News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey’

by Joe Castillo

by Joe Castillo

Recording History


Native Research ….

J.P. Harrington and Merriam Hart were acclaimed historians who researched the origins of the Gabrielenos. Their works are detailed in the book, California Indian Languages, published by University of California Press in 2011. Hart noted that the Gabrieleno’s designated themselves as ‘tongva’ and Harrington’s primary consultant Jesus Jauro used to hear his mother say ‘to’onva’ when he referred to the language the Gabrieleno’s talked. The term ‘Tongva’ was used to refer to the Gabrielinos indigenous people over the recent decades. Hart also cited that a variant of Serrano is referenced as ‘Mo-he-ah-ne-um’. A.L. Kroeber, author of the Handbook of the Indians of California written in 1903, noted that a similar name ‘Mohave Vanyume’ was used by an elderly woman whom Kroeber believed was the last living member of the tribe.  The village that this tribe was from was known as ‘Keishla’ also referred to as ‘Quechla’ or ‘Quechinga’. Horatio Hale, researcher of Indian languages, noted in 1846, that ‘Kij’ was the term his research identified to reference the Gabrielenos. The point in all of this is that research is an attempt to find the truth in a selected topic. In the case of the Kizh, Tongva and Gabrieleno’s, for decades researchers have drawn different conclusions based on the information on hand. The history of the Gabrielenos was not written prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Their history was an oral or verbal history and trying to decipher a lost language a hundred years later is a large task. To make matters more challenging, a limited number of works are still available for review but not even those are consistent. The research continues…. Missing Statue…. A stone statue which for years resided above the south entrance of the Mission San Gabriel is on the verge on being returned to its rightful space. The statue depicting a Franciscan Friar standing behind a knelling Gabrielinosboy was noted in an image of the Mission taken back in 1913. However, the earthquake of 1986 resulted in a significant restoration of the Mission with removal and repair of some of the fallen statues. The Friar and kneeling Gabrielinos boy were placed in the Mission garden area, leaning against a wall. Following complaints from the Kizh Nation Gabrielinos    Band of Mission Indians to San Gabriel Council Member John Harrington, the statue will be sent to Santa Barbara for repairs. It will then be placed in its rightful location above the south entrance at the Mission…. Naming of Sierra Madre …. Early Spanish explorers to California named places according to their area and descriptive nature.  The word sierra meant a range of mountain connected to each other or another range. Two peaks next to each other could have been called a nevada… Madre means mother and the Sierra Madre meant the mother range from which all other ranges sprang from. There was multiple sierra’s or ranges throughout California, with the mountain range defining the northern boundary of the San Gabriel Valley, being given their name in 1775. When Nathaniel C. Carter subdivided part of Rancho Santa Anita in 1881, the name was applied when Sierra Madre Villa was recorded later that year …


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