Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California

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Kathleen L. Hull, John G. Douglass
University of Arizona Press, Oct 16, 2018 - Social Science - 304 pages
Between 1769 and 1834, an influx of Spanish, Russian, and then American colonists streamed into Alta California seeking new opportunities. Their arrival brought the imposition of foreign beliefs, practices, and constraints on Indigenous peoples.

Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California reorients understandings of this dynamic period, which challenged both Native and non-Native people to reimagine communities not only in different places and spaces but also in novel forms and practices. The contributors draw on archaeological and historical archival sources to analyze the generative processes and nature of communities of belonging in the face of rapid demographic change and perceived or enforced difference.

Contributors provide important historical background on the effects that colonialism, missions, and lives lived beyond mission walls had on Indigenous settlement, marriage patterns, trade, and interactions. They also show the agency with which Indigenous peoples make their own decisions as they construct and reconstruct their communities. With nine different case studies and an insightful epilogue, this book offers analyses that can be applied broadly across the Americas, deepening our understanding of colonialism and community.

Julienne Bernard
James F. Brooks
John Dietler
Stella D’Oro
John G. Douglass
John Ellison
Glenn Farris
Heather Gibson
Kathleen L. Hull
Linda Hylkema
John R. Johnson
Kent G. Lightfoot
Lee M. Panich
Sarah Peelo
Seetha N. Reddy
David W. Robinson
Tsim D. Schneider
Christina Spellman
Benjamin Vargas

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About the author (2018)

Kathleen L. Hull is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Merced. She is the author of Pestilence and Persistence: Yosemite Indian Demography and Culture in Colonial California.

John G. Douglass is director of research and standards at Statistical Research, Inc. He is also a visiting scholar in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. His most recent book is New Mexico and the Pimería Alta: The Colonial Period in the American Southwest.

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