Hwy 9

Guide to the San Lorenzo Valley & Santa Cruz Mountains

Ohlone

Ohlone IndiansSeveral thousands of years ago (it depends on who you ask), some of the indigenous peoples of the San Francisco Bay area took up residence in the forest. Their modern descendants are called the Ohlone, which is a Miwok word for people of the west. The Ohlone lived a nomadic life with small tribal units speaking different languages. The acorn was one of their primary food sources. They also hunted deer, bear, elk, and sea critters, and gathered roots, herbs, fruits, nuts, and insects. They had a varied and interesting diet, and would probably love the variety of foodstuffs found in the area today. Grub sushi is a concept worth savoring.

As nomads, they weren’t into pyramids or snake mounds or any other long lasting buildings. Their culture was a portable one which featured the lightweight such as the basket over the durable such as pottery. Due to the fragility of their artifacts, little remains of pre-western influence Ohlone manufacture other than some beautifully intricate basketry, bone tools, mortars and pestles and the like.

They did, in fact, walk lightly on the land.

by Gary Starkweather
Copyright 1997-2014 iHwy, Inc.

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