History of San Francisco Indians and Location of Their Villages

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One of the least things we know about in SF history is the history of the local indians who lived here for thousands of years before the rest of the world invaded it. We had a chance to learn about them but from everything I have been able to gather, the priests, who had the chance to do so, would have none of it. Maybe one of the missionaries kept some secret records we don't know about. Or maybe Father Pedro Font has details about it in his huge volume of diaries but I don't think he has anything more than just general stuff. It's truly tragic to me that no one seemed to give a damn about these Indians and their history.

I know that there were Indian villages in SF because one old timer I once spoke to many years ago who was born here in 1870 said that there were two Indian villages he knew about.

One very small village was located at some lagoon around the West end of Montgomery street where there was supposed to be some kind of lagoon at that time where the Indians swam.

The other bigger Indian village was located at 5th and Mission Street ironically right below a chronicler of history - the San Francisco Chronicle - that knows nothing about the history they are sitting on. It makes me wonder to if the Chronicle is sitting atop a Indian burial ground. And where would those SF Indian burial grounds be located anyway. Too bad. Thousands of years of San Francisco Indian history, their race, their culture and everything, completely lost forever as if thousands of years of their history never existed. It didn't have to be that way.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*@bigmailbox.net), January 17, 2004


Invaders? For quite a while Anthropoligists have been trying to study the remains of people not related to the so-called Native Americans, remains that cleary show they pre-date the indians.

The Kennewick Man, The Spirit Cave man and the Penon Woman are just a few, that bear strong Caucasian features. Due to NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, Science is limited in the study in finding the truth one way or the other.

The point being, if it is found that these people were here first, what happened to them, was it possible that genocide was commited upon them?

-- Mike Vishniakoff (MVishniako@aol.com), January 18, 2004.

In 1823, about 500 Indians were transferred from San Francisco to San Rafael to construct a new misson with the promise that they could return to their villages at any time after they had helped finish the construction of the mission. I have seen no documentation that they ever returned to San Francisco. Five hundred men, that's a huge hit to the local population! Demoralization of the remaining people in the villages must have been great, and the decline/death of San Francisco's villages had began, then and there. I question the survivability of these villages by the 1870's.


-- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), January 20, 2004.

No, I didn't mean that the Indian villages were around in the 1870s but that this guy had heard about those Indian villages and their locations from people of earlier days.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*@bigmailbox.net), January 20, 2004.

Sorry, that was just a random thought that popped into my head because of my background reading of the Olompali indians and my experience working with Dr. Charles Slaymaker, an anthropologist with an specialty in California mission records. The local population (San Francisco/ Monterey Bay regions), once about twenty thousand, had droped to a mere two thousand by an 1810 count and five hundred people forcibly removed would have been devastating to the remaining villages.

Some of the villages located in SF area: Sitlintac, Chutchui, Amuctac, Tubsinte, and Petlenuc all located within the present boundaries of San Francisco. Sitlintac and Chutchui were located in the valley of Mission Creek. Amuctac and Tubsinte were established in the Visitation Valley area to the south. The village of Petlenuc may have been near the location of the Presidio.

-- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), January 21, 2004.

If those are the true names of the primary tribes of San Francisco then someone should propose that something or some plain named streets be renamed for those Indian tribes in remembrance for those who came before us. And I'm not even a Native American Indian.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*@bigmailbox.net), January 22, 2004.

Those are true names according to the Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe and I have no problems with your suggestion as long as I don't have to live on streets that are that hard to spell.;) Sitlintac, Chutchui, Amuctac, Tubsinte, and Petlenuc? Cripes!


-- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), January 22, 2004.

what the indians eat?and why?

-- juan pablo skobalski (juanp_sk@hotmail.com), December 02, 2004.

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