late 18th & early 19th c.
11 in HIGH x 10 in WIDE x .75 in DEEP
(27.94 cm HIGH x 25.40 cm WIDE x 1.90 cm DEEP)
Museum Purchase

Early California Art and History, Science Special Gallery, December 2007 - September 2009

Tools. Description: iron; colonial, not made after 1823; e.g. double iron spike sticking out, used to work on horseshoeing. Object: Hand-forged iron shears which date to the 19th century. History: Wool shears similar to these were used to clip the heavy wool coats of the mission flocks. In California, sheep were shorn twice a year, once in April or May, and again in September or October. The land in the immediate vicinity of the missions was reserved for gardens and for fields to raise crops. Sheep and cattle grazed on ranchos, or estancias, some of which were at a considerable distance from the parent mission. Sheep were herded to the ranchos to be shorn. The wool was carried to the mission in wooden-wheeled carts called carretas, similar to the one on display in the Museum garden. Museum Purchase Clothes Make the Human The Franciscan missionaries to California were horrified by the what they perceived as the indecency of native dress. A sufficient supply of cloth for clothing the Indian converts was a prime requisite for founding a mission. Initial supplies of cloth were sent from Mexico; however, the enormous need for cloth explains the early emphasis on raising sheep at the missions. Female converts were trained to spin thread from wool and to weave it into cloth on the Spanish looms. At Mission Santa Barbara daily quotas were established: the carders were required to comb three pounds of wool; the spinners were required to spin one pound of yarn; and the weavers were required to weave ten yards of woolen cloth. Those who exceeded their quota were compensated for their excess production with wheat or glass beads.

Used: shepard

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