On this day, July 26, 227 years ago, the heroine of our play, Toypurina became Regina Josepha.
According to the sources we have come across, this was the day that Toypurina was baptized as a Christian with this new name.
Sources indicate that this baptism was not something that Toypurina chose willingly. It seems that, after being imprisoned in solitary confinement for 16 months , the only way that her captors would release her she would be released was to say that she would renounce her own spiritual beliefs and agree to be baptized.
Following this, she was taken from the Mission San Gabriel and forced to live and work in Missions far away from her people “where she would not have the hope to return to her family or cause new problems with her influence.” Two years later, she was married to Manuel Montero, a soldier at the Presidio in Monterey. It is believed that this was a forced marriage.
Eventually, Toypurina had four children by her new husband and died at the age of thirty-nine, 300 miles from her homeland, her people and her culture and buried in an unmarked grave at the Mission San Juan Bautista.
Mission San Juan Bautista, Toypurina’s resting place, approximately 45 miles south of San Jose .
Written by Jonathan Salisbury for www.toypurina.org
Photograph by David Healy from http://tuxedo-moon2.blogspot.com/2011/07/mission-san-juan-bautista.html