Friday, October 16, 2009

Native California Peoples

Native America peoples of what is now southern California usually had names for themselves other than the ones will I give here. Here are many of the popularized ones I remember. There are many more: Chumash, Alliklik, Kitanemuk, Serrano, Gabrielino, Luiseno, Cahuilla, Kumeyaay, Hoopa.

Of course other native peoples made their presences strongly felt in California. For example: Shoshone, Paiute, Yakee (Yaqui), Mohave, Apache, and many others.

There was cultural and economic commerce between and among these people. Trade was carried on to the Northwest US and beyond, to deep into Mexico, up and down the Colorado and beyond.

Each of these peoples have their stories and their history.

The Chumash, for example, traded up and down the Pacific coast in their well-made, brea-caulked boats. They also were know for introducing new religious ideas to inland peoples.
The Chumash were among those to bear much of the brunt of contact with European explorers and conquerors. They were among the first to contact the Spanish and in very early times had unfriendly dealings with the Russians and their Native allies. It's not surprising that Chumash made these contacts first, as they were a sea going people and the Spanish, Russians, English and a surprising number of others first came by sea. The Chumash may also have traded with Chinese and perhaps Japanese.

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