Who were the Original Inhabitants of Los Angeles?

Los Angeles County is home to more than 140,000 Native Americans from three tribes: Ventureño, Gabrieleño-Tongva and Fernandeño peoples who have been living in this area for more than 2,000 years before European settlers arrived. Learn more about these tribes here.

Who were the Original Inhabitants of Los Angeles?

Los Angeles County is home to more than 140,000 Native Americans. Three tribes in the area are recognized by the state of California: the Ventureño, Gabrieleño-Tongva and Fernandeño peoples. These tribes have been living in the area for more than 2,000 years before the arrival of European settlers. The Chumash tribe is believed to have arrived in the Los Angeles area about 3,000 years ago.

They spread across the Malibu area of Los Angeles County, although they mostly lived in parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. They were expert fishermen and artisans, dedicating much of their time to building small boats and fishing. They were more sophisticated artisans than their Gabrieleño neighbors in the south. When the first Spanish missionaries arrived, it was believed that there were up to 22,000 Chumash people.

However, as was the case with the Gabrieleños, their population, their communities and their culture quickly disappeared after the arrival of the Europeans. By 1906, there were only 42 known survivors. Today, some 2,000 people claim to be descended from Chumash, most of whom live in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The smallest group of native Los Angeles natives are the Tataviam or Fernandeños (due to their close association with the San Fernando Mission).

The sites of 20 primitive Tataviam villages are located north of the San Fernando Valley and in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was believed that they had about 1000 people and were heavily influenced by the culture of their most numerous neighbors, the Gabrieleños and the Chumash. The city's parents had their eyes set on the Owens River, about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Los Angeles, in Inyo County, near the border with the state of Nevada. The Latino community in Los Angeles was once centered on the east side but now spans across the entire city.

The Gabrieleños inhabited the southern part of what is now Los Angeles County, as well as parts of Orange County and western parts of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This included an enormous alluvial plain drained by both the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers and South Channel Islands such as Santa Barbara, San Clemente, Santa Catalina and San Nicolas. The inauguration of the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided four times more water than needed for homes and farms in Los Angeles County. During World War II on February 24-25th 1942, Los Angeles became an integral part of United States Theater during a false battle known as The Battle of Los Angeles which took place one day after a Japanese naval bombing in Ellwood in Santa Barbara County which is 80 miles away from Los Angeles.

In 1820 El Camino Viejo route was established from Los Angeles crossing mountains to reach San Francisco Bay on its east side. The Gabrielinos were recognized by California Assembly as Aboriginal tribe of Los Angeles Basin in 1994.

Leave Message

Required fields are marked *