Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUCLA

A Fight for Food: The Assault on Traditional California Indian Food Ways, 1769-1873


In his book, An American Genocide: The United States and The California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873, the historian Benjamin Madley highlighted the intentional destruction of traditional California Indian foods, by the United States Army, vigilantes, and volunteer California state militiamen as a genocidal tactic. This thesis explores the wider intentional destruction of California Indian foods and assault on traditional California Indian foodways during the long conquest of California, beginning with the Spanish invasion of 1769, continuing under Mexicans from 1821 to 1846, and concluding with early United States rule between 1846 and 1873. This thesis will examine the effects that the destruction of California Indian foods had on traditional California Indian food ways and consequently California Indian people as well as how California Indian people kept their foodways alive against great odds.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View