Presentation of “The Rebellion of the Californians 1734-37”

Presentation of “The Rebellion of the Californians 1734-37”
by Segismundo Tavaral S.J.

Paleographic version, Introduction and notes by Eligio Moises Coronado, Chronologist Emeritus, with comments by Gabriel Fonseca Verdugo, Ramon Ojeda-Maestre, mediator Tamara Montalvo Arce

“The first of the Californias was Cabo San Lucas.” (Eligio Moises Coronado)


An unprecedented event took place in Cabo San Lucas, in the well-known shopping plaza located at Km 4.5 of Transpeninsular Highway, in a recently-opened bookstore. The presentation of a work that has all the literary characteristics to be considered part of the genre of novel, documentary, and drama, and it tells of the journal entries made by Father Segismundo Tavaral after the insurrection of the Pericue natives in this region during the XVIII century. The work contains the comments of Los Cabos Chronologist, Gabriel Fonseca Verdugo and of Professor and Director/Founder of the Center for Integral Studies of Innovation and the Territory (CEIIT), Ramon Ojeda-Maestre, with the mediation of Tamara Montalvo Arce, Campus Director.

With a large and versatile audience, residents of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, including native and adopted residents, the presentation ceremony was held, starting with the serious tone that the work itself deserves. The first part was on the Los Cabos Chronologist about whom Montalvo gave a brief and informative presentation of his career. Filmmaker, Gabriel Fonseca, offered a vision of the work of Eligio Moises Coronado in this, the third reprint of the work of Father Tavaral, which is divided into three parts: The introduction of the Professor who, supported by a team mentioned in the volume, offers the reader, student, researcher or curious individual researching the history of California -the original California-, a physiographic description of the first settlers and their first contact with Europeans. He talks about the colonial period, the author Segismundo Tavaral, and the document itself which follows the introduction, about which we can comment in another edition, and also, the work done by the Jesuits: The Rebellion of the Californians, written and developed based on the facts as they were happening, is a journal-report divided into sections by year and month between 1734 and 1737, and ends with an index of names, which complements the information for those who enjoy the work. Fonseca himself, in his commentary, emphasizes the interest and the historical value of the work and its content where reality, drama, intrigue, action, violence, deceit, and all elements for the production of a film come together, and which is already being analyzed.

After the presentation made by Montalvo about his career, Ramon Ojeda-Maestre, who has already offered extensive information on the history and rock paintings among other topics of great interest to the state and municipalities of BCS, makes a prominent mention of the person who he considers to be the greatest intellectual. In this case it is the only one who he can honor using the word “intellectual” in BCS thanks to his prolific literary and historical work including more than 40 writings published. In this paleographic version (a faithful reproduction of ancient documents that maintains the original text- Dictionary DRAE), the Chronologist Emeritus of BCS opens a door on the history and evolution of its inhabitants, from the native peoples before colonization, or the Pericues in the case of Los Cabos. Without leaving aside the reality of the region where, two centuries after colonization took place on the mainland, it arrived at the Peninsula of California – Ojeda-Maestre, using punctilious and intelligent humor that is his trademark, mentions that the original name California is also quite literary, mystic and poetic and got its start with the arrival of the Jesuits.

Finally, having arroused the attention of the audience and general interest in the work of Eligio Moises Coronado, he makes a synthesis of the work of Tamaral, and makes a reflection on the Jesuits, because they are the ones who, without using weapons, achieved personal contact with the natives. Furthermore, the natives, seeing that the Jesuits took away their names and lands, then their gods and beliefs, then their habits and customs, among which polygamy stands out, went to battle against the Jesuits led by Fathers Tamaral and Carranco and the Spaniards, who accompanied them in their mission to evangelize to the natives, ending up as the first victims of the Pericue anger. The audience was provided with information on this subject in an educational, illustrative and interesting talk about the evolution of inhabitants of this península. The integration of today’s “Alta California” to California, the origin of the name of Tijuana that, he stressed, has nothing to do with any Aunt (tia) Juana, but rather with the inhabitants of the Island of San Jose Tijuana who were recruited for the missions in the north. It reveals why the contemporary Californians “do not like to work” – the Pericues did not work, they fished, hunted, collected, and most of their tasks were carried out by women. The Pericues, he said, were excellent warriors, hunters, navigators, divers, but never worked.

Although it is true, explained Moises Coronado, that the tribal inhabitants have disappeared, it was not the desire of the colonizers to exterminate them, but rather to take advantage of the riches of the land and the sea for the benefit of the Spanish Crown, and for that they needed the original inhabitants. That is why they imported workers from the mainland, and in many cases as slaves, because slavery was never permitted in all of California.

In later editions of Los Cabos News, we will share the teachings of this work by Eligio Moises Coronado.

“One of the lessons I have learned while writing this article is that it confirms the fact that the state of BCS is behind the times with respect to the mainland, given the Spanish conquest came to the peninsula two centuries later, and our clocks are set with the time an hour later.”

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