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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 2, Issue 2, 1980

Issue cover


Memorial to Ronald L. Olson (1895-1979)

While in California recently, I learned of the death of Ronald L. Olson, which occurred on August 1, 1979, in Escondido, California, near where he had lived most of the time since his retirement from the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1956. My purpose in writing this memorial essay in honor of Olson is in part motivated by a desire to place on public record certain praiseworthy aspects of Alfred L. Kroeber's character, which were evident in his relationship with Olson and, to a minor extent, also with me.


The Distribution of Oceangoing Canoes on the North Coast of California

In 1968, Richard Gould presented ethnographic evidence that certain canoes were specifically made for ocean navigation among native groups along California's northern coast. In his paper, "Seagoing Canoes Among The Indians Of Northwestern California," he postulated that oceangoing canoes did in fact exist, contrary to doubt expressed by certain scholars (Gould 1968:11-13). He further provided detailed information regarding their manufacture and physical/functional characteristics. This paper is an attempt to clarify certain points not thoroughly addressed by Gould and, subsequently, broaden the scope of his study. Three lines of evidence will be examined concerning the distribution of oceangoing canoes in an effort to define their southern geographical and cultural boundaries. Using this evidence, a descriptive model will be developed to characterize the occurrence of canoes used on the ocean along the north coast.

The Evolution of Pomo Society

This paper summarizes some ideas that have occurred to me about North Coast Range archaeology while thinking about data derived from excavations on Dry Creek, Sonoma County, California. The excavations there were performed at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a part of an archaeological evaluation of the Warm Springs Dam Project. This being so, the ideas generated are immediately applicable only to 60 or so archaeological sites along a short stretch of Dry Creek and its tributaries. Some of my conclusions, however, have inherently greater generality and all of them have some relevance to Pomo archaeology as a whole. That is not to say the conclusions are correct; archaeological conclusions are almost never correct in the long run, at least not as they are specifically formulated, but insofar as they are concretely stated they can always be used as hypotheses leading to further development. The details of site description and specimen provenience are contained in the report of Baumhoff and Orlins (1979).

Lower Colorado River Peoples: Hostilities and Hunger, 1850-1857

Why did some aboriginal peoples conduct hostilities over long periods of time? The answers to this question have been many, and one motive that is given great weight in the literature is the economic—raiding for wealth or for food in time of hunger. But for the Lower Colorado peoples during the early 1850's the record is not clear in associating occurrences of warfare with times of hunger. Instead, the record raises questions bearing on the theory of war in aboriginal society.

The Struggle for Native American Self-Determination in San Diego County

At the dawn of the American Civil War, southern California native people, including the Luiseino, Mountain Cahuilla, and Northern Dieguenio (Ipai), were beginning to slip into a marginal existence among the dominant white society. Although some native villages or settlements were sufficiently removed from white contact to avoid conflict and ill effects, most were clearly influenced by the spread of Anglo-American civilization. Native populations had been severely depleted by European-introduced diseases; settlements were abandoned to avoid contact with whites; lineages were fragmented or destroyed, and traditional lifeways were rapidly disappearing (Cook 1943o, 19436; Phillips 1975:20-69; Sutton 1964).

Some Aspects of Kitanemuk Prehistory

Relatively little ethnographic and archaeological data on the Kitanemuk are available for study. The ethnographic data (cf. Harrington's Kitanemuk notes) were gathered fairly late, represent a shallow time depth, and pertain mainly to the Tehachapi Mountains. The archaeological data are limited, primarily from Antelope Valley, and mostly unpublished. The late prehistoric period archaeological remains (after 2200 B.P.) from the Antelope Valley have generally been attributed to Shoshonean (Kitanemuk) populations (Robinson 1977). This is in basic agreement with Wallace (1962: 178) that most, if not all, of the late prehistoric period remains in the desert are attributable to the recent Shoshonean speakers, and that "the late pattern of life persisted into the historic period without appreciable change."

Notes on Historical Juaneno Villages and Geographical Features

The founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1776 was responsible for deriving the term Juaneno for the Takic speakers associated with that mission (Bean and Shipek 1978: 550). Although White's (1963:91) study indicated that the Juaneno and Luiseno Indians were ethnologically and linguistically one ethnic nationality, the Juaneno portion of their territory is traditionally described separately. Juaneno territory, which extended from the Pacific Ocean inland to encompass the eastern slopes of the Santa Ana Mountains in southern California, contained a wide range of ecological zones and resource features. Boscana (Harrington 1934:62) noted for the Juaneno that ". . . these Indians never lived fixed in a single place, but moved from time to time from one place to another depending on the seeds . . ." He was referring to his observation that ". . . there were always some unoccupied rancherias". Nevertheless, delineated hunting, collecting, and fishing areas in various ecological zones belonged to sedentary and autonomous village groups (Bean and Shipek 1978:551).

A Possible Shaman's Cache from CA-Riv-102, Hemet, California

It is common to find the scattered fragmentary remains of ceremonial objects in archaeological sites, but it is uncommon to find complete specimens or specimens in a context, such as in a cache, that reflect the cultural significance the objects once held. It is the occurrence of this phenomenon that makes the ritual objects discussed here unique. During excavation of a 10 cm. level of a 1 X 2-m.-test unit at a site near Hemet, California, a nearly complete stone pipe, unbaked clay figurine, and a quartz rock crystal were found (Fig. 1). Ethnographic data suggest that this inventory of associated artifacts implies the possible remains of a shaman's kit or a sacred clan bundle. The artifacts are all in complete or nearly complete condition. This allows for a much greater meaning to be extracted concerning the way in which the objects were perceived in the cultural framework, and thus grouped and deposited.

Prehistoric Turquoise Mining in the Halloran Springs District, San Bernardino County, California

Prehistoric turquoise mining in California has been treated in a cursory fashion, and the papers which address this industry are based upon field work prior to 1930. The intensity of mining and its relationship to cultural development in the Southwest suggests this activity warrants detailed analysis. This article addresses the tools, techniques, and antiquity of aboriginal turquoise mining in the Halloran Springs district of San Bernadino County, California.

The Ethnohistory of Turquoise Mining in Southeastern California

Ethnographic data on the mining and use of turquoise in southeastern California provide an analogous framework for the archaeological interpretation of prehistoric patterns in the Halloran Springs Region of San Bernardino County. The ethnographic record also provides some insight into Mohave and Chemehuevi land tenure and exploitation patterns.


A Ship Incised on Slate Found Near Bodega, Sonoma County, California

In the spring of 1977, the author conducted an archaeological reconnaissance near the town of Bodega, about four miles inland from Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, California. During the course of the reconnaissance, a small, broken piece of slate (Fig. 1), incised with the picture of a sailing ship (Sonoma State University Accession No. 77-3-241), was collected from the surface of archaeological site CA-Son-290, an ethnographic village of the Bodega Miwok. Since the occurrence of incised artifacts in northern California is rare, a brief discussion of the context of the find and a description of the artifact are in order.

An Unusual Carved Figure from the Chumash Area

A carved whale bone figure from a private collection in Santa Barbara was long considered by the author to be a child's doll; however, an account of Gabrielino shamanism by Hudson (1979) in a recent issue of the Journal has prompted re-evaluation of this object.

A Wiyot Fancy Basket

The Wiyot were a coastal people who once inhabited the region of Humboldt County, California, between Cape Mendocino on the south and the watershed of the Mad River on the north. Located on some of the rare flat coast land north of San Francisco, the Wiyot were early victims of White American incursion. With their population greatly reduced by the 1860's(Elsasser 1978a:161-162), there were few Wiyot baskets for sale to the travelers who made California Indian basket collections around the turn of the century. This is especially true in the case of the basket type called the fancy basket.

Death Valley Indian Farming

By the last quarter of the nineteenth century some Death Valley Indians had incorporated small scale farming into their subsistence economy. First to report native crop raising was Lieutenant Rogers J. Birnie, Jr., who led a United States Army exploring party into the desert country in 1875.

A Wooden Artifact from Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island, lying some 30 km. south of Santa Barbara, was occupied by the Chumash and their ancestors for several thousand years, up until about 1815. More recently, the island has been privately owned and it is currently operated as a cattle ranch. A private club allows hunting of feral sheep and pigs, which range over most of the island. A few years ago, one of these hunters found an unusual wooden object in the course of unauthorized hunting for Indian artifacts. The purpose of this paper is to describe the object and to consider archaeological, historical, and ethnographic evidence which can shed light on its possible age and function.

A Steatite "Owl" Effigy from San Diego County, California

In the winter 1978 issue of the Journal of California Anthropology, Hudson (1978:262- 265) discussed an unusual stone effigy from San Clemente Island, which after a comparison with other effigies from that island he concluded to be a Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypogaea). Concurrently, as this report appeared in print, the subject of a special exhibit on display at Riverside Municipal Museum in Riverside, California, was an incised, mottled red steatite tablet. Incised lines on the tablet and two holes drilled through the tablet create the appearance of a face suggestive of an owl.

Radiocarbon Dating of Pinyon Nut Exploitation in Eastern California

Recently obtained radiocarbon analyses of the charred parts of pinyon pine cones and seeds from the Sherwin Grade site. Mono County, California, (CA-Mno-584) are of significance to the controversy concerning the proposition that regular use of pinyon resources initiated in the Owens Valley region between A.D. 600 and A.D. 1000 (Bettinger 1976, 1977a, 19776; McGuire and Garfinkel 1976; Garfinkel and Cook 1979).

Obsidian Hydration Dates for Owens Valley Settlement Categories

Archaeology has recently undergone a fundamental transformation of perceived goals, central to which is the decreased emphasis on culture chronology and the increased emphasis on models of prehistoric adaptation and theories of culture process. Paradoxically, with more detailed subsistence and settlement reconstructions and more rigorous tests of processual theory has come the need for increasingly precise temporal placement of cultural events. Establishing chronology, thus, continues to be a basic archaeological task.


The Subtler Shades of the Black, the Red, and the White

In his recent article on "Duality and Unity in the Luiseno Cosmos," Richard Applegate attempts and succeeds not only in guiding bis reader through a fascinating maze of esoteric religious details, but also takes him below the surface of descriptive ethnography to view the fundamental principles operating at the very core of the Luiseno world view. Despite the impeccable quality of many previous investigations, a sophisticated theoretical analysis of the implicit structure and logic of the Luiseno belief system has been long overdue. Applegate's presentation is a welcome, much needed, addition to local California anthropology as well as a valuable contribution to more general investigations concerning the symbolic study of religion. Positive superlatives are in order.

Apolonio, the Canoe Builder, and the Use of Mission Records

Hudson, Timbrook, and Rempe (1978) have provided a series of provocative footnotes regarding individual members of the Chumash Brotherhood of the Canoe. These are individuals mentioned by Fernando Librado Kitsepawit and recorded in J. P. Harrington's notes on Chumash watercraft. In editing and annotating Harrington's notes, Hudson, Timbrook, and Rempe (1978) provide an excellent monograph on Chumash watercraft, and the criticisms that follow are not meant to detract from that aspect of their work. It is their discussion of Apolonio and Aniceto, canoe builders, however, that we find objectionable. The editors of this volume have "tentatively" identified these individuals on the basis of a cursory examination of the Santa Barbara Mission records. Because tentative identifications of this sort too often become historical fact, we wish to correct their errors before they become incorporated in other works. In at least one instance, Hudson and his colleagues made incorrect use of the baptismal records and they have incorrectly identified both Apolonio and Aniceto. However, the primary purpose of this paper is not to criticize Hudson, Timbrook, and Rempe, but to illustrate the use of the mission records. Only through an understanding of their basic organization combined with thorough examination of the mission records can genealogical data be accurately developed.


Irwin, ed.: The Shoshoni Indians of Inyo County, California: The Kerr Manuscript

The Shoshoni Indians of Inyo County, California: The Kerr Manuscript. Edited, Annotated, and with Introductory Preface by Charles N. Irwin. Ballena Press Publications in Archaeology, Ethnology, and History No. 15. 92 pp., 23 figures, 2 frontis., $6.95 (paper).

Rose: Lost Copper

Lost Copper.Wendy Rose. Morongo Indian Reservation, Banning: Malki Museum Press, 1980, 130 pp., illus. by author, $8.95 (hardbound).

Pritchett and McIntyre: The Running Springs Ranch Site: Archaeological Investigations at Ven-65 and Ven-26L; and Clewlow, Whitley and McCann: Archaeological Investigations at the Ring Brothers Site Complex, Thousand Oaks, California

The Running Springs Ranch Site: Archaeological Investigations at Ven-65 and Ven- 26LJack Prichett and Allen Mclntyre. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology Monograph XII, 1980, 206 pp., 20 figures, 38 tables, 3 appendices, $7.00 (paper). Archaeological Investigations at the Ring Brothers Site Complex, Thousand Oaks, California. C. William Clewlow, Jr., David S. Whitley, and Ellen L. McCann, eds. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology Monograph XIII, 1980, 156 pp., 28 figures, 2 appendices, $7.00 (paper).

Mixco: Cochimí and Proto-Yuman: Lexical and Syntactic Evidence for a New Language Family in Lower California

Cochimi and Proto- Yuman: Lexical and Syntactic Evidence for a New Language Family in Lower California.Mauricio J. Mixco. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 101, 1978, xiv + 125 pp., $8.00 (paper).

Barco: The Natural History of Baja California

The Natural History of Baja California. Miguel del Barco S.J., translated by Froylan Tiscareno. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 1980, 298 pp., illustrations, $50.00 (hardbound).

Lathrap and Hoover: Excavations at Shilimaqshtush: SBa-205; and Hoover and Sawyer: Los Osos Junior High School Site 4-SLO-214

Excavations at Shilimaqshtush: SBa-205.Donald W. Lathrap and Robert L. Hoover. San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No. 10, 1975, 127 pp., 1 appendix, 30 illus., 49 tables, $7.50 (paper). Los Osos Junior High School Site 4-SLO-214. Robert L. Hoover and Col. W. B. Sawyer. San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No. 11, 1977, 54 pp., 1 appendix; bound with Obispeno (Northern Chumash) Placenames from the John P. Harrington Notes, by Kathryn A. Klar, $5.50 (paper).

Clewlow, Wells, and Pastron. eds: The Archaeology of Oak Park, Ventura County, California, Vols 1 and 2; and Clewlow, Whitley, eds.: The Archaeology of Oak Park, Ventura County, California, Vol. 3

The Archaeology of Oak Park, Ventura County, California. Volumes 1 and 2. C. William Clewlow, Jr., Helen F. Wells, and Allen G. Pastron, eds. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology Monograph V, 1978, Vol. 1: 197 pp.; Vol. 2: 222 pp., $7.00 per volume (paper) or $13.00 per set. The Archaeology of Oak Park, Ventura County, California. Volume 3. C. William Clewlow, Jr., and David S. Whitley, eds. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology, Monograph Xl, 1979, 186 pp., $7.00 (paper).

LaLone: Gabrielino Indians of Southern California: an Annotated Ethnohistoric Bibliography

Gabrielino Indians of Southern California: an Annotated Ethnohistoric Bibliography.Mary LaLone. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology Occasional Paper 6. 1980. 72 pp., illustrations, $4.50 (paper).