Ohlone People


NOTE: This list was compliled by Chuck Smith, Anthropology Instructor, for the use of his students in Cabrillo College's Anthropology 6 class "Native Peoples of California" The Web sites profiled below represent some of the on-line resources where one can find information relating to California's Native People. Except in a few instances, I have not included links to colleges' and/or universities' Anthropology Departments, Native American Studies Programs, or Ethnic Studies Programs.

Alfred Kroeber and the Photographic Representation of California Indians
This site is a copy of a paper by Ira Jacknis and first published in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, vol. 20, no. 3 (1996). According to the paper's author: "Although Alfred Kroeber is universally regarded as the founder of California Indian studies, his important use of the camera as an ethnographic tool is virtually unknown. In fact, Kroeber was one of the first anthropologists to photograph California Native peoples."
Although the original paper was accompanied by photos, they are not included with this web site. [http://]

American Anthropology at the Turn of the Century: Alfred Kroeber and the Yurok
This Website is being developed by the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthroplology and the Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.... AT present (July 1997) the site consists of a few photographs of Kroeber, several Native Californian consultants, including Ishi, with whom Kroeber worked, and one of Yurok houses.

American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation
This site is " a non-federally funded intercultural partnership committed to assisting in the return of sacred ceremonial material to the appropriate American Indian Nation, clan, or family, and to educating the public about the importance of repatriation." The folks at this site act as conduits and/or facilitators, educators, and resources. The site features "News and Notes" and direct links to other relevant sites. You can access the National Archeological Database with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and other related documents. There is also an on-line Repatriation Guide to help understand and implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

An Overview of Ohlone Culture
This is an excerpt of the "Ethnographic Background" section of an archaeological report which presented the findings of an excavation of an Ohlone site located in Scotts Valley, California.

Archaeology and History: California State Parks
From this page you can explore some of the studies done on archaeological sites, historic structures and ancient artifacts in California. You can view such diverse topics as: Historic Sites and Structures, Tribal Areas of California, Cultural Resource Management, MIssions of the Californias, Prehistoric Archaeology, Underwater Archaeology, Rock Art, Artifact Collections, and Paleontology. There are lots of very nice photos accompanying most sections. I especially liked the Web Page dealing with the Ahjumawi Fish Traps.

A Second Century of Dishonor: Federal Inequities and California Indians
This Web Site, which is an on-going project of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, lays out the evidence to support the fact that "for over 100 years California Indians are not receiving a fair share from federal Indian programs; and because they have received less support from the federal government, California Indians have suffered in social-economic well-being relative to other Indian groups in other states." At present (July 1997), only 7 of the report's 14 chapters are on the Web.

Bibliographies of Northern and Central California Indians
This Web site has links to the complete Bibliographies, including an Introduction (listing libraries where California Indian Library collections are located; alternate names and/or spellings for tribal groups, an annotated bibliography for Basic Library Collections), Maps (Linguistic Groups, Counties, Tribal Groups, Tribal Areas Represented in Bibliographies), and the individual Tribal Bibliographies.

Brian Gill: Repatriation Bibliography
Although this bibliography was prepared in late 1995, many of the cited works are very timely. Also, since the issue of repatriation crosses many boundaries and does not fit into a neatly defined box, there are references which deal with issues beyond repatriation laws, museums and local governments, such as looting, private collections, the art market.

Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians are the descendants of Cahuilla Indians who for several thousands of years occupied a large area of southern interior desert California. This site contains information on their culture &history; legislative issues; current economic development, including information on the Fantasy Springs Casino; visitor information; &tribal administration.

California Artifact Collections
The California State Park system has acquired and conserved a vast amount of prehistoric artifacts. This site showcases, among other things, several classes of California Indian artifacts, including abalone shell ornaments, obsidian projectile points, charmstones, clamshell disk beads, and bone tools.

California History
This journal, published quarterly by the California Historical Society, has many articles dealing with California Indians. Unfortunately, none are available for reading via the Web and there is no search function that allows one to rapidly locate those journal issues containing desired information. Instead, one visually examines Tables of Contents (listed by Volume and Number), listing by Authors, or the Subject Index, all of which are extremely time consuming. Furthermore, many of the key words in the Subject Index are without referents as to subject. However, for those willing to spend the time, there is a lot of information. For example, in the Caa-California Indians section of the Subject Index, one can locate the titles and Journal Issue of at least 100 articles dealing with the Native Peoples of California. The Index was last updated on 15 August 1996. []

California Indian Basketry
This site showcases several California Indian baskets (of the more than 9,000) housed at the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley. A selected bibliography is also provided.

California Indian Basketry, Shapes &Uses
Photos of examples of various categories of baskets (plant food gathering &transportation, storage, food preparation and serving, specialized, fancy gift, traps) are provided at this site, along with a brief overview of California Indian basketry manufacturing techniques.

California Indian Basketweavers Association
This is the Home Page for the California Indian Basketweavers Association whose purpose is to "preserve, promote &perpetuate California Indian basketweaving traditions." There are essays devoted to, among other things, the purpose, history &accomplishments of the Association, the use of pesticides and their harmful effects on the health of Native plant gatherers, and the role of basketmaking in Native Californian cultures.

California Indian Library Collections
"The California Indian Library Collections (CILC) was funded with the aim of returning unique cultural materials to California's Native Americans and making the collections available to all citizens through their local libraries. Archived sound recordings, photographs, and textual materials (such as books, journal articles, unpublished manuscripts and field notes, many of which were gathered by Berkeley researchers in the early years of this century) have been duplicated and installed in twenty-one northern and central California libraries. Each county collection contains materials specific to the tribes within that county. A composite CILC set is also located in the California Room at the California State Library in Sacramento."
The California Indian Library has also published and made available on the Web forty-three Tribal Bibliographies and has begun a pilot proejct to electronically digitize their collections. Two such electronic, tribal collections (featuring photographs and sound recordings from the Hearst Museum) have been published to date, The Pomo Indians and the Miwok Indians, both of which are available in the Reference Area at the Cabrillo College Library. There is also a very nice Web page on Shape and Uses of California Indian Baskets as well as an Annotated Bibliography for Basic Library Collections, useful in building a core collection of materials on California Indians.

California Prehistoric Archaeology
This site is one of several prepared by the California State Parks Department. There are links to several important California Indian archaeological resources: Torrey Pines Reserve, Eel River Petroglyph Sits, and the Ahjumawi Fish Traps.

California's Lost Tribes: A Special Report

This is a series of four articles by Stephen Magagnini, Bee Staff writer, that appeared in the Sacramento Bee newspaper in June, 1997:

  • An 'invisible' people battle injustice, deals with the depressingly prevalent view among non-Indian Californians that California Indians are extinct. As a result of this, along with the almost complete lack of regard for the Californian Indians and an attempt to "mainstream them" by the Federal government, "the average California Indian owns less land, has less money, gets less federal aid, has access to less health care and education, is less likely to have a job and gets less justice than other Indians nationwide. Because most of California's Indians have been stripped of their land or funneled into California's cities from other states, they don't officially exist and are cut off from millions in federal aid that other American Indians routinely receive."
  • Urban Indians find roots in ancient rituals, talks about the revitalization of ancient cultural and spiritual practices occuring among many Native Americans in California.
  • 'Lost' tribes: Why must we prove we're Indians?, focus on the issue of Federal non-recognition of the existence of California Indians. Because the Federal government refused to sign the 1851 treaties which they had negotiated with many California tribes, today's descendants of the Indian signers of those treaties are not recognized as "real" Indians. Consequently, they are denied basic governmental services other Indians receive.
  • For some tribes, casinos fulfill American dream discusses the role that Indian owned gambling casinos are playing in helping many California tribes, among the poorest in the nation, climb out of the downward spiral of poverty. The article also discusses, from the Indians point of view, the down side of casinos.

A Photo Gallery, consisting of images that accompanied the original newspaper articles, is included at this Web site.

California's Native Peoples
This site is one of several prepared by the California State Parks Department, and they should be ashamed of themselves for this one. It's a partial listing of native groups in California, adapted from California Indians by Linda Spizzirri. The sequence of presentation and the incorrect descriptions of the native peoples leave much to be desired. For example, one is told that the Miwok lived mostly between present-day San Franciso and Monterey, when in fact speakers of Miwok lived in Marin County, eastward across the southern end of the Sacramento Valley, and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Also, the author repeatedly states that such and such a group spoke Hokan, or Penutian when in fact no one speaks either of these since they are not languages but names given to language families. To say that the Chumash spoke Hokan (as this web site's author does) is like saying people in Spain speak Romance.

Chumash Rock Art
For at least 10,000 years the Chumash and their predecessors occupied the south-central coastal region of California and at some point they began to produce magnificent polychromatic rock paintings. Dr. William Hyder (UC Santa Cruz), an archaeologist with research interests in Chumash rock art, is in the process of building this Web Site and bringing these beautiful works of art to the Internet. His site features maps with embedded links to other pages, some of which graphically display the general location of Chumash rock art sites, while others have brief overviews of the natural and cultural history of the rock art site areas (along with bibliographies), a site catalog, but unfortunately one a single image. However, Dr. Hyder has made available several other photographs in his On-line paper The Shamanic Tradition in Chumash Rock Art.

Contemporary Native American Voices
Patrick Orozco (Yana Hea), a Monterey Bay Ohlone, has been sharing his knowledge of his people with students for the last eighteen years. He notes that when he was growing up his people "came to know ourselves as California Mission Indians. This is what was passed down to us from generation to generation. It was because of an Indian uprising that took place in February of 1975 in a dispute over a warehouse that was constructed on a portion of our Indian cemetery in Watsonville an awareness opened up among all Indian people that we need to protect the sacred places where their ancestors were laid to rest. We realized that something had to be done to bring back our culture and our traditional ways. This is what we committed ourselves to do. My Grandmother said, 'Go! Go and do what you have to do.' "

Cooking With Acorns
This site has very little to do with the use of acorns by Native Californians. But, I have included it here since over the years many of my students have asked for recipes using acorn flour. This site has just that: recipes for making acorn stew, acorn bread, acorn griddle cakes, and venison-acorn stew.

Costanoan - Ohlone: Indian Canyon Resource Center
PLEASE NOTE: As of 12 Oct 2000, clicking on the hot link for this site <>did NOT take you to the site, but to a page stating that access via the current URL was forbidden. This is very unfortunate, as the site contains a wealth of information concerning the Costanoan (Ohlone) and other Indigenous Californians of yesterday and today: History, Current Events, Contacts, Native American Experience. One could learn about: the Sacred Use of Tobacco; the 18 Treaties With America, treaties which the Native Californians signed in good faith but which the U.S. government refused to sign, did not tell the Native Peoples of this, and then placed a seal of secrecy on the treaties for more than a half a century; read the 1851-1852 Act For the Governance and Protection of the California Native Peoples, which in reality was the State's way to institutionalize slavery of the Native Peoples; hear Dine leader John Benally. Indian Canyon also hosts the Wiyot (Table Bluff) Tribe of California Web page. And while you're here, make sure to take time to visit the Virtual Lodge. And if your browser supports movies you can take a special computer generated Tour of Indian Canyon.

The Dark Legacy of Nome Cult
For over a century and a half, the native peoples of California have been subjected to racism, murder, and more frequently than many supposed, the unspeakable horrors of genocide. This article, by Jeff Elliott of the Albion Monitor, discusses the coming of Whites to Round Valley, Mendocino County, California in the 1850s and the subsequent rounding up of the native peoples and their removal (referred to as the "Death March" by the descendants of those Native People involved) to the Nome Cult reservation. As Mr. Elliott notes, the reservation "became a convenient place to dump Natives when whites ran out of bullets or the nerve to murder." This is an excellent article about one of California's darker and bloodier historical events.

Defense of Homelands - California Indians for Cultural and Environmental Protection
This Web Site is hosted by a group of California Indian people who have started an organization "to assist tribes and individuals in the area of cultural and environmental protection."

Deupree Cradle Board Collection
This Web site has photos of cradle boards from various Native American nations including Pomo, Hupa, Paiute, and Mono.

Esselen Indians
This Web Site by Dr. Gary Breschii and Trudy Haversat summarizes what is known about the Esselen, "one of the least numerous groups in California, and are often cited, incorrectly, as the first California group to become culturally extinct." Included in the essay is an excellent map of Esselen territory, based on the authors' extensive ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological researches, along with wonderful photographs of various parts of Esselen territory. Similar essays on the Salinan and Ohlone are forthcoming.

Federal Inequities and California Tribes
The title says it all. This is a report prepared in 1996 by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center for the Advisory Council on California Indian Policy. The report documents what the Native Californians have known all along: for over a century the California Indians have not received their fair share of Federal programs, resulting in a decline in social and economic well-being relative to other Native American groups in other states. Presently, only 7 of the 14 chapters are available on-line.

From Peace to Present: A Look at the Ohlone Indians
This essay by Heather Hemingway was written as a class assignment in CSU Monterey Bay's History of the Monterey Bay Area, 10,000 B.C. to Steinbeck. Take the time to read it. It's well worth it.
[ ]

A History of the Mechupooda (Madiu) Tribe
The Mechoopda are a subgroup of the northwestern Maidu, people whose pre-Euroamerican homelands lay east of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas of California. This Web Site gives a succinct overview of their history and culture prior to White colonization, along with overviews of the contact period (especially during the Gold Rush), the 1851 treaty fiasco, the reservation period, forced assimilation, the termination era, and the conditions under which the Mechupooda live today.

History of the San Diego Natives the Kumeyaay
The Kumeyaay and their ancestors have occupied the region from San Diego, California south to Ensenada, Baja California and they were among the earliest of the Native Californians to feel the heels of European colonialist expansion. This Web Site offers a brief look at various aspects of Kumeyaay culture and history, including their own oral history of the destruction wrought during the time of the Spanish missions. NOTE: This site is part of the California Mission Internet Trail collection of sites.

History of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
This site has a short history of the San Manuel Band (Serrano) of California ("Mission") Indians as well as material related to issues of Sovereignty. Additionally, there are pages on the creation of their Gambling Casino, its effect on employment, the creation of scholarship programs, along with links to pages discussing the history and creation of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act and the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Indians of California
This site, created by Dr. Tad Beckman, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, site offers a wealth of information and resources for studing the Indians of California. Short informative essays are provided on a variety of topics along with Links to a selection of general resources (Informative Books, Useful Maps, Historical Sketch, California Web Resources) and to essays and maps describing particular culture areas in California (at present - July 1997 - the only active Web pages are for the Northwest Coast, Southern Coast, Southern Desert, and Eastern Sierra culture areas). One of the nicest features of this site is the News from Native California page.

Journal of the Kroeber Anthropological Society Vol. 78: Cumulative Index
The Index covers Volumes 1 through 89 and is subdivided into Author, Subject and Volume indexes and one may view any page by clicking on the letter or volume entries. Materials covered by the Journal range from Native California to South America and beyond.

Juaneño Band of Mission Indians - Acjachemen Nation
This site contains lots of information on the Juaneño, including a Fact Sheet, a Brief Chronology, Current Events, an update on their attempts to get federal recognition.

Kumeyaay Indian Language
This site was created by Samuel Brown, a Kumeyaay born and raised on the Viejas Reservation in San Diego County, CA His web site contains a number of Kumeyaay words and phrases (with a Java Applet which lets you hear the words). Not only is his site educational, but it is very entertaining to try and learn to speak Kumeyaay. He has also included some Kumeyaay songs and stories. This is definitely one site to visit.

Miwok Indians of Yosemite
This site contains a series of articles prepared by the students at Woodland School (K through sixth grade), in Mariposa County, California. There are also student prepared articles on Mariposa history, the 49er miners and the Mother Lode, as well as some of the area's famous former residents.

Native Americans and the Environment Web Site. California Bibliography
A great Web Site - lots of references on the inter-relationship of the Native Californians and their environments.

Native American Studies, CSU Humboldt
Located in Northern California, the site is particularly valuable for information about California Indian tribes, resources for Native Americans of California, links to tribal home pages in other parts of the U.S., and links to topics such as Native American legal information which include the texts of some of the treaties with the U.S. and Canada. Also included is a list of Native American journals, newsletter and newspapers and a list of fellowships, internships, grants and loans for Native Americans.

NATIVE-L (May 1994): California Indians
A short paper summarizing the relations between the Native Californians and the Euro-Americans in the years shortly after 1848.

Native Americans and Early Settlers of Mendocino and Humbold Counties, California

This Site consists of a series of articles written by Gene Barnett, Innkeeper at Bell Glen Resort in the Redwoods. According to him, his pages will give one "three perspectives on the conflict between Native Americans and settlers -- the daily life of the native, the daily life of the white settler, and an account of the clashes between the two." So that you can have an idea of this site before going there, here is a quote from Mr. Bell:

As for the white man, the frontier always had a good, intelligent pioneer population, but at the same time it had a mean, shiftless, ignorant and vicious element of brutes who came west precisely because they were rejects from their own society back east. These men, who committed outrages against the friendly natives, were the main cause of most of the so-called "Indian Troubles" nsp; "

I wonder if Mr. Bell is aware that the men who attacked and murdered an entire village of Wiyots were leading citizens of the towns of Arcata and Eureka. Anyway, you should look at this site so you can have a broader appreciation for what is out there on the Web. []

Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation

A brief overview of the Indigenous peoples who inhabited (and whose descendants still inhabit) the central coastal region of California. Among the topics discussed are the names and locations of the various villages and district locations; the etyology of the previous and current names for the Nations of this area; a brief overview of Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen history since the coming of the Europeans and Euro-Americans; and what is happening among the Esselen today.

A good companion Web site is Esselen Indians, a Web site prepared by Gary S. Breschini and Trudy Haversat which focuses primarily on the pre-European history of the Esselen. It has very well-done maps showing the national boundaries of the various Esselen Nations, along with excellent photos of various localities in Esselen territory.

Pinoleville, CA Pomo Band

This is the official Home Page of the Tribe whose class action lawsuit (Hardwicke vs US) against the Federal government forced the reinstatement of Federal Status to 17 California tribes who had been illegally terminated. The site is well designed with succinct pages on:

  • History - a short historical sketch of the Tribe focusing on their struggle with Federal termination policies from 1960s to the late 1980s as well as the impacts of the termination period on the environmental quality of the reservation, especially Ackerman Creek, which is the Reservation's northern boundary (photos of the Creek and the environmental damage it has sustained accompany this page)
  • Economic Development - a brief overview of Menodino County economy followed by an essay on Tribal Economic Infrastructure focusing on the potential for Tribal economic development
  • Big Time Cultural Awareness Gathering - an annual event sponsored by the Tribe and centered on catching up with friends and relatives, watching and participating in the festivities (singing - dancing in the traditional Pomo way). The page has links to image files of the Big Time, but be forewarned, they are large and it takes a while to load them
  • The Pinoleville Tribal Times - an online newsletter with articles on a variety of topics of concern and interest (social services, health, etc.) to the Tribe
  • Forms - some of the common Federal grant writing forms (available for downloading in Microsoft Word v6.0 format (.doc). Forms are fully editable.
  • Other Sites - a list of Web sites the Tribe feels are useful and informative, including Native American Mall, which has links to many Native American vendors doing business online; and California Pomo Tribal Information (see below).

Pomo Cosmology
This site contains two links. One to a paper by Breck Parkman, Associate State Archaelogists, which "examines Pomoan cosmology, the supernatural landscape, and the special portals through which individuals accessed the other world. Of special importance are the boundaries which delineated the cultural and supernatural realms, thus creating a supernatural frontier in Pomoan cosmology. As will be seen, the frontier manifested itself cognitively in a number of areas, including rock, water, elevation, menstruation, and death." The other links is to a gallery of photos which amplify Mr. Parkman's thesis.

Pomo Indian Tribes of California

Another superb collection of interrelated essays created and brought to the WWW by Paula Giese. Essays include:

  • Pomo History, discussing the impact of American colonization of Pomo lands and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • A brief biographical essay on Elsie Allen, famed Pomo baskety maker. Interweaving Elsie Allan's words (along with pictures of her and some of her baskets) with an overview of Pomo history in the mid to late 20th century, Ms. Giese essay is a penetrating look at the outcome of continuing American colonial attitudes toward the Native Peoples.
  • Reviews of two books: Pomo Basketmaking by Elsie Allan and Greg Sarris' Weaving the Dream, the biography of Mabel MaKay, another Pomo basketmaker. Two other essays discuss the problems Pomo basketmakers face as their traditional basketry material gathering areas continue to suffer environmental degradation.
  • One also can visit a Gallery of Pomo Feather and Beaded Fancy Baskets to visit. Looking at these baskets makes it clear why Pomo basketmakers were (and still are) considered among the finest basketmakers in the world. To help with all the place names, there is a map showing the general location of current Pomo lands in northern California.
  • Kashaya/Pomo bibliography also with a list of books dealing with the Pomo
  • an essay discussing the Intertribal Indian National Park - Sinkyone Forest Uplands, to be owned and managed by Pomos bands, Wiyots, Karuks, other northern California bands.

All in all, this is a very impressive, as well as thought-provoking, Web site, and Ms. Giese deserves accolades for her work.

Public Domain Allotment Land in the State of California

This site contains an essay by Gaylen Lee, BIA Policy Board Member Area VII, and appeared originally in NOSO-N, the Newsletter of Indian Canyon Nation. The essay addresses the issue of allotment (a Federal policy of the late 1880s whereby a qualified Indian could settle on unappropriated public domain land) and the lack of Federal responsibility towards California Indians who live on allotted lands, especially the Federal government's failure to provide adequate water, housing, roads, financial aid to students and home owners.

Links are provided to: a document discussing the particular historical circumstances of California tribes vis-a-vis the 1851 treaties which were negotiated between various California Indian Nations and the Federal government; a multicolored map delineated both the lands ceded by the California Indians to the Federal government and the lands the Indians were to retain as theirs.

Repatriation Bibliography by Brian Gill, CSU Humboldt
A link from the Native American Studies page listed above, this bibliography is the product of a research project on Repatriation of Cultural Resources of Native Americans. It includes newspaper, magazine and journal articles. Many of the entries are from newspapers not found in major indexes.

Sierra Canyon School
This K-8th grade school, located in Chatsworth, California, was the recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Distinguishing School Award of Excellence. In 1996 the faculty, student body, and parents created a Cyberfair '96 web presentation on People of Our Past, a thoughtful and sensitive account of the Chumash people who lived, and still life, in the area where their school was built. Take some time and visit this site. It's a great site!

The Tachi Yokut Tribe
I highly recommend this site. The Tachi Yokut Tribe has done a marvelous job in assembling a vast amount of information about their people and has made it available to the world. One very nice feature of their site is their "Archives" section which allows one to view all 18 unratified treaties that were made between the U.S. and SOME native Californians.

University of San Diego Native American Web Site
This web site was created by Prob. nancy Carol Carter, School of Law, and contains a wealth of information on the Indigenous Peoples of San Diego County, including a chronology and a listing of Indian Reservations in San Diego County.

 Next Stop?

Books | Maps | WWW Resources

Native California Home Page

Anthro Dept Home Page - Cabrillo | Cabrillo College Home Page

Last Update: August 2000