“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Point in Calaveras County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Keepers of the Land!

Keepers of the Land! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 25, 2015
1. Keepers of the Land! Marker
This is a truth about the tragic destruction of a way of life — It happened for only one reason. Our people abandoned so many Indian villages in Calaveras County alone!

The Miwok lived a quiet, simple life, so close to nature they changed with the seasons.

One time the men were many miles away from the village hunting for wild game. They felt a sense of sadness, uneasiness. Something was out of the ordinary. Something was different. Something was strange.

The women and children were down by the river pounding acorns and singing some of their songs. The deer and grey squirrel running past them in panic were the first to signal something was wrong. Suddenly there were strangers standing in the water pointing at shiny yellow stuff and yelling words The People didn't understand.

There was no need for the yellow stuff when all they needed was provided when Creator made this land. The attack on the village came violent and quick — women running and trying to protect their children; seeing some bashed with rocks, some killed with a noisy stick

The old Hyapo (Chief) wounded and bleeding, heart-broken too see such an ugly sight looked skyward and prayed toward the Heavens. He cried —
Creator, why is this happening?
Creator, this just isn't
Keepers of the Land! Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 25, 2015
2. Keepers of the Land! Marker - Wide View
Creator, look what they've done to my family.
Creator, I'll stand here and fight!

Of course they were out-numbered by many. No mercy towards women, children or the very old. Nothing or no one would stand in their way — these strangers were after gold! Perhaps, if not so consumed with greed, The People might have shown them where to find it or given a helping hand, for Miwok people are caretakers of Mother Earth and Keepers of the Land.

No one is truly dead until they are forgotten.
Let us not forget Uncle Dave Jeff
Keeper of the Language
and Keeper of the
(Bottom panel:)
This is a dedication to Indian People of so long ago
To the ones that died
the ones sold as slaves,
to the ones stolen away and forced to attend
boarding schools and cut their hair,
never to speak their own language.

This is a dedication to the People who had no choice,
but to learn a whole new way of survival.
If not for you, we wouldn't exist today.
Erected 2011.
Location. 38° 24.077′ N, 120° 31.716′ W. Marker is in West Point, California, in Calaveras County. Marker is on Main Street north of Pine Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Point CA 95255, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. HOSTAGE: A most painful experience of human suffering (approx. 0.2 miles away); West Point (approx. 0.3 miles away); Sandy Gulch (approx. 1.5 miles away); Volcano Masonic Cave (approx. 6.2 miles away); St. George Hotel (approx. 6.2 miles away); Moose Milk (approx. 6.2 miles away); John Doble's Cabin (approx. 6.2 miles away but has been reported missing); The Old Bavarian Brewery (approx. 6.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Point.
More about this marker. The marker is located in a parking lot across the street from the Timberwolf (402 Main Street).
Also see . . .  Miwok history immortalized in poem on display in Calaveras County. The Recordnet's article (1/1/2011) on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors' acceptance of the Miwok history plaque: "The board voted unanimously to give its blessing to plans for acorn-shaped signs in public places in West Point and San Andreas. Those signs will bear a poem that tells - from the Miwok point of view - the decimation of the American Indian population that happened during the Gold Rush.... "It will begin the healing," said Joyce Rummerfield of West Point, author of the poem and a Miwok native." (Submitted on December 19, 2015.) 
Additional keywords. genocide
Categories. Native Americans
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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