Kizh / Tongva studies

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

▶︎ View related▼︎ Tap to hide

After 1900, formal study by P E Goddard, C G DuBois, R B Dixon, and A L Kroeber began to professionalize the study of natives in California. Before that, 1880s and 1890s annual reports of the Indian Commissioner of Indian Affairs can be useful.


This article reinterprets the 1785 Indian rebellion at Mission San Gabriel in Alta California by reexamining the testimony of the Indians accused of leading this uprising. For decades, scholarly and popular discussions of this event have focused on the role of Toypurina, an Indian woman implicated in the rebellion. This essay, however, clarifies the roles played by Toypurina, Nicolás José, and others in the rebellion and emphasizes the importance of eyewitness native accounts to early California history. Through a careful use of the mission's birth, marriage, and burial records, this study also uncovers key moments in the lives of the rebels. These two sources—Indian testimony and mission registers—help to suggest the rebellion's diverse origins: the mission Indians' anger at the Spaniards for the suppression of their ceremonies and the frustration among some Gabrielinos that the creation of the mission and the congregation of hundreds of Indians at that one location constituted a threat to existing Gabrielino boundaries of land use and settlement. The article concludes that an understanding of colonial California rests not only upon a study of Indian-Spanish relations but on an examination of the interactions between individuals and among groups of Indians as well.


In the early twentieth century, anthropologists and government officials proclaimed many California Indian tribes extinct because of the effects of colonization—violence, disease, and urbanization. They believed the Gabrieleno, an indigenous tribe of the Los Angeles basin, had succumbed to the pressures of missionization and urbanization. However, in 1928 over a hundred of these Indians self-identified as Gabrieleno on the California Indian judgment roll. Many of them were living in the same small geographic area where their ancestors had lived eighty years before. From 1850 to 1928, the U.S. government essentially ignored the close-knit, interrelated Gabrieleno community of San Gabriel despite pleas for federal relief on their behalf by local Indian agents. Because of apathy and misinformation, few historical documents about the Gabrieleno exist. Thus, very little research has been done on this period of Gabrieleno history, and the most comprehensive history of the Gabrieleno stops at 1850. What happened to the Gabrieleno from then until 1928, and why, is pieced together here through a detailed review of the limited archival documents that exist.

The Gabrielino
970.3 GABR, M 1

California's Gabrielino Indians
970.3 GABR, J 1

The first Angelinos : the Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles

The Indians of Los Angeles County: Hugo Reid's letters of 1852.
970.3 GABR, R 1

SRLF: Word book (Továngar : (world) : a Gabrielino word book)
SRLF: Bibliography
YRL: Map
SRLF: Land development, springs


The Making of Chumash Tradition: Replies to Haley and Wilcoxon. Jon Mcvey Erlandson. Current Anthropology, Vol. 39, No. 4 (August/October 1998), pp. 477-510. Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Contexts of Cultural Change in Insular California. Jeanne E. Arnold, Roger H. Colten and Scott Pletka. American Antiquity, Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 300-318. Published by: Society for American Archaeology

California's Gabrielino Indians
Bernice Eastman Johnston

There is no certain name for the people known today as Tongva, Kizh or Gabrielino.

The tribes are now represented by five groups that often compete with one another,


The Tongva language (also known as Gabrielino or Gabrieleño) is a Uto-Aztecan language formerly spoken by the Tongva, a Native American people who live in and around Los Angeles, California. Tongva is closely related to several other Takic languages, including Cahuilla and Serrano.
The last fluent native speakers of Tongva lived in the early 20th century, but no evidence to this time and date can prove a fluent speaker in the last 150 years.[clarification needed] The language is primarily documented in the unpublished field notes of John Peabody Harrington made during that time. The "J.P. Harrington Project", developed by the Smithsonian through UC Davis, his notes of the Tongva language, approximately 6,000 pages were coded for documentation by a Tongva member who took 3 years to accomplish.
There are claims of native speakers of Tongva who have died as late as in the 1970s, but there is no independent verification of these individuals having been fluent speakers.
Evidence of the language also survices in modern toponymy of Southern California, including Pacoima, Tujunga, Topanga, Azusa, Cahuenga in Cahuenga Pass, and Cucamonga in Rancho Cucamonga.

^ The Limu Project (active language revitalization)
Jump up ^ Keepers of Indigenous Ways: Tongva Language History & classes
Jump up ^ R. Plesset (2012-06-01). "San Pedro: Science Center Endangered/Tongva Village Site Revitalization". Indymedia Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
^ Jump up to: a b Munro, Pamela, et al. Yaara' Shiraaw'ax 'Eyooshiraaw'a. Now You're Speaking Our Language: Gabrielino/Tongva/Fernandeño. 2008.
^ Jump up to: a b c d McCawley, William. The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles. Malki Museum Press, 1996
Jump up ^ Native Languages of the Americas[year needed]