“He was of gigantic stature, standing six feet seven inches–without his stockings, for he had none. And he was large all over in proportion, with the strength of several men. His name by baptism was Francisco Solano, and by that name he was best known.” – Platon Vallejo
Articles about Native American life in early California.
The story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island was made famous by Scott O’Dell’s novel The Island of the Blue Dolphins. In this episode of the podcast, we learn more about her real life with archeologist Elisabeth Rareshide, along with a new exhibit at the Mission Santa Barbara museum. Elisabeth Rareshide Elisabeth Rareshide […]
What was daily life like for Native Americans at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel? What did they eat? What jobs did they do? An introduction to life at Alta California’s 4th Spanish Mission. Who Founded Mission San Gabriel? Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was the 4th mission established in Alta California. The mission was founded on September […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California isn’t always what it seems. By delving into Mexico’s National Archives, Dr. Marie Christine Duggan uncovered facts that provide a unique inside view of mission life. From murder trials to Indian militias, we talk about some of the lesser-known aspects of California mission history. Marie Christine Duggan […]
The Kumeyaay are indigenous people who live on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, in southwestern California and northwestern Baja California. They traditionally spoke languages related to each other, and many were connected to Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The Kumeyaay Name In times past, because the Kumeyaay were spread over such a large territory that […]
Native Americans came to the California missions for a variety of reasons. Some of these were: protection from their enemies, access to stable food sources, attraction to Spanish culture and religion, fear of Spanish weapons and a desire to stay together with their clans and kin. Were Native Americans Forced to Enter the California Missions? […]
The Chumash are a widespread group of California native people who lived along the southern California coast and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
Author: Thomas Jefferson Mayfield Editor: Malcolm Margolin Illustrators: Hilair Chism, Rick Jones Paperback: 144 pages Publisher and Year: Heyday Books, 1997 As we perused the gift shop of a local history museum, I noticed my son was reading one of the books. Of course, if my children find a book about history that interests them, I pay […]
In the 1830’s, a young man named Pablo Tac wrote about his experiences growing up at Mission San Luis Rey. It is one of the only firsthand accounts written by a Native American who lived at a mission.
Other names: Obispeño, Ventureño, Barbareño, Purisimeño, Yneseño, Canalino Home region: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, as well as the Channel Islands, east to Castaic and Mt. Pinos. Mission affiliations: San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Buenaventura, Santa Bárbara, La Purísima Concepción, Santa Inés Historical background: Chumash is the name given to a number of […]
The second of a two part series. Read part 1 here. In this second part, we discuss Ohlone culture, including political organization, religion, myths, music and art, tools and crafts, the Ohlone today and Ohlone sites you can visit.
The Ohlone people occupied the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions for thousands of years. Part 1 of a 2 part series. In the first part of this series, we will discuss the Ohlone name, their traditional territory, Ohlone languages, housing, food and clothes.
In 19th century California, some Indians sought to recover their native lands by requesting grants from the Mexican government. The Roberto-Suñol Adobe and Olompali State Historic Park commemorate two men who did just that.
How did native people live at Mission Santa Inés? What was daily life like? What languages did they speak? What foods did they eat? How did they dress?
How did native people live at Mission San Carlos Borromeo? What languages did they speak? What foods did they eat? How did they dress?
How did native people live at the Spanish missions in Alta California? What were their jobs? What did they eat? An in-depth look at Native American life in the California missions.
Native American Tribes of the California Missions
San Antonio de Pala, founded in 1816 as an asistencia (branch) of San Luis Rey, is a living Native American community and an important destination on your next visit to San Diego.
One of the things people often ask about is what life was like on the California missions, especially Indian life. Some of the most important accounts of California Indian life at the missions come from the Interrogatorio (Questionnaire) that the Spanish Government sent to the priests of the California Missions in 1813.