MS 2114-a Comparative vocabulary of San Antonio (Salinan), San Miguel (Salinan), San Luis Obispo (Obispeno), Santa Rosa (Island Chumash), Santa Inez (Inezeno Chumash), Purisima (Purismeno Chumash), Santa Barbara (Barbareno Chumash), and Ventura (Ventur...
Henshaw, Henry W. (Henry Wetherbee), 1850-1930 Search this
Manuscript 2114-a, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Digitization and preparation of these materials for online access has been funded by the National Science Foundation under BCS Grant No. 1561167 and the Recovering Voices initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
Copied by E.F. Murray in 1878 from the original made in 1821. It includes vocabularies of the following languages: Esselen, San Antonio (Salinan), San Miguel (Salinan), San Luis Obispo (Obispeno Chusmash), Santa Barbara (Barbareno Chumash), La Purisima (Purismeno Chusmash), Santa Inez (Inezeno Chumash), Nophrinthres of San Juan Bautista (a Yokuts dialect), Lathruunen (Yokuts), San Luis Rey (Uto-Aztecan), Karkin (Costanoan), Saclan (Miwok), Juichun (Costanoan), Huimen (Marin Miwok), and Suisen (a dialect of Patwin [Wintun]).
The prayer board is signed by P. Cabot, believed to be Father Pedro Cabot of the San Antonio Mission.
Biographical / Historical:
The recent rediscovery of a rare Indian-Spanish prayer board in the National Anthropological Archives has engendered much interest and research on the part of various scholars in early Spanish-American history. The board is about eight inches wide by twelve inches high and has a handle at the bottom. There are prayers and songs (with musical notation) written in the Salinan Indian language of southern California and in Spanish and Latin. On the front of the board is a "Brief act of Charity and Prayer" and a "Brief Prayer." On the reverse is pasted Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity in Salinan and Spanish. Prayer boards such as this were used by Franciscan priests to teach Native Americans the fundamentals of Roman Catholic practice and belief through standardized prayers and songs. The prayer board was prepared by two Franciscan missionaries, Father Pedro Cabot and Father Juan Batista Sancho of the San Antonio Mission in the year 1817. This particular prayer board is a rare find not only because there is only one other of its kind known to us, but also because the Salinan language is long dead. There were only about 1200 Salinan Indians in the 1760s, and by the beginning of this century only about forty natives carried on that culture. The Salinan-Spanish prayer board was used in hearings before the Senate and House appropriation sub-committees March 1973 to demonstrate the great benefits realized from the modest increases in funds provided by the Congress in recent years to the National Museum of Natural History for additional personnel and resources to support the work of our scientific staff. JMW 4/24/73
NAA INV 09067000
NAA MS 1082
The prayer board was on exhibit in the Museum of History and Technology (now called the National Museum of American History) in the "Hall of Every Day Life in the American Past," in a special section entitled," Character of the Old West."