Dominicans Did It Better: How They Shaped Baja California Sur's Culture
Discover the evolution of Baja California Sur during the Dominican period. Learn about the preservation of cultural traditions, the emergence of South Californian towns, and the lack of colonial practices.
Baja California Sur is a Mexican state located in the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula. The region has a rich history dating back to the pre-Columbian era. It was first inhabited by various indigenous groups before it was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. In this article, we will focus on the evolution of Baja California Sur during the Dominican period.
The Arrival of the Dominicans
After the departure of the Franciscans, the Dominicans arrived in Baja California Sur in the mid-18th century. They continued the mission-building efforts of their predecessors, establishing mission centers throughout the region. During this period, the population of Sudcalifornia was in decline, and a new society began to emerge. Many of the stewards who worked at the missions took charge of the available lands, which marked the beginning of a new era.
Preservation of Culture
In several places in Baja California Sur, many of the customs, languages, techniques, and means of production from the 18th century still prevail. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and have become an essential part of the region's cultural heritage. The immigrants from other regions of Mexico and abroad, together with the locals, gave origin to the most extended surnames in this region.
The Emergence of South Californian Towns
At the beginning of the 19th century, most of the current South Californian towns already existed. Loreto ceased to be the capital of all the Californias and became the capital of the peninsular territory. While the south suffered the neglect of the rest of New Spain, the new northern foundations began to prosper, especially those of Alta California. San Diego, Santa Bárbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and San Francisco were endowed with their government.
Colonial Practices in Baja California Sur
During Mexico's colonial period, Baja California Sur never had encomienda, repartimiento, or slavery. These practices were prevalent in other parts of the country, where indigenous people were subjected to forced labor and their lands were taken away from them. However, this was not the case in Baja California Sur. The lack of these colonial practices is significant and sets Baja California Sur apart from other regions of Mexico.
The Dominican period was a crucial time in the evolution of Baja California Sur. The arrival of the Dominicans marked the beginning of a new era, and their mission-building efforts helped to shape the region's cultural heritage. Today, Baja California Sur is a unique part of Mexico with a rich history and a distinct cultural identity. Its preservation of cultural traditions and lack of colonial practices make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Mexican history and culture.