Friar Bringas Reports to the King

Methods of Indoctrination on the Frontier of New Spain, 1796–97

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When Friar Diego Bringas penned his 1796–97 report on conditions in northwestern New Spain, he was imbued with an enthusiastic drive for reform. Hoping to gain the King of Spain’s support in improving the missionary program, Bringas set down a detailed history of all that had happened in the region since Father Kino’s day. His writings offer a valuable study of Spanish attempts to bring about cultural change among the Piman Indians.
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.
"A sensitive and precise translation in which the reform-minded Father Diego Bringas examines various missionary and secular policies for assimilation of Indian societies."—Mid-America

"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

Friar Bringas Reports to the King
192 Pages 7 x 10 Published: 2017 Paperback (9780816535767)

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