San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Peoples of the Coast - Why did they live here?
Alson, Aptos, Carquin, Huchiun, Oljon, Tamien, Matsun, Rumsen, Yelamu … these are jst a few of the 50 or so Indian tribes that populated the coastal area from Carquinez Strait to south of Monterey Bay. For at least 10,000 years prior to European settlement, native peoples made this land their home. Each of these small tribes, consisting of 3 to 10 villages, had it sown leader and occupied its own established territory. Although the tribes were politically independent, they were related by similar languages and cultural traditions. Today these native people are collectively referred to as “Ohlone.” But they have also been called “Costanoan.”
This north end of the San Francisco peninsula was Yelamu territory. From their permanent village sites farther inland, the Yelamu traveled to Lands End year after year, to camp above the Pacific. They pried mussels from the rocks, and gathered birds’ eggs or favorite plant foods. They hunted seals for meat and skins. A fresh water spring, which still flows beneath the shrubbery on the slope, provided drinking water and fed a marsh below.
There was much more to life than just work. Games, songs, stories and dance – although some were serious – also made for plenty of fun and laughter. Through oral traditions,
Imagine the cove below you without the Sutro Baths ruins, as in Yelamu times. Can you see the rocks and beach crowded with sea lions? Can you hear those hundreds of noisy se lion voices being carried up the cliff by the wind? In the distance, Yelamu men paddle canoe-shaped boats made of bundled tule reeds. From these boats, they can hunt sea mamals or cast their fishing nets. Rich natural resources from land and sea have attracted people to this area throughout the ages. Think of the many men, women and children who have come before us and stood in this very special place.
Tule reeds, which in the past would have grown in marshy areas such as the cove below, are the perfect boat building material. Why? Each stem is filled with tiny air pockets making it buoyant in water.
Thanks to the members of the Ohlone community who developed the text and images for this exhibit. Illustrations – Linda Yamane (Rumsien Ohlone)
Photo, lower right:
Today, Ohlone people continue to live in the Bay Area, carrying on their native culture, and sharing it with us. In
Erected by Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service.
Location. 37° 46.845′ N, 122° 30.703′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Lands End Trail north of Point Lobos Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is north of Point Lobos Avenue and the Lands End Visitor Center, and east of the Sutro Baths. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Adolph Sutro (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Heavy Cruiser USS San Francisco (CA38) (about 700 feet away); This Memorial to Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan (about 700 feet away); The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (about 700 feet away); FDR's Salute (about 700 feet away); Sutro’s Steam Train (approx. 0.2 miles away); Navigating the Golden Gate - Bonfires, buoys, and foghorns (approx. 0.2 miles away); The New Cliff House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
Also see . . . The Ohlone People. (Submitted on October 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. American Indians; Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Categories. • Native Americans • Natural Resources • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 574 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3. submitted on October 28, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.