FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Aug 21, 2014
-- A glimpse into the history of California is sure to be quite interesting. It would inform you; California Missions http://www.sanluisrey.org/museum/ played a significant role in the modernization of the region. The most notable aspect of this development is the introduction of agriculture.
California Missions history: Agriculture
Reports say that it was the missionaries who brought agriculture to California. The Indians who lived in the region were mostly hunters. The fruits and other nuts too were sources of food for them. It was only those who lived on the shores of the Colorado River who were familiar with farming of any kind.
Quite naturally, the Indian tribes who came to the Mission or baptized were not acquainted with agriculture of any kind. The Spaniards had to teach them everything from the beginning. This became a turning point in the history of the region.
The beginning of farming
When Spaniards began establishing their Missions in California, they wanted every unit to be self-reliant. They began their attempts in this direction by clearing forests to prepare the land for large-scale farming. To make things easier, the King had granted large plots of land to the priests. The priests didn’t own the land; but kept them for the Indians.
The supply of seeds came mostly from Mexico. When a new Mission is established, the older ones gave them seeds to help it get settled.
The Indians as farmers
It is true that farming was almost alien to the Native tribes. This is often attributed to the abundance nature provided in the regions. They also had acquired the necessary skills allowing them to survive in the extreme summer of California. This drought they often experienced too must have made them feel that farming is a trouble not worth taking.
The Spaniards who came to the land had to take something to survive in a strange land. They brought seeds and cattle in large quantities. And, they made the Indians work for them. Reports say that the labor was exacting and the regulations quite stringent.
They encouraged the Natives to convert to Christianity. When they accepted the invitation, the priests allowed no choice. The Indians were forced to stay within the Mission’s compound. The punishments meted out for runaways were meant to be warnings for others. Quite naturally, they were harsh in nature.
Tools of agriculture
The tools Indians used in California Missions were mostly crude. Wooden ploughs were used to prepare the land for cultivation. The first ones of the kind was a branch of the tree with something sharp attached to it. The sharp edges dug into the ground. Gradually, they began to use oxen for the purpose. The Indians drove them.
In the planting season, the Indians stayed longer than usual in the fields. In the afternoon, a young boy would take sweet water to the Indians working there. And, the only tool used for harvest was sickles.
The missionaries cultivated a variety of crops in the land. Wheat and corn were just two among them.
From the writings of the visitors to the Missions, it is understood that the crops cultivated therein were of excellent quality. A research on California Mission history is sure to come up with pleasant surprises.
If you want to learn more about California Mission visit Oceanside Mission Museum http://www.sanluisrey.org/museum/ and get all facts from the first hand. Old Mission museum http://www.sanluisrey.org/museum/ collection includes artifacts from Native American, Spanish, Mission, Mexican Secularization and American Military periods. Welcome!
Contact Person: Maureen Sullivan
E-mail: [email protected]
Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia
Address: 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92057-6402
Tel/Fax: (760) 757-3651