By Douglas Monroy

Every California schoolchild's first interplay with historical past starts with the missions and Indians. it's the pastoralist photo, in fact, and it's a lasting one. youngsters in uncomplicated institution pay attention how Father Serra and the clergymen introduced civilization to the groveling, lizard- and acorn-eating Indians of such groups as Yang-na, now l. a.. So edified by means of background, a lot of these childrens drag their mom and dad to as many missions as they can.
Then there's the opposite part of the missions, one who a mural adorning a mark downs and mortgage place of work within the San Fernando Valley first confirmed to me as a toddler. On it a kindly priest holds a wide pass over a kneeling Indian. For a few cause, notwithstanding, the padre it sounds as if goals to not bless the Indian yet quite to bludgeon him with the logo of Christianity. This portrait, too, clings to the reminiscence, shooting the serious view of the missionization of California's indigenous population. I carried the 2 youth photos with me either while I went to libraries as I researched the missions and while I revisited a number of missions thirty years after these kinfolk journeys. during this paintings I continue neither to dubunk nor to reconcile those opposite notions of the missions and Indians yet to offer a brand new and, i'm hoping, deeper knowing of the advanced interplay of the 2 antithetical cultures.

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