Hunters, soldiers, and holy men : an archaeological study of masculinities and male household space at Mission San Antonio de Padua, Monterey County, California

Dylla, Emily Donna
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In this dissertation, I examine masculinity and domestic spaces inhabited by men at San Antonio de Padua, an 18th and 19th century Spanish mission site in central California. My research includes two all-male residences: the mission soldiers’ barracks and the dormitory for unmarried male neophytes (jayunte). The third housing context is mixed-gender, an adobe housing wing occupied by nuclear neophyte families. I examined architecture and built space as well as lithic, ceramic, metal, and glass material assemblages, assessing their differences and similarities with one another. My research was guided by two sets of primary research questions, focusing specifically on two subjects: ‘masculinity’ and ‘household’. Regarding masculinity, I asked: What characteristics defined masculinity within the mission system, and was it a homogenous or heterogeneous phenomenon? Is masculinity archaeologically discernable? Regarding households, I asked: What defines a mission household, and did the included housing contexts meet those criteria? Adopting a comparative approach, I synthesized multiple data sets to contrast the housing contexts in both a quantitative and qualitative fashion. This includes extrapolating spatial data from 11 seasons of field notes and collecting attribute data from more than 13,000 recovered artifacts. I incorporated these data with primary and secondary historical sources, as well as oral tradition relayed by a Salinan elder. Based on these data, I present two arguments. First, I argue that masculinity was indeed a heterogeneous, complex phenomenon that underpinned San Antonio’s physical and social landscape. Not only were there contrasts between colonizers and neophytes, there were contrasts within these groups as well. These masculinities were archaeologically discernable in both built space and material culture. Not only does this enrich mission history, it demonstrates the value of gendering male actors from an archaeological perspective. Second, I argue ‘household’ was a tool harnessed by Spanish missionaries to help rework the conceptual universe of local Indigenous peoples. In addition to redefining what individual households could and could not be, missionaries structured the missions themselves after a loose household metaphor. This connection between institution and household has important implications for Spanish colonial and household archaeologies.