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Native Americans of the Mojave Desert. Source: Flickr. Bryne Hadnott Path 202. Paleo -Indians. Precursors to “modern” native American tribes. Artist’s rendition of a Paleo-Indian. Source: Paleo -Indians Timeline. Lake Mojave Complex : about 10,000 to 5,000 B.C.

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native americans of the mojave desert

Native Americans of the Mojave Desert

Source: Flickr

Bryne Hadnott

Path 202

paleo indians

Precursors to “modern” native American tribes

paleo indians timeline
Paleo-Indians Timeline
  • Lake Mojave Complex : about 10,000 to 5,000 B.C.
  • Pinto Period: 5,000 to 2,000 B.C.
  • Gypsum Period: 2,000 B.C. to 500 A.D.
  • Saratoga Springs Period: 500 A.D. to 1200 A.D.
  • Shoshonean Period: 1200 A.D. to 1500s
paleo indians and climate change
Paleo-Indians and Climate Change
  • Wisconsin Glaciation: ranged from 100,000 to 10,000 years ago
    • Provided a moist, biological productive period for Paleo-Indians
    • Coincides with the Lake Mojave Complex period
  • Pinto Period corresponds with an interglacial period
    • Coincides with the Holocene interglacial period
  • Shoshonean Period corresponds with Little Ice Age
paleo indians and rock art
Paleo-Indians and Rock Art
  • Rock Art has 2 types:
    • Petroglyphs and Pictographs
    • Petroglyphs are carved into the surface of a rock
    • Pictographs are painted onto the rock’s surface
native american tribes of the mojave desert
Native American Tribes of the Mojave Desert
  • Cahuilla
  • Southern Mojave Desert, range from San Bernadino Basin, San Jacinto Mountains, and Coachella Valley
  • Chemehuevi
  • Range from lower Colorado River to Death Valley and west to Providence Mountains
  • Kawaiisu
  • Inhabited the Techachapi area, southeast of Bakersfield, CA
  • Serrano
  • Territory included all of San Bernadino Range to San Gabriel Mountains and east to 29 Palms
native american tribes of the mojave desert8
Native American Tribes of the Mojave Desert
  • Timbisha Shoshone, Western Shoshone
    • Reside in what is now Death Valley National Park
  • Vanyume Indians
    • Lived along the Mojave River
  • Kitanemuk Indians
    • Lived in the Techachapi Mountains and the west edge of Antelope Valley
  • Northern Paiute and Southern Paiute
    • Northern lived in Owens Valley during the winter
    • Southern lived in Las Vegas Valley
native american tribes of the mojave desert9
Native American Tribes of the Mojave Desert
  • Tataviam
    • Lived near the west San Gabriel Mountains
  • Yokuts
    • Occupy most of the San Joaquin Valley and lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada
  • Western Mono
    • Occupy the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada

humble beginnings
Humble Beginnings
  • Chaos became Earth and Sky, which gave birth to the Great Spirit Matavilya
  • People were born from “Avikwa’ ame”, The Great Mountain
    • “The People” were called the Aha Macav or the ‘people who live along the water’
  • Little Brother Mastamho succeeded Matavilya and created:
    • River
    • Mountains
    • Also taught the people how to hunt, fish, create fire
www archives gov
“Two Mohave braves dressed in loincloths”

Photographed by Timothy O'Sullivan, 1871. American Indian Select List number 136.
rapid advancement
Rapid Advancement
  • Spread into 3 groups:
    • MathyIyathum, resided in Black Canyon to the south of Mojave Valley
    • Hutto-pah resided in the central Mojave Valley
    • KaviIyathum lived in an area from south Mojave Valley to Needles Peaks
  • Centered life around the river, relied on annual overflow to irrigate crops
first encounters
First Encounters
  • First appear in written record of a Spanish expedition led by Juan de Onate in 1604
      • Spaniards were seeking the “Southern Sea”
  • Canadian trappers began scouting the western portion of the Colorado River in the mid 1800s
  • United States acquired the Southwest from Mexico in 1848
      • First expedition sent westward by Captain Lorenzo Sitegraves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
bloody battles
Bloody Battles
  • Rose-Bailey Party
    • Mojave attacked the Rose party on August 30, 1858
    • Rose party had violated the Mojave Native Americans’ property
  • Oatman Massacre
    • Royce and Mary Oatman were traveling alone with their 7 children
    • Originally traveled with James C. Brewster, member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints
    • Children Mary Ann and Olive were captured, Lorenzo left for dead
Photo of Olive Oatman with traditional Mojave chin tattoos.

Book was written by Brian McGinty and published in 2005

miners and mormons
Miners and Mormons
  • Earliest recorded gold discovery was at Salt Springs in San Bernardino County in 1848
  • In 1849, a party of Mormons led by Jefferson Hunt discovered a quartz quarry
  • 1863, Amargosa Gold and Silver Mining of San Francisco acquired mines at Salt Springs
  • 1872, McKinzie Mining District was created, covered Hesperia to Barstow and east to Rodman Mountains
  • 1865, the Colorado River Indian Reservation was established by U.S. Congress
    • About 800 Mojave Indians transferred there
    • In 1890, Fort Mojave was given to the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    • A military-style boading school was founded here
  • After WWII, Bureau of Indian Affairs created Ordinance Number Five
    • Divided the CRIR reservation into a Southern reservation for the Walapai, Hopi, Apache, Zuni, Papago, Havasupai, and Quechan and Northern Reservation for other tribal members
a little bit of retribution
A Little Bit of Retribution
  • “In 1994, Congress enacted the California Desert Protection Act, P.L. 103-433, including Section 705(b), which addresses the need of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe for a recognized land base in the California Desert.”