Native Americans: Past, Present, and Future

The next class in MAPOM’s California Indian Studies certificate program at College of Marin is a lecture class, NATIVE AMERICANS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, on July 18 during Kule Loklo’s Big Time festival.

There will be four speakers:

  • Malcolm Margolin, publisher of News From Native California and founder of Heyday Books, will focus on the past, sharing stories of what he’s learned in his forty years of “deep hanging out” in Indian country. He will discuss ancient traditions, values, and knowledge as reflected in people he’s known, how much of it is still alive, and what it has to teach us.
  • Lindsie Bear (Cherokee), editor of News from Native California and director of Heyday Book’s Indian Programs (The Heyday Roundhouse), will discuss the present. As editor of News from Native California and director of Heyday’s Indian Programs (The Heyday Roundhouse), Lindsie is in constant touch with contemporary Indian writers, artists, scholars, leaders, and cultural activists. She will talk about the challenges of “getting the story right” in a world in which there are so many ways of being Indian.
  • Vincent Medina (Ohlone), will discuss the future. A young man, Vincent has relearned his native Chochenyo Ohlone language and is teaching it to others. He is active in a variety of cultural pursuits. He will talk about his work in reviving the past and his hopes for the future.
  • Joanne Campbell (Coast Miwok), is going to discuss the cultural history of native people, revitalizing the language and life ways and what being Indian means as we go forward into the future. She has served as a member of the Graton Rancheria Tribal Council.

This class is a core class in the California Indian Studies certificate program.

Location: The Red Barn, Point Reyes National Seashore
Time: Sat July 18 – 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Class ID: 578 X01
Fee: $49.00

To enroll or for more information, visit the Community Education class page or telephone 415-485-9305.

Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo – July 18

Kule Loklo’s 35th Annual Big Time Festival is next month on July 18, 2015: Make sure to put this on your list for Summer events. Big Time is the main cultural event each year at Kule Loklo in the Point Reyes National Seashore Park. It will feature Pomo Indian dancing, traditional skills demonstrations, and many vendors.

Kule Loklo is a recreated Coast Miwok Indian Village that is maintained entirely by volunteers.  For photographs of Kule Loklo and Pomo dancing there, visit the Kule Loklo History website www.kuleloklo.com/photos.html

Kule Loklo Big Time Festival

Kule Loklo Big Time Festival

Mary Collier’s memorial service will be April 13, 2014 in Muir Beach

There will be a memorial service for Mary Collier on Sunday April 13, 2014, at noon at the Muir Beach Community Center at 19 Seascape, off of Highway 1.

Mary was a past president of MAPOM and was active in MAPOM beginning in 1974.

Mary was crucial in gaining access to the Kelly papers, and was a co-editor with Sylvia Thalman of Interviews with Tom Smith and Maria Copa.  She was beloved and admired by all. Her husband, John Collier was a visual anthropologist and her father-in-law was famous as head of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs).

Kule Loklo Big Time is July 19, 2014

The California native village recreation, Kule Loklo, at the Point Reyes National Seashore is again the site for the Big Time gathering of dancers, native story tellers, native and non-native craft and skill demonstrators and much more known as a Big Time.

Miwok Archaeological Preserve of Marin cooperates with the National Park Service and College of Marin in this year’s presentation of many aspects of living California Native cultures.  A class for college credit is offered at the Red Barn from 10 AM to 12 PM and the village is filled with presentations for children and adults from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Watch for updates and save the July 19 for seeing Kule Loklo at its liveliest!

Precious Cargo: Childbirth and Cradle Baskets in California Indian Culture

Now through June 1, 2014

Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa describes Precious Cargo exhibit of  Natvie cradles this way, “California Indian people have relied on cradle baskets for centuries to protect their children and also to play a role in shaping a child’s character and directing his or her future.  The basket becomes a vehicle for the community’s most serious views concerning health and one’s relationship with the world.  This exhibition is on loan from the Museum of the American Indian in Novato.”

College of Marin Community Education is offering a course on California Indian Baskets.  Instructors are Ralph Shanks, author of two books on California baskets, Lisa Woo Shanks, co-author and Robert Brewer.  After an introduction students will be divided into groups for direct experiences from baskets from several California native groups.  A Pomo cradle similar to one illustrated by Sonoma County Museum will be among the baskets to be seen in person, not on static display.

Search College of Marin courses for:  CULT 9654A – California Indian BasketsCE01/25/14-01/25/14S10:00-12:00KTDSMN 106CLAS

Register soon for a rare, direct experience with rarely-seen California Indian baskets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://sonomacountymuseum.org/exhibits/exhibitions.aspx

MAPOM will be at the Marin Show – Art of the Americas

This year, MAPOM will once again be at the Marin Show – Art of the Americas in San Rafael. It is the largest show of early California Indian art in the nation and includes antique California Indian baskets, pottery, bead work, rugs and many other items for sale.

Contemporary Native American art will be featured in a separate part of the show, just across the foot bridge from the Marin Center, at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

The MAPOM table at the Marin Show will have a large selection of excellent California Indian books and information on the classes we offer. MAPOM board members will be at the table throughout the show.  We’d love to meet you.  Please stop by our table.

Admission is $15 per person.  This admits you into both the antique and contemporary shows.  You can learn more about the 30th annual Marin Show at www.marinshow.com.

The Marin Show – Art of the Americans will be held at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Americas on February 22- 23, 2014 from 10 to 6 on the 22nd and 11 to 5 on the 23rd..

Reflections On Betty Goerke’s New Book “Discovering Native People At Point Reyes”

As a school teacher I introduced the subject of Native American studies each year with the following guided visualization:

          It’s Friday night.  You’re excited about the weekend as you sit with your family for dinner about to begin your favorite meal – maybe spaghetti and meatballs with ice cream for dessert.  Suddenly there’s a heavy knock.  You jump up, run over and open the door.  In your face stands a gang of threatening space aliens wielding powerful weapons.  The leader blurts out “get out of our way” as the whole hoard forces its way into your home.  They scream, “Leave now or we’ll wipe you out with our laser guns!”  Of course you and your family protest, “But this is our home and our land and you can’t have it!”  What do you do?

The answers to this question varied from year to year but generally student responses involved some sort of angry and aggressive resistance.  However, when the power of the dominant attackers becomes evident and the family is either wiped out, dies from alien diseases or runs for dear life, the shocking reality grabs hold.  Seeing themselves as an intimate part of this teaching story allowed the kids to embody the experience of our indigenous people when the overwhelming force of the European invasion descended upon them and their traditional cultures.

Noted anthropologist and retired College of Marin professor, Betty Goerke, doesn’t dwell on this sordid affair in her latest book about our native Miwok who successfully sustained themselves and their environment for thousands of years.  But she doesn’t mince words in describing the devastating impact of the modern world upon their lives.  She writes, “Newly arrived immigrants to California, both U.S. citizens and those from other countries, were hungry for land, livestock, and gold.  They found the native population an impediment to their ambitions, which meant that being an Indian in many parts of California was dangerous.  There were few protections.”

She continues, “John McDougal, an early American governor of California, believed that a “war of extinction” directed against the native population was “inevitable.”  Kidnappings continued, Indian children and women were bought and sold, and bounties were issued for Indians accused of supposed crimes.”

Millions of Indian people across the North and South American continents were killed whether from diseases to which they had no immunity, land wars or outright massacre.  Fortunately such was not the final word in West Marin.  As the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, our local tribal organization, attest: “We are still here.”  And despite the ravages of the past, native communities, both locally and across the land, continue to cherish their cultural heritage.

How do we come to terms with the genocide upon which our country was founded?  For the most part, we don’t.  Genocide is a term reserved for what other conquerors do to those peoples they seek to dominate and/or eliminate.  Even today, I’d find myself in troubled water within many school districts across the land if I presented an opening narrative like the one above.  Or in deeper water by suggesting that the establishment of the “home of the free and land of the brave” was dependent on the eradication of its original people and the theft of their land.  But then, hasn’t this same pattern dominated the conflict-ridden history of the civilized world, at least since the development of agriculture and sedentary living?

But back to Betty’s book.  The first section flows as a well researched and highly readable narrative of the history of our local Miwok people from Francis Drake’s first contact, through the depredations of the mission period and right up to the contemporary moment.  Archival photos offer a window into that past and present.  Like the miraculous rebirth of our Bishop Pine trees after their holocaust of the Mount Vision fire, the text encourages the awareness that our first people have survived the onslaught of the modern world and their descendents remain alive and well today.  She writes, “The Coast Miwok people are now recognized by the U.S. government as a sovereign nation – an achievement that would have seemed unlikely for much of the last two hundred years.”

Betty goes on to describe a recent and momentous occasion in which some sense of reconciliation may have been achieved.  ”In December 2007, both the Catholic Church and the Coast Miwok commemorated the 192nd anniversary of the founding of Mission San Rafael at a mass at Saint Raphael Church on the site of the original mission….In a moving, and unprecedented tribute, retired Bishop Francis Quinn apologized to the Coast Miwok people for past injustices.”  Tribal Chief Greg Sarris, who spoke from the same pulpit, received and accepted the Bishop’s sincere regrets.

In the second section of her book Betty Goerke, an avid hiker, describes a number of “destinations” in the Point Reyes area and how they reflect traditional Miwok lifeways.  These special places include some of the premier hiking trails in the Point Reyes National Seashore.  In company with the narrative, these sites offer an understanding of the sacred relationship between this beautiful natural environment and the people who nurtured it for thousands of years.  The lovely photographs that accompany the text serve as a testimony to the wisdom inherent in our society’s choice to protect and enshrine this stunning landscape as a national treasure.

Available For Purchase At: MAPOM,com

Discovering Native People at Point Reyes

Betty Goerke’s new book Discovering Native People at Point Reyes is now available from MAPOM for $13.00.

This engaging story of the Coast Miwok people has a twofold purpose: to explain the natural history, cultural lifeways, and history of native life at Point Reyes and Tomales Bay from the time of Francis Drake’s arrival to the acknowledgment of the tribe by the US Government in 2000; and to suggest nine specific walks in the area which have been meaningful destinations for tribal people for thousands of years.  It includes information and photographs never before published, and is illustrated with over 75 photographs, most of them in color.

Betty is a MAPOM co-founder and board member, a trustee of the Museum of the American Indian, and has taught anthropology and archeology at College of Marin for over 35 years.

You can order this and other publications on MAPOM’s publications page mapom.com/publications.html.

Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo tomorrow

Tomorrow, July 21, is the 32nd annual Big Time Festival at Point Reyes National Seashore, from 10am to 4pm.  We will have Northern California Indian dancing, vendors, and skills demonstrators.

Admittance is free, but you should bring a lunch. You can buy a sandwich in the nearby communities of Inverness Park, Olema, and Point Reyes Station.

You can learn more about Kule Loklo at the website of the Kule Loklo volunteers,www.kuleloklo.com, where you will also find photographs of dancing from some previous years and of the rebuilding of the semi-subterranean ceremonial roundhouse.

Directions to Kule Loklo are available on the National Park website http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_bigtime.htm.  There is a walk of about .4 mile on a dirt trail from the Seashore headquarters to Kule Loklo.

Gifts From The Land Of Chief Marin Part Two

Gifts From The Land Of Chief Marin

Part Two

Spiritual Connections to the Land

          In keeping with the native ethos of reverence for the bounty of the natural world, the hunting of wild animals was conducted with prayer and thankfulness and the use of all parts of the creature.  Venison provided a basic source of protein.  Deer antlers were employed as tools to work obsidian into arrowheads and as knife hafts with sharp stone blades.  Brain-tanned hides were softened and worked into clothing, ceremonial regalia, door closures, working mats, bundle wrappings and hunting decoys.  Bones were used for tools, musical instruments, gambling dice and probably arrow points.  Even the hooves served as rattles.

Sinew from the deer’s back provided strong, sticky cords for affixing arrowheads, attaching feathers, strengthening bows and coiling bow strings.  Like the laces in our boots, strips of animal rawhide served a multitude of binding needs. The taking of all prey proceeded with respect and the practical awareness that community members would never over-exploit the animal population…lest there be none for tomorrow and tomorrow.

A hunter-gatherer sacred (and also pragmatic) maxim guided cultural behavior: “One never exceeds the carrying capacity of the local environment in its least productive year.”  Does this timeless wisdom have relevance for today?

And then there’s the ubiquitous acorn, not to speak of the wide variety of edible seeds and nuts.  Often lauded as one of the most nutritious sources of protein available, acorns from each of the numerous species of oak here in Miwok territory, provided a staple crop.  A California Indian matriarch once explained that tan oaks produced the “Cadillac of acorns.”  And, in some communities valley oak and black oak nuts were highly favored. I’ve read that the flour, which results from processing acorns of any species, can be purchased on-line and at Korean grocery stores in San Francisco, where it’s still regarded as a prime source of nutrition.

Native Plants as Tools

          California Indian baskets enjoy an international reputation as some of the finest in the world.  Artfully crafted from a range of plant materials, including willow, sedge, hazelnut and tule, design patterns were highlighted using native dyes and, sometimes, feathers and decorative shells.  Renowned basket weaver, Julia Parker (Coast Miwok/Pomo/Mono Lake Paiute), speaks to the heart of this ageless practice, “Take from the Earth and give back to the Earth and don’t forget to say please and thank you.”  To paraphrase one of her biographers, Julia knows that by teaching students to weave baskets she not only offers a sacred art, but also connects them in a magical way to their history and environment.

As an avid hiker these past forty years or so here in the land named after Chief Marin, I’ve often pictured myself as a native, especially when off on the more remote trails that have suffered less from the impact of the modern world.  As the Navaho like to say: “Beauty beside me, beauty behind me, beauty above me and beauty before me.”  How much more do we have to learn about the land in which we live?  As in the imaginative adventure that opened the essay, I’d encourage readers to delve more deeply into the lore of local plants, animals, geologic formations and ethnographic history in this well-preserved ecological gem we call home.  Good for your body, mind and spirit.

Want To Learn More?

          In July, the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (MAPOM.org) in partnership with the College of Marin Adult Education Department will begin offering a year-long series of classes entitled “The California Indian Studies Certificate Program.” (Call 415-485-9305 for information and go to www.marin.edu/communityeducation/CAIndianStudiesCertProgram.html for registration.) Completion of five of the nine listed classes leads to an award of the Certificate, but participants can enroll in any one or more of the workshops.  These, mostly weekend offerings, include flint knapping, basket weaving, fire making and ethnographic understandings.  The series kicks off at the annual Kule Loklo Big Time Celebration on Saturday morning, July 21st in the Red Barn at the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Check out the program for a more in-depth appreciation of our First Peoples and their relationship to the land.

See the whole article with illustrations at http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/PageServer?pagename=eNews_June2012_landingpage and scroll down to John’s article.