Friar Bringas Reports to the King
Methods of Indoctrination on the Frontier of New Spain, 1796–97
Daniel S. Matson and Bernard L. Fontana have translated the Bringas document and added an informative introduction, notes, and references. They analyze Spanish methods of indoctrination and examine the implications in terms of the modern world.
Friar Bringas carefully explained various missionary and secular policies, laws, and regulations. He pointed out why, in his opinion, Spanish efforts to convert the Piman Indians had failed. He also provided a report of the orders establishing the ill-fated Yuma missions. His fascinating account of the Gila River Pimas is one of the most complete ethnographic descriptions from that era.
Friar Bringas Reports to the King is an important study of Spain’s attempts to assimilate the Indians. It offers a deeper understanding of the history of the Pimería Alta.
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"Graced by an ambitious introduction, copious notes, and a smooth translation, . . . the Bringas report is valuable for understanding Franciscan activities in a region where scholarly literature has focused on Jesuits."—Journal of American History
"Students of Arizona history and that of the Borderlands will find this volume a welcome addition to their libraries.”—California Historical Quarterly
“The informative and lucid introduction critically places Friar Bringas’ document in historical perspective. . . . Fontana’s copious explanatory notes to the report confidently guide the reader. . . . [A] significant contribution to borderlands history.”—Pacific Historical Review