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Monday, June 28, 2010

LEARNING ABOUT THE TONGVA

2010 THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES



Modern Americans of Tongva Heritage - Sanchez Adobe Montebello - June 2010 - Photo by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

Contemporary concept of a Tongva hut at the time of the Spanish conquest. Mission San Gabriel Archangel 2010. Photo for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Gerald Fecht 2010. (click on image to enlarge).

href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Md9z_-LK7qk/TCkBz2NUyLI/AAAAAAAAHJk/wATI_1U_zWk/s1600/TongvaDictionary.jpg">Rare manuscript dictionary of Tongva words. Museum of the Mission San Gabriel 2010. Little effort was made to preserve the languages of conquered populations.

Unfortunately for the Tongva and other native American tribal groups conquered by the Spanish, their new masters systematically eliminated their cultures. Tongva and Chumash children were brought into mission "schools" and required to speak only Spanish. When children or their parents were baptized, they were given Christian first names and Spanish surnames.

This frieze on the front of the new parish church at the Mission San Gabriel Archangel demonstrates clearly how the Spanish conquest of the native peoples of Los Angeles Country is depicted by those who won the encounter. Soldiers and ships are seen only in the background and a European missionary presents his theology to a docile and awaiting population.

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