The Guaycura (Waicura, Waikuri, Guaycuri) were a native people of Baja California Sur, Mexico, occupying an area extending south from near Loreto to Todos Santos They contested the area around La Paz with the Pericú. The Guaycura were nomadic hunter-gatherers. They are distinguished by a language unrelated to any other Native American language, indicating in the opinion of some linguists that their ancestry in Baja California dates back thousands of years.
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) of the Catholic Church established Christian missions in their territory in the 18th century. The Guaycura may have numbered 5,000 at the time of Spanish contact, but their numbers quickly declined, mostly due to European diseases. They became extinct as a culture by about 1800, the survivors being absorbed into the mestizo society of Mexico.
Linguists and archaeologists speculate that the Guaycura and the Pericú occupying the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula may have been the descendants of very early Native American migrants to the Americas. Their languages apparently were not related to each other or any other languages and their physical type was uncommon among Native Americans. They were small-bodied and long-headed (dolichocephalic). Their geographical location was a cul-de-sac in which they may have been isolated from extensive interaction with other peoples. Thus, their unique languages and physical characteristics may have survived for thousands of years. The lack of relationships between Guaycura and other languages indicates that Guaycura may have developed in isolation over a period of at least 5,000 years. At one time the Guaycura and Pericú may have occupied much greater territories but they were pushed southward and isolated by the expansion of the Cochimí people who spoke a language in the Yuman-Cochimí language family.
To our knowledge the Guaycura were never united politically, but rather consisted of a large number of independent bands, each with their own territory and sometimes hostile to each other. Known band names of probable Guaycura speakers living near the Bay of La Paz are Cubí (or Cora), Huchiti (or Uchiti), Aripe, Callejúe, and Cantile. Most bands probably consisted of about 500 persons. The Monqui also possibly spoke a Guaycura language or dialect. The Guaycura occupied a territory of about 25,000 square kilometres (9,700 sq mi) of austere deserts and mountains with few sources of fresh water.
The Native Americans or Indians of the 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) long peninsula of Baja California were similar in that all were hunter-gatherers with a limited and portable toolkit for survival. The Guaycura had no tribal government, but were divided into bands, each with its own territory. Bands united infrequently and most of the year the Guaycura foraged in family groups or lived in temporary settlements, called rancherias by the Spanish, of 50 to 200 people. Bands competed for territory and sometimes warred with each other. The Guaycura hunted mule deer, bighorn sheep and smaller game, harvested shellfish and turtles on the shorelines, and gathered a variety of plant foods. They had no pottery or agriculture and no domestic animals. Their shelters were made of brush; the men usually went naked, women wore a short skirt made of reeds or animal skins. Their religion was shamanic.
Year-round the most important food for the Guaycura was probably the basal rosettes of several species of agave which they roasted in a pit with heated rocks. The fruit of the organ pipe cactus or pitahaya (Stenocereus thurberi) was the staple food tor two or three months in late summer and fall. Its abundance and ease of harvest enabled the Guaycura to congregate in larger numbers than usual for social and religious activities.
A fair number of explorers and missionaries left brief ethnographic notes concerning the Guaycura. The most detained accounts were written by the Alsatian Jesuit Johann Jakob Baegert, stationed at San Luis Gonzaga mission between 1751 and 1768 (Baegert 1772, 1952, 1982). Baegert took a decidedly sour view of his charges, at one point characterizing them as "stupid, awkward, rude, unclean, insolent, ungrateful, mendacious, thievish, abominably lazy, great talkers to their end, and naïve and childish." His views as to the extreme simplicity of Guaycura social organization and belief systems have often been accepted as factual, but they may owe something to the missionary's own acerbic personality. He was scarcely kinder to European critics of the Jesuits. As one scholar said, "Products of their own self-righteousness and conceit, the Jesuits learned little...about the Indians."
The Guaycura may have come into contact with the Spanish near the present-day city of La Paz as early as the 1530s. Over the following century and a half, they had sporadic encounters with maritime expeditions and failed attempts by the Spanish to establish a colony and a Christian mission in Baja California. Pearl fishermen also likely visited the shores where they lived. In 1697, the Jesuits established the Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó mission near present day Loreto, Baja California Sur among the Monqui people who possibly spoke a Guaycura language. The first mission the Jesuits established among the Guaycura was the Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí at present day La Paz in 1720. Missions subsequently established among the Guaycura were Dolores (1721), Todos Santos (1733), and San Luis Gonzaga (1737).
The Guaycura were initially resistant to the missionary endeavors of the Jesuits. In 1716, the first attempt, led by Jesuit Juan María de Salvatierra, to establish a mission and a Spanish settlement among the Guaycura at La Paz resulted in the death of several Guaycura women at the hands of Indian followers of the Jesuits. The first Jesuit mission among the Guaycura was at La Paz and it was intended to serve not only as a missionary center, but as a rest and resupply stop for the Manila galleons returning from the Philippines. However, La Paz was a fractious area, contested by several Guaycura bands and the Pericú of southernmost Baja California. The mission, during its 30 years of existence "would serve more as a base for the unintentional destruction of the region's peoples than as a center for their evangelization."
The long-running opposition to the Jesuit missions and presence terminated in the Pericúe revolt of 1734, in which several Jesuits and their followers and Spanish sailors were killed by the Pericú and Guaycura, especially the Uchití band. Meanwhile the Guaycura were being devastated by introduced European diseases such as measles and smallpox. In 1748, after many years of frustration, the Jesuits decided to concentrate the southern bands of the Guaycura into a single settlement at Misión Todos Santos. There, the Jesuits forcibly detained the Guaycura children at the mission and their parents and relatives "for love of the children remained pacified."
In 1768, the Spanish government expelled the Jesuits from Baja California. The new Spanish administration and newly arrived Franciscan missionaries forced the 746 survivors of the northern bands of the Guaycura to move south to Todos Santos. A year later more than 300 had died in a measles epidemic. Many of the Guaycura were still semi-nomadic and the efforts of the Franciscans to make of them toilers of the soil on mission lands was a failure as many ran away. By 1808 only 82 Guaycura were still resident at Todos Santos. Baja California by this time was being settled by Spanish and mestizo immigrants and the remaining Guaycura were being absorbed into the general population and had lost the remnants of their culture.
The Guaycura language is attested by a few texts, but the evidence is not enough to classify it. It is not closely related to other known languages. Several businesses in Baja California Sur preserve the name of the Guaycura
A few people self-identified as Guaycura were still alive in the late 19th century. In 1883, Dutch anthropologist Herman ten Kate met two full-blooded Guaycura in Todos Santos. Both had the dolichocephalic skulls associated with the Guayacura and Pericú. In 1892, French photographer Leon Diguet photographed Maria Ignacia Melina in Loreto, Baja California Sur. She claimed to be 85 years old and three-fourth Guaycura.
Aridoamerica denotes an ecological region spanning Mexico and the Southwest United States, defined by the presence of the culturally significant staple foodstuff Phaseolus acutifolius, a drought-resistant bean. Its dry, arid climate and geography stand in contrast to the verdant Mesoamerica of present-day central Mexico into Central America to the south and east, and the higher, milder "island" of Oasisamerica to the north. Aridoamerica overlaps with both.Because of the relatively hard conditions, the pre-Columbian people in this region developed distinct cultures and subsistence farming patterns. The region has only 120 mm (4.7 in) to 160 mm (6.3 in) of annual precipitation. The sparse rainfall feeds seasonal creeks and waterholes.The term was introduced by Gary Paul Nabhan in 1985, building on prior work by anthropologists A.L. Kroeber and Paul Kirchhoff to identify a "true cultural entity" for the desert region.Baja California Sur
Baja California Sur (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaxa kaliˈfoɾnja suɾ] (listen), English: "South Lower California"), officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California Sur (English: Free and Sovereign State of South Lower California), is the second-smallest Mexican state by population and the 31st admitted state of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.
Before becoming a state on 8 October 1974, the area was known as the El Territorio Sur de Baja California ("South Territory of Lower California"). It has an area of 73,909 km2 (28,536 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico, and occupies the southern half of the Baja California Peninsula, south of the 28th parallel, plus the uninhabited Rocas Alijos in the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Gulf of California, or the "Sea of Cortés". The state has maritime borders with Sonora and Sinaloa to the east, across the Gulf of California.
The state is home to the tourist resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Its largest city and capital is La Paz.Isidoro de Atondo y Antillon
The Spanish admiral Isidro de Atondo y Antillón (baptized 3 December 1639) is best known for his role in unsuccessful attempts to establish colonies on the Baja California peninsula in 1683–1685.
Atondo was born in Valtierra, in the Navarra region of Spain, to noble parents. Baptized in 1639, he began his military service in 1658, fighting in several European campaigns, both on land and at sea. After coming to the New World in 1669, Atondo was named governor and captain general of Sinaloa in northwestern New Spain in 1676. In 1678, he was charged with leading a well-financed effort to establish a Spanish presence on the Baja California peninsula, where intermittent attempts since the 1530s had uniformly ended in failure.
Accompanied by the Jesuit missionaries Eusebio Francisco Kino and Matías Goñi, Atondo sailed to La Paz in April 1683. Efforts to establish a settlement among the Pericú and Guaycura of the La Paz area ended with the Spanish soldiers becoming embroiled in hostilities with the natives. La Paz was abandoned, and the Spanish moved north to try again at San Bruno among the Cochimí north of Loreto in December 1683.
Atondo's second attempt at colonization was more peaceful, longer-lasting, and more fruitful in geographical exploration than the first. However, it, too, came to an unsuccessful conclusion when the settlement proved unable to sustain itself and had to be abandoned in May 1685. The consequences of the Atondo expeditions included a reluctance on the part of the Spanish government to be drawn again into the expensive and unproductive task of colonizing Baja California, but also an enthusiasm on the part of Kino and other Jesuits to develop this mission field.
Atondo subsequently served in Nueva Vizcaya and Oaxaca, and he was received into the Order of Santiago in 1689.Johann Jakob Baegert
Johann Jakob Baegert (or Jacob Baegert, Jacobo Baegert) (December 22, 1717 – September 29, 1772) was a Jesuit missionary at San Luis Gonzaga in Baja California Sur, Mexico. He is noted for his detailed and acerbic account of the peninsula, the culture of its native inhabitants, and the history of its Spanish exploration and missionization.
Baegert was born in Sélestat, Alsace, the son of a leather worker. Of his three brothers and three sisters, two brothers and two sisters also entered religious orders, and the third brother was a secular priest. Baegert began his Jesuit novitiate at Mainz in 1736 and received further training at Mannheim and Molsheim. After serving briefly as a professor at the college in Haguenau, he was assigned to missionary work in the New World. He went by way of Genoa and Cadiz to Veracruz, Mexico City, and finally Baja California in 1749-1751. Baegert's travels across Europe as well as his experiences in Mexico and Baja California were described in ten letters he wrote to his family (Baegert 1777, 1982).
The new missionary was assigned to work among the Guaycura at Mission San Luis Gonzaga. Initially established as a "visita," or subordinate mission station, by Clemente Guillén in 1721, the mission was founded in 1740 and managed in succession by Lambert Hostell and Johann Bischoff prior to Baegert's arrival. Baegert served at San Luis Gonzaga for the next 17 years, also functioning as a time as the Superior for the California missions.
In 1767 the Spanish king Charles III ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits. As a non-Spanish subject, Baegert traveled back to Sélestat and ultimately settled at Neustadt an der Weinstraße 1770, where he worked as a priest and teacher until he died. He published his description of Baja California in 1771, with a revised edition appearing in 1772 (Baegert 1772, 1952). Jacob Baegert was buried in Neustadt and his simple tombstone is kept there, outside of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Baegert's book includes an account of the Guaycura language and many other aspects of native culture.Lagunella
Lagunella is a genus of funnel weavers containing the single species, Lagunella guaycura. It was first described by J. Maya-Morales, M. L. Jiménez, G. Murugan & C. Palacios-Cardiel in 2017, and is only found in Mexico.List of extinct languages of North America
This is a list of extinct languages of North America, languages which have undergone language death, have no native speakers and no spoken descendant, most of them being languages of former Native American tribes. There are 109 languages listedMisión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Chillá
The Jesuit missionary Clemente Guillén founded Mission Dolores in 1721 and sponsored by the Marqués de Villapuente de la Peña, on the Gulf coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, about midway between Loreto and La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Dolores drew its initial neophytes from the earlier, unsuccessful mission at Malibat or Ligüí to the north. In 1723, the mission site was moved to the Guaycura settlement of Apaté, about 4 kilometers inland from the coast. It was moved again in 1741 by Lambert Hostell to a location which had previously functioned as its visita of La Pasión, known as Chillá or Tañuetía ("place of the ducks"), about 25 kilometers southwest of Apaté.
The mission was subsequently reduced to the status of a visita of Mission San Luis Gonzaga. It was finally abandoned in 1768, when the Franciscans took over control of the Baja California missions from the Jesuits. The remaining neophytes were relocated to Todos Santos.Misión San Juan Bautista Malibat
Other missions bearing the name San Juan Bautista include the Mission San Juan Bautista in California and the Misión San Juan Bautista in Coahuila
Misión San Juan Bautista Malibat also known as the Misión San Juan Bautista de Ligüí was founded by the Jesuit missionary Pedro de Ugarte in November 1705, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Loreto near the Gulf of California coast of what is today the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. The mission is located at 25°44′22″N 111°15′51″W.Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui
Mission San Luis Gonzaga was a Jesuit mission established among the Guaycura on the Magdalena Plains of central Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Initially in 1721 a visita or subordinate mission station of Mission Dolores near the coast to the east, the site was elevated to mission status by Lambert Hostell in 1737. One of Hostell's successors was Johann Jakob Baegert, who served from 1751 until the Jesuits were expelled and the mission was closed in 1768. Baegert is notable for his detailed but acid accounts of his experiences in Baja California. He oversaw the construction of stone and adobe brick structures that still survive at the site.Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas
Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas, also known as Todos Santos Mission, was founded by the Roman Catholic Jesuits in 1733. After 1748, the mission was known as Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz. The mission was the first European settlement at the site of what is now the city of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur. The Santa Rosa Mission was located in one of the few areas of Baja California suitable for agriculture. The residents of the Mission were primarily Guaycura Native Americans (American Indians) whom the Jesuits and their successors, the Franciscans and Dominicans, attempted to convert to Christianity and to make into sedentary farm workers. Recurrent epidemics of introduced European diseases reduced the Indian population to only a handful by the 19th century and in 1825 the mission was closed.Misión Santiago de Los Coras
Mission Santiago was founded by the Italian Jesuit Ignacio María Nápoli in 1724 and financed by the Marqués de Villapuente de la Peña and his wife the Marquesa de las Torres de Rada, at the native settlement of Aiñiní, about 40 kilometers north of San José del Cabo in the Cape Region of Baja California Sur, Mexico.
The mission took part of its name from the "Coras," the native people of the region. William C. Massey (1949) interpreted the Jesuit historical sources as indicating that the Coras were a Guaycura-speaking group, but a reexamination of the evidence favors the view that the name was a synonym for "Pericú" (Laylander 1997).
Mission Santiago was the first target of the Pericú Revolt in 1734. Its missionary, Lorenzo José Carranco, was killed, and the buildings were sacked. Rebuilding was begun in 1734, but the mission was ultimately abandoned during the Dominican period in 1795, and its remaining neophytes were relocated to San José del Cabo.Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí
Mission La Paz was established by the Jesuit missionaries Juan de Ugarte and Jaime Bravo in 1720 and financed by the Marqués de Villapuente de la Peña, at the location of the modern city of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
La Paz was the location of the earliest Spanish activity in Baja California, and was frequently the site of conflicts between the Spanish and the local Guaycura and Pericú Indians. Fortún Ximénez, mutineer on an expedition sent by Hernán Cortéz, landed at La Paz in 1533. Two years later, Cortés himself led a large party that attempted but failed to establish a settlement. Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1596 gave it its anomalously pacific name. Isidro de Atondo y Antillón and Eusebio Francisco Kino attempted to establish a mission settlement in 1683 but again failed because of conflicts with the native inhabitants. When Jesuit missions finally took root in Baja California after 1697, the initial focus of activity was to the north, in the area around Loreto.
The Jesuits finally returned to the site of Airapí (probably a Guaycura name) in 1720, in coordinated expeditions from Loreto that traveled both by sea (under Ugarte and Bravo) and overland (under Clemente Guillén). The mission had little success, however. It was sacked in the Pericú Revolt of 1734 and finally abandoned in 1748, when its Indian neophytes were relocated to Todos Santos.Monqui
The Monqui were indigenous peoples of Mexico (American Indians), who lived in the vicinity of Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, at the time of Spanish contact. Monqui territory included about 65 kilometres (40 mi) of coast along the Gulf of California and extended a few kilometers inland to where the Cochimi people lived.
Probably first encountered by explorers traveling up the Gulf of California during the sixteenth century, the Monqui were subjected to some of the peninsula's earliest intensive Jesuit missionary efforts during the late seventeenth century. The Tyrolean Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino, together with Admiral Isidoro de Atondo y Antillon, unsuccessfully attempted to establish Misión San Bruno on the northern margin of Monqui territory in 1684-1685. The first permanent mission and settlement in Baja California was founded in Monqui territory at Loreto in 1697 by Juan María de Salvatierra.
In contrast to many of their Jesuit colleagues, Kino and Salvatierra included relatively few notes on native ethnography in their letters and reports. Most of what is known about the aboriginal culture of the Monqui comes from incidental comments in explorers' accounts and at second hand in the works of the Jesuit historian Miguel Venegas (1757, 1979).Pericú language
Pericú is the extinct and essentially unattested language of the Pericú people who lived at the southern tip of Baja California. Jesuit missionaries recognized it as distinct from Waikuri (Guaycura) immediately to the north. It was spoken in the mountainous area around the mission of San José del Cabo, on the southeastern coast from Santiago to La Paz, and on the islands off the east coast as far north as Isla San José.
Data is extremely limited, amounting to only four words and ten place names.Pericúes
The Pericú (also known as Pericues, Cora, Edues) were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Cape Region, the southernmost portion of Baja California Sur, Mexico. They have been linguistically and culturally extinct since the late 18th century.Pichilinque
Pichilinque is a port city in the La Paz Municipality, in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. It is located in the Bay of La Paz, on the Baja California peninsula nearby the state capital of La Paz.
Pichilinque, derived from a Guaycura name, was originally a favored anchorage in the Bay of La Paz. This anchorage was used by the U. S. Navy for a base of operations against the west coast of Mexico during the Mexican American War. It later developed into a port. Two ferry services operate from the port of Pichilingue, connecting the Baja California peninsula to the mainland at Mazatlán and Topolobampo, near Los Mochis.Sigfrido Cuen Rodelo
Sigfrido Ignacio Cuen Rodelo (born July 31, 1953), better known as Sigfrido Cuen Rodelo, is a Mexican engineer, philanthropist and former businessman, best known for his contributions as a member of Rotary International.He is a former electrical contractor, Club Rotario La Paz Guaycura past president, 4100 Rotary District past governor and former Club Rotario Guadalajara Colomos president.He is also known for developing the Dos Mares tunnel, which connects the luxury private resort The Resort at Pedregal with downtown Cabo San Lucas.Sigismundo Taraval
Sigismundo Taraval (1700–1763) was a pioneering Jesuit missionary in Baja California who wrote important historical accounts of the peninsula.
Born in Lodi, Lombardy, he served initially as missionary at La Purísima (1730–1732) and San Ignacio (1732-1733), among the Cochimí. A notable episode while he was at San Ignacio was the bringing of the inhabitants of Cedros Island to the mission. In a relatively detailed account of the islanders' aboriginal lifeways, Taraval presented what were perhaps the earliest speculations concerning the region's prehistoric past.In 1733 he was sent south to found the Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas at the modern site of Todos Santos. The following year, the local Pericú and Guaycura Indians staged a serious revolt against Jesuit rule, and Taraval was forced to flee, first to La Paz and then to Isla Espíritu Santo. He wrote a detailed if partisan account of the revolt and its subsequent suppression.Subsequently Taraval later served at the southern missions of San José del Cabo (1736–1746) and Santiago (1747–1750). He left the peninsula in 1750 to serve at the Jesuit college in Guadalajara.
Taraval Street in San Francisco is named after him.Waikuri language
Waikuri (Guaycura, Waicura) is an extinct language of southern Baja California spoken by the Waikuri or Guaycura people. The Jesuit priest Baegert documented words, sentences and texts in the language between 1751 and 1768.
Waikuri may be, along with the Yukian and Chumashan languages and other languages of southern Baja such as Pericú, among the oldest languages established in California, before the arrival of speakers of Penutian, Uto-Aztecan, and perhaps even Hokan languages. All are spoken in areas with long-established populations of a distinct physical type.