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Transcript of California Missions
By Mrs. Emm
What is a Mission?
Missions were built starting in 1769
in Alta California by Spanish
Padres to spread the catholic faith and
to protect the Spanish border.
Mission's were built out of local natural
resources. Adobe was a primary resource
made of mud, usually mixed with vegetable
additives such as straw or manure.
How Many Missions Do We Have?
There is a chain of 21 missions along 600 miles of California coast.
The missions were situated 30 miles apart from each other being seperated by one long day horse ride or a 3 day walk.
Missions were run by missionaries or a person who teaches religion to others. The missionaries tried to convert Indians to the Catholic practices, teach them the Spanish language and the Spanish ways of life.
These historic lamps are along the El Camino Real, better know as "The King Highway or The Royal Road," where the chain of missions were built.
El Camino Real
Map of 21 Missions
Negative Impact on Native Americans
Indians had to live by a strict daily schedule- lost their freedom
Once inside the mission the Indians were not allowed to leave
Indians had to learn a new language- Spanish
Men and women were separated into different living quarters.
Indians were worked 30 -40 hours a week in various occupations
Indians were forced to learn the Catholic religion
Indians who broke the rules were punished and sometimes whipped for a serious offense
The Indians were only feed cornmeal and oatmeal
Indians had no resistance to disease and died from illness
This created a high death rate and low birth rate which resulted in 1/3 of the indian population by 1834.
Junipero Serra was a Spanish Friar who founded his first mission San Diego Acala, in 1769. He built 8 more missions over the next 13 years from San Diego to San Francisco. He was influential in the establishment of a Spanish presence in
Friar: a member of the religious order.
The missions were founded by friars.
a convert to a religious group. When the Indians joined the mission communities they were called Neophytes.
Campanario's (bell towers) were prominent features of missions.
Common Elements in all of the Alta California Missions:
Wide projecting eaves
Patio with garden or fountain
Solid and massive walls
Sloping tile roofs
The missions brought to California livestock, fruits, flowers, grains and industry. This was the start of civilization that we know today.
However, as a result of Spanish colonization the Indians were impacted negatively.
How is the perspective of Mission Life different for the Native Americans and Missionaries?
Mission Research Project
Independently, you will be researching
your on of the California missions.
See project guideline here:
Missionaries believed they were helping the Indians by teaching them farming skill.