Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book review: California 24/7: Amazing Photographs of an Extraordinary State

This is one of a series of books, documenting a week in the the life of a state.  The original book was America 24/7.  This book was published in 2004.  it was put together by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen.  It has an interested idea, but I think it is impossible to document all of California, because it is so diversified.  However, this book seems to focus  on parts of California that are on the fringe.  It shows many tatoes,  The views of homeless people are over done, although that is a part of our state.  It mentions the bull frog races of Angel's Camp made famous by Mark Twain.  It shows the country life, and men who are in rodeo; but at the same time shows the surfer community.  It shows Marin boot camp, where Mark was but we weren't able to see.  It showed a knee kicking contest used to wear the warriors out so they could learn self defense when they were  exhausted.  It shows industry, and technology, and religion, and a thousand other views.  It is impossible to take it all in.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Biography: Toypurina

Toypurina:  I take this from an article in the Metro.  It is based on a book by Elias Castillo “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions.”  It appears he also wrote this article for the Metro.
Toypurina was a young Native American maiden with some beauty.  She was a child when the California missions were established.  She saw herself and her people go from having plenty of food, and a way of life with considerable freedom.  Even though she did not join the missions, she saw the change on the people in general.  She herself was of the Gabrielino Tribe; which tribe did not, for the most part, convert to Catholocism and join the missions.
When Toypurina was a young woman, she lead a revolt against the missions.  The hope was for several missions to overthrow the Franciscans and kill them.  She is the only North American Native American woman to lead a revolt.  She consulted with Nicolas Jose someone who had converted, and lived inside the mission; but had become disaffected with it because native dances were not allowed.  Together they recruited several tribal groups to participate in the uprising.  They selected Mission San Gabriel as the first place of attack, and the night of October 25 1785.  There was much planning and coordination, and a Spanish soldier, who had taught himself the Tongva language, overheard the plans.  He took his knowledge to the friars, who were able to use this against the Indians.  Toypurina was considered a sorceress, and she had prophesized that the friars would all be found dead in their room.  The friars hid elsewhere, while soldiers took their places in the rooms, pretending to be dead.  When the Indian warriors rushed to their room, and found them dead, the felt they had victory.  However when the dead friars came back to life, and were joined by soldiers, the warriors fled in fear, and the revolt was thwarted.  Toypurina, Jose, and a couple chiefs were taken prisoner and put on trial for their revolt.  

Toyurina’s initial response was, “I hate the padres and all of you for living here on my native soil, for trespassing on the land of my forefathers and despoiling our tribal domains.”  However as the trial progressed, Toypurina’s attitude changed.  She was a beautiful woman of 24 years.  When she softened, she was kept at the mission for a year to assure her repentance was genuine.  She converted to Christianity and was baptized.  SHe was exiled to a different mission, where she married a Spanish soldier.  They eventually moved to Mission San Juan Bautista, where she passed away and is buried.