Friar Geronimo Boscana
Available in PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook. This book has 72 pages in the PDF version. This translation by Alfred Robinson was originally published in 1846.
Chinigchinich is an ethnographic account of the culture and religious beliefs of the native Californians in the vicinity of the famous mission San Juan Capistrano. Boscana was a bigot and a racist (he describes the Indians as being like monkeys). However, he lived among them for decades and obviously had an inquisitive mind and a talent for observation. While he condemns the practices and beliefs of the indigenous people, he describes them in great detail. Barring a time machine, this is the only first-hand account of mission-era Juaneños we will ever have. This translation of Boscana was the first book ever published by an American about California; it is extremely rare.
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