THE STORY OF OUR VALLEY BY A.B. PERKINS
1. Early Inhabitants
The Time of Trees
n presenting the "Story of Our Valley," the headwater area of the Little Santa Clara River, very roughly Soledad Township during the first century of this manuscript, its Indian villages and towns, it must first be emphasized that in the pre-historic period, of which this chapter treats, Our Valley from Newhall to Castaic Junction was one big grove, white and live oaks, sycamores and willows abounding. This is important, for physical backgrounds call the Tune of Life, largely governing clothing, housing, food and in general, life patterns.
The forest background had its effect upon water supplies. At that time, Newhall Creek, emanating from the watersheds of Whitney, Elsmere and Railroad Canyons ran the year around. The Little Santa Clara River was on top of the ground nearly all of the way from its headwaters in Towsley, Wiley and Pico Canyons to its junction with the waters of Placeritas Canyon at Newhall Creek. At the Castaic Junction, it was more a river than a creek, as the drainage from Mint Canyon, the Elizabeth and Castaic Canyon areas joined the river flow.
The Indian Villages
o much for the changes in physical background. On the Van Valkenburgh Map here presented, an attempt has been made to map the Indian village sites as they may have been two centuries back. Richard F. Van Valkenburgh projected this from the Bishop's records, of Mission San Fernando Rey, plus several years of field work, and the interviewing of such Indians as yet remained in the years 1932-36.
Local place names projected upon the accompanying map, are there merely to aid in the reader's orienting himself in the valley. With the exception of Castaic, which under one spelling or another seems to go back indefinitely, they were not here in 1750. The map includes the villages later under Mission San Fernando Rey, and goes as far west as Piru, an approximate line of tribal culture. For the dialects in use in the pictured vlllages were not understandable, for example, to the Chumash tribes at the present site of Ventura.
Crossroads of Trade
ngelhardt names 184 Indian rancheries under the protection of San Fernando Mission. Twenty-two of these probably were in our valley. The metropolis was Chaguayabit, south of Castaic Junction of today. You will note upon the map the Great Trade Trail to the Colorado River, also the dotted lines indicating major trails, such as the Trail up Piru Canyon to the San Joaquin Valley and the Coastal area and San Fernando Valley. Being in a sense a crossroads, as always in a like case, there is an overlap of cultures, a borrowing from others, and what might be called a general commerce.
In the San Martinez Chiquito Canyon, Van Valkenburgh found shards of Flagstaff black and white pottery, dating back to the 13th Century. Three diorite 3/4-groove stone axes found on the old Pyle Ranch were classed by John P. Herrington as possible Hohokam, or Pueblo. This would indicate some trade filtering through from the Four Corners area (Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico).
The tobacco, called "chou," came down from the Tejon packaged in grape leaves. A false obsidian came from Grimes Pass at the junction of Sycamore Canyon. This was used for arrow and spear heads. Yellow ochres and some other colors were obtained at the same place. From the Coast, abalones and probably some fish came up, and there was fishing the Sespe. The source of this material was largely from "The Story of Candelaria," a manuscript by George Menley and Dr. Bizzell, which was at the Ventura Pioneer Museum in 1934. A certain amount of trade is indicated.
The Indian Dialects
uoting directly from Dr. John P. Harrington, senior ethnologist, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonlan Institution (letter of March 9, 1953), "the Newhall Indians spoke a dialect of Serrano, one of the southern California Uto-Aztecan languages. This dialect was also spoken at Saugus, at San Francisquito Ranch, at Piru, at Los Alamos Creek and on Pastoria Creek. The southern, western and northern boundaries of this dialect are known.
"The boundary against Fernandino, which was a dialect of Gabrielino, was evidently Fremont Pass and the watershed extending from it to both sides. The southern boundary was probably Oak Ridge. The western boundary was between Piru and Sespe and ran north up the watershed just west of Piru Creek and Los Alamos Creek. From there the northern boundary swung along the watershed just to the east of Grapevine Canyon and crossed Pastoria Creek near its mouth. The eastern, especially the southern part of the eastern boundary, cannot even well be guessed at."
There was one site dug by Van Valkenburgh that produced calcareous fragments of metates and manos, possibly an indication of the very early Oak Grove culture. A possible reason for the difficulty of finding really old artifacts could be that flood conditions which occur possibly three times in a century, have a habit of eliminating everything in their channels. The flood following the St. Francis Dam disaster simply erased everything.
It is also true that very little "digging," and that is usually the source of archaeologic knowledge, has even been done here.
How Indians Lived
he equable climate here made permanent housing a secondary consideration. The first eyewitness of their homes, Fr. Crespi, wrote in 1769 that they "lived without any cover for they had no more than a light shelter fenced in like a corral."
This is sometimes classed as the summer dwelling. The winter dwelling was a dome-shaped hut, 15 to 20 feet in diameter, with tule or willow mats on earthen floors, rabbit skins being used for bedding. This was made by setting a circle of willow poles in the ground, bending the tops over and tying them together with willow withes, leaving a smoke hole opening.
On horizontal runners over the framework were tied bundles of bunch grass. The summer corrals were built by bunching reeds or grasses in fence form. This type dwelling had advantages. It was easy to construct, and when the occupants, other than human, became unsupportable, one set the house on fire, moved over a few feet, and got a clean start.
Clothing was neither needed nor used. The women wore a sort of skin apron, rather high in the rear, and falling to the knees in front. This was suspended on a belt above the waist line.
What Indians Ate
ousehold equipment was simple and practically indestructible. Most important was the metate, or stone mortar, used for pulverizing foods. Some metates had a deep bowl in which nuts could be pounded with a phallic pestle. Others had a slightly concave surface for grinding with a roundish stone. The basket mortar, for handling larger quantities, had a high basketry side wall asphalted to the rim of a stone mortar. This called for a much longer stone pestle.
Bone awls, a deer horn flaker and some rabbit hides were also handy to have around the house. There was no local pottery. Cooking was done in an asphalted basket filled with water heated by dropping in hot stones.
Acorns Main Food
ur Indians were a gathering culture. Nature provided a wide variety of foods, chief of which was the acorn.
One method of preparing the acorn calls for leaving them in the sun to dry and partly crack, then pick the shell off, wait until the kernel is thoroughly sun-dried, grind into flour. Put in a container, basketry or woven reed, leach thoroughly with either standing water or flowing water in the creek until no pinkness appears in the waste. Drain, leach it again, then use for cooking with venison, rabbit or what have you (if you don't like it, fire the cook).
Fish were dried in the sun without smoking. Holly berries (toyon) were roasted on coals until they turned white, then put into "Waris," or pleated ollos to sweat five or ten days. They were then ready to eat.
More About Food
ext to the acorn, chi-a, or seed of the columbaria or blue sage at seed time, was winnowed in the basketry seed beaters (flattish fan-shaped baskets), roasted, ground in the metates and then used in mush or desiccated food. It was highly concentrated a tablespoonful would carry an Indian on a full day's hunt. (Incidentally, as late as 1894 it was prescribed by the best physicians for diet in treatment of stomach ulcers, and then sold for $8 per pound.)
Acorns and chi-a were stored in large woven baskets for use in off seasons. These were customarily hidden in storage caves, better protection than existed in grass house storage.
Local fruits included the wild cherry (yslay), elderberry, blackberry, wild grape and wild currant. Yslay, besides being used as a food, was fermented as an intoxicant.
Yslay seeds were ground and made into little balls which were popular. Another method of using toyon was to crush them, and put the resultant paste into small baskets left to ferment until the contents resembled cheese. The fruit of the manzanita, the seeds of burr clover, malvia and alfileria were all used. Tunas, the fruit of the cactus, were popular. Wild bees were domesticated for honey. Sugar was extracted from a specie of tule reed.
Wild onions and wild potatoes were both available. Pinion (piñon) nuts were much relished, and it was a local custom to go annually to the mountains for a fortnight of ro [sic], stopping on the way to boil out at some hot spring (sort of annual bath idea), and return with stores of pinion nuts for later use. [Pinion] nuts were also a trade item.
Wild Game Available
n addition to the foregoing, much wild game was available. Rabbits and quail were trapped or hunted with the "throwing sticks" with which the Indians developed much skill. Deer, bear and antelope were bigger game. Hunting equipment included a stone hammer (a conveniently shaped rock fastened with rawhide into a cleft stick); wooden spear, or lance, the point hardened by charring in the fire; a big game or war bow of sinew-backed carriso wood, shooting a four-foot arrow with reed shaft, a lighter bow shooting small arrows for birds and small game, a stone skinning knife.
The reed arrows warped on the slightest provocation. Each hunter had his stone arrow straightener, oval shaped with straight grooves cut in it. The warped arrow shaft was soaked, the stone heated, and the wet shaft drawn through the grooves. The crookedest of arrows would straighten under this treatment.
Arrow points were made of any handy rock. They were crude, compared to pressure-flaked obsidian points, but were effective when placed under the hide of the target.
There was real thrill to hunting grizzlies with a wooden lance. First you tracked the grizzly, or maybe he tracked you. Second, you killed the grizzly, or maybe he killed you. Third, you got a welcome change of diet or the grizzly did.
Deer Most Popular
eer was the most popular game. All the meat was eaten. The hide was skinned off, scraped and tanned. It was used for clothing, covering or sacking, or could be split into rawhide strings.
The deer horn made a "flaker" which, held in the palm of the hand, with a small piece of rawhide between it and the flesh to prevent chafing, and lightly pressed against the laminations or projections of a rock, would shape arrow points, knives, or what have you, as desired by the artisan. The cannon bones were quartered for use as awls; slightly smaller bones were hollowed and used for pipe stems. The thigh bones made a five-noted flute, or flageolet, for ceremonial use.
Smaller bones were cut into beads and ornaments. When the Indian finished with a deer, it was but a memory.
There was another method of shaping arrowheads: "percussion" as distinguished from "pressure," in which the object to be shaped was sort of pounded into the desired contours.
Beads and Ornaments
or ornamental purposes, the local Indians cut beads from soapstone. (There is an Indian-worked soapstone deposit high on the slopes of Chico Lopez Mountain at the head of Mint Canyon.) The beads were from 3/4 to 3/8 of an inch in diameter, and l/32 inch in thickness practically paper thin. Ornamental beads were also made from the highly colored abalone shell, from hollowed bird bones, snake vertebrae, colored rocks or any other object that struck the eye. The most valued bead was the disc-type olivella shell. Metates were sometimes ornamented by running a string of asphaltum around the border and inserting bright colored stones or shells, or by scribing designs upon it.
Paints were made by grinding red hematites, yellow ochres, black manganese and white soapstone.
Feathers were used in ceremonial costume, but not in everyday use.
Metates were cut from soapstone. First the bowl was ground into the steatite deposit, then the block cut out and shaped externally. The batteries of metates so often encountered in the high mountains, in the granites especially in the pinion country, was simply the gossip set-up of the trip for pinions, where the squaws could trade scandal while preparing dinner in groups. Small metates, for ceremonial use and also for paint preparation, are occasionally seen.
Manos were but flattish rocks of the right size to fit in the palm of the hand, so the fingertips wouldn't get mashed up with the food.
asketry was important. Different types of basketry were made. Sometimes the foundation was made of bunched grass stems. Coiled basketry or coiled twine in both tight and loose twining was common. Wicker was known but not commonly used. Basket shapes were the same as those of the Mountain Chumash Indians. Seed beaters were fan-shaped and shallow with a superimposed ring held to the frame by lashing with hemp cord. The cordage was made from the local wild hemp, nettle and milkweed bark. The big storage basket, sometimes six feet tall, was made from willow bark (salix) but preferably from "junco."
There used to be a cienega near Castaic which was the favorite spot to gather juncos (a rush the Indians called "mejme"), which grew four feet or more in height in the Ventura River. Juncos were prepared by cutting and curing in a bed of ashes, over which a second fire had been built and allowed to burn down. Reeds were sometimes blackened by being buried in mud for a month. By using split or peeled reeds, color and pattern could be obtained. Juncos were also used as a foundation for warp and woof in coiling. Epicdemis and suma, or bark of sumac were also used in basketry.
Basketry made headdresses for the women, kettles for cooking, containers for storing foods, ceremonial regalia and water bottles. Asphaltum was used for waterproofing. Pottery was not native, although a very little seems to have come in by trade.
illage locations didn't just happen. They were selected with food sources, trade routes and availability of water as governing factors, especially proximity to the oak grove, for even at that time private ownership existed. The oak groves were not open to the general public. Each section belonged to some family, and ownership was jealously maintained. Poaching was highly unpopular. The grove was protected from trespass by the same laws that protect the Arab flocks today blood payment without benefit of lawyers or trial by jury.
And what do you think a mad squaw who had been saving the biggest nuts on some particular tree for ripening would do when she caught some other squaw borrowing them? Well she did. There were epicures even then. Over by the junction of Highway 99 and the Pico Road were trees famous for extra large, sweet acorns. Indians south of Yang Gna (Los Angeles) came all the way up here to trade for those acorns.
torage caves abounded in the local cliffs. Very little has been done in working these caves in the last 20 years. Dr. D.W. Borden, who, as superintendent of the Barnsdall Oil Company, lived here for many years, is practically the only person who really got into and investigated every cave which he saw or heard of. In the caves the artifacts most commonly found will include metates of various types, sizes and uses; manos and percussion stones; doughnut stones (a round stone with a central hole of size and shape just like a doughnut), possibly used for additional bearing weight on digging sticks; charm stones of peculiar shapes or resemblances; round stones about the size of a croquet ball, with which some game was probably played but the rules are lost. You might find hematite sticks just like red lipstick, bone flageolets, pipes of steatite, beads, maybe Spanish trade beads (but they would not have been there for over a few centuries), awls, asphalt chunks, hammer stones, arrow straighteners, very few arrowheads, and those none too good.
The last "real good haul" was made from a cave in the Piru Canyon back about 1935, when oak "mush paddles" about the size and shape of boat paddles, asphalted water bottles still waterproof and some splendid feather work was found. Turtle carapaces, rawhide rattles could happen.
r. Harrington is of the opinion that the worship of Chinigchinish started at the Fred Bixby rancho, below Long Beach, and spread only as far as the San Fernando plain. That religion is known. The ceremonial background, or religious observances, if you prefer, of our Indians is a little wobbly.
At Vasquez Rocks pot holes or small caves [were] used to hold calcined bones and beads, indicating cremation, so those Indians were definitely of the Desert or Mountain tribes and were not down here. Most local burials have been flexed (body folded at hip and knees) with the personal kettles killed (broken usually by knocking a hole through the bottom) and interred. Usually the head points toward Mt. San Cayetano, suggesting riualistic significance here.
Families were probably divided by both totemic and hereditary clan lines.
hey may have worshipped "Chu Pu," who received food and ornament sacrifice, but not blood. In the center of the village would be a ceremonial pole (sort of maypole), with ceremonial baskets at its base in which were propitiatory gifts. Around this pole the ceremonial dances took place.
Some of the portents of evil, as interpreted by the Indian, might be the howling of a fox, flight of a raven overhead, three hoot owls in a group. Local Indians were no different from any people anywhere. If you don't understand, superstition overbalances logic. Today, hiking over the hills, on some crest or ridge, you will find a patterned circle of stones and they do not represent a tent ring duplicated on other crests but totally unintelligible to us.
The pole was usually decorated with crow feathers and took the place of the omnipotent but mildly sympathetic fellow who could be appeased by little gifts and dances. Of course, if the portent occurred, it called for a ceremonial dance to offset the threatened evil. The ceremonial dancers were costumed with plumes made of black crow feathers and white wild geese feathers made in the form of a duster and carried in the hand.
About the loins several layers of feathers were worn, the first layer, very long, being condor feathers.
r. Edwin F. Walker, until recently Research Director at Southwest Museum, has told of burials on the San Fernando side of the range near Chatsworth, where apparently the Chief was held for some length of time, and at the time of his burial others in the tribe would produce deceased relatives as a sort of a community burial. Unfortunately, to date, no such burials have been revealed in this valley. As far as the writer is aware, all interments yet found have been individual. There may have been an Annual Mourning at the time of the winter solstice.
Reconstruction of religious customs requires informants. Candelaria (who has been quoted), died in 1912. She was Chumash and l'Alliklik. Sinforosa died in Newhall in 1915.
She was of l'Alliklik and Fernandino lines. Jose Fustero died in Piru Canyon in 1921. Escholastic Ashby, of San Juaneno and San Luiseno ancestry, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. George LeBrun, in Newhall in 1938. The truth is that none of those possible informants would probably have been posted on the customs of 150 years ago.
an Valkenburgh has quoted the report in the Respusta of San Fernando Mission for 1913, where the dance of ceremony is described: "They make a great circle. In the center of it they raise a pole adorned with bundles and the feathers of the crow and adorned with heads. As many as pass the pole pay homage to it, and returning roundabout, blow to the four winds, thus asking for relief of their necessities."
But the last ceremonial of this kind recorded, was near San Cayetano in 1860.
The girls' adolescence ceremony, which may have been in use here, placed the girl in a pit inside the ceremonial corral. It was lined with warm stones, on top of which were piled aromatic herbs.
After remaining in the pit for some days, while the women of the village danced round the pit and sang the "woman's" song, they were taken out and their faces painted with red ochre. Following advice from the Village Chief as to how to live well, the girls were henceforth recognized as women by their rancheria.
To the boys' initiation ceremony, they may have been subjected to a ceremonial drink made from the narcotic jimpson weed.
There were some l'Alliklik villages here. Each village was autonomous. The chief came from the predominant family, assisted by one from the lesser family. All that is known of these clans, or families, is that there were two, the Mountain Lion and Coyote.
Members of the same clan could not marry. In the marriage custom, the important members of the suitor's clan gave gifts to the important members of the bride's clan. The gifts were olivella shell beads, abalone shell beads. The suitor gave the bride a rabbitskin cape and a small basket.
Legend of Creation
efore this World was, there existed one above and another below. The two were brother and sister. The one above signified the heavens, and the one below represented the earth, but they were not as they are now. All below was dark, without sun, moon or stars.
"But in time they were wedded and the first fruits of their union were earth and sand, after which were produced rocks and stones of all kinds, particularly flints for arrows. Trees and shrubbery followed and next thereafter, herbs and grass; and, again, animals, principally the kind which they eat. Finally one was born that they called Ouiot.
"And Ouiot's descendants multiplied, the first born of his mother (the earth) increased in size and extended itself to the south.
"And he became aged and his vassals formed a conspiracy to destroy him, and mixed poison and administered it to him. At length Ouiot died but first told them that he would return and live with him, but they have never seen him."
Sources of Knowledge
ow is so much known about a people gone long ago?
They really were gone, too, for the Mission Indian of the 1950s bore little or no resemblance to his ancestors of a century past. The Mission Indians were the end result of subjugation, habits and traits foreign to their backgrounds, [which] had been forced upon them and as is generally the case with subjugated peoples their numbers dwindled.
During the big depression of the earliest 1930s, the Federal Government was giving grants in aid in plainer English, handouts to museums, foundations and nonprofit organizations that could use such grants in worthwhile research.
This was an opportunity for the Los Angeles County Museum to do a few odd jobs that had been waiting on the hooks for years. For instance, the retracing of the steps of the Sacred Expedition from that point where they entered Los Angeles County of today, to the point where they left the County, and the location of the various camp sites. It also allowed Arthur Woodward to assign R.F. Van Valkenburgh to an archaelogical reconnaisance of this area, and for some four years, off and on, the research continued.
Dr. John P. Harrington had worked here even earlier as an ethnologist. At Santa Barbara, David Banks Rogers was watching local excavations, for buildings of roads, and charting scores of sites as he painstakingly isolated the personalities and customs of the Oak Grove people who lived there centuries back.
From the Bishop's records of the Catholic Diocese, the local Indian villages' names contributing to Mission San Fernando were picked one by one. Burials and recoveries from "digs" round about furnished the materials necessary for a cultural reconstruction of a long gone people.
Have you ever stopped to think that if you discarded every worn-out garment, toy, tool, container in one big heap in the back yard, almost any neighbor could come along years later, study the discards and come to a very accurate conclusion as to the personality, traits and customs of the discardee? The Indian usualIy had his trash heap within throwing distance of his door, which has proved to be a very great help to the archaeologists of today.
Most will admit that a fair criteria of intelligence would be the individual's ability to treat his own ills successfully.
n 1894 Dr. Cephas R. Bard, then resident in Hueneme, retired from his presidency of the Southern California Medical Society, and as the subject of his last address to the group, chose the pharmacopeia and treatments of the local Indians, amongst whom he had worked long, and so observantly. Excerpts from this address follow:
It has been reserved for the California Indian to furnish three of the most valuable vegetable additions which have been made to the pharmacopeia during the last 20 years. One, the eriodyction glutinosum, growing profusely in our foothills, was used by them in [in]fections of the respiratory tract, and its worth was so appreciated by the missionaries as to be named Yerba Santa, or Holy Plant. The second, the rhamus purshiana, gathered now for the market in the upper portions of the State, is found scattered through the timbered mountains of Southern California. It was used as a laxative, and on account of the constipating effects of an acorn diet, was doubtless in active demand. So highly was it esteemed by the followers of the the Cross that it was christened Cascara Sagrada or Sacred Bark. The third, grindelia robusta, was used in treatment of pulmonary troubles, and externally in poisoning from rhus toxicodendron, poison oak, and in various skin diseases ... Yerba Buena, an aromatic species of micromeria, was regarded as an anthelmintic, carnminative, emmemagogue and febrifuge.
Yerba de la Vibora, caucalis microcarpax, enjoyed a wonderful reputation as a cure for rattlesnake bite, notwithstanding its vaunted antidotal power. We know many Indians succumbed to the effect of such bites. That bitten animals have recovered when treated with this plant, I can say authoritatively, for I have witnessed such results. I have known, however, of animals recovering without any treatment whatsoever. Chemical analysis has extracted no active principle from this lauded plant ... it is practically inert. ... golondrina, the euphorbia maculata, was used in skin diseases and as an application to remove corneal opacities and warts. Chucupate, a very bitter root, was chewed as a tonic and useful in flatulence, headache and neuralgia. ...
Escholtzia, or poppy, our State flower, possesses analgesic properties and was used in colic; a hypnotic extract was made of it ... an oil expressed from the roasted seeds of the Chilicote was used to promote the growth of hair ... Asphaltum was used in treatment of rheumatism. Sulphur, readily obtainable, was supplied for almost every ill the savage flesh was heir to. The native Indian had implicit faith in curative properties of Sauco, or elderberry leaves; Sambucus, in colds and fevers ...
The use of ants in the treatment of disease was in great favor. By tapping on an old log, the home of the red ants, they were driven out and collected. For dysentary they were administered internally as an infusion, the insects being alive when swallowed. Externally, they were applied for the same disease to the bare abdomen and aroused to anger so they would bite more readily. The application was intensely painful, but said to be effectual.
In the treatment of rheumatism, the patient was stripped to the skin, placed on an ant hill, and confined there until he was thoroughly bitten. The soil surrounding the ant hills, mixed wth water, was given internally for the cure of diarrhea and dysentary. Formic acid, the active principle of the ant, and the only known acid which is an antacid, was much extolled by the ancients as an aphrodisiac.
Remarkable medicinal virtues were ascribed to lice, to the cultivation of which they devoted much attention. In protracted illness, they prepared a cold infusion of the living vermin procured from the healthiest resident of the rancheria, and administered it to the patient by mouth a rude effort to obtain the results of the modern transfusion on blood.
The most prominent feature of their practice, however, was the use of the temescal. The temescal was dome-shaped, resembling the modern bake oven, and was composed of interwoven boughs and twigs, covered with mud. When thoroughly heated by burning of wood or brush the patient entered and remained until profuse perspiration occurred. He then crawled out and threw himself into the cool waters of the river or brook ... not only in demand for the sick [but] was resorted to as a hygienic measure by the well and sound. There can be no doubt of its value prior to the arrival of the missionaries with diseases in their train to which the native had hitherto been a stranger. Since then, the fatality incidental to the custom has been appalling ... the Padres proscribed it ...
Flagellation with nettles was the treatment of ... palsies. Syringes, constructed by attaching a hollow bird bone or a section of elder branch to a bladder, were in common use.
With the knives of flint or wood . . the opened abcesses amputated, extracted foreign substances, and even successfully trepanned the skull" (as evidenced by skulls at the Santa Barbara Museum). "Foreign bodies were removed from the conjunctiva by placing a seed of Chita under the eyelids" (we use linseed for the same purpose).
The most useful article of their crude armentarium was the stone medicine tube, cylindrical, about 10 inches in length, tapering from one inch to three-fourths of an inch. ... Cupping was performed with this instrument."
Dr. Bard lists nearly 30 California herbs, with the methods of their respective treatments in the variant ills. He speaks in the highest terms of the intelligent post-partum treatment of squaws, which was far advanced beyond the medical customs of that date.
The success of the native customs may be indicated by Dr. Bard's citations: "Stooped or bowlegged Indians was seldom seen." "Catlin, the highest authority on the North American Indian, states that he never saw an idiotic, lunatic, deformed, rachitic, deaf or dumb Indian."
At the time of copying, the Bard manuscript was in the library at Ventura.
The Indian, at time of first contact with the white race in this area, wasn't so dumb. Maybe he should not have interpreted literally the things the white men told him.
©1954, SANTA CLARITA VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY · RIGHTS RESERVED.