Tovar’s Journey

Tovar’s Journey

1.1: Summary

Don Pedro de Tovar, along with seventeen horsemen and several foot soldiers as well as Juan de Padilla (a Franciscan friar) journey to the province of Tusayan (modern day Hopi). The story begins as the group stealthily enters the region at night, so as to not draw attention from the natives. The group finally comes upon the edge of the village, where they hear the natives talking in their houses about the stories and rumors. As native peoples of the area had certainly heard stories of the capture of Cibola and the fierce men that road upon animals that ate people (which was a common misconception among natives who had never seen horses before). When morning came, Tovar and his men were discovered and fell into a regular order (somewhat defensive formation) to interact with the natives. Tovar is reminded of his departure from the main expedition where Coronado told him to show some level of restraint with the Indians. The village warriors came out to meet them with bows, shields and wooden clubs. The men drew lines in the sand, and Tovar’s interpreter was given the chance to speak with them. The interpreter determined that these men were very intelligent people; however they insisted that Tovar and his men not cross the line towards their village. During their conversation, some of Tovar’s men acted as if they would cross the line, and one of the native warriors lost control of himself whether out of fear or anger, and struck the conquistador’s horse across the cheek on the bridle with a club. Friar Juan (the interpreter) fretted that the time spent talking was wasted, and told Tovar, “To tell the truth, I do not know why we came here.” Upon hearing this, Tovar’s men sounded the Santiago (Spanish war cry) and killed many of the men that greeted them, and routed the rest into their village in confusion. Almost immediately the natives of the village came out with presents, asking for peace and Tovar ordered the gifts collected and his men retreat. The natives after that caused no more harm, and Tovar’s group were allowed to set up a place for their headquarters near the village and continue interacting and trading with them.

1.2: Objectives

  • Gain understanding of how both sides (Conquistadors and Natives) interact and react to each other
  • Demonstrate the attempted negotiation and quick aggression from both sides
  • Reveal the impact of rumors and lack of knowledge about the Europeans upon the native’s reactions
  • Provide experience through decisions built into dialogue

1.3: Primary Actors

  • Don Pedro de Tovar
  • Juan de Padilla (Basic friar model)
  • Indian warrior/chief involved in the negotiation

2.2: Environment Description

  • The environment in the Hopi/Tusayan area is very dry (Arizona climate)
  • The start of the story is night time near the village
  • The remainder of the story is early morning after sunrise (cooler temperatures, no rain)
  • Village is raised on a bluff, all sides protected by rocky ledges except the front
  • On a more in depth note, the village in this encounter is raised upon a rocky bluff. (See attached pictures and map for details). The Tovar’s group arrives at night and sets up camp directly under the edge of the native village in a blind spot below the bluff’s edge where they are obscured by the landscape. The village sits on a bluff connected to the main mesa by a decently sized natural rocky bridge. The bridge has been cleared/worn in the middle by the natives, and there are rocks lining the ledges on either side almost like a railing. This makes it easier for Tovar’s group to hide, as natives didn’t leave the village much. There is very little foliage aside from sparse shrubs and other desert plants that grow upon rock faces. It is slightly windy due to the raised nature of the village itself, and there are not many animals aside from perhaps lizards or other small animals (probably not worth including).

3.1 : Sequencing

*** For this section, any dialogue will be handled like a script. This should all appear on screen, or be paraphrased as it includes small details that help to build the narrative. Any actions are listed within parenthesis and are animations. No text should appear. Bracketed numbers are estimated time stamps…

Sequence 1: (with the main expedition/ inside Coronado’s tent) [0:00]

Coronado: Tovar, while it is disappointing that no gold was located at Zuni, I would like you to follow up on a lead to the next village before the expedition arrives. It is a region known as Tusayan. Please attempt to use discretion in your dealings with the Indians, however do not hesitate when it comes down to it…

Sequence 2: (Scene change, night time near edge of Hopi camp in Tusayan) [0:15]

(Tovar and his soldiers move silently towards the town and halt beneath the edge of the bluff)

(They begin to hear voices from the natives speaking within the village) [0:25]

Native 1: Yes, It’s true! I was told that Ciabola has fallen. Capture by fierce men travelling upon animals that eat people. We are doomed if they find us.

Native 2: That’s horrible if it is as you say, though I am unsure of these creatures. I have never heard of such an animal before.

Native 1: Be it true or not, we must tread carefully. I am weary to even venture to my farm in the morning. They are said to be heading in this direction.

(Tovar motions for his men to begin setting up camp slightly farther away, in a place that is out of line of sight of the village, hidden behind an overhang) [0:40]

(Either skip this section or show the process of the camp being built) [Skip: 0:50] [Show: 1:15]

Sequence 2.5: (Sunrise, random native villager walking along the edge of the bluff to spots the conquistador camp and runs back to the village) [1:25]

Sequence 3: (setting change: next morning slightly after sunrise, on land bridge. 15 Conquistadors and the Friar gather in a formation facing a group of 20-25 Indians who are armed with bows, clubs and shields) [2:00]

Friar: (interpreting the Hopi language) we are on a mission for gold and riches. A place where gold is abundant, something of a great city, do you know of it?

Indian leader: (steps forward and draws line in sand with his foot) Not here, we have nothing for you. You are the men that destroyed Cibola, do not approach this village. Do not cross this line or blood will be shed.

(Random Conquistador begins to edge toward the line on his horse with several other men in a mocking fashion)

(A native on the other side of the line becomes agitated and steps up to the line. The Conquistador continues to edge closer)

Native warrior: Get away~ (Warrior strikes horse on cheek across its bridle with his club)

(The negotiators notice the commotion)

Friar: (Turning to Tovar) this is a waste of time, we will get nowhere with them so it is useless to try and negotiate. To tell the truth, I do not know why we came here.

Sequence 4: The fight and reconciliation [3:00]

(Upon hearing this, the conquistadors cry the Santiago and begin to run down the Indians with their horses. The Indians are cut down quickly and most (15-20) run back to the village in confusion)

Tovar: Regroup, Regroup! And restrain yourselves.

(Almost immediately another group of unarmed natives timidly approach the regrouped Conquistadors with gifts of dressed skins and corn meal, as well as pine nuts and edible birds of the region)

Pacifist Native: We mean no harm, please let us have peace. Those of us in this province (The entire region) will submit to you. We wish to build a friendship with you and we bring gifts as a demonstration of our good will.

(Tovar takes a moment to consider)

Tovar: Indeed, there is no need for more blood to stain this land. We accept. (To his men) dismount and accept their offerings. We will set up a headquarters here, and continue interactions with this village; it may be beneficial in the future.

(The men spend some time collecting the gifts, then turn and leave the village in peace)

Sequence 5: Afterword: [6-7] (Summary after note that appears on screen)

            The conflict at Tusayan opened peaceful interaction with the natives. After the conflict, the natives presented turquoises (not a huge amount) to Tovar as a display of friendship. The people of the province all gathered and submitted themselves to the conquistadors that day. They also allowed Tovar to enter their village freely to visit, buy, sell and barter. Later, they also provided guides for the expedition and told of a large river, and people with large bodies that lived there…

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