Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mt. Wilson Week: Haramokngna

It's easy to get to Mount Wilson. Just drive north on the Angeles Crest Highway (the 2) to Mount Wilson Road and turn right at the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center outpost.

This quiet spot is a small museum of artifacts of the Native Americans who lived in this area before the Spanish came. They were the Tongva, the Chumash and the people they traded with. They're not exactly gone, either. Their descendants still live in the LA basin today.

There's going to be a public Basketweavers Day this Saturday, August 6th, featuring a basketry exhibit in the Toypurina Gallery and workshops by Southern California weavers. It's a good day to stop in at Haramokngna, which means "Place where people gather."

22 comments:

dive said...

I remember the tragic tale of the Tongva from your Patch pieces, Petrea. It's good to see they still have a place of their own to gather together.

And it may be easy for YOU to get to Mount Wilson but it's a little trickier for those of us who have to swim the Atlantic and hike across the continent before we get to the Angeles Crest Highway.
I'll make it one day though.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks for reading those pieces, Dive. I guess you'll have to visit Mt. Wilson when you can.

dive said...

I'm an astronomy geek so it's not just the landscape (and the lovely local people of course) that's drawing me hither.

Petrea Burchard said...

Stick with me, Dive, I've got some shots of the gorgeous old telescopes for later this week.

dive said...

Ooooooh …
And by the way. Is it echoey in here? Where on earth is everybody else today?

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't know but the weather's beautiful, so I hope they're out playing.

Bellis said...

Perhaps everyone here is trying to get their outdoor chores and hikes done first before the heat moves in.

I love your picture. A few years ago, I planned to take a Xmas card photo of those mailboxes with snow on, but then the Angeles Crest Highway closed for ages.

The events at Haramokngna (I had trouble with that word - who taught these people to spell?) are always interesting, with other Indian handicrafts (not made in China) for sale, and maybe even a few musicians and story tellers. Plus it'll be nice and cooler. See you there?

Petrea Burchard said...

I love the old words, Bellis, and I'll bet you do, too. The museum curator told us that "ngna" denotes a place where something meets. Hahamongna is a place where the waters meet. The words we know now as Cucamonga, Tujunga, Cahuenga, etc. originally had "ngna" endings but have been anglicized.

altadenahiker said...

I missed that. Off topic, but the pronunciation of Cahuenga gave me many problems when I first moved here...

Petrea Burchard said...

The one I had trouble with was "Los Feliz," because we mispronounce it so severely.

Bellis said...

What about Cajun, as in Pass?

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, that word sounds Spanish to me. I did a quick search of the web and found a Peruvian musical instrument called the Cajon. Then I found out that the first white explorers in the pass were Spanish, from during the time when the Spanish owned Mexico.
http://digital-desert.com/cajon-pass/history.html
The article doesn't say who named the pass, or when. But I'll lay money it was early Spanish explorers.

Bellis said...

Interesting, Petrea. I used to pronounce it Kayjun as in the area around New Orleans, but then realized it's Kahoon. So what other native place or river names have we forgotten?

Petrea Burchard said...

Well, I guess we've forgotten a whole language. But traces remain.

Bellis said...

Hee hee, that's a different use of "forgotten." Talking of which, everyone else has forgotten to comment on this blog.

Ms M said...

Lovely photo with the mailboxes. Looks like a peaceful place to walk -- or attend a workshop or class.
I enjoyed your discussion about language in the comments. There are so many words from old cultures in the US that have become anglicized.
I'm looking forward to your photos of telescopes, too!

Petrea Burchard said...

Yes, it's been a quiet day on the old blog. Nice to see you, Ms. M. You must have a lot of words like that around Boise. Is Boise one of them?

Ms M said...

You're right, Petrea. "Boise" comes from "les bois". Boise began as a stopping place on a trade route used by French fur trappers. We also have Chinden Blvd. "Chinden" is an offshoot of a Chinese word for garden. During the gold rush years, many Chinese came to Idaho to seek their fortune and they grew many small gardens in their temporary village, which became known as Garden City.
Those are but 2 examples; there are many more.

Susan Campisi said...

I love there's such a word as Haramokngna, love what it means.

I grew up on Ketewamoke Ave on Long Island. Nearby streets were Paumanake, Wyandanch and Wampum. Sadly, the street names are the only hint of a native culture that once lived there.

Had to laugh when I saw your "Los Feliz" comment. I moved to that neighborhood when I first moved to L.A. and asked everyone I met how to pronounce it. I still have to think about it before I say it.

Latino Heritage said...

Love the redbox @ Redbox. Fun picture.

Cajon (ca-hone) means box and is a common instrument in many genres in Latino and African music. Many musical groups who are into fusion or jarocho use cajon as one of the percussion instruments. Often the cajon is large enough that one sits on the cajon and strikes the box to produce different sounds.

Cajon like the pass has to do with keeping things in some degree of confinement.

Petrea Burchard said...

FYI, if you're not from around here, folks around here pronounce "Los Feliz" (a nice neighborhood) as "Loss FEE-liz," instead of "Los F'LEEZ," which would be closer to the Spanish pronunciation.

We also mispronounce Sepulveda, which should have the accent on the second-to-last syllable instead of the second.

Petrea Burchard said...

I should also mention that the Red Box Latino Heritage refers to here is two things: this area is the top of Red Box Canyon, which is, I understand, the northern beginnings of the Arroyo Seco. In the parking lot there's a large, red, wooden box.