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CHAPTER IV:
CHRISTIAN CONVERSION

F. 2. Prelude Theme: Resentment of Arbitrariness

a. Governor Joseph's Flogging . The one-time governor of Tubac mentioned in the preceding discussion of ranchería government suffered treatment at the hands of Father Joseph Garrucho which cannot be explained on any rational basis even today. When the civil authorities called for Piman auxiliaries in late 1748 when Joseph was Governor and could not but feel responsible for the welfare of his people, he applied to Garrucho for permission to leave Tubac to take part in the campaign against the Apache enemy. His reason was to him perfectly logical and valid: he simply wanted to go with the tribal leader Luís Oacpicagigua to fulfill his military duty as defined by civil authority. It must have seemed to Governor Joseph that he would serve both his own people and 87 his foreign masters by helping Oacpicagigua and the other Piman auxiliaries fight the Apaches. For whatever reasons, Garrucho refused Governor Joseph permission to depart from Tubac on this campaign. Placed in an impossible position, Joseph followed the dictates of his upbringing and followed Luís off to the war. Returning to Tubac flushed with vic-tory, Governor Joseph undoubtedly expected to receive the plaudits of his people and the grateful thanks of the Spaniards, although he did return fearful of Garrucho's reaction to his disobedience. Hoping to placate the peppery priest, Governor Joseph presented him with a suit of leather armor plundered from some unfortunate Apache. This peace offering Garrucho accepted, but then he struck the surely astonished Governor and beat him with a stick "as though it were a crime to go to pursue the enemies of the land. His action seemed bad to the Indians who resented it greatly" (Oacpicagigua, Mar. 24, 1752:191-191v).

In 1749 Joseph was ordered by the same Luís Oacpicagigua to accompany him on a campaign against the Seri Indians of the Gulf of California coast. This time, again, Luís was acting on orders from the governor of Sonora in gathering a Piman force to fight as auxiliaries with the Spanish expedition against the Seris, so poor Joseph must have felt every justification for marching off to fight the good fight. Yet his reward for his participation in the Governor's campaign was a flogging administered by order of Garrucho ( ibid ., f. 192)!

88 It becomes apparent that the eager warrior Joseph must have been caught in forces far beyond his control, or even more important, his understanding. Either he was a helpless pawn in a running fight for domination between the Jesuit missionaries and Spanish civil officials, or the relatively uncurbed authority missionaries enjoyed over their neophytes had gone to Garrucho's head to a point somewhat past rationality.

In either case Garrucho was indulging himself in a type of behavior extremely risky in any social situation including individuals of two racial groups and differing cultural traditions, especially when one of the races attempts to dominate the other. Since the northern Pimans had never really been conquered by the Spaniards, they did not yet share the resigned docility of conquered tribes, and their memory of Spanish military atrocities in 1688 and 1695 had dimmed over half a century. Under such conditions, it ill behooved the dominant Europeans to indulge in a church-state quarrel dividing their own ranks. Nor was Garrucho in any objective position to let his apparently absolute powers corrupt him to the extent Lord Acton's famous axiom implies such powers do.

b. Lancing Prisoners-The Squash Squabble . Other incidents which roused the resentment of the upper Santa Cruz River Valley Pimans against the Spaniards in their midst were simply results of poor communication between dominant and 89 subordinate group. Such faulty communication is inherent in the early years of bi-societal contact, especially before either group has time to acquire facility in the language of the other.

In the fall of 1751, either in October or November, such a failure in oral communication set off the "Squash Squabble" between three Piman men and three Spanish overseers of the Guebavi Mission.

Father Joseph Garrucho again set in motion a train of events which added fuel to the fire of Piman resentment of him and his underlings. He ordered his general foreman, Juan María Romero, to apprehend some Indians. Romero picked up Joseph de Nava and Manuel Bustamante to accompany him, and found the Indians at their ranchería near the mission ranch at Tubac. Two of the captives were a father and his son; the third was another older man (Oacpicagigua, Mar. 24, 1752:195v). The other four were women.

The Spaniards set out for the Tubac ranch with their prisoners, and Romero happened to spy a squash plant growing in the path which bore some appetizing looking squash. Although this plant grew near some thatched huts of some other Indians, Romero ordered his prisoners to cut some squash for them to eat. The Indian youth replied that the squash on the path were still green, adding that there were ripe ones stored inside the huts and suggesting that these would be better to eat. At that point communication failed.

90 The foreman either did not understand the Indian boy's reply which was uttered in Piman-this was the Indian opinion of the matter-or if he did he took umbrage at having his sovereign Spanish will questioned by a mere Piman stripling. Opining that the boy had spoken badly to him (a U. S. southerner would say that a Negro had "sassed" him), the infuriated Romero began caning the youth about the head and body. The boy's father, seeing how Romero mistreated his son, decided this ornery Spaniard wanted to start a fight. He grabbed his bow and an arrow and let fly at Romero, but missed in his excitement. The other man also took a defensive stance, but Joseph de Nava drove his horse at that Indian and upset him, wounding him with his lance. This ended the Squash Squabble and the prisoners were conducted to Tubac with dire threats of deportation to summary court martial before the Governor and even the viceroy ( ibid ., f. 196)-a rather unrealistic menace in view of the prevailing lack of cooperation between Jesuits and Sonoran Governors!

The psychological stress the Pimans labored under during this period may be gauged from the fact that they were not sure even after the Squash Squabble ended what occasioned Garrucho's order in the first place. At first they apparently concluded that the priest had ordered their arrest merely because they had walked across the mission ranch at Tubac and he did not want them to do so because they frightened the colts (Fontes Mar. 9, 1752:87v). Later the Indians attributed 91 Garrucho's order to his belief the Indians were eating yearling calves belonging to the mission (Oacpicagigua Mar. 24, 1752:195v).

c. Durance Vile . Very likely the northern Pimans arrested by Father Joseph Garrucho for trespass on "his" Tubac mission farm were incarcerated for a period as punishment. Imprisonment frightened and upset the northern Pimans: a measure of their distaste for incarceration is the fact that they did not borrow it as a social sanction for their own use. Whipping they adopted (Underhill 1939:86-87) but imprisonment they did not.

Imprisonment of northern Pimans for contravening Spanish laws or regulations undoubtedly contributed heavily to the frustrations leading up to the Pima Revolt. For one thing, prisoners tended to die in prison. For another, they were often removed from their home towns to distant prisons at or near San Ignacio Mission. Moreover, men from the home town of Captain-General Luís of Saric were imprisoned (Libro de Entierros deste Pueblo de San Ygnacio desde 1697, f. 25), bringing the lesson of Spanish capriciousness home to the most capable leader in north Piman country. Most important of all, perhaps, was the Spanish tendency to throw native medical practitioners into prison as sorcerers ( ibid ., f. 26).  The missionaries, products of medieval Europe and its firm belief in the Devil incarnate, witchcraft, spells, etc ., were honestly convinced that the Indian curers were in league with the Devil and should be treated as the Inquisition 92 treated any heretics. The Swiss Father Gaspar Stiger and his Jesuit colleagues were sure that the medicine men at San Xavier del Bac had bewitched him when he fell ill there repeatedly between his arrival in 1733 and his transfer in 1736, and that he had been saved only through the hard-won knowledge Father Joseph Agustín de Campos possessed of northern Piman witchcraft, which enabled him to identify the guilty witches and force them to remove their spells. The honesty of the missionaries' convictions contributed not at all to easing Spanish-northern Piman relations, since it led them inevitably into grave conflict with one of the most powerful elements of northern Piman society.

Like any other group of human beings, the northern Pimans were extremely dependent upon their medical practitioners, and those individuals enjoyed high social status, economic wealth and political power. Therefore the Indian curers had to lead native opposition to Spanish attempts to repress their activities, out of self interest if nothing more. Even more important in creating the widening rift was the great importance of curing in native religious belief and practice. A very large amount of northern Piman time was devoted to ceremonial activities aimed at insuring good health. Such ritual was interwoven through most other aspects of northern Piman culture. Therefore, imprisonment of native medical practitioners not only alienated these individuals and their families, but posed a very upsetting threat to the whole religious sphere of northern Piman culture and belief, the 93 basis of psychological security in regard to well-being. Intolerably acute anxiety resulted.

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