11 Facts About Tongva


The name Tongva is the most widely circulated term for these people and gained popularity in the late 20th century to refer to both groups.

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The majority of Tongva territory was located in what has been referred to as the Sonoran life zone, with rich ecological resources of acorn, pine nut, small game, and deer.

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The Tongva understand time as nonlinear and there is constant communication with ancestors.

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Gaspar de Portola expedition in 1769 was the first contact by land to reach Tongva territory, marking the beginning of Spanish colonization.

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Tongva lived in the main part of the most fertile lowland of southern California, including a stretch of sheltered coast with a pleasant climate and abundant food resources, and the most habitable of the Santa Barbara Islands.

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The Tongva territory was the center of a flourishing trade network that extended from the Channel Islands in the west to the Colorado River in the east, allowing the people to maintain trade relations with the Cahuilla, Serrano, Luiseno, Chumash, and Mohave.

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Situating their villages at these resource islands enabled the Tongva to gather the plant products of two or more zones in close proximity.

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Tongva did not practice horticulture or agriculture, as their well-developed hunter-gatherer and trade economy provided adequate food resources.

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Tongva used the leaves of tule reeds as well as those of cattails to weave mats and thatch their shelters.

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Gaming casinos have generated great revenues for many Native American tribes, but not all Tongva people believe the benefits outweigh negative aspects.

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The Tongva have challenged local development plans in the courts in order to protect and preserve some of their sacred grounds.

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