Blessing of Tongva kiiy takes place at San Gabriel Mission

The Gabrieleno Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians with Tribal Leader Anthony Morales blessed a kiiy (Tongva home) on the grounds of San Gabriel Mission on Oct. 26, 2008.

The placing of the kiiy and its blessing in the garden of the mission marks a continual effort to acknowledge the contributions of Native Americans to the mission and to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles throughout its history.  Read More: Blessing of Tongva kiiy takes place at San Gabriel Mission


One thought on “Blessing of Tongva kiiy takes place at San Gabriel Mission

  1. Your comment brings up an important point-there are very few historical photographs of tongva people.

    As you probably know, the photo heading this blog (and on the cover of the book) was taken in 1907 by Edward Curtis and appeared in his book “The North American Indian.” Called Qahatika Girl, the young woman is from a family that lived in the area south of what is now known to be Phoenix, Arizona.

    QUOTES FROM “THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN:” “About forty miles due south of the Pima reservation, in five small villages, one sees a type of the true desert Indian-the Qahatika. When or why they separated from their Pima kindred on the Gila and wandered into this inhospitable desert is a question on which even Indian tradition is vague.”

    “One traversing this region would have cause to wonder how a human being could wrest from so barren a land the necessities of life. It is only the life of meager requirement that could exist here; fortunately it is a land of warmth and sunshine, requiring little clothing… By gleaning the whole desert of its plant and animal products, they managed to eke out an existence, becoming in time not only satisfied, but quite attached to their desolate, inhospitable surroundings…Their never ending struggle with the hostile desert seems to have left its mark on the Qahatika and has made them as repellent as the thorny vegetation itself.”

    “They still depend mainly upon the natural food supply, such as mesquite pods and cactus fruits. In locating their villages they selected spots where the natural drainage of a large area concentrates, hence they depend wholly on storm water for their crops. Theirs might well be termed ‘dry farming.'”

    “Qahatika handicraft shows considerable skill, particularly in pottery, many forms of which are made.”

    Some say that the tongva people migrated to southern California from this area of Arizona, suggesting that Qahatika Girl may be related to the tongva.

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