A tour of the Museum begins in the Founder's Room with exhibits of the Luiseno Indian culture and traces the arrival of the Spanish Franciscan Missionaries in the early stages of the mission settlement.
TRADITIONAL INDIAN GRANARY BASKET USED FOR SEASONAL STORAGE
Traditional Indian granary basket used for seasonal storage of acorns, mesquite beans, screw beans, pine nuts, manzanita berries and other wild seeds and pods. It would be elevated on stilts to protect the contents from animals, rain damage and excess ground moisture.
Acorns from the Mesa Oak, Black Oak and Valley Oak were among the preferred species of the area tribes and a staple of the Indian diet for more than 4,000 years. Acorns are extremely nutritious and were, for many, the most important plant food.
Material: Arroyo Willow
Technique: coil and weave
Artisan: Kim Marcus, 2008
TYPICAL ITEMS BELONGING TO A FRANCISCAN MISSIONARY
Grey habits were worn by Franciscans during the Mission Period and were replaced by dark brown towards the end of the 19th century. Wearing grey habits, friars from Zacatecas, Mexico arrived at the Mission San Luis Rey in 1892 to escape persecution and re-establish their novitiate.
THE MILITARY PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE THROUGHOUT THE SPANISH COLONIZATION OF ALTA CALIFORNIA
Laws imposed by Spain and the mandates of the Church created conditions for the exploitation of the native culture that had existed here for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. From the time of the Portola expedition of 1769 through the occupation by American forces in 1846, and the eventual abandonment of the outpost at the San Luis Rey mission by the U.S. military in June 1852, the roll of the different occupying troops was essentially the same; establish a presence in the region and procure and protect the frontier outpost from hostile forces.
A guard detachment of presidio troops provided protection for San Luis Rey. Numbering between five and eleven, the soldiers were housed in barracks separate from the friars and neophytes with the greatest distance being from the manjario or dormitory of young girls and unmarried women. The military personnel were assigned many duties at the mission including over-site of the Indian labor force, participation in construction projects and as the resident police. They enforced the law and carried out the prescribed punishment according to the severity of the crime.