Ya like this self pro claim indigidious person Cindi Alvitre who in her own words stated " there is no one tribe called tongva" and introduced the term tongva in 1990s.
By Matt Coker
By R. Scott Moxley
By Charles Lam
By Nick Schou
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
"The purpose of nature is to utilize it, not to look at it," 37-year-old Buena Park resident Matt Teutimez says, as he and his father stand in the middle of the Bolsa Chica wetlands during a crisp, winter morning. All around them, suburbanites zip along the ecological preserve's cement-covered paths, strolling, jogging, walking dogs, basking in what Teutimez considers holy land under siege.
Off in the distance is suburban sprawl, inching closer and closer. Nearby is a graded mesa of dirt, the proposed site for a luxury community designed by Hearthside Homes. In 2005, construction workers unearthed the remains of 174 people, the ancestors of the Teutimezes and hundreds of others in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Here stood a village that held special significance for the people who called themselves Kizh but whom the Spaniards called Gabrieleños, after the mission they herded them into during the 18th and 19th centuries. When activists demanded Hearthside halt construction to properly reinter the dead and take scope of the stunning discovery, a Hearthside vice president dismissed their concerns as "just another obstacle to overcome" and carried on with construction for a planned development where new residents are promised "an intimate connection with nature."
This morning, though, standing by a fence with "KEEP OUT" signs serving as sentries, Teutimez and his father are busy doing what their ancestors did for hundreds of years: identifying wildlife, examining plants and discussing their uses. Matt, a biologist, says the area is so fertile he can make a full meal from the bounty that grows beyond the wire fence and never go hungry: nasturtium, stinging nettle, salt bush, elderberries, among other native plants.
"This habitat is unique because you would have fresh water from the Santa Ana River and salt water," he says. "There would have been an abundance of animals and plants, clams, mussels, abalone. This area is perfect for a village."
But Teutimez cannot legally harvest this bounty; though this was his ancestors' land for generations, he now has no claim to it.
Nevertheless, he and others try. Remaining descendants of the Gabrieleños in Orange County and beyond are gamely trying to retain and revive their heritage via actions sweeping and subtle: by mapping out old village sites, by reconstructing languages and customs through a combination of archive searches and word-of-mouth stories, by protesting loudly whenever another development unearths a part of their past and treats it as just another shovel of dirt or opportunists come to divide and conquer. Fear burned into the subconscious of elders from past slaughters of California Indians kept generations of Gabrieleños living in the shadows. But this new wave is proud and ready to save what is left of its culture—and with only about 650 documented Gabrieleños left, many middle-aged to elderly, time is running short.
"You can't separate them in the Indian mind," Teutimez says of nature and spirituality, of his people's Bolsa Chica and Southern California. "Our ancestors never thought they could do it better than God. They accepted what God gave them, and God gave them plenty. Now what we've said is 'We can do it better.'"
* * *
The Gabrieleños are associated primarily with Los Angeles County because their villages in what's now Orange County fell under the domain of LA in the days of the padres. But they thrived across north, central and coastal OC. Local villages included Lopuuknga, Hotuuknga, Pasbenga and Motuucheynga, located roughly where Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Santa Ana and Seal Beach, respectively, now exist. Gabrieleño domain extended to Aliso Creek, where they had close ties with their neighbors to the south, the Acjachemen, or Juaneños, says Andy Tautimez Salas, Matt's cousin and chairman of the Kizh-Gabrieleño. Salas and others recently learned their pre-colonial ancestors referred to themselves as the Kizh (pronounced "keech," a name derived from their homes, built with willow-branch roofs) and now disavow the widely used term "Tongva," saying it's not really a word, but rather an Anglo bastardization of the name the village Toviscangna.
"There is no such thing as 'Tongva,'" Salas explains. "It wasn't who we were. My grandmother was born in 1912, and she never used that word."
But they're almost universally known as Gabrieleños—even among tribal members—due to the longtime repression and stigma attached to being Indian in Southern California. The Catholic Church forced the Kizh into servitude at Mission San Gabriel upon its inception in 1771 and changed their religion and names, banning the old ways under threat of the whip and eternal damnation. Things only got worse after the decline of the missions with Mexican independence, then the conquest of California after the 1848 Mexican-American War. Upon its admittance into the Union, it was legal, even encouraged under California law to harass Native Americans to the point of death. "You actually got money for Indian scalps," says Nikishna Polequaptewa, a Hopi from northern Arizona who is the director of the American Indian Resource Center at UC Irvine.
Legalized racism and violence against Gabrieleños and other California Indians into the early 20th century forced them to assimilate as a means of survival. Matt's father, John Teutimez, a retired, 25-year veteran of the Santa Ana Police Department, says his own father had to choose between his identity and feeding his family. "My dad would say he was Mexican because if he told anyone he was Indian, he couldn't get any work," John says. "They wanted to assimilate us because they didn't want to deal with us."
Ya like this self pro claim indigidious person Cindi Alvitre who in her own words stated " there is no one tribe called tongva" and introduced the term tongva in 1990s.
The true identity of the Native Indians of Mission San Gabriel.
The Kizh villages did have different names but our Original true name and identity as a people was, Kizh also spelled Kitc which means houses we were known as the people of the Willow brush houses. When the Spanish first conquered the land territory of the Kizh which was the entire Los Angeles basin including Orange County and the Channel Islands the Spanish first called us Kichireños which again meant the people of the willow brush houses. The Kizh were enslaved to build the first mission of which was made of willow and was wiped out because of a major flood and moved to higher land to the Kizh village of Tovisvangna (now known as San Gabriel) there my ansestors were then forced to build the mission san Gabriel after completion we were then given the name Gabrieleño named after Mission San Gabriel .So yes Kizh is our true identity and who we still are today so remember to tell your friends and family you got this info from the horses mouth. Its Not history its OUR STORY
Monday, Wednesdays 2:30PM - 3:45PM
After reading the article “The Kizh Gabrieleño Factor” by Bethanian Palma Markus, I was very interested in the fact that the Indian natives are making their hardest effort towards returning and remaining to Orange County. For instance in the previous centuries, Orange County and Los Angeles Counties used to have many villages within the area. I was disappointed though when many construction workers have decided to “unearth the remains of 174 people” in Orange County and Los Angeles counties. However, the villages of Kizh and Spaniards called Gabrieleño have decided to not let their Indian heritage die out. This caught my attention the most because despite the challenges of finding new land to create villages with only 650 Gabrieleño, their dream of not giving up is amazing. Challenges that the natives have to face include having to hide their identity towards others, racism, violence, and finding jobs. This makes me sad because nowadays Indian native lives are becoming increasing difficult in order to just make a living in the California. For example the article mentions how an Indian father would always say he was Mexican because if he didn’t, he would risk not getting any jobs. Therefore this makes me realize that people such as the police did not want to deal with Indians, thus making them become independent when it comes to trying to survive in California. As a result, this article makes me feel sad when it comes towards Indians finding support in California. But in the end, the Indian natives are not giving up for getting recognized by the federal government in California that the native people are still alive and are proving to them that they are still existing. Their goal for bringing back the Native heritage into California today and hopefully for the future is a very amazing goal that will surely succeed in the future.
Another important fact about this article was that the majority of Indians such as the Gabrieleño have had many local villages around Orange County. This interested me because I never would have thought that places such as Fullerton, Costa Mesa, and more importantly Santa Ana were associated with Indians. This makes me not only become more informed about the History of Orange County, but also understand why Orange County has so much more meaning behind it than I thought. In fact as the article mention the Indians were looking for places in Orange County to create villages, the Santa Ana River was “perfect for a village”. This makes me happy because my hometown Santa Ana has Indians villages in it. Therefore, I really enjoyed reading this article because I have learned about the importance of Indians coming back to California, and knowing that they are their heritage will never leave the Orange County in the future.
Actually Kizh was a name referring to only one of the many "Gabrieleno" villages. Tongva, no matter how some people want to spin or belittle it, is a name that many Indigenous have chosen to use and it should be respected. I highly suggest people do more research for themselves.
It was called Hispaniola before but americo vespusy was gay and his german boyfreind got mad because the spanish would not let him travel with americo so ge got mad and started changing the names of maps from Hispaniola to america he femenised it to america, so basicaly if you call yourself an american your calling yourself a gay eyetalian.
@ Tangaxhuan, I noticed that too and attributed it simply to tribalism in the past. Tribes have been fighting each other for centuries. Add to this a (white) man made border and sprinkle in nationalism and nativism and it sounds a lot like racism. Tenemos la cara de indios but tell a Native American you have a drop of Mexican and many look down on you. I never really got that. Thanks for clarifying.
Young forward thinking YOUTH, or enough of them, Mex, or Mex,/Amerr, just don't care of preserving cultural historical background .s and awareness to understand the . context . oof the .old and young . generationss and keeping the . bilugualism . of .spanish and. english . language . as an example,
What has been done to preserve the language? I'd also like to learn why a dolphin was given a ritual burial, instead of, for instance, being put out to sea. Mentions of both things in the article were tantalizing, but too brief. A very interesting piece: Thanks for printing and sharing it!
Unfortunately Mexican has been conflated with Spaniard or peasant conscripts of Spaniards for many Native groups at the border. In addition, the years since AIM and Cesar Chavez we have seen a division between Indians North and South of that pinche border. Where once there was recognition and solidarity, there is stereotype, fear and "racism". Hopefully Idle No More and Mapuche and Purepecha movements is repairing that false division.
GREAT READ!!! Last time I was trying to encourage us to search our roots, I was told to go back and watch American Idol??? Lol...I hope you have better luck!
Yep, So Glad my popz show me to proud of the INDIO in my blood, not just to be of light spanish complection/ Hungarian mother's side, What is troubling how American Indian clarify that they AREN'T mexican, like this 1 biker dudee that sells stuf at Kobie's in DAGO!
The topics of tribal identity, blood quantum and federal recognition are well covered in the pages of 'Rez Life'. (David Treuer 2012 Grove Press) Not a scholarly journal but a informative and interesting read for those who wish to know more. For those who wish to know less I suggest fretsward's incomprehensible screed.
" Respect " look who's calling the kettle Black. Why not respect the True Natives of the Los Angeles Basin by recognizing them for who they truly are ....Kizh (Kitc) Nation , People of the Willow Brush Houses . And not "tongva" so called people of the earth, we are all people of the earth.
More Proof Documentation on the Native indians of the L.A. Basin "KIZH NATION"
The Original true name of the Gabrieleño is Kizh also spelled Kitc. Kizh means houses we were known as the people of the Willow houses. When the Spanish first conquered the land territory of the Kizh ,which was the entire Los Angeles basin including Orange County and the Channel Islands the Spanish first called us Kichireños which again meant the people of the willow brush houses. It was until later after the first mission which was made of willow was wiped out because of a major flood and moved to higher land we were enslaved to built the mission san Gabriel is when we were then giving the name Gabrieleño.
You are defiantly wrong with your information . The following link is a interview that was done with the queen of " tongva " her self. There was no such tribe of the Los Angeles basin called tongva. Tongva is the name Cindi ( non indian)chose
@fretsward Oh God, you again...
OH yes, a white dude makes a conclusion on one of his essays so that overpowers the right of an Indigenous community to identify how they wish. No Thank You, you can keep them those paternalistic western values.
Yes, thank you..again Kizh was the name of a specific village not the collective of Tongva villages.
Perhaps you missed my point, being that as an Indigenous people they have the right to make their own decisions as to how they operate and identify.
Just because there is no western academic authority reference on the history of the Tongva name does not negate its power as a name which most original Los Angeles Basin Indigenous People have Chose to use for themselves.
Kich has only been shown to be a name by which one village went by, not the collective of Tongva villages.
I hope people do their own research instead of falling for all the character defamation rich half-truths you guys are putting out there.
@dorian26 I can say that because it is a human right for people to make their own decision which you continually fail to understand. Maybe one day you will learn. Just as some wish to call themselves Kizh or if some want to call themselves Tongva, let them make their own decisions. Respect people's decisions what's so hard to grasp about that? Not every village called themselves Kizh. and that my friend is also fact.
Meeting the Kizh
For a couple years now, I've been researching local history for a couple writing projects I'm working on, most recently a historical novel set in Orange County. I want to understand the history of the area where I live, the real unvarnished history, which is so full of struggle and suffering, especially for minority groups. No group of people understand this struggle and suffering better than the local Native American tribes, one of which is the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians, Kizh Nation. I've read various accounts written about this tribe, but most of these are written by non-natives and reflect a strong ethnocentric, and sometimes outright racist, bias. To find the real truth about this tribe's history, I have really been wanting to meet and talk with actual living tribe members. Today, I got that chance.
The Cooper Center in Ralph Clark Park (in Fullerton) hosted an event about Orange County's "prehistory," and the Gabrielenos were there, including their chief, Ernie Salas, and tribal historian, Timothy Poyrena-Miguel. I thought it was strange that these living tribe members were presented alongside dinosaur and mastodon fossils, as if to suggest that they are extinct. Indeed, some historians have regarded them as extinct, but they are not. They exist, and continue to fight for recognition and understanding. They are still not federally recognized, but are in the process of trying to gain this recognition.
Ernie Salas, Chief of the Kizh
I sat down with the tribal historian, Timothy. I didn't have any agenda or prepared questions.
"Tell me about your people," I said and, man, did he have a story to tell.
The history of the Kizh people goes back thousands of years. For millennia, they had developed a complex and beautiful culture, which included religion, astronomy, rich and varied cuisine, economy, and social structure. They developed ingenious ways to live sustainably off the land and its natural resources. The name of the tribe, Kizh, comes from the dome-like dwellings they lived in. They had tools, technology, clothing, handicrafts, dances. They were one of two California tribes who mastered boat-building, and traveled along the coast of Southern California.
Ernie blows the concha, to gather the tribe together.
In the 1700s, Spain began to colonize California, and thus began the long journey of suffering for the Kizh people. Contrary to what we learn in school and on field trips to California Missions, the Spanish were not a benevolent presence in California. The missions they established were like concentration camps, where Indians were forced to live as slaves, and abandon their three thousand-year tradition of sustainable living. Violence and disease decimated the local native populations. Many Kizh women were raped by Spanish soldiers and died of syphilis. Timothy compared Spanish figures like Father Junipero Serra to Nazis, in the way they systematically destroyed native cultures and lives.
Both Timothy and I expressed our frustration that the California Missions are taught to children in public schools as benevolent, even quaint examples of California history. The California Missions were west coast slavery for Native Americans. Why don't we tell our children the truth?
Things did not improve for Native Americans when Mexico won its independence, nor when the United States conquered California. Under American rule in the 1800s, Indian scalps would fetch a nice reward. Timothy told me the story of a whole Kizh village rounded up into a valley near where the Rose Bowl is today, and blasted with guns and cannons. Some children managed to escape, and found shelter among Mexican-American families in the San Gabriel area. Children of slain parents were adopted by Mexican-American families, and this is why Many Kizh people today have Spanish/Mexican surnames.
Due to widespread racism, these children feared to identify themselves as Indian, stopped speaking their native language, and learned Spanish or English.
One result of all this suffering and bloodshed was the eradication of the Kizh language. Timothy told me they have some words and songs that were passed down orally, but no one alive today speaks their native language.
As I listened to Timothy tell the story of his people, I felt a heaviness in my chest, a complex mixture of sadness, outrage, and compassion. It is this last bit, compassion, that I hope to evoke with my writings. If we don't know their history (and most people don't know Kizh history), we do not feel compassion. But, in listening to their stories, harrowing and horrific as they are, we develop a strong sense of compassion. We pay for the crimes of our ancestors, but we do not have to repeat those crimes. The act of storytelling can be a powerful, healing force. It is my hope that, in listening and sharing stories like this, a new chapter in the Kizh story may open, one of understanding, healing, and reconciliation.
How can you say that people have a right to identify as they wish when regarding to a certain tribe. When it comes to people wanting to know the truth about a specific tribe of a specific area , one needs to be truthful and specific in giving fact so that there is no more confusion or distorting history. In this case in regards to the natives of the Los Angeles basin , they were called Kizh (Kitc) not tongva there was no one tribe every every called tongva. And that my friend is fact.
I think it's you that doesn't get it.
I'm not distorting anything. I acknowledge that Kizh is A legit name, albeit not substantiated to be the collective name for all LA Basin Natives .
What you're not getting is that people have a right to identify as they wish. In this case the name Tongva. You're imposing a name (Kizh) that many LA Basin Natives do not wish to use. That is such a paternalistic and "wasichu" like mannerism.
Your group has a right t identify as Kich, no one is saying otherwise. How hard is it to show others respect for making their own decisions?
Perhaps if all this name controversy were a genuine heartfelt concern executed in a good way instead of an egotistic and ulterior motive inclined endeavor yall might be able to win the hearts of your own people to all identify as such.
Until then we'll see how far all the character defamation and bullying will get people.
You still don't get it do you. Kizh ( Kitc ) means house these natives were known as the people of the willow houses as a tribe. These natives inhabited the entire Los Angeles basin including the Channel Islands . They were known to there selves as the Kizh people," people of the willow houses "although each native was from his or her own village name . Other tribes also called them Kizh just like the Serrano Spanish name for "mountaineer " but originally they were known as people of the pines. It is people like you and those that do not know the true name of these people that destort fact and history.
@dorian26 - no hating at all relative. You're still denying Indigenous people their right to identify as they wish.. an unfavorable habit of western culture to impose their rules and criteria for how Native people should identify. There is nothing to substantiate that Kizh is what all the villages called themselves, and but if that's what some want to call themselves then they have every right to do so.. but again a blog post doesn't substantiate the claim that that was the name fore the collective villages of the LA Basin Indigenous. nice try tho.
Don't be a hater my brother, no need to pull the race card you show me proof that the indigidious people of the Los Angeles basin were called tongva and I'll stop posting proof documentation that they were called Kizh "people of the willow brush houses.