Tevaaxa’nga (Te-vaah-ha-nga) to Today: Stories of the Tongva People

By Rancho Staff Long Beach, Visitor Information Comments Off on Tevaaxa’nga (Te-vaah-ha-nga) to Today: Stories of the Tongva People

Tevaaxa’nga (Te-vaah-ha-nga) to Today: Stories of the Tongva People is an exhibit celebrating the history and culture of the Tongva (Gabrielino), who were the first people to live on the land that would ultimately become Rancho Los Cerritos. Today the Tongva play an active role in the Southern California community, with over 2,500 Tongva people living in the region.

The exhibit features artifacts, images, and stories from the local Tongva (Gabrielino) community. The physical items are generous loans of personal and family objects. In addition to discussing the native history and culture of this region, the exhibit highlights the experiences of the Tongva who currently live in Long Beach and the surrounding region.

For further information about Tongva history and culture in Southern California, please see the resources below:

Current Initiatives

  • The Chia Café Collective is a group of Native American educators in Southern California. Their mission is to honor the land and educate about preserving native plants, habitats, and food practices. The Collective has published a cookbook entitled Cooking the Native Way: Chia Café Collective and the Ethnobotany Project (2016).
  • Kurvungna Springs was once home to a thriving Tongva village. Artifacts and ancestors have been unearthed at the site and these items, along with historical documents, photographs, and other resources, are now on permanent display at the Kuruvungna Springs Nature Center.
  • The Ti’at Society celebrates the coastal heritage of the Tongva people. The Society built Moomat Ahiko (“Breath of the Ocean”), the first modern ti’iaat. Moomat Ahiko has been used for over twenty years in a variety of ceremonial voyages.
  • The Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Project (PCIAP) is a collaborative research project that uses an indigenous archaeology approach. The school has trained over 130 students and Native American community members and has documented over 160 archaeological sites on Pimuu.
  • Mapping Indigenous LA is a storymapping project that represents a collaboration between UCLA researchers, several non-profit organizations, and local Native American communities. Mapping Indigenous LA works to bring people’s stories to life through modern and historical cartography.

 Local Sites

Further reading

  • Cooking the Native Way: Chia Café Collective by The Chia Café Collective (book available in Rancho Los Cerritos museum shop)
  • Tongva Women Inspiring the Future by Julia Bogany (book available in Rancho Los Cerritos museum shop)
  • The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles by William McCawley
  • O, My Ancestor: Recognition and Renewal for the Gabrielino-Tongva People of the Los Angeles Area by Claudia Jurmain and William McCawley
  • Vineyards and Vaqueros: Indian Labor and the Economic Expansion of Southern California, 1771-1877 by George Harwood Phillips

KCET: Tending the Wild




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