Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> TATAVIAM INDIANS   > VASQUEZ ROCKS
Tataviam Kitchen Setting (Recreation)
Vasquez Rocks County Park


Click image to enlarge

Example of what a Tataviam Indian kitchen setting might have looked like.

The Tataviam Indians were a Shoshone-speaking people who arrived in the Upper Santa Clara River Valley (Santa Clarita Valley) about AD 450. They occupied an area bounded by Piru to the west, Newhall to the south, the Liebre Mountains to the north, and Soledad Pass to the east.

The word tataviam roughly translates into "People of the Sunny Slopes." Their Kitanemuk neighbors in the Antelope Valley called them "Aliklik," believed to be a derogatory term for the clicking sound of their language.

While it is not known exactly who preceded the Tataviam, the same area was occupied by a people, probably of Chumash origin, who arrived somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago.

The Tataviam were hunter-gatherers who organized into a series of autonomous tribelets throughout the region. They ate acorns, yucca, juniper berries, sage seeds and islay, and they hunted small game. They likely practiced a shamanist religion that put them in touch with the supernatural world through trances and hallucinations brought on by the ingestion of jimsonweed, native tobacco and other psychoto-mimetic plants found along the local rivers and streams. Such habitats also provided raw materials for baskets, cordage and netting.

The arrival of Spanish settlers in 1769 led to the demise of the Tataviam people. The Spanish rounded up the aborigines in the early 1800s and conscripted them for manual labor at the mission ranches and vineyards, where they intermarried with other native folk from other parts of Southern California. The last full-blooded Tataviam, Juan José Fustero, died on June 30, 1921, at Rancho Camulos, near Piru.*

* NOTE: While Fustero liked to bill himself as the "Last of the Piru Indians," an article in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in 1965 says that Fustero may actually been married to a full-blooded Tataviam woman, and that they had children. Furthermore, according to "Standing Bear" Rudy Ortega Jr., Spiritual Leader of the Tataviam-Fernandino Tribe, as of 1997 there were approximately 600 persons of Tataviam descent living in Los Angeles County.

Kitchen setting designed by Paul Higgins. For more on this subject, read The Tataviam: Early Newhall Residents by Paul Higgins.


LW9554: 19200 dpi jpeg from 4x6 print made from film shot by Leon Worden circa 1995.
TATAVIAM ARTIFACTS

Bowers Cave

Peabody Museum Index


thumbnail

Bowers Cave Specimens (Mult.)

thumbnail

Bowers on Bowers Cave 1885

thumbnail

Stephen Bowers Bio

thumbnail

Bowers Cave: Perforated Stones (Henshaw 1887)

thumbnail

Bowers Cave: Van Valkenburgh 1952

• Bowers Cave Inventory (Elsasser & Heizer 1963)


• Chiquita Landfill Expansion DEIR 2014: Bowers Cave Discussion

Agua Dulce

thumbnail

Vasquez Rock Art x8

thumbnail

Ethnobotany of Vasquez, Placerita (Brewer 2014)

thumbnail

Bowl x5

thumbnail

Basketry Fragment

Acton

thumbnail

Blum Ranch (Mult.)

thumbnail

Little Rock Creek

Castaic Area

thumbnail

Fish Canyon Bedrock Mortars & Cupules x3

thumbnail

2 Steatite Bowls, Hydraulic Research 1968

thumbnail

Steatite Cup, 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig x5

thumbnail

Ceremonial Bar, 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig x4

thumbnail

Projectile Points (4), 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig

thumbnail

Paradise Ranch Earth Oven

Piru Creek

Lopez Report 1974


thumbnail

Twined Water Bottle x14

thumbnail

Grinding Stones, Camulos

Newhall Area

thumbnail

Arrow Straightener

thumbnail

Pestle

Tejon Area

thumbnail

Basketry x2

thumbnail

Coiled Basket 1875

Other

thumbnail

Riverpark, aka River Village (Mult.)

thumbnail

Riverpark Artifact Conveyance

thumbnail

Mojave Desert: Burham Canyon Pictographs

thumbnail

Leona Valley Site (Disturbed 2001)

thumbnail

2 Baskets

thumbnail

So. Cal. Basket

thumbnail

Biface, Haskell Canyon

thumbnail

2 Mortars, 2 Pestles, Bouquet Canyon

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply