This Website contains copies of racially demeaning documents that were left behind by noted people of European descent who did not (there are live ones who still will not) remove blinders and set aside biases towards the ideals of their own cultures when weighing the value of First Nations civilizations. It would be nice if the current crop of these systemic white supremacist could be persuaded to stop believing, when assessing the values of these ancient civilizations, that they were static and begin to think of them as the product of intelligent human beings that would have, if the European invasion had not occurred, evolved into modern Nations. The pre-Columbian Indigenous Peoples were not trapped in a time warp.

The following item quoted from Glen Martin's "Keepers of the Oaks," Discover: The World of Science, August 1996, p. 46-47, about the cultivation of vast acorn orchards by First Nations Peoples, dating back five thousand years ago, a time when most Europeans were still living in caves, for the purpose of making flour, and the item that follows from Andre Crambit News Service, should, if they open their minds a bit, provide them with food for thought. These well thought out positions contradict the former presumption by white anthropologists that the Natives of California were just gatherers and hunters:

“As late as 1844, when explorer John C. Fremont led an expedition to the Sacramento Valley, he described the north state foothills as "smooth and grassy; [the woodlands] had no undergrowth; and in the open valleys of riverlets, or around spring heads, the low groves of oak give the appearance of orchards in an old cultivated country." Similarly, a nineteenth-century visitor to the middle fork of the Tuolumne River near Yosemite Valley found it "like an English park-a lovely valley, wide and grassy, broken with clumps of oak and cedar."

Fires were used to insure good growth and healthy orchards:

“Natives may have been setting fires for 5,000 years speculates Kat Anderson (an ethnobotanist with the Amerindian Studies Centre at UCLA), judging by how long fire-loving giant sequoias have been expanding their range.

"At first, acorns seem to have been a food of opportunistic significance, not a staple," says anthropologist Helen McCarthy of the University of California at Davis, who has been studying the relationship between California's native people and plants for more than 25 years. "Natives buried them for a long period of time, and ground-water slowly removed the tannin.... Ambitious acorn processing, she says, is associated with stone mortars and pestles ... those that have been recovered are 4,000 years old ... that leads me to believe acorns became a staple part of their diet around 4,000 years ago.”

From Andre Crambit's Indigenous News Network

MMMM Acorns (native foods)

Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 8:25:06 AM PST By MARK HEDGES/The Daily Journal

"And you women, strike out, gather wild onions, wild potatoes!
Gather all you can! Gather all you can!
Pound acorns, pound acorns, pound acorns!
Cook, Cook!
Make some bread, make some bread!
So we can eat, so we can eat, so we can eat...
Make acorn soup so that the people will eat it!...
Don't talk about starvation, because we never have much!
Eat acorns!
There is nothing to it."

-- Song of Chief Yanapayak, Miwok, from "The Way We Lived," edited with commentary by Malcolm Margolin, copyright 1981.

Many of us may think of acorns as annoying, crunchy things that are hard to walk on in your bare feet.

But the acorn was, and still is, a central staple of the indigenous peoples of California, revered by them, and, in a local vein, the Ukiah Valley and its environs are obviously rich with oak groves while the recollections of the Pomos figure prominently in literature and ethnographic material dealing with oak trees, acorns and their main by-products of acorn soup and acorn bread.

Though authors Bruce M. Pavlik, Pamela C. Muick, Sharon G. Johnson and Marjorie Popper note in their book "Oaks of California" (copyright 1991) that tribes in the southern sections of the state used stone mortars and pestles to pound acorns to make acorn meal (leaving behind literally thousands of deep bedrock mortars wherever water flowed) the Pomo practice of using strong baskets with a hole in the bottom placed over a mortar stone still has left behind traces -- if one looks hard enough -- of acorn processing in local areas where rock and water is plentiful.

Malcolm Margolin describes pounding acorns as "a woman's daily task – tedious and mundane" ("The Way We Lived," pg. 134), while Cahuilla Indians felt that the tannins in acorns were a curse from the creator and that, "because of the bitterness of the acorns, women would forever have to spend much of their lives pounding the nuts with mortars and leaching the meal with water" ("Oaks of California," pg. 99).

Anyone inspired to try cooking with acorns in the ancient manner may be less enthusiastic when they learn it took a full day's work to prepare a good amount of leached meal.

But although the processing of acorns was essentially a domestic aspect of indigenous life, in other ways the acorn and its role in enabling survival made it perhaps one of the most central symbols for our state's original peoples. William Ralganal Benson, a Pomo, includes the acorn in his description of the creation of the world by the brothers Marumda and Kuksu.

During the creation process, Marumda states: "According to this plan, people are going to be. There are going to be people on this earth. On this earth there will be plenty of food for the people! According to this plan there will be many different kinds of food for the people! Clover in plenty will grow, grain, acorns, nuts!" ("The Way We Lived," pg. 128).

Autumn was acorn-gathering time, a time of celebration for people like the Pomo. The acorn, which can contain up to 18 percent fat, 6 percent protein and 68 percent carbohydrate (as well as high levels of vitamins A and C and numerous amino acids), was a welcome sight hanging from oak boughs at a time when most other herbs and seeds were becoming scarce. ("Oaks of California," pg. 96).

Kashia Pomo Julia Parker explained that "When the acorn does come, there's dances and songs. We take from the earth, we give back to the earth, and we say thank you." ("Oaks of California," pg. 116).

Parker said she was even told by Paiute/Miwok elders that, when acorns arrive, one should "get out and pick and gather even if it's one basketful, so the acorn spirit will know you're happy for the acorn, and next year the acorn will come."

In fact, native tribes were quite particular about acorn-gathering areas, and there is even a historical record of an "acorn war" in 1830 between Pomos in the present Healdsburg area and nearby Wappo villagers.

The Wappos had gathered acorns from a disputed area, and the Pomos stole their acorn caches (elevated basket contraptions). The Wappo warriors actually wiped out several Pomo villages, killing everyone. ("Oaks of California," pg. 97).

But even aside from such dramatic occurrences, Lucy Thompson, a Yurok, explained that her people "were careful to preserve" oak timber "as the oak tree furnished them with the staff of life.

"All the oak timber was owned by the well-to-do families and was divided off by lines and boundaries as carefully as the whites have got it surveyed today," she said. ("The Way We Lived," pg. 54).

Jeff Jones, a Nomlaki, said the chief of his tribe "owned one big oak tree of a special kind. It was a singular tree called nuis.' There was a village nearby, but (he) owned that tree and got all the acorns from it...In those days the families owned (the trees). They own trees in the mountains, too. They maintain border lines, but if you are friendly with them they may give you a tree in time of need." ("The Way We Lived," pg. 51).

Though today acorn soup or bread is not typical fare for the masses, Malcolm Margolin said this traditional, sacred food is being slowly revived. "Much of Native California culture has been lost," he wrote, "yet despite the savagery of the dominant society, Indian life is far from extinguished. Even today, dances are still performed, new roundhouses are being built, shamans still practice healing, baskets are being made, and teachings are being passed on. It is not unusual to find in the freezers of even the most acculturated -- along with the frozen peas and ice cream, a bag of acorn meal, saved for special occasions."

Look for a future article in The Daily Journal detailing a modern-day "acorn bake," and please remember that eating acorns without the proper, specific preparation can make a person sick.

From Andre Crambit’s IndigenousNewsNetwork@topica.com

To view a list of pre-Columbian American Indian Food - North and South America click: Food Sources and Cuisine


California Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 59-Relative to California Native American Indian History Month. legislative counsel's digest ACR 59, Baca.

California Native American History Month. This measure would recognize the month of November 2005 as California Native American Indian History Month.

WHEREAS, Native American Indians are the earliest settlers of the territory of the United States; and

WHEREAS, This Earth has been home to millions of native people since the beginning of known time; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians believe that they emerged into life and movement out of and into this place, and their rich oral narratives offer an ancient voice to life in this land before the arrival of immigrants from Europe, Africa, and Asia; and

WHEREAS, Long before the voyages of Christopher Columbus or the development of the first English settlement at Jamestown, diverse Native American Indian groups and tribes developed their own language, literature, history, government, dance, music, art, agriculture, and architecture; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indian languages are sophisticated and rich in words that denote unique elements of Native American Indian culture such as snowshoes, cedar plank houses, toboggans, tobacco, sun goggles, cultural attire, and other items; and

WHEREAS, Approximately 300 different languages existed in the area that is now the United States and Canada, and there were many other dialects of these original languages; and

WHEREAS, Many Native American Indians still speak their native languages, thus enriching the vocabularies of all peoples; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians gave our country words such as Massachusetts, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, Iowa, Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, and Native American Indian languages also included a variety of words for agricultural produce native to this land, including, but not limited to, corn, squash, beans, potato, tomato, peanut, pumpkin, and watermelon; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians developed the first agricultural processes of our nation, including irrigation farming that made the deserts, prairies, and plateaus blossom with abundance; and

WHEREAS, The first literature and history of this land originated from ancient stories about plant, animal, mountain, river, and lake "peoples" who interacted with each other at the beginning of time to make the world ready for human beings, and these stories remain a part of American culture to this day; and

WHEREAS, Rabbit, Coyote, Wolf, Bear, Mountain Lion, Eagle, Raven, and a host of other stories appear in Native American Indian literature, and that literature speaks to us about a creative time that was and is a part of the United States; and

WHEREAS, In ancient songs, Native American Indians still sing of the creative time, and songs of mountains, rocks, rivers, lakes, forests, and birds ring out across the land to this very day; and

WHEREAS, It is through song, dance, and music that people recreate their attachment to the land they consider sacred, and that they believe was placed here at the beginning of time by a great and wondrous spirit that is manifested to this day in our country; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indian forms of art and architecture have influenced our nation's heritage, and longhouses, Quonsets, A-framed lodges, pueblos, hogans, tepees, and others are a part of the unique American experience; and

WHEREAS, Beadwork, quillwork, sculpture, painting, rock art, bows, arrows, quivers, dresses, leggings, coats, baskets, jewelry, and many other art forms emerged out of the Native American Indian tradition and are still highly prized in our nation today; and

WHEREAS, For thousands of years before the arrival of other groups of settlers, Native American Indians established intricate modes of transportation, communication, and commerce, and some of those forms of transportation, communication, and commerce spanned huge portions of North America from California to Texas, Washington to Minnesota, Oregon to Missouri, Louisiana to South Carolina, and Wisconsin to New York; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians established trails that are still used today as interstate, state, and county highways, and merchants, farmers, artists, hunters, and musicians used these and other arteries of travel to support their families and people; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians continue to traverse these routes, and remember through stories, songs, and music the significance of places and peoples that have affected their lives; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians enjoy many forms of government, and continue to revere the principles that have always been held so dear to their cultures; and

WHEREAS, An emphasis on freedom, justice, patriotism, and representative government have always been elements of Native American Indian culture; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians have shown their willingness to fight and die for the United States; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians honor the American flag at every powwow, at council meetings, and at many gatherings, and remember veterans through song, music, and dance; and WHEREAS, Native American Indians use songs to honor the men and women of this country who have fought for freedom; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians love the land that has nurtured their parents, grandparents, and elders since time began, and they honor the Earth that has brought life to the people since time immemorial; and

WHEREAS, California is home to more Native American Indian tribes than any other state in the United States, and their history forms an integral part of California history and needs to be told; and

WHEREAS, California Native American Indian people suffered numerous atrocities and strife as various cultures converged; and

WHEREAS, Native American Indians have given much to the United States and to California, and in recognition of this fact, it is fitting that we return the honor and recognize Native American Indians for all of their offerings to this beloved land;

now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California recognizes the month of November 2005 as California Native American Indian History Month;

and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

California Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 59-97Relative to California Native American Indian History Month.

Click to read about American Indian Food