The contributors draw on archaeological and historical archival sources to analyze the generative processes and nature of communities of belonging in the face of rapid demographic change and perceived or enforced difference.

Contributors provide important historical background on the effects that colonialism, missions, and lives lived beyond mission walls had on Indigenous settlement, marriage patterns, trade, and interactions. They also show the agency with which Indigenous peoples make their own decisions as they construct and reconstruct their communities. With nine different case studies and an insightful epilogue, this book offers analyses that can be applied broadly across the Americas, deepening our understanding of colonialism and community.

Julienne Bernard
James F. Brooks
John Dietler
Stella D’Oro
John G. Douglass
John Ellison
Glenn Farris
Heather Gibson
Kathleen L. Hull
Linda Hylkema
John R. Johnson
Kent G. Lightfoot
Lee M. Panich
Sarah Peelo
Seetha N. Reddy
David W. Robinson
Tsim D. Schneider
Christina Spellman
Benjamin Vargas
By emphasizing the processes of creating new communities from old and perseverance in the crucible of the colonial era, this excellent group of scholars offers powerful insights into the factors that linked diverse people in new ways.”—Jeffrey L. Hantman, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia“This volume exposes the complexity of possibilities and shapes that Alta California communities forged in their colonial entanglements. The emphasis on community building is an important contribution to mission studies.”—Mariah Wade, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
Kathleen L. Hull is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Merced. She is the author of Pestilence and Persistence: Yosemite Indian Demography and Culture in Colonial California.

John G. Douglass is director of research and standards at Statistical Research, Inc. He is also a visiting scholar in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. His most recent book is New Mexico and the Pimería Alta: The Colonial Period in the American Southwest.

Introduction. Community Formation and Integration in Colonial Contexts
Kathleen L. Hull and John G. Douglass

Part I. Religious Beliefs and Practices
1. The Creation of Community in the Colonial Era Los Angeles Basin
John G. Douglass, Kathleen L. Hull, and Seetha N. Reddy
2. “A Mourning Dirge Was Sung”: Community and Remembrance at Mission San Gabriel
John Dietler, Heather Gibson, and Benjamin Vargas
3. Making and Unmaking Native Communities in Mission and Post–Mission Era Marin County, California
Tsim D. Schneider

Part II. Economic or Political Ties
4. Contingent Communities in a Region of Refuge
Julienne Bernard and David W. Robinson
5. Mission Recruitment and Community Transformations: An Ethnohistorical Study of the Cuyama Chumash
John R. Johnson
6. Marriage and Death in the Neophyte Village at Mission Santa Clara: Preservation of Ancestral and Elite Communities
Sarah Peelo, Lee M. Panich, Christina Spellman, John Ellison, and Stella D’Oro

Part III. Quotidian Practice in Shared Space
7. Archaeological Insights into the Persistence of Multiscalar Native Communities at Mission Santa Clara de Asís
Lee M. Panich, Sarah Peelo, and Linda Hylkema
8. Communities of Persistence: The Study of Colonial Neighborhoods in the Fort Ross Region of Northern California
Kent G. Lightfoot
9. The Diverse Community of the Pueblo of San Diego in the Mexican Period in California, 1821–1846
Glenn Farris
Epilogue. Proximal Mirrors: Colonial California and Colonial New Mexico
James F. Brooks

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