September 20, 2008

Exhibit on first Angelenos

Tribal tribute

Arcadia museum honors Tongvas A new exhibit detailing aspects of local Native American life opened last Saturday as members of the The Gabrieleno/Tongva of San Gabriel helped celebrate "Tongva: Our Voice, Our History, Our People."

The exhibit at the Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum, said museum curator Dana Dunn, includes cultural representations, artifacts and "real basic snippets of times in Tongva history. It's a sense of what it was like before the Spanish came here."
And:"People think that we're extinct. I'm glad that the Arcadia Museum took time to honor us, telling our story."

The grand opening of the exhibit features songs by tribal members, including a ritual blessing where sage was burned in an abalone shell.

"The sage carries our prayers, our energy, to the heavens above," Morales said.

The Tongva, sometimes called Gabrielenos after the Spanish custom of naming Native American tribes after the local mission, had lands that extended from the mountains to the ocean in much of what is now Los Angeles and Orange counties and the islands of Santa Catalina, San Nicholas, San Clemente, and Santa Barbara.
Comment:  The Tongvas were here before there was such a thing as an Angeleno, of course. But the title is useful to remind people that the Los Angeles area was home to Indians too.

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