California Indians Essay, Research Paper
The California Indians
The California Indians we located in California. They settled in all areas of the state. California had the second-largest Native American population of any state. There was no empty land when the indians were there. The land had mountains, valleys, deserts, and the Pacific Ocean Coast all in California! A lot of them lived far down the coast north of Mexico.
It is proven that there were people living in California at least 19,000 years ago but, some evidence suggests life goes back as long as 50,000 years ago. There were about 300,000 California indians in the 18th century.
The California Indians depended on acorns as their main food. They grounded them and cooked them into soup, mush, or bread. They did not practice agriculture. The Indians fished, hunted small game and birds, and gathered enormous amounts of wild food. They camped in one place as long as the food supply would hold out. They also relied on foods such as deer, elk, antelope, chia, buckeye, epos root, rabbit, quail, salmon, sugar pines, hazelnuts, tules, cattails, camas roots, rye grass seeds, wild plums, grapes, and manzanita berries. They also lived on wild plants and equal portions of game.
The California Indians occupied permenant villages over the winter but in other seasons they roamed the land, camping when they found a good food source. Their houses were pit houses in Nothern California and dome shaped houses covered with thatch in the Southern part.
The California indians went stark naked in the warm weather. When it wasn’t quite as warm the women wore two aprons that looked like a skirt. They were made of plant fibers. The men wore a smaller apron in the front or buckskin between their legs as a breech cloth. In the cold weather the California Indians wore capes made out of animal furr, plant fiber, or feathers. They all went barefoot all year round.
The California indians made beautiful baskets and rock art. They had well developed trade. The indians made unique, sea going plank boats, the carving of seatite figures, and they made some of the finest rock paintings in North America.
The spiritual life was deemed to no religion at all but instead it was made up of superstition and sorcery. The indians lived in peace and harmony and beauty for many generations. Men often had more than one wife. There were many cerimonies and they played a big part in the California Indians lives. Most groups had distinctive and well practiced rituals. They were mostly related to puberty, death and subsistence. Marrige took place very young.