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The Warner's ranch Indian removal: cultural adaptation, accommodation, and continuity.

The Government seems to learn very slowly that Indians are not all alike, and that different stock or races of Indians ordinarily cannot be put together. We may consider their ideas or antipathies childish, pet, if we wish to be successful in dealing with them we must necessarily take some account of the human characteristics of the Indian.

--C. E. Kelsey, Special Agent for California Indians, 1906 (1)

From the beginning of sustained Euro-American contact in California through the onset of the American period, increasing numbers of politically autonomous and linguistically distinct Native American cultures were viewed as a single group, or "tribe." (2) Nowhere, perhaps, was this misconception more prevalent than in southern California, where for millennia distinct nations had shared a host of common cultural attributes. Yet, through successive eras of colonial domination, few, if any, non-Indians either wanted or were able to distinguish between Luiseno and Cupeno; Mountain, Desert, and Pass Cahuilla; or Ipai and Tipai peoples. (3)

In 1870, some twenty years after the Gold Rush and California statehood, federal officials at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) saw a need for the more immediate administration of Native peoples throughout southern California. To facilitate this need, they created the Mission Indian Agency, whose administrative region encompassed groups that were understood, often incorrectly, as once having been under the influence of the Franciscan missions. (4)

The misunderstandings and misconceptions of Native cultures would profoundly influence the U.S. government's process of evicting the Mission Indians from their ancestral homes. This essay examines the final forced Indian removal in America: the expulsion of the Cupeno and Diegueno bands from Warner's Ranch in California, which began in 1880 and concluded in 1903, and in the face of various external pressures, the resistance and accommodation of the displaced Indians in the decades that followed.

The story of the Warner's Ranch removal and its aftermath has, of course, many parallels in American Indian history. As numerous scholars have detailed, American Indians had for centuries contended with dispossession by adapting long-held traditions, identities, and beliefs to changing social and cultural conditions. This was the case for California Indians from the beginnings of Spanish colonization, and the pressures of colonialism intensified following the discovery of gold and the extension of American rule. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, entire bands seemingly disappeared from the California landscape and others struggled to survive under increasingly desperate circumstances. (5)


For the Indians at Warner's Ranch, their eviction from lands they had called home for centuries might well have spelled the end, too. Yet at Pala, in the San Luis Rey River valley to which they were exiled, the Cupenos and Dieguenos, like so many other Native groups that experienced a diaspora, demonstrated a remarkable capacity to accommodate and adapt. Pressured by outsiders to abandon deeply held customs and beliefs and to conform to obtrusive social standards, they selectively embraced "foreign" ideas while maintaining their own notions of individual and community identity--at times preserving their traditional ways through entirely nontraditional means.


Through the beginning of the twentieth century, several Cupeno and Diegueno (Kumeyaay/Ipai) bands lived in the area of San Diego County commonly referred to as Warner's Ranch, now known as Warner Springs. The region took its name from the original land grant's owner, John J. Warner, an early Anglo American who had settled there during the Mexican era. The Cupeno villages had thrived in their proximity to the area's natural hot springs and the sustenance they provided in this arid region. Along with other Mission Indian rancherias in southern California, the villages represented but a few of the dozens of independent groups or communities throughout California who, though impacted by sustained Euro-American contact, had managed to remain within the areas where their ancestors had lived for centuries. (6)

The relocation of the Warner's Ranch Indians began in 1880, when former California governor John G. Downey acquired a 26,688-acre tract within the Warner's Ranch's boundaries-including the main village at Agua Caliente (Hot Springs), or Cupa, Mataguay, Puerta de la Cruz, and San Jose--where a total of 205 Cupeno people lived. On an adjacent tract owned by Henry Gage, who would become California's twentieth governor, were an additional 79 people from the two Diegueno villages at San Felipe and Puerta Chiquita. (7)

During the following year, 1881, Mission Indian agent S. S. Lawson first reported to the BIA that Downey sought to remove all Indians from his ranch. At that time, the U.S. government appeared to recognize the Indians' rights to the land and initially anticipated having to fight Downey's expected legal maneuvers. Over the course of the next ten years, both government-sponsored and private citizens groups worked on the Indians' behalf in an attempt to secure for them the right to at least some of their ancestral lands. (8)

By 1892, however, a full decade after the fight for the Indian lands began, circumstances became even more contentious. On August 22 of that year, J. Harvey Downey, John's nephew and administrator of his estate following his death, filed two suits, Harvey v. Allejandro Barker et al. and Harvey v. Jesus Quevas et al., at San Diego County Superior Court. The Downey estate, basing its claim to these ranch lands on a patent issued to previous owners by the federal government, sought to have "the Indians occupying various portions of the tract of land known as Warner's Ranch" removed from their ancestral villages. After a protracted legal struggle, on December 29, 1896, the presiding superior court judge, W. L. Pierce, ruled against the Indians. (9)

Three days after his decision, Pierce resigned his seat and became counsel for the Downey estate. An appeal was made immediately to the state's supreme court on behalf of the Warner's Ranch Indians, but a backlog of cases prevented it from being heard in a timely manner. In 1897, with no decision expected in the foreseeable future, government officials became anxious. Even the suspicious Mission Indian agent Francisco Estudillo remarked about the pending suit "between the supposed grant owners and the Indians": "I see no reason for this delay; just why it is not brought to a close seems queer." Two years later, on August 21, 1899, Estudillo's replacement, Lucius A. Wright, voiced his concerns not only about the case but also for the Indians' well-being: "The Indians of Agua Caliente (Warner [sic] Ranch) are very apprehensive of the final outcome of their case with the Downey estate, or Warner Ranch people. This matter should have the best legal talent and ability, as well as prompt and very active attention, or the case is lost to the Indians." (10)


Just two months after Wright's prophetic remarks, the court rendered a decision against the Cupeno and the other Indian bands at Warner's Ranch. An appeal was subsequently made to the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. attorney general, again on the Indians' behalf, On May 13, 1901, the Court decided that the Indians no longer possessed any legal right to remain at Warner's Ranch; they now faced certain removal from the region. (11)

Commissioner of Indian Affairs William A. Jones, faced with the Cupeno and Diegueno bands' imminent exclusion, recommended to the secretary of the interior that the government appoint an agent to select a tract of land suitable for the dispossessed. Many prominent whites throughout California, appalled by the Supreme Court's decision, sought some means to assist the Indians. Among them was Southwest Museum founder Charles Fletcher Lummis, Los Angeles resident, city librarian, sometime editor, publisher, and contemporary of soon-to-be-president Theodore Roosevelt during their college years at Harvard. In July 1901, in direct response to the Court's decision, he created the Sequoya League. (12) With such notable members as Stanford University President David Starr Jordan, C. Hart Merriam, and George Bird Grinnell, the Sequoya League, similar to the prominent Philadelphia-based Indian Rights Association (IRA), looked to champion the causes of Indian peoples, primarily throughout the American Southwest. (13)


In response to appeals from groups like the Sequoya League and the IRA, the BIA assigned James McLaughlin as the government inspector charged with finding a suitable location for the soon-to-be-evicted Indians. McLaughlin inspected a total of twelve tracts throughout Riverside and San Diego counties, including 30,000 acres of Warner's Ranch that did not include the hot springs. In the end, he recommended that the government purchase the Monserrate Ranch, a 2,300-acre tract near Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in San Diego County, for $70,000.

More important to the Cupenos' and Dieguenos' fate than McLaughlin's initial proposal, however, was the Department of the Interior's decision to appoint an advisory commission, which would make its own recommendation for a tract of land suitable for the Warner's Ranch Indians. Formally established on May 27, 1902, the Warner's Ranch Indian Commission included Russell C. Alien, a prominent San Diego fruit rancher, and Charles L. Partridge, a city father of Redlands, with Lummis as its chair. Accompanying the commission on its site-selection mission were several administrative members, including former Los Angeles County Supervisor Richard Egan, a director of the California Southern Railway and an expert on land and water appraisements; William Collier, special attorney for the Mission Indians; Mary Haskins, the commission's stenographer; and Lummis's young daughter, Turbese. Equally important, and initiated without consulting either the BIA or the local Indian agent, Lummis and the commission added as "unofficial" delegates two Cupeno Indians from Warner's Ranch, Salvador Nolasquez and Ambrosio Ortega, whom they believed should participate in the process. (14)

Not surprisingly, the Indians' involvement proved particularly important for the commission, though perhaps less so for the Indians themselves. The commission actively sought the Indians' opinions and submitted them directly to the BIA. Commission members reported meeting with Warner's Ranch Indian councils on four occasions, and there were an additional seven meetings solely between Lummis and the Indians. Cupeno captains Cecilio Blacktooth and Marcelino Quassis had attended the very first meeting on March 17, 1902, with Lummis, who was then acting in an unofficial capacity on the Indians' behalf. When formally asked where the Indians would like to go if their lands at Warner's could not be secured, the Indians had emphatically stated that they wished to remain in their ancestral homes. (15)

A similar meeting was held with Honorato Chapula, captain of the San Felipe Diegueno, who claimed to have heard nothing of his people's impending eviction. Chapula understood that his people, too, were at risk of being removed from their ancestral homes, and he was equally adamant that he and his people should remain on their traditional lands, stating, "We were born here and have been here ever since ancient times. We are natives here and do not want any other land.... God made this country and he made us here--we don't come from any other place." It appears, though, that after Lummis informed him that the government sought to secure a large tract elsewhere for all the Indians to live on, Chapula replied, "We are not friends with the Agua Caliente Indians--they are another nation and speak a different language!" This was surely a factor that the federal government overlooked, one that, despite Lummis's self-proclaimed status as an expert on all things Indian, further demonstrates just how little whites understood about Native peoples and their respective languages and cultures. (16)


Lummis and the other commission members appeared sympathetic to the Indians' outrage over the prospect of removal, humbly recommending in their report that the Indians' "irrevocable choice of their old homes should outweigh the choice of other and wiser people." (17) Nevertheless, the commission continued with its task of finding new, suitable lands. On June 2, 1902, outfitted with horses, wagons, cameras, measuring instruments and other equipment, as well as six gallons of red wine, a gallon of whiskey, and twenty-four cigars, the commission members set out from the town of Riverside for the mountains and valleys of southern Riverside and northern San Diego counties. Over the next six weeks, they traveled over 500 miles by wagon and several hundred more by train, inspecting twenty-six properties totaling approximately 110,000 acres.

In its final report to the federal government, the commission strongly recommended the purchase of a 3,353-acre tract in the Pala valley owned by Frank Salmons, the non-Indian proprietor of a small store in the Pala village, and his wife, Ora M. Salmons, a teacher at the nearby Rincon Reservation Indian school. The Department of the Interior approved the tract and subsequently appropriated $46,280 for its purchase on January 22, 1903. Further, the department's secretary ordered that an additional 8,000 acres adjacent to the newly formed reservation be withdrawn from settlement. (18) The Salmons also deeded to the diocese of San Diego the three-quarters of an acre that comprised Mission San Antonio de Pala's primary compound, near the home of the Luiseno Indians.

Still, in a final attempt to remain on their ancestral lands, Cupeno representatives Ambrosio Ortega, Salvador Nolasquez, and Vincente Cibimoat sent a memorandum to Commissioner Jones requesting that their people not be removed. One of Warner's Hot Springs oldest Indians, a Cupeno woman simply called Bearfoot, steadfastly refused to be evicted, telling officials that memories of ill treatment at Pala as a young girl, presumably when it was still administered as an asistencia (assistant mission) to Mission San Luis Rey de Francia during the Spanish period through secularization (1816-34), would instead drive her into the mountains. Another elderly woman, identified only as Ysabel, who evidently shared some of the same experiences as Bearfoot, confirmed, "It is the memory of that [place] which drove Bearfoot into the chaparral ... what we suffered there, how many years ago I cannot say, fifty, sixty, maybe more.... See these scars! We had to keep fresh our memories of Pala Mission. Does the white man think it strange that we do not want to come? [We] and others, when young girls, had been held prisoners at Pala." Still, in keeping with the commission's recommendation to purchase the Pala tract, and despite the Indians' pleas and testimonies, the federal government declined their last request to remain at Warner's Ranch. (19)


On Tuesday morning, May 16, 1903, nearly a year after the Warner's Ranch Indian Commission first set out on its journey to locate land, the Indians' actual removal began. A few of the elderly, as they had previously vowed, simply fled into the hills, while dozens of others made their way eastward over the hills to seek refuge among some of the Pass, Mountain, and Desert Cahuilla bands at the Los Coyotes, Morongo, and Torres-Martinez reservations. Many Dieguenos from the San Felipe and Puerta Chiquita villages found homes among other Diegueno groups at Santa Ysabel and Mesa Grande. Over the course of the next several weeks, some 215 Cupenos and Dieguenos were removed to Pala, joining the forty-three Luisenos already living there on the thirteen allotments--plots of land in individual units--that the government had assigned to them nearly a decade earlier, part of a program of federal relief for lost lands. (20)

The relief promised to the Mission Indians during the last decade of the nineteenth century most likely did not meet their expectations. For the few Luisenos and their families living at Pala, this period represented perhaps the most drastic alteration to their lives since the end of the mission era in 1832. Still living within their traditional communities, their land bases dwindled to only a meager portion of what they once were. Government attempts to allot their lands led many Indians to resist, some violently, whereas others simply may have hoped that all whites would leave them alone. For those who received allotments, little more could be expected from these lands beyond mere subsistence. Moreover, as development in San Diego County's northern region grew, the Indians saw the availability of water, already a scarce resource, decrease even further. (21)

Certainly for the Cupenos and Dieguenos at Warner's Ranch, what few expectations they may initially have had of the federal government soon were lost along with their ancestral homes; relief for most of these Indians meant only eviction and establishing new homes, new ways of life, and a host of new accommodations. For some, it also meant being forced to live among traditional enemies. Although they never again faced expulsion, there remained little consolation in this fact.

For the Luisenos already living at Pala, encroachment by white settlers was no longer a threat, and the reservation, promised to them by federal officials as early as 1852, now was finally sanctioned by all levels of government. Still, this newly established land base was by no means a completely safe haven, as new and trying circumstances soon developed.


Although the availability of water for agriculture remained the most immediate and constant concern for the new Pala Indians, maintaining what they saw as the fundamentals of the community they had known at Cupa took on particular importance, too. Church and state continued attempts begun in previous eras to alter the Indians' traditional practices and customs--although the influence once wielded by religious groups was by now greatly reduced--and new government policies were applied to assimilate Mission Indians. Moreover, as the site of the newly created Indian Training School and Pala Agency (Superintendency), Pala had, for the first time, a government agent living within its midst. The agent's presence placed the community's activities, both industrial and cultural, under the daily scrutiny of an outsider--a state of affairs Pala's Luisenos had not known since the Mexican era, and the Cupenos not at all.

Upon their arrival at Pala, the Cupenos and Dieguenos from Warner's Ranch were given army-issue canvas tents as temporary housing. Eschewing the logical--and the Indians' preferred--alternative of building new homes from either rough-cut lumber or adobe bricks, like the homes at Warner's Hot Springs, government officials chose to accept the well-intentioned but logistically foolish offer from eastern reform groups to ship portable clapboard shacks by rail to Pala from New York. After six months, during which the Indians lived along the riverbank in tents, the first shipment of thirty houses finally arrived, followed by the balance. When government agents realized that thirty structures were inadequate to house all the Indians, they placed a second order for twenty additional houses, which arrived at Pala in the same manner as before. While the new resident agent, Charles E. Shell, stated that the Indians were comfortably situated in their new homes, he admitted, "[t]here was some grumbling about the size of these buildings and their airiness." (22)


Though unhappiness over their homes continued for several more years, one potential problem regarding the homes' placement was averted, resulting in a living environment that defines the reservation to this day. Before the homes arrived on the reservation, the Indians informed Agent Shell that BIA inspector James Jenkins had agreed to place the houses in a village setting. The Cupeno had particularly strong feelings regarding this matter, as they had lived in a village pattern at Warner's Hot Springs for generations. Although Shell admitted that reneging on Jenkins's word would create tremendous dissatisfaction, he recommended against a permanent village because it would interfere with the reservation's eventual allotment of communally held lands. To this point, in his report to the BIA commissioner, Shell obstinately stated, "[o]f course the Indians will refuse to accept the houses unless placed as the Indians wished. But it is time they were taught that the Government has some voice in the affairs of the reservation." (23) Evidently, he had forgotten that just one month earlier the Indians had been forcibly evicted from their homes at the government's behest. Nevertheless, the BIA ignored Shell's recommendation and allowed the homes to be placed in village form.


Because the Luisenos already living at Pala possessed surveyed and confirmed allotments, the allotting agents chose to distribute lands among the newly arrived Indians in a different fashion. A centralized village was planned, and the new occupants received both a town plot and farm plots of irrigable and "dry grain land." Pala was then--and remains--the only Mission Indian reservation planned around a central village, with a center street and cross-streets surrounded by farm and grazing lands, and in immediate proximity to a Spanish-era mission. This circumstance was particularly significant as neighboring reservations, when they were eventually allotted, were not broken up into both town and farm plots. Instead, individual allottees were dispersed widely throughout their respective reservations, preventing them from living in the village setting to which most were accustomed. The village pattern the Cupeno Indians adamantly insisted upon unwittingly enabled the government to complete a water system that gave each home its own standpipe for domestic purposes, thus furnishing the trappings of "civilization" they so eagerly wanted the Indians to embrace. (24)

Over the next several years, life for both Indians and agents settled into a somewhat steady routine. While most agents continued to worry about the Indians' drinking, quarreling, and their overall "moral state," some demonstrated a clearer understanding of the uniqueness of the respective cultures represented at Pala. In one official correspondence, Special Agent for California Indians C. E. Kelsey, after visiting the reservation in March 1906, reported to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis Ellington Leupp that while "[t]he new reservation on Pala is undoubtedly the best in Southern California," there remained some worry. Somewhat reminiscent of San Felipe Captain Honorato Chapula's statement to the Warner's Ranch Indian Commission prior to the removal, Kelsey pointed to a significant error committed by the government when the Diegueno and Cupeno Indians were brought to Pala: "The Indians of Agua Caliente Village speak a dialect of the Shoshonean stock. The little village at San Felipe, also evicted at the same time and moved to Pala, are of Yuman stock. Not a single word is alike in the two languages. Between these two diverse races of Indians there are generations of warfare and hatred, and though there has been no open war between them for a long time, a great deal of animosity still survives." (25)

Possibly aided by two University of California publications on the state's Indian cultures--published only a year prior to his written report--Kelsey was correct in his assessment of the Indians' stock and the fact that the Cupeno and Diegueno bands--despite living in relative proximity to each other in San Jose del Valle for generations and sharing similar histories and numerous customs--were traditional enemies. He noted that more than half the Dieguenos who were removed to Pala had already left the village for reservations inhabited by their own people. Displaying an unusual degree of insight, he concluded that success in dealing with the Indians would depend on a better understanding of the tribes' distinctions. (26)

Still, among the generations removed to Pala from Warner's Ranch in 1903, it was the children, not the adults, who were required to adapt to some of the most difficult circumstances. Brought to a new reservation that, in the government's view, could not accommodate their needs, many children at Pala, like those throughout Indian country, were sent away to government-run boarding schools. There, many would lose touch with both their families and their cultures.

Indian education arguably had the greatest impact on Mission Indian society during this era. Most Indian children received their education at government-funded tribal schools. Of those who attended boarding schools, some traveled as far as the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania or as near as the Sherman Institute in Riverside. Clearly, though, it was the time away from home, not the distance, that determined the extent of each child's indoctrination to white society.


Federal officials believed that most of the reservation's problems could be attributed to the Indians' fiestas, often described as "demoralizing to the Indians ... [w]here wine and brandy are always plentiful, and fighting and rioting often concluded the exercises." Official accounts of these events, particularly those that dealt with drinking, often were accurate. The Indians did host fiestas, many along the riverbed where drinking and quarreling could be kept away from the village and young children. (27)

Fiestas occurred on religious feast days or as cultural gatherings. The two most important Catholic religious events at Pala were Corpus Christi, held annually during the first week in June, and the Feast of Saint Anthony or San Antonio, namesake of the mission, on June 13. Because of their proximity, the two feast days were usually celebrated as a weeklong event, a practice that remained prominent within the community through the 1960s. Cultural or ceremonial gatherings, or "Indian dances," as the agents often referred to them, were usually held in August, typically at several different reservations and lasting from four to six days. Groups of up to a thousand Indians gathered at Pala, often from as far away as the Morongo, Cabazon, and Torres-Martinez reservations. (28)


Occasionally, agents worried less about the Indians' alcohol consumption than about their singing, and particularly what they referred to as "enemy songs." Originally directed at one clan by another, the songs--sung by all Mission cultures perhaps for millennia--were meant to ridicule and cast aspersions or spells upon rivals. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the clan system among Mission Indian groups had broken down considerably, and most Indians now identified more readily with a certain tribe rather than a clan. (29) Nevertheless, these songs remained one of many broadly shared cultural attributes. Agents, ignorant of the songs' nuanced meanings, focused more on their seemingly hostile tone. As they would with certain dances at other reservations throughout the West, agents actively sought to prevent customs and practices that they deemed unhelpful to the Indians' assimilation to white society.

Disregarding the agents' efforts to prevent participation in this important custom, several singers within the Mission Indian Agency traveled all the way to San Diego's beachfront tourist area and made several phonograph records of their "enemy songs." They took the newly recorded albums with them to each reservation as they journeyed to various fiestas during the month of August. When some of the records arrived at Pala, the resident agent immediately confiscated them and urged the Indians to cease singing the songs, noting that, though "the songs are sung in the Indians language, ... they are so vulgar and indecent.... I hesitate to put them in print." The agent reported that the Indians, unhappy with his actions, "complain[ed] that the other Indians continued to sing about them and that they should be able to retaliate," reminding him that "the Soboba Indians do not approve of the practice but when they hold their fiesta the Cahuilla go there and sing [enemy songs] about Pala and other Indians." It appears that the government's attempts to assimilate the Indians had a greater impact than expected--only not exactly in the areas they wished. In an era when they were still considered barely "civilized," Mission Indians were able to sing, disseminate, and most importantly, preserve their traditional songs using some of the most advanced technology of the day. (30)


Although there was consensus among government officials that fiestas were the root cause of the Indians' "immorality," one agent did recognize their significance, stating that "[t]he Indians have numerous fiestas and enjoy them. They seem, indeed, to be a part of their very existence, and it would be a heroic task and require considerable force to prevent them." Another agent conceded that while there was still too much gambling, and while police were required to attend every fiesta, he ultimately could complain little about them, noting that "[f]iestas held this year have been remarkably orderly; in fact, much more so than similar gatherings among the whites." Here the agent implies that it was not so much the fiestas themselves that were troubling, but rather the moral implications of the Indians' practice of their traditions. (31)

Along similar lines, agents viewed the enforcement of certain white social standards as a significant challenge. Applying these standards to the various Mission groups was admittedly no simple task, as Indians continued to participate in many customs that ran counter to white society's mores. Often, agents believed that their only recourse was to enforce moral and ethical standards through legal means, as occurred with the Indians' marriages. Agent Lucius A. Wright reported that "[p]roper attention is not paid to the marriage relation," as did Pala Agency Superintendent Walter Runke, who wrote, "As near as I can learn there was not a great deal of difference in the old tribal custom as distinguished at the present time by these [Indians]. I am told by the older members of the tribe that there was very little ceremony and often no ceremony at all upon the occasion of marriage." (32)

Suggesting a hypothetical case, Runke asked the Indian elders what would happen if a husband or wife, married in the Catholic Church, were to abandon the marriage. He reported that the Indians' opinion was unanimous: "the one who had gone away and severed his or her connection would have lost wholly any previous rights." Perhaps applying this situation to current legal conditions on the reservation, Runke noted that with the early allotments made among the Luisenos at "Old Pala," Indian and tribal customs governed divorce. Here his statement implies that enforcing "legal" marriages among the Indians--that is, matrimonial unions according to the state's standards--would make establishing title to allotments in the case of divorce far easier. In this particular situation, it appears that the Indians' moral habits were, in fact, as much a legal concern among government agents as they were a matter of virtue. (33)

Interestingly, Runke's hypothetical scenario involving the Roman Catholic Church later became an issue, under different circumstances, with Protestant missionaries working among the Indians on the Pala Reservation. Since the implementation of the Quakers' "Peace Policy" during the late 1870s--concentrating Indian tribes on reservations and "civilizing" them through education and farming--mostly Episcopalian Protestant missionaries worked among California's Indian groups. Although the policy lost government support, and despite the fact that the overwhelming number of southern California Mission Indians were Roman Catholic, a few Protestant missionaries remained in San Diego County. Responding to a BIA letter regarding a "dispute which has arisen regarding the rights of Protestants to conduct services on the reservation," an agent explained to his superiors that the Protestant minister in question was likely the Reverend Woosley, a Mennonite, who had worked at Pala for six years and "has not one convert during that time, indicat[ing] that his work is perfectly useless." (34)

Further, the agent maintained that the minister was invited by the Pala Agency teacher, Ora Salmons, not the Indians, and that he was deliberately deceiving the Indians by using the words priest and mira (mass). It is reasonable to assume that some Protestant ministers blamed the government agent and, indirectly, Catholics for their own lack of converts, likely disregarding the fact that the Indians considered themselves Catholic, at least nominally. Not surprisingly, the BIA was more sympathetic to the Protestant minister's alleged complaints than to the agent who reported them. This agent's replacement, Frank Mead, arriving at Pala in 1910, was greeted with a letter from Commissioner of Indian Affairs Robert Grosvenor Valentine regarding compulsory church attendance by the Pala Indian School's Catholic students: "[I]f the service referred to [by the minister] is sectarian, or is in conflict with the regulations for religious worship and instruction in Indian Government schools it should be discontinued. In view of this order you are hereby directed to no longer make this requirement from any of the pupils in your school." The letter indicates that despite the report by the previous agent and others that virtually all the Indians at Pala, and in the region as a whole, were Roman Catholic, biases within government agencies against the church remained. (35)

Still, priests ministering to Indians at Pala and other reservations felt secure in the Indians' increasingly "traditional" identification with Catholicism and, unlike the Protestants, saw no need to proselytize among any Mission groups. At Pala, where there was not always a resident priest, the Indians had to answer only to the government agent when they practiced their traditional ceremonies and customs. Many Indians believed that the priests generally accepted their fidelity to Catholicism, caring more about bringing Indian children to Mission San Luis Rey for baptisms than about compulsory attendance at mass. Some further believed that the priests were inclined not to dissuade the Indians from performing their traditional ceremonies because the church received a tithe from the sale of fiesta goods. (36)

By the end of the first decade after the Warner's Ranch removal, resident agents at Pala appeared less concerned with Indian fiestas and viewed them in an increasingly favorable light. In a 1914 letter to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Cato Sells, Pala Agency Superintendent Thomas F. McCormick stated his belief that fiestas properly facilitated family reunions and social gatherings. He even emphasized the increasingly "nontraditional" flavor the fiestas had taken on, noting that "[t]he evenings were spent in dancing-the young people dancing the modern steps and the old people their Indian dance ... the women wearing ordinary dress and the men work cloths." In fact, several years earlier, the Pala Agency's special allotting agent wholeheartedly endorsed Pala's fiestas: "[T]hese people as you know always, if possible, maintain a place for fiestas.... Such times, when they receive visits from the people of neighboring tribes, are occasions of great pleasure and enjoyment to them, and it seems to me excellent to encourage them to continue these fiestas." (37)

Perhaps finally viewing fiestas as a deeply ingrained element of the Indians' broader culture and sense of community, Pala agents shifted their attention to more focused attempts at curtailing unlawful practices such as gambling. This new effort was not aimed solely at the Indians, however. In a letter to a Pala Agency superintendent, the BIA hinted that gambling had taken place at the Pala Reservation's August fiesta. The agent responded that there had been no gambling at the fiesta, mentioning one game that had been started by a white man from outside the area that was shut down immediately. He further explained that the only game played at the fiesta was the Indian hand-game, peon, which he mistakenly characterized as a nongambling game. Interesting, too, was his assertion that the fiesta was held on deeded land belonging to the archdiocese and was not sanctioned as a Pala Reservation event. This perhaps lent further credence to the Indians' belief that the priests willingly accommodated fiestas for the tithe they received. In other circumstances, the agent, aware that there was little chance of preventing any gambling, argued that Indians who played peon at fiestas in lieu of gambling should be awarded a prize not to exceed five dollars. (38)

There were occasions, however, when the government, in its attempts at advancing assimilation, actually promoted certain traditions. Partially in response to the era's popularity of the Arts and Crafts movement, and with it the consumption of curios and other "primitive arts," California's Indians, particularly Native women, were encouraged to participate in the basket trade. Many noted Indian advocates and social elites, including Lummis; George Wharton James; Anita Baldwin, daughter of southern California land speculator Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin; and Caroline Boeing Poole, sister of the aircraft manufacturer, either actively sought baskets for their own collections or urged the Indians to produce them, not only to sustain Indian culture, but also to earn money. Others, especially basket dealer Grace Nicholson of Pasadena, made their own living from the California Indian basket trade while simultaneously helping Indians, particularly women, attain greater agency through economic independence. (39)


Ironically, the Pala Agency office, though often intrusive and disruptive for the Indians, did facilitate a better understanding of their culture. As part of his duties, a resident agent was expected to act as a mediator between the Indians and groups or individuals off the reservation. Usually this meant finding work for the Indians on local ranches or securing reasonable prices for their produce sold at local markets. Occasionally, the agent assisted whites who sought the Indians' assistance for work that did not fall under the category of ranch hand. Increasingly, Pala had become an essential stopover for a small but prolific group of ethnographers, most from the anthropology department at the University of California at Berkeley, who worked closely with the region's Indian population. (40)

The ethnographers had collected baskets and other cultural items in and around the Pala area since the early 1900s. At the request of the noted anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber, in 1904 Phillip Stedman Sparkman, a resident of Valley Center near the Rincon Reservation and an amateur ethnographer, collected several baskets from Pala for the university's fledgling anthropology museum. Four years later, T. T. Waterman, one of Kroeber's earliest doctoral students, was sent by his mentor to San Diego and Riverside counties in search of, among other items, baskets for the museum. Over the course of three months, he visited various reservations and rancherias, including a small remnant Cupeno village near Warner's Hot Springs, the small Luiseno rancheria at Mission San Luis Rey, and Pala. Grace Nicholson also collected baskets for Kroeber, often shipping items she acquired in San Diego to the museum from her "Arts and Crafts Sales Room" in Pasadena. (41)

As with Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition, organizers of San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition sought ethnographic items representative of Indian groups from across the United States, including the Pala Indians, whose lace making was as notable as their basketry. In a letter responding to Commissioner Sells's request for Indian-made items from Pala, Superintendent McCormick wrote that Pala women did impressive lacework. Indeed, Pala's lace making school was the largest of its kind in California. McCormick further noted that "the lace school at Pala is now turning out some excellent specimens of workmanship." Despite his ardor for Pala's lace making, he appeared even more enthusiastic about the reservation's basketry, stating that "[the] Indian women are excellent basket makers.... Their products show skill, art, and fine workmanship.... If it is necessary to buy baskets from the Indians they can be obtained for from $5 to $25 according to size and workmanship." (42)

It is not surprising that McCormick was aware of basket prices, as he often acted as pitchman for Pala's basket makers, many of whom also were lace makers and took equal pride in both skills. In an earlier letter to the BIA, he appeared convinced that lace making was neither practical nor profitable, specifically noting that it "is impossible for the Indians to market the lace in any store, and it is my opinion that it would be far better for them to spend their time in making baskets which are ready sale, than to extend the lace making industry among them." Ironically, despite McCormick's extensive knowledge of the basket industry and its makers at Pala, the government chose to include only a lace display from the reservation for the exhibition. Though McCormick was probably correct in his assessment that the market for lace making was not as substantial as it was for' basketry, he did not recognize the craft's functional component: many Indian women made lace for family members, particularly for baptisms and children's communions, as well as for the resident priest's and altar boys' vestments. (43)


Collecting baskets and other items of material culture was not the sole reason for visits from ethnographers. As one of San Diego County's oldest Indian communities with a sizable and culturally mixed population, and as the BIA sub-agency headquarters, Pala was often the destination for such noted anthropologists as Edward W. Gifford, John Peabody Harrington, and William Duncan Strong, all of whom, at various times over the course of nearly two decades, visited Pala to conduct extensive fieldwork. (44) Like so many of the "Boasian"-influenced anthropologists of this period, these "salvage ethnographers" utilized the enormous contributions of Pala's elders--some of whom were as many as one hundred years old and thus seen by the ethnographers as ideal resources--in their attempts to reconstruct the Indians' "untainted" past culture. (45)

In a determined and systematic effort, UC Berkeley's Department of Anthropology produced dozens of ethnological studies on the state's numerous and linguistically varied culture groups, culminating in the Handbook of the Indians of California (1925). Although authorship was attributed to the department's most renowned anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber, most of the original research used in compiling the voluminous study was collected by colleagues and graduate students. (46)

In 1919, Edward W. Gifford, associate curator of the university's museum, had informed Pala's superintendent, Paul T. Hoffman, of the project, noting that "the University of California has had in hand an ethnological survey of the state of California for the past twenty years. The group of people over whom you have jurisdiction ... whom we designate as Cupeno ... is of particular interest." In addition, Gifford inquired if there were any cottages on the reservation available for him and his wife to stay during their visit over the Christmas break. After Hoffman replied it was doubtful he could find a cottage for them, Gifford wrote again seeking only room and board for himself. Hoffman was able to accommodate this second request. Salvadora Valenzuela, a Cupeno originally from Warner's Ranch, owned the reservation's only two-bedroom house--built by her son-in-law, who had learned carpentry at the Sherman Institute in nearby Riverside--and she was in the habit of renting the extra room to travelers. At various times, Valenzuela boarded not only Gifford, but also Harrington, Strong, and other guests, who relied upon her and her mother, Manuela Cibimoat, as key "informants," or collaborators, for their ethnological studies. (47)

The basket-making industry and ethnographic fieldwork conducted throughout much of southern California resulted in a strange dichotomy at Pala and the region's other reservations. As agents lamented over a fading basket industry, noting that "the younger people don't take it up," and as ethnographers walked the reservations' dusty roads in search of the past before "the gradual change of these Indian communities" was complete, many hoped that Indian children would leave the "old ways" of their parents and grandparents behind by taking up the same education and industries pursued by young whites. (48)


By the end of World War I, life at Pala had fallen into an uneasy routine. Government agents, always concerned about the reservation's "Indian ways," continued their attempts to direct how the Indians led their lives. Likewise, many Indians, still wary of a government they held responsible for their eviction, continued their fight to preserve their traditions. Though displaced from their ancestral homes, the Warner's Ranch Indians had kept up their close-knit village life despite the agents' scrutiny of their celebratory cultural gatherings and fiestas.

Through the 1920s, allotments of tribally held lands continued at Pala, as in other parts of Indian country, joining a number of misguided attempts by government agents to move the Indians toward more "civilized" ways. In the following years, during the Great Depression and leading up to World War II, life at Pala was strikingly similar to that of previous decades; put simply in the words of one tribal member, "we didn't know the Depression." Day-to-day living experiences may have changed for many Americans during that time, but for those at Pala and other reservations, hardships were relative. Fewer children were sent away to school, enabling the younger generation to again become a daily part of the community. Unlike the Depression, however, World War II changed life dramatically for most Pala Indians, as it did for the rest of the nation. For the first time, men and working-age women left the reservations in significant numbers in search of jobs on the assembly lines at places like Lockheed in Burbank or in the Alameda shipyards. (49)

Altered most, perhaps, were the non-Native communities surrounding Pala. As many Native peoples throughout the San Luis Rey River valley experienced, an increasingly large white population, spurred by the region's growing agricultural economy, proved both advantageous and problematic for the Pala Indians. (50) Although opportunities for employment at any of the valley's numerous fruit ranches provided Indians a much-needed infusion of cash, the same ranches were indirectly responsible for the further diversion of already scarce amounts of water on area reservations. Ultimately, unlike prior decades, when eviction, ill-conceived government administration, and racism severely impacted the community, until recently the lack of water at Pala shaped how the people there lived, guided by a host of new, old, and evolving traditions.

Today, many old traditions maintain their presence within the community. Most evident, perhaps, is the main village itself, still laid out and intact much as it was over a century ago. Among the oldest and most important is Bird Singing, which has undergone a significant revival among numerous southern California Indian communities since the 1980s. These songs recount deeply rooted histories about migrations, hunting, and the changing seasons, and also can provide guidelines for proper behavior among both young and old. Women still make traditional camp dresses, worn while dancing to Bird Songs, while men continue the age-old practice of producing gourd rattles to accompany their singing. Language revitalization, in Pala and numerous other Indian communities throughout the state, continues to gain momentum. As with much of the state's Indian country, basketry and lace making at Pala has waned since the beginning of the post-World War II period. Yet through the efforts of the California Indian Basketweavers Association--a statewide organization dedicated to the continuity of this artistic expression--and similar regional groups, basket weaving among women (and increasingly among men who traditionally did not participate) garners greater attention and support every year.

Many people's lives, still guided by these varying traditions, are increasingly influenced by circumstances surrounding gaming. As with other federally recognized tribes in California, state gaming compacts have facilitated greater economic self-sufficiency at Pala and other Indian communities. The infusion of gaming dollars has provided increased support for reservation infrastructure: better roads and water systems, better health care for elders and expectant mothers, and scholarships for aspiring students. Equally important, tribal gaming also has infused millions of dollars into local economies throughout the state.

As one of north San Diego County's largest private employers, the Pala tribe employs hundreds of area residents, providing wages and health care; it purchases millions of dollars' worth of goods and products from regional vendors; and it has paid millions of dollars in sales tax on items brought onto the reservation for resale. The tribe also has joined forces with local white ranchers to halt development of a thirty-year county landfill, which would threaten agricultural water drawn from the San Luis Rey River, and recently built a multimillion-dollar fire station serving not only the reservation but many communities up and down the San Luis Rey River valley.


If ever there were an example of the triumph of tradition amid great adversity and evolving circumstance, it is Pala. On its own ground and terms, the Pala Band of Mission Indians actively addresses the fundamental and often troublesome contemporary issues of both the state and region--water, health care, education, fire suppression, environmentalism, and gaming--while transcending the misfortunes of its past, in part, by retaining and revitalizing its traditional identity and culture.


The author thanks Stephen Aron, Janet Fireman, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on this article.

(1) C.E. Kelsey, Report of the Special Agent for California Indians to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, March 21, 1906 (Carlisle, PA: Indian School Print, 1906), 29.

(2) Native peoples in California came into contact with Europeans as early as 1542, beginning with the Juan Cabrillo expedition, followed by likely intermittent, though undocumented, episodes with crews from the Manila galleons en route from the Philippines to Acapulco. American hegemony is established at the end of the Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, followed shortly thereafter with California's statehood in 1850.

(3) Robert F. Heizer, ed., Handbook of North American Indians: California, vol. 8 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978).

(4) Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (Washington, DC: GPO, 1870), 90 (hereafter cited as ARCIA). Historically, the Mission Indians were coastally oriented cultures indigenous to the areas from San Diego to Sonoma, where Franciscan missions were established. They included the Diegueno (Kumeyaay/Ipai/ Tipai), Luiseno, Juaneno (Acjachemen), Gabrielino (Tongva), Chumash, Salinan, and Costanoan (Ohlone). Today, the term "Mission" Indian has evolved into more of an anthropological category similar to "Plains" or "Southwest" Indians, creating, for reference and study purposes, an understood region or culture-area where similar cultural attributes exist among a body of distinct yet culturally similar peoples and nations.

(5) For the adaptations and accommodations undertaken by California Indians, see Steven W. Hackel, Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005); Kent G. Lightfoot, Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontier (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); James A. Sandos, Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004); George Harwood Phillips, Bringing Them Under Subjection: California's Fort Tejon Indian Reservation and Beyond, 1852-1864 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004); Lisbeth Haas, Conquests and Historical Identities in California, 1769-1936 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Gaylen D. Lee, Walking Where We Lived: Memoirs of a Mono Indian Family (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998); Ramon Gutierrez and Richard J. Orsi, eds., Contested Eden: California Before the Gold Rush (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); Albert L. Hurtado, Indian Survival on the California Frontier (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988); James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984); and George Harwood Phillips, Chiefs and Challengers: Indian Resistance and Cooperation in Southern California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975). Studies of Native American rejection include Peter Iverson, When Indians became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994); Frederick E. Hoxie, Parading through History: The Making of the Crow Nation in America, 1805-1935 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995); L. G. Moses, Wild West Shows and the Images of American Indians, 1883-1933 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996); Regna Darnell, Invisible Genealogies: A History of Americanist Anthropology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 200l); Thomas Buckley, Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850-1990 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); Clyde Ellis, A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003); and Ned Blackhawk, Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006).

(6) Charles Fletcher Lummis Manuscript Collection and Papers 1879-1928, Sequoya League Series, Warner Ranch Subseries, Braun Research Library, Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Autry National Center of the American West. While the Braun Research Library is the single largest repository for materials related to the Warner's Ranch removal, the majority of research for this piece was conducted with the Partridge Papers at The Bancroft Library; Charles L. Partridge Papers Concerning Resettlement of Warner's Ranch Indians, 1901-1924, box 336, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (hereafter cited as Partridge Papers); ARCIA (1902), 119; Joseph J. Hill, The History of Warner' s Ranch and its Environs (Los Angeles: privately printed, 1927), 143-54; Heizer, Handbook of North American Indians, 588-91, 592-609; Alfred L. Kroeber, Handbook of the Indians of California, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin 78 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1925), 689-723; and Florence C. Shipek, Pushed into the Rocks: Southern California Indian Land Tenure, 1769-1986 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988), 44-45. See William Duncan Strong, Aboriginal Society in Southern California, University of California Publications in Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 26, no. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1929); Joel R. Hyer, We Are Not Savages: Native Americans in Southern California and the Pala Reservation, 1840-1920 (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001); and Steven M. Karr, "Quarries of Culture: An Ethnohistorical and Environmental Account of Sacred Sites and Rock Formations in Southern California's Mission Indian Country," Journal of American Indian Research and Culture 29, no. 4 (2005): 1-19, "Water We Believed Could Never Belong to Anyone: The San Luis Rey River and the Pala Indians of Southern California," American Indian Quarterly 24, no. 3 (Summer 2000): 381-99, and "Culture and Continuity: Mission Indian Land Tenure and Traditional Orientation after Secularization," presented at the 55th California History Institute Conference, John Muir Center for Environmental Studies, April 23-24, 2004, University of the Pacific.

(7) Partridge Papers, box 336; ARCIA (190l), 197.

(8) ARClA (1881), 13, (1883), 46, (1884), 37, (1888), 14-15, (1890), 19; Charles J. Kappler, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1904), 383-85; Valerie Sherer Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson and Her Indian Reform Legacy (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 75.

(9) ARCIA (190l), 196.

(10) Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson, 151; ARCIA (1897), 127, (1899), 174.

(11) ARCIA (1901), 196; Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson, 151.

(12) Hyer, We Are Not Savages, 113-14. Here Hyer discusses the League and mentions its similarity to the "Friends of the Indians," more appropriately known as the Lake Mohonk Conference, which convened at the New York/Hudson Valley resort hotel from 1895 to 1916. While directed toward Indian support, the "Friends of the Indians" was considerably less influential than the more renowned IRA.

(13) William T. Hagan, Theodore Roosevelt and Six Friends of the Indian (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 77; Hill, The History or Warner? Ranch, 158-59.

(14) ARCIA (1902), 118-20, 120; Partridge Papers, box 336.

(15) Partridge Papers, box 336.

(16) Ibid., box 335, folder 1.

(17) Ibid., box 336.

(18) ARCIA (1903), 75-76.

(19) Charles F. Lummis, Charles L. Partridge, and Russell C. Allen, Final Report of the Warher's Ranch Indian Advisory Commission (Los Angeles: privately printed, 190z), 216-17; Partridge Papers, box 335, folder 2.

(20) Shipek, Pushed into the Rocks, 44-45; Partridge Papers, box 335, folder 2; ARCIA (1903), 75-76. Other brief accounts of events surrounding the removal from Pala include Hill, A History of Warner's Ranch and Its Environs, 155-65; Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson, 140-57; and Hagan, Theodore Roosevelt and Six Friends of the Indian, 120-29. For a good contemporary account of events leading up to and through the removal, see Charles F. Lummis, "The Exiles of Cupa," Out West 16, no. 5 (May 1902): 465-79, and Lewis D. Frank, "Warner's Ranch Indians and Why They Were Moved to Pala," Overland Monthly 42, no. 2 (August 1903): 171-73.

(21) Karl:, "Water We Believed Could Never Belong to Anyone," 381-99.

(22) ARCIA (1905), 165; Mathes, Helen Hunt Jackson, 155-56.

(23) Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters Sent to the Indian Office, 1903-1908, box 443, National Archives Pacific Region, Laguna Niguel, CA (hereafter cited as RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency).

(24) Pala Indian School, Annual Report, 1910, Superintendents' Annual Narrative and Statistical Reports from the Field Jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1907-1938, roll 99, microcopy 1011, target 2; ARCIA (1904), 166; Shipek, Pushed into the Rocks, 54.

(25) ARCIA (1904), 167; Kelsey, Report of the Special Agent, 26-29.

(26) Alfred L Kroeber, The Languages of the Coast of California South of San Francisco, and Types of Indian Culture in California, University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 2, nos. 2 and 3 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1904), 29-80, 81-103; Hyer, We Are Not Savages, 136-40; Kelsey, Report of the Special Agent, 29.

(27) ARCIA (1904), 166; Bernice Ponchetti, Pala Band member, interview with the author, 27 March 2000, Pala, CA; Mrs. Jule Banks, Pala Band member, interview with the author, 20 March 2001, Pala, CA; Dennis Paul Magee, Cupeno Tapes, no. 84, Cupa Cultural Center, Pala, CA. Mrs. Ponchetti, today in her nineties, is the reservation's oldest resident.

(28) Matthew Calac, Pala Band member, interview with the author, 28 March 2000, Escondido, CA; Magee, Cupeno Tapes, no, 84; RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters to the Commissioner, 1908-1909, box 375.

(29) Strong, Aboriginal Society in Southern California, 80, 254, 306. According to Strong, among the Cupenos these songs were sung on various occasions, but particularly at name-giving ceremonies.

(30) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters to the Commissioner, 1908-1909, box 375; Hyer, We Are Not Savages, 138-39.

(31) ARCIA (1903), 148, (1905), 190.

(32) ARCIA (1905), 147; RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters Sent to the Indian Office, 1908-1914, box 376.

(33) Ibid.

(34) Edward D. Castillo, "The Impact of Euro American Exploration and Settlement," in Heizer, Handbook of North American Indians, 113-15; RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters to the Commissioner, 1908-1909, box 375; ARCIA (1906), 204.

(35) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Letters to the Commissioner, 1908-1909, box 375, and Correspondence, box 349, file 183; ARCIA (1906), 204.

(36) Ponchetti interview.

(37) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, 1910-1920, box 356, file 1005, and Letters Sent to the Indian Office, 1908-1914, box 375.

(38) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, 1910-1920, box 35g and box 353, file 41; Ponchetti interview. The Indian hand-game, peon, is indeed a game of chance, one that often includes the betting of money. Traditionally played by only men, two teams of four face each other, hiding colored sticks which they hold behind a blanket, with each team expected to guess which opposing player is holding the most sticks. Today both men and women frequently play the game at cultural gatherings and specific peon tournaments.

(39) Marvin Cohodas, Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade: Elizabeth and Louise Hickox (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997), 1-35, 170-254. This federally sponsored program continued until the onset of World War II, when it abruptly ended; it was reinstated after the war. See Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mission Indian Agency, Central Classified Files, 1920-1953, box 65, file 8 (961), Industries: Manufacturing, Baskets, National Archives Pacific Region, Laguna Niguel, CA. George Wharton James, Indian Basketry (New York: Henry Malkan, 1909).

(40) Timothy H.H. Thoresen, "Paying the Piper and Calling the Tune: The Beginnings of Academic Anthropology in California," Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences II, no. 3 (July 1975): 257-75; Regna Diebold Darnell, "The Development of American Anthropology, 1879-1920: From the Bureau of American Ethnology to Franz Boas" (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1969), 299-317.

(41) Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology Archives, accession files 124, 256, 340, 346, University of California, Berkeley.

(42) L. G. Moses, The Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 110; RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, 1910-1920, box 358, file 1029.

(43) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, 1910-1920, box 355, file 58; box 358, file 1029. Naydene Nelson interview, Pala Band member, interview with the author, 30 March 2000, Pala, CA. Mrs. Nelson's grandmother, Salvadora Valenzuela, was a renowned basket and lace maker originally from Warner's Hot Springs. See Christopher L. Moser, Native American Basketry of Southern California (Riverside, CA: Riverside Museum Press, 1993).

(44) See Edward W. Gifford, Clans and Moieties of Southern California, University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 14, no. 2 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1918), 155-219; John P. Harrington, Capeno Ethnographic and Linguistic Fieldnotes, Manuscript in National Anthropological Archives (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1925-1928); Paul Louis Faye, "Christmas Fiesta of the Cupeno," American Anthropologist 30, no. 4 (1928): 651-58; Strong, Aboriginal Society in Southern California, 1-358.

(45) Records of Baptisms and Marriages, Burials and Confirmations of Pala Mission Beginning in 1910 to August 1938 (Prefaced by those from 1904), Book I, Mission San Antonio de Pala. For various discussions behind "salvage ethnography," see Darnell, "The Development of American Anthropology, 1879-1920," 265-449; Moses, The Indian Man, 222-35; Curtis M. Hinsely, Savages and Scientists: The Smithsonian Institution and the Development of American Anthropology (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981), 265-85. "Boasian" anthropology, named after Franz Boas, the founder of professional anthropology in the United States, in part incorrectly believed in the inevitable extinction of American Indian cultures. In light of this perceived reality, Boas, along with Kroeber and a host of other disciples, took on the basic mission of cultural documentation, or salvage ethnography.

(46) Darnell, "The Development of American Anthropology, 1879-1920," 299-317.

(47) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, 1910-1920, box 360. Nelson interview. Naydene Nelson still owns the home built by her uncle for her grandmother, Salvadora Valenzuela. Formerly in her possession, but lost in a fire, was a guest book signed by all four anthropologists.

(48) RG 75, Records of the Pala Superintendency, Correspondence, box 357, file 1018; Faye, "Christmas Fiestas of the Cupeno," 657.

(49) Calac interview; Ponchetti interview.

(50) See Karr, "Water We Believed Could Never Belong to Anyone."

STEVEN M. KARR is the Ahmanson Curator and Interim Executive Director at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Autry National Center, and lead curator for the forthcoming Autry exhibition "Indian Country: A Native North American Diaspora," which focuses on the issue of forced removals and the diasporic experience among Native peoples in the United States. He has previously worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Date:Sep 1, 2009
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