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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 9, Issue 1, 1987

Issue cover


Roscinda Nolasquez Remembered

Mrs. Nolasquez was the last survivor of the government removal that brought her people from Cuba to the Pala Indian Reservation in 1903. In her later years, she worked with a variety of linguists, anthropologists, and historians to help preserve what she knew of the Cupeno language and culture.


Indian Sandpaintings of Southern California

This paper considers the sandpaintings of southern California from a variety of points of view. Included are a reconstruction of the origin, diffusion, and historical development of the phenomenon, the role of the art in its religious context, and a stylistic analysis and comparison of similarities and differences in conception across a wider geographical area. The paper also considers the paintings as cartographical projections, and discusses how they reflect native ideas about the cosmological structure of the universe and the moral place of humans in it. Ceremonies which accompanied the groundpaintings are described here only in a schematic/summarized form because of space limitations and the availability of full exposition in the literature. Thus, the study is concerned primarily with the function of the paintings in ritual as part of an intertribal network of reciprocal social relationships. Comparisons with other pictographic tribal art forms are explored also.

A Historic Indian Community at Victorville, California

Although there is ample archaeological evidence to indicate that the desert area in and around Victorville, San Bernardino County, California, was occupied by prehistoric peoples (e.g.. Smith 1955, 1958, 1963; Steele 1976), a significant gap exists in the ethnographic record. Occasional remarks in scattered reports (Kroeber 1925; Strong 1929; Manners 1974; Steele 1976) lead one to the conclusion that any indigenous peoples had vanished long before the time of written records. However, research initiated recently by the author shows otherwise. By a careful examination of archival resources, including census reports, J. P. Harrington's (1986) fieldnotes, the Nicholson papers (at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California), numerous museum collection records, newspaper accounts, and interviews with native informants and knowledgeable "oldtimers," a picture of a late nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century Indian community is beginning to develop.

McCue: An Elko Site in Riverside, California

This paper describes an assemblage of 736 artifacts (Table 1), including a substantial assemblage of Elko series dart points, from the McCue site, Riverside, California. The site (CA-RIV-112) is named after the persons that collected the majority of the artifacts described here, and the collection is now stored at the Riverside Municipal Museum under accession numbers A929 and A1130. The items were donated to the museum by area residents over a period of approximately ten years.

Appendix: Source Analysis of Obsidian Samples

The results of the initial analysis with the ratio technique revealed a diverse assemblage of obsidian sources. No fewer than ten different sources are represented, most of which fall into the "unknown" category (Table 2).

Rock Art at the Kanaka-Briggs Creek Locality (10-GG-307), Gooding County, Idaho

The association of this site with the local settlement pattern and primarily its various petroglyphs, application styles, motifs, and some related interpretations, comprise the focus of this paper.

A Late Prehistoric Homestead on the Santa Barbara Coast

CA-SBA-1809 is a small site with a low density of cultural materials on a small tributary of Atascadero Creek near Goleta, California (Fig. 1). Although the site contains a rather small archaeological assemblage, it appears to represent a newly recognized late prehistoric settlement type. Typically, Chumash settlements are characterized as large permanent villages, supplemented by specialized resource procurement sites and temporary encampments (Landberg 1965; Brown 1967; Glassow 1975, 1980; Grant 1978a, 1978b). The data from CASBa- 1809 suggest the presence of another type of prehistoric settlement: a small, isolated, permanently occupied homestead. Such a settlement has not, to my knowledge, been reported for the prehistoric Santa Barbara region.


A Birdstone from San Diego County, California: A Possible Example of Dimorphic Sexual Symbolism in Luiseño Iconography

In this report, we document an artifact that merges phallic and vulvar motifs, and we offer an explanation of the artifact within the context of the fundamental concepts of duality and unity in Luiseno cosmology. We further suggest that dimorphic sexual symbolism, while rare in prehistoric southern California plastic art, is not as rare as once believed, but has gone unrecognized due to its abstract rendition. The artifact described here, with its comparative realism, allows an interpretation of meaning that might reasonably be extended to similar, but more abstracted, artifacts including perhaps the enigmatic "pelican" stones.

A Fluted Projectile Point Fragment from the Southern California Coast: Chronology and Context at CA-SBa-1951

This paper discusses the geological and archaeological context of the fluted point from CA-SBa-1951, describes the technological and material attributes of the specimen, and explores two alternative hypotheses for the derivation of the point.


Placename Designations in the San Luis Rey Valley: A Cautionary Note

In short, our point is not that Fulmer and Rosen erred by including these possibilities in their much-appreciated reports, nor are we proposing that Oxendine added confusion to the record. It is clear that all the authors recognized the limitations in the available data. Furthermore, we agree in principle that the possible identification of prehistoric sites with ethnographic and/or historic data should be considered and mentioned whenever there is any reason to believe that a correlation exists. Our concern is with the increasingly common use of secondary sources without careful consideration of the intent or details included in the primary works. The likelihood that repeated secondary and even tertiary citations, starting out as qualified possibilities, will gradually translate into some level of unwarranted reality with attendant potential for misinterpretation, is worth some attention.


Berman: Ethnography and Folklore of the Indians of Northwestern California: A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography

Ethnography and Folklore of the Indians of Northwestern California: A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography. Joan Berman. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 5, 1986, 118 pp. $5.95 (paper).

Hughes: Diachronic Variability in Obsidian Procurement Patterns in Northeastern California and Southcentral Oregon

Diachronic Variability in Obsidian Procurement Patterns in Northeastern California and Southcentral Oregon Richard E. Hughes. Berkeley: University of California Publications in Anthropology, Vol. 17, 1986, 429 pp., figures, tables, appendices, references, $35.00 (paper).

Davis and Smith: Newberry Cave

Newberry Cave. C. Alan Davis and Gerald A. Smith. Redlands: San Bernardino County Museum Association, 1981, 113 pp., 35 figures, $8.00 (paper).

Stodder: Mechanisms and Trends in the Decline of the Costanoan Indian Population of Central California

Mechanisms and Trends in the Decline of the Costanoan Indian population of Central California Ann Lucy Wiener Stodder. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 4, 1986, vi+ 78 pp., 5 figures, 11 tables, bibliography, $4.95 (paper).

Gortner: The Martis Indians: Ancient Tribe of the Sierra Nevada

The Martis Indians: Ancient Tribe of the Sierra Nevada Willis A. Gortner. Foreword by Albert B. Elsasser. Woodside: Portola Press, 1986, xxiii + 145 pp., 31 figures, 4 tables. Appendix, Index, $14.50 (paper).