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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose (New Almaden) in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Early People of Mount Umunhum

 
 
Early People of Mount Umunhum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
1. Early People of Mount Umunhum Marker
Captions: (upper left) Anna's hummingbird (Average length 4.3 inches); (center, map) Native Peoples, San Francisco and Monterey Bays, ca. 1700; (bottom left) Hunting deer in the Santa Cruz Mountains; (bottom right) A winter village in Santa Clara Valley; (center right) Ohlone men of the San Francisco Bay Area, with cinnabar and charcoal face paint. flicker and magpie feather headdress, bone hairpins and abalone shell necklace, circa 1816.
Inscription. Mount Umunhum is a sacred site for today's Amah Mustun and Muwekma tribal bands, who are the living descendants of the ancestral Ohlone tribes native to the region. Along with the eagle, hawk, and raven, the hummingbird plays an important role in the creation story of the tribal bands. Since the region's earliest written records, this mountain had been called "Umunhum", the root word for hummingbird in five different Ohlone languages, including the Mutsun dialect of the Monterey Bay and southern Santa Clara Valley areas. The spoken word sounds like the noise a hummingbird makes while hovering.

Ohlone and Umunhum

The Amah Mutsun and many other Ohlone people believed that Creator gave humans higher intelligence and an obligation to solve problems and care for all living things. Tribal decisions are to be made only of they will be for the good of the next seven generations. Traditionally, the Amah Mutsun believe that true wealth is the ability to carry indigenous knowledge forward to provide for all people, animals, plants, Mother Earth, wind, water, and shadows. -- Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Chair

In the beginning, the world was covered with water. Eagle gave Hawk a feather from the top of his head to give him the strength to dive to the bottom of the ocean. There,
The Summit Shelter is to the left of the Mount Umunhum Radar Tower image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
2. The Summit Shelter is to the left of the Mount Umunhum Radar Tower
Hawk grabbed the seafloor with is talons and brought it up to the surface to shape the clay into the finned, winged, and four-legged animals.
Eagle directed Hummingbird to retrieve fire from the Badger People who did not want to share their fire and Hummingbird used his bravery, quickness, and intelligence to bring fire to the world. Hummingbird returned fire to the top of Mount Umunhum where it ignited in Hummingbird's throat and turned it red.
-- Amah Mutsun Creation Story

When this world was finished (by Creator), Eagle, Hummingbird, and Coyote were standing on top of a high mountain in Monterey County. The world was being flooded and when the water rose to their feet Eagle carried Hummingbird and Coyote and flew away to a still higher mountain. There the three stood until the water went down. Then Eagle sent Coyote down the mountain to see if the world was dry. Coyote came back and said: "The whole world is dry." Eagle said "Go and look in the river. See what is there." Coyote did so and came back saying, "There is a beautiful girl." Eagle then said, "She will be your wife, in order that people may be raised again." Eagle gave Coyote a trowel of abalone shell and a stick to dig with. Coyote married the girl. Coyote's children went out over the world and became the forefathers of the different tribes. -- A Monterey Bay Story of Beginnings as told
Early People of Mount Umunhum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
3. Early People of Mount Umunhum Marker
at Mission Santa Cruz
 
Erected by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
 
Location. 37° 9.636′ N, 121° 53.88′ W. Marker is in San Jose (New Almaden), California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Mount Umunhum Road near Mount Umunhum-Loma Prieta Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Jose CA 95120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Scanning the Skies (here, next to this marker); A Sacred Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Community (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Miners and Settlers (approx. mile away); Wood Road & Jacques Ridge (approx. 2.3 miles away); Mine Hill (approx. 3.1 miles away); The Rossi Retort (approx. 3.1 miles away); SpanishTown (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose (New Almaden).
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Mount Umunhum Summit Shelter.
 
Categories. AnthropologyChurches & ReligionNative Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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