- Salinas, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 85, 1856
(includes Gioloco, Ruslen, Soledad of Mofras, Eslen, Carmel, San
Antonio, San Miguel). Latham, Opuscula, 350, 1860.
- San Antonio, Powell in Cont. N.A. Eth., III, 568, 1877
(vocabulary of; not given as a family, but kept by itself).
- Santa Barbara, Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 157, 1877 (cited
here as containing San Antonio). Gatschet in U.S. Geog. Surv. W.
100th M., VII, 419, 1879 (contains San Antonio, San Miguel).
- Runsiens, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.),
476, 1878 (San Miguel of his group belongs here).
Derivation: From river of same name.
The language formerly spoken at the Missions of San Antonio and San
Miguel in Monterey County, California, have long occupied a doubtful
position. By some they have been considered distinct, not only from
each other, but from all other languages. Others have held that they
represent distinct dialects of the
Chumashan (Santa Barbara) group of languages. Vocabularies
collected in 1884 by Mr. Henshaw show clearly that the two are
closely connected dialects and that they are in no wise related to
any other family.
The group established by Latham under the name Salinas is a
heterogeneous one, containing representatives of no fewer than four
distinct families. Gioloco, which he states “may possibly belong to
this group, notwithstanding its reference to the Mission of San
Francisco,” really is congeneric with the vocabularies assigned by
Latham to the Mendocinan family. The “Soledad of Mofras” belongs to
the Costanoan family mentioned on page 348 of the same essay, as
also do the Ruslen and Carmel. Of the three remaining forms of
speech, Eslen, San Antonio, and San Miguel, the two latter are
related dialects, and belong within the drainage of the Salinas
River. The term Salinan is hence applied to them, leaving the Eslen
language to be provided with a name.
Population.—Though the San Antonio
and San Miguel were probably never very populous tribes, the
Missions of San Antonio and San Miguel, when first established in
the years 1771 and 1779, contained respectively 1,400 and 1,300
Indians. Doubtless the larger number of these converts were gathered
in the near vicinity of the two missions and so belonged to this
family. In 1884 when Mr. Henshaw visited the missions he was able to
learn of the existence of only about a dozen Indians of this family,
and not all of these could speak their own language.
Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891