Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert

Spanish Missions In The Sonoran Desert

Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert

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Description:
The Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert are a series of Jesuit Catholic religious outposts established by the Spanish Catholic Jesuits and other orders for religious conversions of the Pima and Tohono O'odham indigenous peoples residing in the Sonoran Desert. An added goal was giving Spain a colonial presence in their frontier territory of the Sonora y Sinaloa Province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and relocating by Indian Reductions (Reducciones de Indios) settlements and encomiendas for agricultural, ranching, and mining labor.

Geography

The missions are in an area of the Sonoran Desert, then called "Pimería Alta de Sonora y Sinaloa" (Upper Pima of Sonora and Sinaloa), now divided between the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona.

Father Kino

From around 1520, the Spain had maintained a number of missions throughout Virreinato de Nueva España (the Viceroyalty of New Spain) consisting of Mexico and portions of what today are the Southwestern United States, in order to establish colonization and control of the territory and resources.

In the Spring of 1687, a Jesuit missionary named Father Eusebio Francisco Kino lived and worked with the Native Americans (including the Sobaipuri) in the area called the "Pimería Alta," or "Upper Pima Country," which presently is located in northern Sonora and southern Arizona. During Father Eusebio Kino's stay in the Pimería Alta, he founded over twenty missions in eight mission...
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