Sacred Texts  Native American  California 

UCPAAE 8 pl. 4, detail  [1908] (Public Domain Image)
UCPAAE 8 pl. 4, detail [1908] (Public Domain Image)

A Mission Record of the California Indians

by A. L. Kroeber

UCPAAE Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-27


Contents    Start Reading    Page Index    Text [Zipped]

This is an 'interrogatorio,' a survey taken in 1811 by the Spanish government of Mexico regarding the status of the Native Californians at each mission in Alta California, translated and heavily annotated by A.L. Kroeber. Along with Boscana's account, this one of the few glimpses we have of the Native Californians, when pre-contact individuals were still alive. The accounts vary from friar to friar, but some are very detailed and mention completely unknown placenames and languages. There are reasonably value-free descriptions of religious beliefs, mythology, language, dance, music and ethnobotany.

Most notably, this includes one of the few published accounts of the elusive Esselen people, who inhabited the Big Sur coast (see San Carlos). Herein is recorded probably the only remaining complete sentence in Esselen: egenoch lalucuimxs talogpami ege salegua lottos tahezapami laxlachis, "The men who shoot well with a bow are esteemed and well liked."

Title Page
San Diego
San Luis Rey
San Juan Capistrano
San Gabriel
San Fernando
Santa Barbara
Santa Ynez
San Luis Obispo
San Miguel
San Antonio
San Carlos
San Juan Bautista
Santa Cruz
Santa Clara
San Jose
San Francisco