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Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar

Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar: Writing on Luiseño Language and Colonial History, c.1840

Lisbeth Haas
with Art by James Luna
Marta Eguía
Cecilia Palmeiro
Laura León Llerena
Jussara Quadros
Heidi Morse
Jaime Cortez
Guillermo Delgado
Gildas Hamel
Karl Kottman
Heidi Morse
Rose Vekony
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar
    Book Description:

    This volume makes available a remarkable body of writings, the only indigenous account of early nineteenth-century California. Written by Pablo Tac, this work on Luiseño language and culture offers a new approach to understanding California’s colonial history. Born and raised at Mission San Luis Rey, near San Diego, Pablo Tac became an international scholar. He traveled to Rome, where he studied Latin and other subjects, and produced these historical writings for the Vatican Librarian Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti. In this multifaceted volume, Pablo Tac’s study is published in the original languages and in English translation. Lisbeth Haas introduces Pablo Tac’s life and the significance of the record he left. She situates his writing among that of other indigenous scholars, and elaborates on its poetic quality. Luiseño artist James Luna considers Tac’s contemporary significance in a series of artworks that bring Pablo Tac into provocative juxtaposition with the present day. Transcribed by Marta Eguía, Cecilia Palmeiro, Laura León Llerena, Jussara Quadros, and Heidi Morse, with facing-page translation by Jaime Cortez, Guillermo Delgado, Gildas Hamel, Karl Kottman, Heidi Morse, and Rose Vekony

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95029-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Melvin J. Vernon

    Miiyum: Hello!

    We, the people of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians from Oceanside, California, are honored to have the opportunity to share the history and culture of our people. We still live on land that is the territory of our ancestors, from the ocean to the mountains. We have experienced and survived both natural and manmade challenges through ten thousand years of sustainable living.

    We see ourselves as being here from the beginning of time. Our creation story is here.

    Today our goal is to achieve Federal recognition. It is important to be recognized as a sovereign...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xx)

    • The Life and Writing of Luiseño Scholar Pablo Tac, 1820–1841
      (pp. 3-40)

      As a historian and scholar, Pablo Tac defied the dominant ideas expressed about Luiseños and other indigenous people under Spanish colonialism. His work used categories of analysis such as “dance” that offered an indigenous way of understanding Luiseño society during the colonial and Mexican eras in California, from 1769 to 1848. Born at Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in 1820, Tac devised a way to write Luiseño from his study of Latin grammar and Spanish, and in so doing he captured many of the relationships that existed between Luiseños during his youth. Drawing on local knowledge, traditions, and ideas,...

    • Fasten Your Seat Belts, Prepare for Landing: The Travels of Payomkowishum Art Warriors
      (pp. 41-56)

      I am on my way to Venice to make art. I stare out of the jet plane window as we cross over the Alps and the border between Switzerland and Italy. I think that it is amazing how mankind can learn to exist in most any environment and create a culture within that territory. I wonder about history and why there seems to be only one history, the history of the dominant Western world—when there so are many histories growing at once all over the world.

      I have chosen Pablo Tac, a fellow Payomkowishum from the coast, to be...


    • Pablo Tac’s Luiseño Grammar and History
      (pp. 59-214)

      This book attempts to provide an exact reproduction of Pablo Tac’s writing as found in his manuscript at the Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio, Bologna. In the present section (grammar and history), Tac’s Latin, Spanish, and Luiseño text is transcribed on the left-hand pages, with English translation of the Latin and Spanish on the right-hand pages. In the following section (the dictionary), the text and translation appear in separate columns of the same page. Italic is used only for Luiseño; Latin and Spanish are in roman type. Throughout, folio numbers of the manuscript are given in the margins of the page. Footnotes...

    • Pablo Tac’s Luiseño-Spanish Dictionary, A–Cu
      (pp. 215-262)

      The contents of Tac’s three dictionary booklets are listed below, with folio numbers of the manuscript given in the margins of the page. We preserve Tac’s format of listing Luiseño on the left followed by a dotted line to Tac’s Spanish translation. English translations of Tac’s Spanish have been added on the right. We have also retained his order, which is not strictly alphabetical, and his occasional repetition of entries.

      Tac’s Spanish orthography is inconsistent; sometimes he spells the same word differently within a long example. Spanish grammar systematized the placement of accent marks during the nineteenth century. Tac is...

  9. Index
    (pp. 263-267)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 268-268)