Faces of Conquest

Cochimí Indians and the Spanish Colonization of Alta California
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Thursday, March 31, 2011

5:30 - 6:30 pm

TFL

P. Albert Lacson, Grinnell College

My paper examines the participation of Cochimí Indians from Baja California in the Spanish colonization of Alta California, the modern state of California.  This paper describes the context within which Baja California’s Cochimí Indians made their decision to volunteer for Spain’s northward expeditions into Alta California in 1769-1770.  I identify the ways in which it made sense for the Cochimí to volunteer for a dangerous mission that took them away from their homelands, family, and kin.  “Faces of Conquest” de-emphasizes the role of Franciscan missionaries and highlights the role of Cochimí Indians in the colonization of Spain’s far northwestern frontier.

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