More than 2,000 years before the arrival of European settlers, Los Angeles County was home to the Ventureño, Gabrieleño-Tongva and Fernandeño peoples. The Tongva trails that cross the Sepulveda basin became the base of Highway 405. We refer to the largest tribe native to Los Angeles County as Gabrieleño. Depending on the group they are associated with, they are also called Gabrielino, Tongva and Kizh. What L, A.
Therefore, the primitive population of California bore little physical resemblance to the Native Americans of the Great Plains and, apparently, did not share linguistic or cultural ties with these nations. Once Congress granted statehood to California in 1850, many of the first laws passed aimed to arrest, incarcerate, and sentence natives to forced labor. The smallest group of native Los Angeles natives are the Tataviam or Fernandeños (due to their close association with the San Fernando Mission). Many lines of evidence suggest that the Tongva are descended from Uto-Aztec-speaking peoples that originated in what is now Nevada and moved southwest to the coast of Southern California 3,500 years ago.
Under the mission system, the Spanish began an era of forced relocation and virtual enslavement of peoples to guarantee their work. The next day, Cabrillo and his men, the first Europeans known to have interacted with the Gabrielean people, entered a large bay on the mainland, which they called Bahía de los Fumos (Bay of Smokes) because of the numerous smoke fires they saw there. The diseases introduced by the Spanish also took a brutal price, inside and outside the mission, killing at least half of the native population. The Loyola Marymount University library, located in Los Angeles (Westchester), has an extensive collection of archival materials related to the Tongva and their history.
Although in 1848, Los Angeles was a small city mostly of Mexicans and natives, in 1880 it was already home to an Anglo-American majority after the waves of white migration in the 1870s, after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. It spread across the city's many taverns, streets and brothels, but the aggressive and selective enforcement of state and local codes of wandering and drinking filled the Los Angeles County jail with natives, most of whom were men. However, the grand jury dismissed indigenous people's profound claims to life, land and sovereignty in the region and instead chose to incriminate indigenous peoples as drunks and vagrants who prowl Los Angeles. In the Los Angeles Basin area, only 20 former neophytes from the San Gabriel Mission received land from secularization.
It is estimated that there were between 5,000 and 10,000 Gabrieleans living in the region when the first Spanish colonists arrived in 1781 to establish Los Angeles. Unfortunately, unlike the long-idealized images of California's early years, the real experience of the natives of the Los Angeles area, from the arrival of the Spanish to the 20th century, turned out to be a nightmare of subjugation, loss, illness, rape, abuse and death. The Government and Protection of Indians Act of 1850 aimed to stop native peoples easily by stipulating that they could be arrested for vagrancy “at the request of any reasonable citizen”, and Gabrieleños were the most affected by this policy. The Tongva spoke a language from the Uto-Aztec family (the remote ancestors of the Tongva probably united as a people in the Sonoran Desert, perhaps between 3000 and 5000 years ago).