Thursday, May 26, 2011
All I wanted to do was check the directions on how to get to Olvera Street and what I found was the raping of a nation. I was two clicks away from moving on to another web site when I look to the left and see Aborigine Angelitos. "Humm" I thought. What I found was the history of the people of Los Angeles. The OG's if you will, which were not Spaniards. They were the Tongva's, whose land was as far as Topanga Canyon to Laguna Beach, Catalina to Santa Barbara, from the San Gabriel mountains to the ocean. ALL OF IT. They were the first beach front property owners. I can't even begin to imagine how beautiful it must have been. In 1769 the Spaniards with their European air, came and decided that anything noneuropean was "uncivilized". After they decided to settle and turn the Tongvas into born again migrant workers they needed a clan to keep the operation going. They sought out 11 financially strapped farm families that were of euro and African origin to run the "new found" city. The Spaniards also decided to give the Tongva's a new name, The Gabrielinos. How clever. Needless to say, I'm not naive. I know very well that Native Americans were here first and were the Aborigies of the U.S. With that being said I went home feeling kinda blahh. Today I decided to look for the positive(thx R.L)and found Toypurina. (see below) She was a medicine woman who helped in the stand against the Spanish missionaries and colonizing of her peoples land. Toypurina saw red and took this as an invasion. She gathered six other villages to join her in her fight against San Gabriel Mission. Any one in their right mind would do the same. Protect you land from demarcation. Protect your people harm and borderline slavery. She and with three others went into the primitive fight whole heatedly but ended up captured and imprisoned. When questioned by the military and asked why she was so unhappy with the "new development" of her land Toypurina had only truth, “I commanded him(her fellow fighters)to do so, for I am angry with the padres (priest), and all of those of the mission, for living here on my native soil, for trespassing upon the land of my forefathers and despoiling our tribal domains.” I bit off more then I could chew concerning Olvera Street. The history is rich and stained with blood as are most stories of questioning "authority" and making what is wrong right. I'm glad I got to know a little bit more about my own back yard and I think that my trip there this weekend will be much more humble and appreciative then just a quick stop in LA.