Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sandals of Yucca

Before 1769, California was populated by native tribes. A huge area, from Riverside County to the coast, including the southern Channel Islands and the San Gabriel Valley, was dominated by people we now call the Tongva, also known as the Gabrielino.

I've been reading up on the Tongva for a series of articles for South Pasadena Patch. The first article posted a few days ago; it's about Tongva life before the Spanish came to build Mission San Gabriel. An Altadena version of the same piece posted on Altadena Patch today. I hope you'll read one or the other (feel free to read both). Your comments are welcome. Even if you don't comment (I realize it takes time and effort), I hope you'll read and think, and perhaps seek out further information about our Native American predecessors.

I can hardly explore the Dena anymore without an awareness of the presence of those who lived here before me. This is part of the joy of a place. The more I know about its history the more deeply I experience it.

17 comments:

St├ęphane Kardos said...

Great article Petrea, really enjoyed reading it, I will read the Altadena version later today.

Petrea said...

Thanks, St├ęphane. (I like your bear avatar.)

Bellis said...

They trod the land so lightly, with their stone tools, willow huts (without rebar) and yucca sandals. Does anyone know if there's a museum with a good collection of the few artefacts they left behind?

Petrea said...

Bellis, I haven't been there but I understand the Antelope Valley Indian Museum has several items. The Autry Museum has some, but they may or may not be on display. The LA County Museum of Natural History also has some things--again, they may or may not be displayed. We can call.

There are few artifacts: archaeology was not an accepted science until the late 19th century and by then many Tongva sites were gone; also the Tongva cremated their dead and along with them, their belongings.

altadenahiker said...

Oooo, really like the photo, the colors and the rushing water.

Lori Webster said...

Wonderful, Petrea!

Petrea said...

Thanks, Hiker. There was a Tongva village in Eaton Canyon. They tended to live near streams and springs, of course.

Thank you, Lori.

Mister Earl said...

What Karin said!

Nice to see you here Stephane. It's been awhile!

Katie said...

Fascinating Patch stories about the Tongva (and great photos too). California might be a "new" state, but the history of the people who have lived here sure goes back a long time. Must be very interesting to walk in the Hahamongna Watershed Park imagining how life used to be there.

Steven said...

This is a very nice photo. I love the colors and the rushing water. You captured it beautifully. I wonder if there are any fish to be caught in that stream? Catch and release of course.

Petrea said...

Glad folks like the photo. That water goes pretty fast through Eaton Canyon after the rains.

Steven, I don't think there are fish, at least not this far down. It's a seasonal stream, post-rain mountain run-off. As soon as it warms up here it'll be dry.

Bellis said...

There'll be tadpoles in the stream later in the year, but I've never seen any trout. I love love love the color of that fledgling sycamore tree.

Susan Campisi said...

Lovely post, Petrea. The photo looks like a slice of paradise, the way the Tongva would've experienced this area (without the transmission towers and cables).

-K- said...

I came here for my usual dose of Zen Monday but for the moment your shot of the great outdoors is just as refreshing.

Petrea said...

Woke up this morning and saw I had forgotten to press "publish." Sorry Zen Monday is late, K, but it's up.

That's right, Bellis, we do get the little froggies. Looking forward to that.

Susan, I seriously considered removing those towers and cables. But I'm too clumsy with the eraser and the trees get all blurry around the edges.

Margaret said...

Wow! This is a spectacular picture. Just so you know.

Petrea said...

Thank you, Margaret. I'm so glad you think so.