I am starting this blog in April 2009 as my motivation to get out of my comfortable Pasadena apartment, out of my slippers, and onto the road. I want to discover and appreciate the exciting city I live in.
My plan is to update three times a week minimum, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with destinations, activities, events, festivals, museums and other interesting and original things to do around LA county.
Three things decided me to start the blog: the Banana museum, the Venice canals and finding out about the Gabrielino people. The first two I will address in upcoming posts, that way you have a reason to come back to the blog. (wide smile)
Something is in bloom in Los Angeles that has kept me sneezing and congested for two weeks. I finally went to the doctor’s, and am now feeling better. I am no longer sneezing or congested thanks to 24-hour allergy relief.
The problem is that when this medication promises 24-hour symptom relief, it delivers. So I’m awake for 24 hours. I haven’t slept in two days, and I started thinking about the blog and researching into the history of this area.
I subscribe to the idea of knowing where you’re coming from to understand where you are. In the case of LA, I started with El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula and thought about this village by the sea that became the twelfth largest city in the world.
As I dug farther, I started finding out about the original inhabitants of this land, and discovered the Gabrielino indians who lived in the area that spans the San Gabriel Valley all the way to the shore. The more famous Shumash tribe lived along the northern part of the coast, starting in Malibu and extending past Santa Barbara.
The original name of the poeple has been lost, and when Spanish settlers arrived, they named the native people “Gabrielinos” after the Franciscan mission San Gabriel Arcángel.
Most of what we know about the Gabrielinos comes from letters written by Hugo Reid, a Scotsman who settled in San Gabriel in 1832, married a Gabrielino woman and became a rancher. He describes the “Indians” of the Los Angeles area as being one great Family under distinct Chiefs and lodges, all speaking the same language—Shoshonean—with slight variations in accents.
Reid lists some of the the principal lodges and their local names. I’ve just given you a couple so you have an idea where some of hte names come from. The map below is very interesting.
- Yang-na – Los Angeles
- Sibag-na – San Gabriel
- Asucsag-na – Azuza
- Cucomog-na – Cucamonga Farm
- Aleupking-na – Santa Anita, Arcadia and Sierra Madre
- Pasecg-na – San Fernando
- Kinkipar Harasg-na – San Clemente Island
Descendents of the Gabrielinos are still living in this area today. They now call themselves Tongva, which means “People of the earth” in their language. I spoke to Angie Behrns, who has been active in the Tongva community for decades. She invited me to a Tongva event on Saturday.
I just wanted to share this story, because it has helped me see where I live in a completely new light. Let me know if you want to hear more about the Gabrielino/Tongva people. I will update on Saturday after I meet Angie.
In the meantime, here is a link to their community right here in San Gabriel: http://www.tongva.com/