Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Original Californians

The Original Californians by deanv41
The Original Californians, a photo by deanv41 on Flickr.
This map showing the original Bay Area Native tribes is posted at the new Land's End Lookout Center in the Northwest corner of the city. I imagine many folks might know the name "Ohlone" but beyond that the true history of the Bay Area is almost completely obscured. In most of the US Native names linger even if the people themselves are long gone. In California, older place names tend to be Spanish. On this map, I spot only a couple of recognizable names -- Aptos, Esselen, Salinan and Carquin -- that persist into the modern era.
I believe the job for Americans is to puncture a hole through the veil of silence surrounding the history of our country which, far from being a blank virginal slate for European dreams of conquest, is in fact ancient, diverse, complicated, elusive yes but still faintly visible landscape for those with eyes to see.

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