Spanish missions were important support bases for colonization; Native American labor provided both food and commodities to support regional colonial expansion. Zooarchaeological remains from Mission San Agustín, located in present-day southern Arizona, offer a unique perspective on livestock use at missions, and engagement with regional economic networks through secondary animal products. Despite decades of resistance to livestock, the O'odham became the primary labor force in an economic system based on livestock ranching, particularly of cattle. The transition to cattle ranching was likely influenced by a number of factors including pressure from missionaries, population growth, and, perhaps most importantly, the regional demand for secondary livestock commodities such as hide and tallow.
- Animal husbandry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)