Thursday, June 1, 2017

Native Los Angelenos: The Kizh Nation

Kizh Nation (; Xochitl, Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
Gabrieleno Indian Chief Ernest Perez Tautimez Salas, San Gabriel, Los Angeles
Toypurina and Nicolas Jose were LA Natives.
Known in colonial history books as "The San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians," the Kizh Nation [previously called the Tongva] were recognized by the State of California as the aboriginal tribe of the Los Angeles Basin.

The Kizh Nation: Gabrieleño Heritage
Kizh (Kitc, Keech) refers to the willow thatch houses of the indigenous people. Today there is a growing awareness of the enormous debt Los Angeles owes to the Gabrieleño Natives.

Although the city traditionally traces its cultural heritage to Spanish and American roots, it was the Gabrieleño who built and supported the missions, pueblos, and ranchos. It was the Gabrieleño who provided the goods and labor that enabled the first settlements to survive and prosper. Without them the history of Los Angeles would be very different.

“The First Angelinos”
William McCawley edited by Wisdom Quarterly
The San Gabriel Valley with foothills on the left and Caltech University in center.
No one knows how Toypurina looked
The Kizh Gabrieleños are the indigenous people of the Los Angeles basin.

They were enslaved to build the San Gabriel Mission as well as the Los Angeles Plaza Catholic Church. Their history has been threatened and nearly erased after many political attempts on both local and federal levels. This is a conspiracy that has run through the 20th century to avoid the thorny issue of repatriation.
The current chief and spiritual leader of the original documented Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians is Ernest Perez Tautimes Salas. He is the most recognized and most firmly documented direct lineal-descendant of Native ancestors of Kizh/Gabrieleño villages (rancherias) -- such as the villages of Sibangna Siba, Tameobit and Atongai or Tamet circa 1785 -- of any Native groups in Gabrieleño [Tongva] history.

In 1994, the State of California recognized the Gabrielino Tribal Council, "Gabrielino" -- without the use of the old term Tongva.

The original Gabrieleño tribe of  San Gabriel -- led by Chief Ernest P. Teutimez Salas -- and the Gabrielino Tribal Council gained nonprofit 501C3 status from the State of California in 1994 (incorporator and founder Ernest P. Salas).

Chief Salas is the great-great-grandchild of Nicolas Jose, a man of great power who had an important part in the rebellion at Mission San Gabriel.
The First Los Angeles Revolt 
Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit
The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse once put on a production of Toypurina's story.
Warrior Toypurina, medicine woman, San Gabriel Mission (
Like other Native leaders, Toypurina [California's Joan of Arc] regarded the Spanish missionaries as a threat. Using the Japchivit ranchería as her base of operations, she persuaded six other villages to join a rebellion against Mission San Gabriel on October 25, 1785, with the intent of driving out all of the Spaniard residents. She, along with three other men including the "neophyte" Nicolas José -- who was angry that the Catholic friars forbade the mission Indians from holding their native dances -- spearheaded the rebellion. But they were unable to complete it. A Spanish soldier, who understood their Native language, heard people talking about the revolt and alerted the Catholic missionaries. "On the night of the attack, the Indians came to the mission armed with bows and arrows. Toypurina came to the mission unarmed but with the intent of encouraging the men to have the will to fight" (Hackel 2003). Toypurina and the other three men leading the revolt were captured, tried, and punished. When questioned about the revolt, Toypurina told the Spanish military judges that she had instructed Chief Tomasajaquichi of Juvit Village to tell the mission Indians not to believe the padres: "I commanded him to do so, for I am angry with the padres, and all of those of the mission, for living here on my native soil, for trespassing upon the land of my forefathers and despoiling our tribal domains." Governor Don Pedro Fages found Nicolas José and Toypurina guilty of being the principal leaders... More
Nicolás José via
One day our land will be white orange groves.
[Baptismal name] Nicolas Jose (1748-?) was a San Gabriel Indian, a man of great power, self-control, and an excellent leader. He was among a number of Natives who worked with the Spanish [European invaders and colonialists] then turned against them.

On September 27, 1774, 26-year-old Nicolás José was baptized by Father Pablo Joseph de Mugartegui at the San Gabriel Mission.

Nicolas was only the third adult male Gabrielino to be baptized at the mission. There are no historical records revealing if Nicolas had exercised any religious or political authority in his home of Sibapet (Hackel 2003).

However, soon after baptism, Nicolas exercised leadership and power in many ways. He became one of the first Indians to serve as a Gabrielino marriage witness and the only Gabrielino to serve as a godparent for the child of a Baja California Indian.
Fr. Junipero Serra knows how to rule slaves.
One remarkable achievement was in 1778-1779 when Nicolas was the mission’s first alcalde [a Spanish-style municipal magistrate]. However, a turn of events took place when according to [war criminal, slave driver, rapist, and "saint"] Father Junipero Serra, Nicolas provided “women to as many soldiers as asked for them” (Hackel 2005: 263). Nicolas was punished... More

No comments: