Indian Life at the Old Missions
By Edith Buckland Webb
Originally published in 1952 and then reprinted in 1982, Indian Life at the Old Missions remains a frequent feature of Native American bibliographies. Filled with detailed photographs and fine line drawings, Indian Life describes the life of the Native Americans who founded California, yet were destined to be forgotten, as settlers took over their land. The author presents an authentic picture of the life of the Indians from the time when the Spanish explorers first saw them until the missions were secularized in 1837.
“If Edith Webb's name is now known outside of a small group of family and friends, it is as author of Indian Life at the Old Missions, perhaps the finest book ever written about the California Missions. That book was the culmination of many decades of research on the missions. Her initial curiosity about the missions came about because her grandmother had resided in one of the rooms of Mission Dolores in San Francisco in the period just before the Gold Rush. Born in Utah, Edith Buckland Webb moved to California around the turn of the century. By about 1923 she . . . began to devote herself seriously to painting, especially, though not exclusively, of the missions. She completed six of them and three, including San Diego, were in process when she became involved in the Little Mission, and she never returned to these. The research done for the paintings, however, served as the basis for her great book which appeared in 1953, and that, as well as other writing projects, unfortunately never completed, occupied her last years.”
-- Norman Neuerburg
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