A Brief Timeline of Tongva (Gabrieleño) History
the Beginning Our Creation Story tells us Before Time began we have been here!
Some Science is saying first occupation of the Americas
15,000-9000 BCE others say the earliest
dated evidence for Los Angeles
Basin occupation. The Tongva lived in a virtual paradise for thousands of years,
good weather, abundance of food, water and plenty of resources.
1200 CE Peak of Culture and
1542 Spanish arrive in Catalina (Pimu’nga) and San Pedro (Chaawenga,
Palos Verdes-Chowiinga) harbor area ( Juan Cabrillo).
1602 Spain returns to Catalina
and coastal sites (Vizcaino).
1769 Gaspar de Portola enters Tongva territory. European diseases
have already begun decimating the population. Conflicts begin.
1771 Mission San Gabriel founded
at Isankanga and begins the process
of “conversion”. Conflict with local Tongva forces the church to
present location at the village of Sibanga (1775-1776). Tongva name changed
and missionization process begins. Non converts integrate into
social economic life, but not religious life.
1773 Second revolt against San Gabriel Mission
1776 De Anza expedition
comes through Tongva territory.
1778 Mass conversions take place as some chiefs are “ Converted”.
1779 Conflicts between church and military officials rage over who has the
of “Indian labor”. The Third revolt against San Gabriel Mission.
Señora La Reyna de Los Angeles de la Portiuncula
founded at Yanga.
1785 October 25.
After a series of protest, Tongva resistance peaks with the
revolt of Toypurina, chief’s daughter and shaman.
The Fourth revolt is quashed;
Toypurina is exiled to Monterey, baptized, and married to a Spanish soldier.
She dies at San Juan Bautista and lies buried in an unmarked grave.
1786 Most “Gabrieliños”
become a peasant class working for missions or the
land gentry. Apartheid policy dominates church-state relationships
1787 Fifth revolts in surrounding areas terrify church and state officials.
Spanish hold control on a 20 mile radius around Los Angeles (Yanga).
become the major labor force in Pueblo de Los Angeles
and for outlying ranches an farms.
Most Gabrieleños are either missionized, murdered, killed, died from
diseases, or have fled to other areas and
intermarried with Kokoémkam
(Serrano), Acjachemem (Juaneño), Cupa, or Kumitaraxam (Cahuilla) families.
Some flee as far as Monterey.
1800-1833 Missions grow and
ranches have expanded. Most Gabrieliños
are are either in slave labor or in peasant class. Many are fugitive
Church and state send armed raids to capture escaped “converts” and also
those who are
not yet “converted”. Diseases continue to spread. Spanish
control of Mission California 1769-1833:
1823 The last mission, San Francisco Solano founded; San Diego is in decline.
1832-33 It is estimated there were around 300,000 California
Indians in the 18th century, in about 250 distinct Indian cultures and California Indians spoke over 300 different dialects
of some 100 languages. In 1832-1833, the Hudson Bay Co. sponsored a fur trapping/scouting
expedition to California. The expedition introduced smallpox, influenza and measles to the Indian population. This single
expedition resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the entire California Indian population, destroying entire villages and tribes.
In the 1850s, the Gold Rush further devastated the Indian population. By 1860, less than 20 percent of the original
Indian population remained.1833
Missions are secularized after Mexico gains independence from Spain. Most Gabrieleños become
laborers for the New Mexican rancheros. Many Gabrieleños families are now scattered
from Monterey to San Diego; some are living with groups in the remote interior.1840-1850 Gabrieleño-Tongva language still in use. Some
rituals and games, traditional crafts still maintained. Tongva is used by both Europeans
and Indians. Smallpox epidemics decimate all tribal people in the area. California
becomes a State; Indians barred from any participation. By the 1840’s the last Tongva
towns are destroyed. Mexican control of California 1833-1850:15 years.1851 Jan.7th-Governor Peter Burnett first address to the legislature he promised,
a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races, until
the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected. While we cannot anticipate
this result but with painful
regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power or wisdom of man to avert."
Senator Weller stated "these Indians will in the end be exterminated.
must soon be crushed - they will be exterminated before the onward march of the white man."
Two early bills passed
by the California legislature allowed the organizati on and funding of militias
to kill Indians,
April 1850, months before California was officially declared a state. the US government
aside over $924,000 to reimburse California for expenses incurred in "Indian Wars" and another
$400,000 in 1861 for "Indian Wars" in 1854, 1855, 1856, 1858 and 1859.
Hugo Reid publishes Indians of Los Angeles County. He marries Victoria
Comicrabit, Tongva from Comicranga. She is buried
at San Gabriel Mission in
unmarked grave. She is an ancestor of the present Chief.
Maria (The Lone Woman of San Nicolas) is taken to
Santa Barbara; she dies in 6 weeks.
1869-1900 Smallpox epidemic
continue to kill Gabrieleños. Isolated families
manage to survive and maintain traditions.
C. Hart Merriam and A.L. Kroeber begin their study of the Gabrieleños.
They are in turn followed by DuBois and
1915-1933 JPHarrington records vocabularies, songs and cultures of
the Gabrieleños.[4 reels coded by Sutimiv-Pa’alat, from 2005-7]
1933 Helen H. Roberts
publishes “Form in Primitive Music” which focuses
on Gabrieliños music and songs.
Tongva chiefdom continues from Chief Salvador; San Gabriel
(Sibanga) maintains the center of surviving Tongva culture.
1994 Both the City of San Gabriel and California Legislature pass
resolutions recognized the “Gabrieleño-Tongva
Nation” as the indigenous
peoples of the Los Angeles Basin with a continuous unbroken history.
1995 February 6. Death of Fred “Sparky” Morales, Chief of the Tongva;
his son, Chief
Red Blood Anthony Morales assumes the chiefdom. November,
the Tongva Nation Dancers are founded.
Revitalization of Language begins again!!! Taught by our Mentor & Linguistic Professor Pam Munro from
UCLA, Classes held at the home of Strong Wave Warrior/ Jacob Gutierrez
host and facilitator of the Tongva Language.
Red Blood Anthony Morales receives "Heritage Award" for his major
to AB2641, helping to save our sacred sites and burial grounds.
2009 Tongva people receive sacred
outrigger canoe from Micronesia, Polynesia, and
Elders as the gate keepers of North America at the Science Center, San Pedro Calif.