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Cattle ColonialismAn Environmental History of the Conquest of California and Hawai'i$
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John Ryan Fischer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625126

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625126.001.0001

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(p.65) Chapter Three Reactions
Cattle Colonialism

John Ryan Fischer

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter covers the European efforts to ensure the survival of cattle populations in new lands by eliciting native cooperation and labor in California and Hawaiʻi. Different colonial systems in the Pacific borderlands led to varying approaches to guiding the management of the new resources that livestock represented. The Franciscan missionaries taught natives European methods of agriculture as part of the conversion process. These agricultural methods included traditional practices of cattle management adapted to the North American context of abundant rangeland. Many Indians in the mission system became vaqueros who utilized the equipment and techniques developed to manage and transport vast herds of cattle in New Spain. In Hawaiʻi, as cattle from California rapidly multiplied and threatened native fields, native Hawaiians attempted to herd animals that had gone feral and become dangerous. Thus, the initial native response to the introduced animals occurred within the context of sudden environmental change but nevertheless demonstrated rapid adaptations.

Keywords:   California missions, California Indians, Vaqueros, Hawaiian agriculture, Indigenous adaptation, Indigenous labor, Ranching

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