California was once a home to many Indians from different tribes such as the Miwoks, Chumash, Yuroks and much more.
The Native Americans endured an environment where they had an abundance of food such as fish, whale, seabirds and etc. Unfortunately, the Spanish exploration in California led to the destruction of urban life for the Native Americans. The Spanish came to California to search for gold and accumulate wealth; and forced the Native Americans to convert to Christianity, leaving behind any beliefs, thus transforming the Native community. The Spanish arrived to California and built missions in which priests were in command. The missions forced the Native Americans to learn a new language and praise to a new religion.
Spanish missions came along to rule over the Indians, they often lived under a period of hostility and used religion itself to take advantage of the Indians with concepts of hell, heaven, and sins.The Spanish missions brought a negative impact towards the Indians in which they were forced to forget their culture, forced into hard labor, and were faced with violence.California Indians experienced a new culture change, leaving their cultural beliefs behind to endeavor a new language and a new religion. The Indians that lived in the missions were obligated to speak Spanish and forced to follow the Catholic religion. In the missions, Natives were forced to actively engage during mass through praying and confessing their sins. In Father Junipero excerpt he says, ” More than 120 of them confess in Spanish and many who have died used to do it as well. The others confess as best they can.
They work at all kinds of mission labor, such as farm hands, herdsmen, cowboys, shepherds, milkers, diggers, gardeners, carpenters, farmers, irrigators, reapers, blacksmiths, and they everything else that comes along for their physical and spiritual welfare(1).” According to Father Junipero the Natives could not speak any other language except for Spanish. Any Indians that were caught speaking their native language would receive permissible punishment. Father Junipero mentions that the Natives prayed and confessed. In essence, the missions used the concept of Christianity to get closer to god.
In addition, Junipero reports Native Americans meticulously worked in many arduous jobs. The jobs were given to the Natives to wash their sins away.The Indians endured a diverse culture in which they learned a new language, converted to a different religion, and adapted to new traditions.The Spanish destroyed the Indians customs, leaving them with nothing and forcing them to adjust to a new culture.Many Native Americans worked hard in the missions with no payment in return. According to California History, “Many missions grew quite wealthy, thanks to the hard work of Native Americans.
They farmed the land, made wine, and tended cattle. All of the missions had buildings for shops for blacksmithing, tanning, candle making, basket weaving, leather working, and furniture making.(2).” The Spanish forced the Natives to work for free and if they refused to do so it would result to punishment.
Natives were working as slaves and were submissive to any orders from the priest. However, the Native Americans were oblivious to these skills which led them to struggle everyday. Nevertheless, the Indians managed to work diligently to not face any gruesome punishments. Drawing upon life in the mission, Indians had to work in hard labor proves that it brought a negative impact with punishment if they did not get the job done.With the Catholic religion being pivotal, the views towards the Indians changed mistreating them with virulent violence. According to Padre Antonio de la Concepción Horra, “Indians had the cruelest treatment with being shackled, heavy beatings and deprived of no water(3).
” Antonio de la Concepción Horra reports that the Native Americans were forced to stay in the missions and work like slaves through unrelenting violence. Men and women were treated inhumanely in which they tortured if they were not subservient. The repugnant beating led to constant fear for the Indians in which they felt inferior against the priests. Nonetheless, the violence and torture brought a negative impact to the Native Americans in which priests were imperious. Natives that lived in the missions were viewed as slaves, nevertheless the violence persisted and were treated with atrocious cruelties.
Before the Spanish arrival to California, Natives had an abundance of food, balanced economic life setting, and a rich culture. When the Spanish came, they brought the Indians to the missions and obliterated the culture that they were accustomed to. Indians had to convert and were forced to work in hard labor, and failure to do so would result in punishment with extreme violence.
The life on the missions brought a negative impact to the Natives in which the Spanish took advantage of the Indians to take over California.