Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/495

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as in harvest-time, and that the tasks laid upon both women and men were too heavy, the fathers asserted that the working hours were only from four to six hours, and that tasks were light, since not more than one half the neophytes worked at any one time, being excused on one pretext or another; and that even when they did work they never worked hard. Those familiar with the Indians will be likely to accept the statements of the missionaries, since to induce the average Indian, half or wholly wild, to overwork himself in steady toil would require a much more severe regime' than there is any evidence was ever employed at the missions.

Pérouse has left us an account of a day's routine at one of the missions, and, as the methods varied but little at the several establishments, it will probably answer for all: "The Indians, as well as the missionaries, rise with the sun and go to mass, which lasts about an hour. While this is in progress the breakfast is prepared, the favorite atole or pottage, which consists of barley-flour, the grain being roasted previously to grinding. It is cooked in large kettles, and is seasoned with neither salt nor butter. Every cottage or hut sends for the allowance for all its inmates, which is carried home in one of their large baskets. Any overplus that remains is distributed among the children as a reward for good behavior, particularly for good lessons in the catechism. After breakfast, which lasts about three quarters of an hour, they proceed

PSM V37 D495 Mission indian graveyard in coahuila valley.jpg
Fig. 8.—Mission Indian Graveyard in Coahuila Valley, Sam Dieuo County.

to their labors, either out of doors or within. At noon the dinner is announced by a bell, and the Indians quitting their work go and receive their rations as at breakfast-time. The mess now served is somewhat of the same kind as the former, only varied by the addition of maize, peas, and beans; it is named pozzoli. After dinner they return to their work, from two to four or five; afterward they attend evening mass, which lasts nearly an hour, and the day is finished by another supply of atole, as at breakfast.