California Changes 1,500 Years Ago

Banner for Native American Netroots news team, Navajo rug graphic drawn by Neeta Lind aka navajo

One of the displays in the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, California, is entitled Sacred Earth and subtitled Understanding our past and honoring cultures that thrive today. One section of this display looks at some of the technological changes which began about 1,500 years ago. According to the Museum display:

“Tribes became increasingly tied to their specific regions around 1500 years ago. Being dependent on the land meant understanding the workings of every living thing and its place in the circle of life. They produced tools, medicine, and supplies based on what was available to them, and traded with neighboring and distant tribes to obtain goods that were otherwise unavailable. Some tribes, like the Serrano, moved seasonally, since their territory covered many ecological zones. Other tribes, with abundant local resources, like the Mohave, had more permanent homes.”

About 1,500 years ago, there was a series of long-term droughts in Southern California and adaptation to this environment brought about changes in technology and social organization. On the coast there was a great dependence on deep-sea fishing which was facilitated by the manufacture of plank canoes.

According to the Museum display:

“In the winter, some tribes had more ‘permanent’ villages and dwellings located in the valleys to escape the cold of higher elevations. Archaeologists find these village sites strewn with mortars and pestles, manos and metates, ceramics, and other items that were too heavy to carry to summer encampments.”

 photo P1120233_zpsdi9e5o5d.jpg  photo P1120234_zpsh45c8qce.jpg Shown above is a Paiute parching tray.  photo P1120237_zpsj335bqct.jpg Shown above is a Karok pine needle brush and a Serrano mano and metate.  photo P1120238_zpsgkqalgku.jpg Shown above is a tree trunk mortar and a stone pestle.  photo P1120242_zpse9cl03la.jpg Shown above is a pine needle basket by Juanito Nejo, an Ipai basketmaker.  photo P1120244_zpsjgnofz0u.jpg Shown above is a Serrano basket.  photo P1120246_zpsprn5mbjo.jpg Shown above is an Ipai basket.  photo P1120252_zpsyuigwcb4.jpg Shown above is a Paiute burden basket.  photo P1120254_zpssy0sz1qw.jpg  photo P1120255_zpsbmoeoojt.jpg Shown above is a large Serrano storage pot. San Bernardino County Museum

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