Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Native American Tribes of California

LA Times (, 4/13/98); Xochitl, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

What makes California so special?
In 1911 a mysterious Native American man emerged from the wilderness of Northern California. No one knew who he was or could understand his language, so he was immediately put in a jail.

A couple of anthropologists befriended him, and he told them the story of his life. As the last surviving member of the Yahi people, Ishi [after whom a famous book was written] was able to provide invaluable insights into his culture, ensuring that his tribe would be remembered.

To learn more about California's indigenous (Native American) tribes, use the direct links on the Los Angeles Times' Launch Point website (
Level 1
Chumash Indians: The Chumash Indians of the Central Coast painted stories and legends inside caves from Morro Bay to the Channel Islands. Find out more about the Chumash through these reports written and illustrated by third-graders ( 

Shapes and Uses of California Indian Basketry: The early Native Americans achieved a high degree of craftsmanship and artistry in their baskets. View pictures that demonstrate the incredible range of their skills: from cooking baskets and water bottles to cradles, moccasins, and animal traps ( 

Chumash Indians--Sports and Recreation: Imagine two teams, each with a hundred players, using a special "shinny" stick to hit a small wooden ball through the other team's goal posts. Learn about the many games that the Chumash played to practice important skills as well as to have fun (

Level 2
Genocidal white invaders' mass burial
California Native American Site: Anthropologists estimate that 130,000 to 350,000 Native Americans were living in California [which seems low for the estimated 100 million living in the future-USA and 300 million in America] before European [invaders and genocidal colonial] settlers arrived. Find out about the Ohlone people who lived near present-day San Francisco and Monterey County ( 

American Indian Movement (
The Miwok Indians of Yosemite: The Miwok used nettle root to help relieve rheumatism and milkweed to help heal warts. Find out about the history, tools, foods, arts, games, and legends of this tribe who lived in the area currently known as Yosemite ( 

People of Our Past: Like many other tribes, the Chumash and Los Angeles Tongva (Gabrielinos/Kizh) prepared acorns by grinding them, washing away the tannic acid, and using the acorn meal to make flat cakes and soup. Learn more about their way of life through photos and oral histories (
Level 3
ART: Erasure (
California Indians: An Historical Sketch: This detailed account traces the history of Native Americans in California from their earliest known origins to the present-day and includes historical resources ( 

The History of the Maidu Mechoopda Indians: The California Gold Rush of 1848 changed the lives of the Maidu Mechoopda Indians forever. View maps and pictures that help tell the story of this tribe: the early days, their virtual extinction at the hands of white settlers and their current struggles in the late 20th century ( 

California Tribes: A collection of resources on Native American tribes today. Read about the Hoopa alphabet, view the work of different artists, and find out when the next powwow is (
Entheogens to Spirit Land
What games did the Chumash play to develop the good eye-hand coordination skills needed for hunting? CLUE: See Chumash Indians Sports and Recreation (

Launch Point ( is produced by the UC Irvine Department of Education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. This week's Quest was designed by Julie Ryan, Leslie Baldwiin, Todd Sautner, Stan Woo-Sam, and Anna Manring.
First Americans: Tribal Art from North America (Bowers Museum)
News of the Day
Chris Farthing

No comments: