WOMEN’S HISTORY ✾† TOYPURINA (1760 – 1799)
Toypurina was a medicine woman and spiritual leader of the Tongva people who lead an unsuccessful rebellion against Spanish colonialists in what is now the Los Angeles basin of California. She was approximately nine-years-old when the first Spaniards invaded and twenty-one when the Pueblo of Los Angeles was founded. In 1785, she and the newly converted Nicolas José led an attack against the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel with the intent to kill all the Spaniards present.
The attack ultimately failed, however, when a soldier tipped off the missionaries ahead of time and Toypurina and the others were arrested. After her trial, Toypurina was banished to Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (now Carmel, California) and converted to Christianity, taking the name Regina Josepha. She married a Spaniard named Mañuel Montero and had three children with him. She died in 1799 at the age of thirty-nine.