The collection consists of a wooden prayer and song board. There are prayers and songs (with musical notation) written in the Salinan language, Spanish, and Latin. The front of the board is divided into upper and lower sections. The upper section contains "Acto breve de caridad y contricion" (Brief Act of Charity and Prayer) and "Breve oracion" (Brief Prayer) in Spanish and Salinan. The lower section contains Latin text with musical notations for two antiphons, Asperges Me and Vidi Aquam, and includes detailed instructions to the priest. The reverse of the board contains "Acto de fe" (Act of Faith), "Acto de esperanza" (Act of Hope), and "Acto de caridad, o de amor, y dolor" (Act of Charity, or Love and Sorrow) in Spanish and Salinan.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Mission San Antonio was founded fifty miles south of Monterey, California by Father Junipero Serra on July 14, 1771. In 1804, Fr. Padro Cabot and Fr. Juan Bautista Sancho joined the mission.
Prayer boards were used at California missions by Franciscans for teaching indigenous communities the basic elements of Roman Catholic practice and belief through standardized prayers and traditional songs. The boards were designed to be carried, hung up, or inserted in a hymnal stand.
NAA MS 1082
NAA INV 09067000
The prayer board was on exhibit in the Museum of History and Technology (now 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."
The prayer board was used in hearings before the Senate and House appropriation sub-committees in March 1973 to demonstrate the 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 scientific staff.
The prayer board is discussed in detail in:
Ahlborn, Richard E. "The Mission San Antonio Prayer and Song Board." Southern California Quarterly 74, no. 1 (1992): 1–17. https://doi.org/10.2307/41171606.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Prayerboard with Liturgy Written in Spanish and Salinan, Handwritten Ink on Paper Pasted on Wood Board
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]).