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Pericui Indians

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A rude and savage tribe, of unknown linguistic affinity, formerly occupying the extreme southern end of the peninsula of California. With the neighbouring and allied tribe, the Cora, they numbered originally about 4000 souls. In general habit they closely resembled the Guaicuri as described by Baegert, but exceeded them in intractable savagery, being in chronic hostility, not only with the Spaniards, but with most of the other tribes of the adjacent region. In 1720 the Jesuit Fathers Bravo and Ugarte founded among them the mission of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, at La Paz, followed in a few years by several other Jesuit establishments. In 1734 under the leadership of two chiefs of negro origin, the two tribes revolted against the strictures of the missionaries upon polygamy and other immoralities, butchered Fathers Carranco and Tamaral, with a number of the mission followers, and plundered and burned the missions of Santiago, San José, Santa Rosa, and La Paz. For some time there was danger of an outbreak throughout the whole peninsula, but order was restored and mission work resumed. From 1742 to 1748, a series of epidemic visitations, probably smallpox, reduced them to one-sixth of their former numer, and two of the four missions were abandoned. In 1769 another pestilential visitation wasted their numbers and provoked another outbreak, which was suppressed by Governor Gonzalez in person. By 1772 less than 400 remained alive and these were hopelessly diseased from contact with the pearl fishers and Spanish soldiery. Missions were continued at San José and La Paz (Todos Santos) under Franciscan and Dominican auspices into the last century, but the tribe is long since extinct.


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