Padre Francisco Antonio Barbastro to virrey Conde de Revilla Gigedo, informe concerning missions of Pimeria Alta.
Barbastro, Francisco Antonio (Fray)
Aconchi. December 1, 1793. Auto. Copy (dated January 21, 1794).
Describes geographical range Pimeria Alta missions. Speaks of continuing Apache menace. Notes depopulation of area due to diseases, Apache attacks. Discusses temporal affairs of missions, including livestock raising, planting communal fields maize, wheat, and vegetables, which feeds widows, sick, military escorts, mission Indians during lean months of April, May, and June, thereby inducing Indians to remain in pueblos instead of wild-food gathering. Notes sale of surplus to mines/presidios to purchase church supplies, barter goods. Notes decline of mission agriculture last 8 years due to lack of seeds, decline of Cieneguilla mines, and increased number of farmers. States mission business is conducted by Indian governors under missionaries' guidance. Describes architecture of Indian houses; agriculture, including cultivation of pomegranates, quinces, cotton, and sugar cane as well as shrubs of gomilla, jojoba, both of which used medicinally. Describes herbs used, including indigo (anil), gediondilla, zimarron, contra yerba. Claims 2 harvests pithaya per year in west. Notes presence gypsum, lime, piedra bezal found in deer, especially those killed near coast. Says province is covered with grama grass, thereby providing forage for much livestock. Describes climate, mineral wealth, including real of Cieneguilla, only settlement of Spaniards in Pimeria Alta. Describes settlements. Tiburones described as Seri groups. Describes excellent salt fields along coast. Describes port of Tepoca/pearl beds nearby. Notes presence of subterranean water. Says Papagos come to missions to sell young boys captured in slave raids carried out by interior nations; these slaves called Vijoras (Nixoras). No active commerce carried on by Indians. Describes uses of cotton. Says Pimas are good farmers, growing wheat, maize, squash, cotton. During harvests, many traders arrive to barter cloth, etc. for produce. Says Pimas stay in pueblos, not like Yaquis and many Opatas who wander (probably to work in mines). Discusses reasons why missions should not be secularized. Estimates Gila Pima population at 2,000. Compares Pimas favorably to Opatas, who no longer respect missionaries. Describes temporary nature of Spanish settlement of Sonora, Pimeria Alta. Says 8 leagues from Aconchi, the San Juan mine, full of water, is abandoned now. Discusses precautions necessary for populating Sonora. Encourages development of Tepoca, Guaymas to give Sonora easy access to sea, Tiburon Island as way station for transportation of livestock. Discusses need to develop educational facilities, including primary schools at Indian settlements. Notes belief among Opatas at Aconchi in Montezuma, who they claimed was their king and had risen and appeared in mountains. Describes his school, which taught girls as well as boys to read, write. (T. Sheridan) (1976)
Font, Pedro (Padre)
Garces, Francisco (Padre)
Neve, Felipe de
Guillen, Felipe (Padre)
Guemes y Horcasitas, Juan Francisco de (Conde de Revilla Gigedo)
Barbastro, Francisco Antonio (Padre)
Rivera Guadian, Juan Francisco (Fray)
San Francisco Moqui
Santa Maria Suanca
San Luis (Valle)
San Antonio de la Huerta (Real)
San Carlos de Sonora (Real)
Santa Barbara (Canal)
Monterrey (Monte Rey)
Queretaro, Colegio de Propaganda Fide de la Santa Cruz de
AZTM, AGN, Vol. 033 ff. 529-544 exp. 5
AGN, Mexico City, Provincias Internas Vol. 033 ff. 529-544 exp. 5
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Education, Commerce, Corn, Wheat, Animals (Domestic), Medicine And Curing, Agricultural Methods, Water Supply And Irrigation, Cotton, Indians (Servitude), Food Supplies, Indians (Religion-Native), Indians (Reduccion), Indians (Social And Moral Characteristics), Indians (Population), Botany, Pearl Fishery, Architecture (Domestic), Salt, Disease, Food Supplies (Hunting And Gathering)