California Indians

Warrior Brothers‘ main character Cody Jackson is a California Indian who was born in space and has never been to Earth.  His father is Coast Miwok and his mother Kashia Pomo, neither of them tribes that are well known outside of California.

This is true of most California tribes.  Media have long focused on a few tribes outside California, particularly Plains and Southwest tribes, and have mostly ignored Native people from the Sierra west to the Pacific, who not only had a very different experience post contact with Europeans than tribes outside California, but also from each other.  Tribes along the California coast from roughly the Russian River south to Mexico had the earliest contact, beginning in the 18th century, and had a very different experience than tribes to the east and north who remained mostly isolated until the 19th century.

The Coast Miwok traditional territory was today’s Marin County and southern Sonoma County, the territory north from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Russian River.  The Coast Miwok first contact with Europeans was with the Spanish.  The Kashia Pomo people were in Sonoma County north of the Russian River.  Their initial contact was in the early 19th century, with Russians.  The two experiences were very different, with the Coast Miwoks being virtually annihilated as a cultural entity – they didn’t regain their Federal tribal recognition until 2000 -while the Kashia Pomo were able to maintain an unbroken tribal tradition that continues today.  I’ll write more about both groups in future posts.


About Erik Gordon Bainbridge

Erik Gordon Bainbridge lives in Northern California and writes about virtual worlds under his avatar name Apollo Manga. He is on the board of directors of the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin and on the Board of Trustees of
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