Pablo Tac

Visual Artist

Pablo Tac Pablo Tac (1822–1841) was a Luiseño (Quechnajuichom) Indian who provided a rare contemporary Native American perspective on the institutions and early history of Alta California. Tac was born of Luiseño parents at Mission San Luis Rey de Francia and attended the Mission school. A promising student, he (along with another boy) was singled out by the Franciscan missionary, Father Antonio Peyrí, to accompany Peyrí when he left California in 1832. Tac visited Rome in 1834 and was enrolled in the College of the Propaganda, studying Latin grammar. He went on to study rhetoric, humanities, and philosophy in preparation for missionary work, but he died in 1841. As a student, Tac wrote a grammatical sketch and a fragmentary dictionary of the Luiseño language, as well as an essay on the "Conversion of the San Luiseños of Alta California." The latter includes information on aboriginal lifeways (including dances and games) and the history and organization of the Mission, along with two crude drawings by Tac. Tac authored an early account of life at Mission San Luis Rey entitled Indian Life and Customs at Mission San Luis Rey: A Record of California Mission Life by Pablo Tac, An Indian Neophyte  ( Wikipedia article )


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