The Land - No. 8 / FOREST
This is the second post in a series, acknowledging the traditional lands and Indigenous people from where issues of Making are photographed. We're sharing this post here on our blog, but it will also live on our 'Lands' page along with future issues' acknowledgements.
Each year we spend time in various locations photographing the different collections found in Making. With every destination comes a rich history, one full of biodiversity, landscape, craft, and the Indigenous people that first cared for the land and have done so for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.
A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that gives recognition and respect to the Indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of the land.
We’ve also compiled a list of books, links, and other resources below that we’ve found helpful in our learning. We encourage you to explore these and learn more about the tribes, land, and history of where you live and travel.
No. 8 / FOREST
We photographed this issue in multiple locations including Mill Valley, California, on the traditional homelands of the people of Coast Miwok, and Southern Pomo, recognized today as the Graton Rancheria tribe. The land was a place of hunting, gathering, healing, and trade. The Coast Miwok were known for their basket weaving and handcrafted feathered and clamshell beaded ceremonial hats, belts, aprons, and jewelry. Today there are over 1,000 descendants of the Coast Miwok, who keep the heritage of their beautiful and thriving area alive.
We also photographed at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington state, on the traditional homelands and birthplace of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, one of the largest in the Puget Sound region. The Snoqualmie Valley and River were places of travel, hunting, and fishing, and the Snoqualmie People are still there today, tending the land, water, fish, and game.
“The mists carry our thoughts and prayers to the spirits and ancestors as they cleanse our thoughts. The rushing waters give us the strength to keep our traditions alive and to continue to thrive in the modern times.”
— Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
The Coast Miwok
The Coast Miwok have occupied the area now known as Marin and southern Sooma County in Northern California since as early as the mid 1500’s. They were distinctive because of their language and how they adorned their bodies with tattoos, paint, and unique headdresses. During the Mission Period the Coast Miwok became a part of several missions, including the Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores), Mission San Rafael Archangel, and Mission San Francisco Solano. The Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo people were a primary labor source used by the Spanish to establish and grow these missions. After the Mission Period ended, the Coast Miwok people were freed from the missions however they were kept in servitude by the Mexican land grant owners that occupied the territories previously belonging to the tribe. Camilo Ynitia, a Coast Miwok leader, secured a land grant for a region that included the prehistoric Miwok Village known as Olompali. The Coast Miwok people endured a long history of devastation brought on by Europeans, including Spanish missions, introduced disease and epidemics, enslavement, and expulsion. In 2000 the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, formerly the Federated Coast Miwok, gained federal recognition. The new tribe consists of people of both Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo descent. Today you can visit the Kule Loklo Coast Miwok Cultural Exhibit (meaning Valley of the Bear), which is an interpretive village that was recreated to honor the people of the Coast Miwok and share some of their history and legacy of the area.
The Coast Miwok were hunter-gatherers, fishers, and known for their basket weaving.
The Snoqualmie people, known as sdukʷalbixʷ in their native language, is a tribe from the Puget Sound area of Washington State and has occupied the area far before explorers arrived and settled. The Snoqualmie people endured a long history of expulsion and in 1953 the tribe lost federal recognition. For many years they tried to secure a reservation on their ancestral lands which bordered the Tolt river, however the land was never granted to them. In 1999 the tribe once again gained recognition which enabled them in 2008 to purchase land near Snoqualmie, Washington, build the Snoqualmie Casino and establish a reservation.
The Snoqualmie were fishers and gatherers, known for their basket weaving and canoe building.
These were the historical lands of the Graton Rancheria and Snoqualmie tribes prior to their involuntary expulsion. They continue to hold the stories of these tribes and their striving for survival and recognition. Making honors and respects the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to these lands where we have gathered and photographed.
Dawn of the world: Stories told by the Coast Miwok Indians
Kule Loklo and the Coast Miwok Indians
The State of the Native Nations
Links and Sources
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
Coast Miwok at Point Reyes
Kule Loklo Coast Miwok Cultural Exhibit
Snoqualmie Culture and History