Presented By: Tanmeet Gujral, Jennifer Smith, Rebecca Bucaro, Solomon Cooper

Who Are the Ohlone?
The Ohlone or the Costanoan Indians belong to the Central and Northern California. They are not a big tribe like the Hopi or the Navaho, but consist of many smaller independent tribelets as can be seen on the map. More about the Ohlone timeline1. Their Today 2. History- Spanish Arrival 3. Early Anglo Settlement 4. Their Future

1. Ohlone People Today
Ohlone people of today live energetically in the present, but have a deeply felt spiritual connection to the past.  Hundreds of people currently in California can trace their heritage to East Bay Ohlone and Miwok Indians.  Include both working class and professional people.  Some are involved in issues relating to their heritage
– Some monitor construction sites and decide what to do when Ohlone artifacts and skeletal remains are discovered. Research undertaken by some is helping revive native languages and traditions.

Image: by Jennifer Smith; Location: Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

2. Their History- Spanish Arrival
Before the Spanish Conquest  The Costanoan or the Ohlone, inhabited the Monterey County as early as 8000 years ago.  Many smaller tribelets existed differentiated by their languages. The Arrival of the Spanish in late 1700s  Spanish Missions were formed that sought to convert the Ohlone to Christianity.  Cattle ranching industry took hold in the area.  Natives were forced into slavery  European disease caused populations of Ohlone to decline.

3. Early Anglo Settlement
Gold rush and the arrival of immigrants from all over the world caused further decline in population.  Negative Stereotyping

http://cdn.dipity.com/uploads/events/113cbef23b11c3af893 6e0e1c9c49b35_1M.png

referred to as ―savages‖

Native medicine men were thought to be evil  Loss of property and resources
– – – –

to to to to

the the the the

American settlers cattle ranchers mining industry railroad industry

Sent to reservations and Missions
– to turn to Christianity – to become ―civilized‖

http://earlynativehistory.files.wordpress.com/20 10/04/missionneophytes-supplicate1.jpg

4. Their Future
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Gain Federal Recognition Building relationships between the tribe and communities in the city (Bay Area). Instilling California Indian pride in a new generation.

―It isn‘t for glory. It isn‘t for self promotion. It is for the benefit of our people — not just Ohlone, but all California Indians, that we are in control of our history, our present — our destiny. The time is now.‖ - Quoted from ‗Being Ohlone in the 21st Century’

Ohlone language revitalization: Green Acorns and Salmon! http://ohlone.tumblr.com/post/24419028643/ohlo ne-language-revitalization-green-acorns-and

Culture and Traditions

Image: http://www.kqed.org/assets/img/arts/blog/ohlone.jpg

An introduction to the Ohlone Life: 1. Lifestyle 2. Religion and ceremonies 3. Storytelling & Language 4. Crafts and trade (1 & 2)

1. Lifestyle
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Known for their generosity and willingness to help even the Spanish invaders Community – helping each other Sustainability –used the areas resources; had controlled burns Fixed villages but moved temporarily with seasonal changes.
– – Tule houses Redwood bark houses

Images: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote creek state park, Fremont, CA

2. Religion and Ceremonies

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Respected nature and lived in harmony with it as they perceived Nature, in the form of spirits, had influence over their lives Festivals to celebrate cultivating and harvesting Marriage and Death ceremonies Shamans - healers



3. Storytelling & Language

Images: by Jeniffer Smith; Location: Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

Storytelling - told of their tribal culture
– – Coyote folklore Song of the Blind Man

Languages/Dialects – Costanoan
– – Past around 8 to 10 languages or dialects - tribes thought to have been able to understand each other Present around 3-4 languages left

4. Crafts and Trade (1)

Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location- Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

Weaving and twinningBaskets, trays, mats, utensils, rope, etc Crafts made for gifts; storing and gathering; trade; ceremonies Bone and feather crafts- necklaces, pendants, earrings, belts, clothes, cloaks, head-dresses

Rattle for Ceremony made with deer toes and bone
Image: by Jennifer Smith; Location- Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

4. Crafts and Trade (2)
Basket Making

Basketry was a woman‘s daily task; gathered around to make baskets; women who did not know basket weaving were thought to be possessed by evil Baskets and crafts of a tribelet were different from those of other tribelets in patterns, weave, designs; followed tradition of the tribelet. Ohlone Baskets are scarce due to the traditions of burning personal possessions with the dead.



The Ohlone, The Wetlands, and Tule
A look at how the wetlands were and are still important for the Ohlone and why their restoration is important.  The Cultural Importance of the Wetlands  Wetlands- Hunting and Harvesting  Wetlands- Material Sourcing  Tule- and Important Wetland Plant  Tule Boats or Balsas; Tule Huts and Homes; and Tule Crafts  Ecological Importance of Tule wetlands  Loss of wetlands and its impact on the ecology and the Ohlone  Restoration and Reclamation of the wetlands through revival of the Ohlone Tule crafts.

The Cultural Importance of the Wetlands
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They had an intimate connection to the land, living with it rather than on it Tule wetlands were used as a building material for the Ohlone Culture – Cottonwood, sycamores, and willows were grown there – Salinas/salt ponds- these were mainly found next to tidal marshes

[Image: A wetlands blessing ceremony (left)- http://eco-

psychology.com/Blog/?tag=comm unity-ceremony]

Wetlands- Hunting and Harvesting

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Images: by Jeniffer Smith; Location: Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

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Tule elk and other deer Pronghorn antelope that no longer inhabit the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions. fishing for salmon, trout and abalone

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main dietary supplement everyone in the tribe collected Stored for winter

Wild Rice- brown/wild rice

Wetlands- Material Sourcing
Plant Sources  Nuts and Seeds  Tules and Bulrush  Reeds and Cattails  Arroyo Willow and Sedge  Berries and Fruits  Bulbs and soaproot Animal Sources  Tule elk and Pronghorn Antelope (not found in the wild anymore)  Squirrels, hares, and rats  Quail and waterfowl (geese, ducks, swans)  Fox and coyotes

Image: by Jeniffer Smith; Location: Ohlone Festival, Fremont, CA

Tule- and Important Wetland Plant
Tule- Schoenoplectus acutus:
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Tule grows in wetlands or areas of seasonal flooding. The interior of each long Tule stem is filled with spongy tissue packed with air cells. It is the pithy interior of the tule stem that makes it such a unique and useful form of water transportation. Tule boats, or Tule balsas, were used by California Natives to travel across inlets, deep marshes, lakes and bays.


Tule Ethnobotany
In Central California, Tules were made into: Houses- with willow frameworks and Tule mat thaches baskets - from loose berry baskets to water carriers (Yokuts); clothing - Pomo 'grass' skirts and leggings to Yurok sun visors; mats - to thatch a house or sit on, or rolled up for storage; dolls and toys - slings, quivers, swaddling clothes, arrow skippers; Tule Bittern Bird Toys by Luwana Quitiquit http://newsblaze.com/photo/20 080225/pomo-bitterns_jpg

balsa boats and rafts - from one man floats to small islands;
duck decoys - plain, painted, and feather covered. [http://www.primitiveways.com/tule_ethnobotan y.html]

Tule Boats or Balsas (1)

Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

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Tule boats, or Tule balsas, were used by California Natives to travel across inlets, deep marshes, lakes and bays. Building the boat began by first harvesting the Tule and then drying it for 2-3 weeks. Rope making was an important part of boat construction. Rope was made from nettle fiber, twisted hemp, wild grape vine, and twisted cattails.

Tule Boats or Balsas (2)

Indians in Tule Boat - San Francisco Bay by Louis Choris

Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

How to make a miniature Tule Boat

Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

Tule Huts and Homes (1)
The need to build temporary structure according to weather and availability of resources made Tule huts a great idea.  Suitable for the moderate Bay Area climate, and they were skillfully made  Tule dwelling could be built up in a few hours, especially if a framework of willow poles was left in place, and could later be deserted with little loss.

Tule tends to rot quickly, and is not suitable for permanent structures.

Tule Huts and Homes (2)

Willow frame for the Tule hut

Almost Done

Finished Hut

Gathering Tule with deer bone saw.

The inside

[Tule House project-http://www.primitiveways.com/Tule%20house7.html]

Tule Crafts (1)
Tule Mats Arrow Quivers



Gathering Baskets

http://www.primitiveways.com/ Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

Tule Crafts (2)
Tule Duck Decoy
Tule Dolls



Tule Bittern

Tule Sun Visors



Ecological Importance of Tule Wetlands


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Tule and other varieties of bulrush/ reeds provide food, shelter, and nesting habitat to wetland inhabitants Encourage sediment deposition- provide building blocks for ecosystem Tule and fish- provide food and refuge for small and young fish of many species Tule acts as a buffer against wind and water forces for indigenous species survival Agriculture and cattle grazing- introduction of invasive plant species; loss of native plants and animals Loss of Tule and marshes to diking, draining, and filling

Marshes and Wetlands- Ecology
Habitat and Ecology

Special frog habitat Tidal salt water marsh

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Waterfowl- this includes geese, ducks, and swans At least 29 species of fish, numerous birds and mammals, even the occasional whale and grizzly bear. Plants- Tule, Folk Lore (hemp) but is not a cannabis, and Arroyo Willow
http://www.wildlifeheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/shutterstock_68429200640x426.jpg http://www.dreamstime.com/california-wetlands-thumb11963841.jpg

Loss of Wetlands to Modernization

http://www.brucefarnsworth.com/index.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=1000 0&s=17&p=3&a=0&at=0


Wetlands Loss = Habitat Loss


Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

Image: by Tanmeet Gujral; Location: Coyote Hills State Park, Fremont, ca

Wetlands Loss = Loss of Access to Cultural Resources

http://museumca.org/files/imagecache/98x70/photos/11/ LYamaneGatheringOlivellasFeb2010Sized4OMCA.jpg


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lack of Federal recognition of the various Tribes still active in California elimination of plant-gathering sites by development lack of access to gathering sites that still exist spraying of herbicides and pesticides in gathering areas replacement of native baskets by metal and plastic ones of modern day. demands of family life and the struggle to make a living has led the Indians away from traditional crafts

Wetlands Loss = Loss of Native Wetland Practices

Ancient know-how passed from generation to generation by gathering and hunting in the same areas where ancestors did Slash and burn old marshes to encourage new growth, easier access to food, reduced incidence of natural fires.



Reviving the Wetlands and Tule
Conservation of Wetlands  By reconnecting the flow of water from the bay to the marshes  Through projects such as the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project and the California Wetlands Project that monitors many smaller such projects.

Restored wetland in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (Dave Feliz, DFG)

South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration

Ohlone Efforts for Restoration
The Ohlone are today involved with the EPA and the various wetlands restoration projects around the Bay Area They lend their ancient knowledge and experience in managing these marshlands for protecting them.


http://www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org/eNewsletters/201203/201203Newsle tter_files/WorldWetlandsDay1.jpg

Informative Events to Educate
Museums- focused exhibits and artifacts  Events- Ohlone day, dance fests, basketry events, etc  Hands on demosinvite non-Ohlone people to experience the culture, traditions and crafts; generate more interest


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Ohlone Cultural Revival in San Francisco. (n.d.). World Arts West. Retrieved September 10, 2012, from http://worldartswest.org/main/ohlone.asp Tribal History- Recognition Process. (n.d.). Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Retrieved September 10, 2012, from http://www.muwekma.org/tribalhistory/recognitionprocess.html Jennings, C. (n.d.). After hundreds of years, Ohlone Indians return home to Bay Area | abc7news.com. ABC Owned Television Stations. Retrieved September 14, 2012, from http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/assignment_7&id=8157214 Pritzker, Barry M. (2012). Costanoan. In The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience. Retrieved September 19, 2012, from http://americanindian2.abcclio.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report. (n.d.). Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC. Retrieved September 14, 2012, from http://baeccc.org/ tzinflas. (n.d.). Makin the Tule Boat. Ohlone Profiles. Retrieved September 14, 2012, from http://ohloneprofiles.org/ Field, L., Leventhal, A., Sanchez, D., & Cambra, R. (1992). A Contemporary Ohlone Tribal Revitalization Movement: A Perspective from the Muwekma Costanoan/Ohlone Indians of the San Francisco Bay Area. California History, 71(3), 412-431.


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Galvan, P. (1968). People of the West: The Ohlone Story. Indian Historian, 1(2), 9-13. Johnson, K. L. (1997). The Ohlone, Past and Present: Native Americans of the San Francisco Bay Region. Ethnohistory, 44(3), 588-590. Kaufman, D. (2008). Rumsen Ohlone Folklore: Two Tales. Journal of Folklore Research, 45(3), 383-391. Ramirez, L. (2011). Festival of Storytelling. News From Native California, 25(1), 16-18. Solano, I., Lothrop, G., & Villanueva Guerrero, S. (1993). Reminiscences of a Princess: Isadora Solano. Californians, 11(3), 24-28. Skowronek, R. K. (1998). Sifting the Evidence: Perceptions of Life at the Ohlone (Costanoan) Missions of Alta California. Ethnohistory, 45(4), 675. Wildesen, L. E. (1969). The Notes of an Archaeologist: Ohlone Indian Prehistory. Indian Historian, 2(1), 25-28. Harper, D. (February 11, 2010). Tale of Creation [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://www.danielharper.org/blog/?p=6348. Ohlone Languages. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 20, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costanoan_languages

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