Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Native Peoples of the East Bay

 
 
Native Peoples of the East Bay Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 1, 2020
1. Native Peoples of the East Bay Marker
Inscription.  Before the coming of Europeans, the land we now call California supported hundreds of tribal groups. The East Bay had about 25 independent tribal groups with well-defined territories. The people of these tribes spake dialects of three distinct languages: Ohlone (also called Costanoan), Bay Miwok, and Northern Valley Yokuts. Each tribe's leadership.and culture varied and each had three or four village locations, both permanent and seasonal. Village populations ranged from about 40 to 200. Individuals commonly spoke two or three languages and marriages occurred among neighboring groups.

Mount Diablo dominates the landscape of the East Bay and, for many of the groups within its expansive view, it had profound and sacred importance. The Julpun recognized the mountain as the birthplace of the world. Hundreds of miles away in the Sierra, some Northern Miwok saw it as the place from which a supernatural being lit a previously dark landscape. Wintun spiritual leaders from north of Carquinez Strait prayed to the creator from its heights. Chochenyo speakers from the Mission San Jose area called the mountain Tuyshtak, meaning "at

Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
the day."

The East Bay was not "wilderness” when Europeans first arrived. It had been inhabited for at least 10,000 years by people whose harvesting practices served to create a landscape shaped by human needs. The people burned grasslands to stimulate the growth of small seed-bearing plants for themselves and tender shoots for the deer. They burned and pruned basketry plants to promote sprouting of the long, straight, flexible shoots needed to make a shapely basket. When they dug bulbs, they loosened and aerated the soil, promoting the growth of more bulbs.

The presence of fresh water, shelter from the wind, and access to plant and animal foods influenced the location of villages. The Carquins netted sturgeon and salmon in the strait. People along the bay shore fished from tule boats, hunted geese and ducks in marshlands, and gathered shellfish from mudflats. They also trapped and hunted antelope, and elk farther inland. Plant foods included seeds, acorns, and greens. Baskets, hunting and fishing implements, dance regalia, and other material goods were skillfully made. Except when certain resources were ready to harvest, a relaxed atmosphere prevailed.

European settlement brought severe disruption, dislocation, and suffering to native peoples. By 1808 most East Bay villagers were living at either Mission Dolores or Mission San Jose,

Native Peoples of the East Bay Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, March 1, 2020
2. Native Peoples of the East Bay Marker - wide view
where many died of European diseases. After the mission system was disbanded in the 1830s, the Ohlone became the labor force upon which Mexican rancho owners relied. When the Gold Rush began, East Bay and many other tribal peoples were used as laborers in the gold fields. In 1850, when California became a state, native peoples became subject to state laws which sanctioned the kidnapping and slavery of Indian people.

Ceremonial dances were the focal point of tribal and multi-tribal gatherings. These gatherings also included sporting events, gambling, games, socializing, and opportunity for trade. Dances remained important throughout the mission period and are still important today, for both social and ceremonial reasons. Despite two centuries of prejudice and almost overwhelming political and cultural conquest, elements of Indian life still persevere. Native peoples continue to practice traditional arts, dances, beliefs, and language, and maintain cultural communities. They are also involved in protecting ancient burial sites and find pride in preserving their heritage.

 
Erected by East Bay Regional Park District.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicNative Americans.
 
Location. 37° 57.137′ 

Marker inset: Native Peoples of the East Bay map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By East Bay Regional Park District, March 1, 2020
3. Marker inset: Native Peoples of the East Bay map
N, 122° 19.344′ W. Marker is in Richmond, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is at the intersection of McBryde Avenue and Park Avenue on McBryde Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5755 McBryde Avenue, Richmond CA 94805, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alvarado Park (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Alvarado Park (a few steps from this marker); Where the Deer and the Antelope Play (approx. 0.2 miles away); California & Nevada Railroad (approx. 0.9 miles away); First Supermarket/Foster's Freeze (approx. 0.9 miles away); Ranchos to Ranches (approx. 0.9 miles away); Park Theatre (approx. 0.9 miles away); Arrival of the Strip Mall (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located in Alvarado/Wildcat Canyon Park, about 300 feet in from the park entrance,
in the picnic area, between the small pavilion and the stone bridge over the creek.
 
<i>Dance of the California Natives at the San Francisco Mission</i> image. Click for full size.
Print by Franquelin after an 1815 drawing by Louis Choris (Courtesy of UC Berkeley,Bancroft Library), March 1, 2020
4. Dance of the California Natives at the San Francisco Mission
This image is of the print that is reproduced on the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 260 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 2, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=146034

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Jul. 14, 2024