MOSA (MOJAVE GIRL), 1903, PHOTOGRAPH BY EDWARD CURTIS

MOSA (MOJAVE GIRL), 1903, PHOTOGRAPH BY EDWARD CURTIS

Crossing the Colorado River at the Avi Resort on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation

Crossing the Colorado River at the Avi Resort on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation

CONTACT

Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
500 Merriman Avenue
Needles, CA 92363
760-629-4591
www.mojaveindiantribe.com

FORT MOJAVE INDIAN TRIBE

Spirit Mountain is the earthly origin of this tribe whose reservation spans land in California, Arizona and Nevada. The present boundaries, which stretch along the banks of the Colorado River, cover 12,633 acres near Needles, California, 23,699 acres in Arizona and 5,582 acres in Nevada. The reservation is home to 1,120 people.

The Mojave Indians are the Pipa Aha Macav–The People by the River. Their major attraction is the Colorado River flowing for 17 miles through the Reservation Tamed by Davis Dam above Laughlin.  It runs narrow and deep between channeled banks from the dam to below Needles, California. Along the way, the river supports water-based activities such as fishing, water skiing, jet boarding and other water sports.

East of the Reservation, the Black Mountain Range provides additional outdoor opportunities including off-roading, hiking, photography, rock hounding and exploring ghost towns. Hunters enjoy the big horn sheep, mule deer, quail and dove which live in the nearby mountains.

EVENTS

Fort Mojave Annual Avi Kwa Ame Powwow February
Mojave Crossing Event Center
101 Aztec Road
Fort Mojave, AZ 86426
www.mojaveindiantribe.com/tribal-news
www.mojavecrossing.com
760-629-4591

LODGING

Spirit Mountain RV Park
8545 Highway 95
Mohave Valley, AZ 86440

ENTERTAINMENT

Avi Resort & Casino
1000 Aha Macav Parkway
Laughlin, NV 89029
702-535-5555
www.avicasino.com

Mojave Resort Golf Club
9905 Aha Macav Parkway
Laughlin, NV 89029
www.mojavegolf.com

Huukan Golf Club
5835 Desert Lake Drive
Fort Mojave, AZ 86426
www.mojavegolf.com


The San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland

The San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland

Traditional Weave Basket.

Traditional Weave Basket.

CONTACT

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
26569 Community Center Drive
Highland, CA 92346
909-864-8933
www.sanmanuel.com

SAN MANUEL BAND OF MISSION INDIANS

Leaving Fort Mojave lands, the old road dips in a southwesterly direction at Barstow, crossing lands of the Yuhaviatam—People of the Pines—and other clans of Serrano Indians. Serrano, meaning“highlander” or “mountaineer” was the name used by the first Spanish explorers to describe the people they encountered in the San Bernardino Mountains. The people lived in dome-shaped homes called kiičs and settled in small villages near sources of water.

Today, the Yuhaviatam are identified as the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians—“San Manuel” for tribal leader Santos Manuel who led his people to safety in 1866 when they were under attack by San Bernardino militia forces. Their reservation was established by Presidential Executive Order in 1891 when San Manuel was recognized as a sovereign nation and given 640 acres.  Today, the San Manuel Indian Reservation consists of just over 900 acres. San Manuel is working to regain what was lost from the time of the Spanish missions. The San Manuel Education Department holds Serrano language classes and sponsors workshops to teach traditional arts, songs and culture to the broader community.

San Manuel Annual Powwow

This three-day event is held the 2nd weekend of October at California State University, San Bernardino. Free to the public, it’s an opportunity to enjoy some of the finest Native American singers, dancers, and drummers from North America and Canada.

ENTERTAINMENT

San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino
777 San Manuel Boulevard
Highland, CA 92346
www.sanmanuel.com

LODGING

The San Manuel Village Hampton Inn & Suites
27995 Highland Ave.
Highland, CA 92346
909-862-8000
www.hamptoninnhighlandcalifornia.com

DINING

The Pines Steakhouse
777 San Manuel Boulevard
Highland, CA 92346
909-425-4889

SHOPPING

Pu’ish Gift Shop
Inside San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino
777 San Manuel Boulevard
Highland, CA 92346

Bird Songs

Many ceremonial songs and dances were lost to California tribes when Spanish Catholic missions took control of the territory. But in Southern California, Bird Songs survived and are still performed today by the Serrano Indians that became the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

“San Manuel Serrano Indians sing bird songs, named as such because the migration of birds parallels the movement of people through a territory, telling the story of the Creation, animals seen along the way, and sacred places. Unlike Indian musicians from other parts of the country, traditional Serrano musicians do not use drums for rhythm but instead use hooves of game animals and fashion gourd rattles filled with palm tree seeds to make percussive sounds.”

– Carla Rodriguez, Former Chairperson
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Serrano Baskets

The San Manuel are known for their basket weaving, making baskets woven tightly enough to hold boiling hot water for cooking. The traditional fibers used are from the juncus plant, deer grass or yucca.

A traditional food staple of the San Manuel people is Wiic, a porridge made from the acorns of the black oak. The San Manuel people still make seasonal trips into the mountains to gather acorns and prepare Wiic. 

 


Mrs. James Rosemeyre (née Narcisa Higuera), photographed here in 1905, was one of the last fluent Tongva speakers.

Mrs. James Rosemeyre (née Narcisa Higuera), photographed here in 1905, was one of the last fluent Tongva speakers.

Heritage Park Tongva Exhibit

Heritage Park Tongva Exhibit

GABRIELINO-TONGVA TRIBE

San Bernardino is a gateway into metro Los Angeles and a boundary nestled up against the foothills of the traditional homelands of the Tongva people. The Tongva have been indigenous to the Los Angeles basin for 7,000 years, according to documentation from 2,800 archaeological sites. Known today as the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe, their ancestors were enslaved by the Spanish to build the San Gabriel Mission in the City of San Gabriel and the San Fernando Mission in the City of Los Angeles. 

The Tongva traditionally traded in shell, soapstone and tightly woven coil baskets. Their baskets were woven tightly enough to hold water and use for cooking. Carved pieces of soapstone would be heated in a fire and dropped using wooden tongs into a basket filled with water. The heat from the stones would bring the water to a boil. The tribe’s sacred springs, located in western Los Angeles, are under restoration and Loyola Marymount University has a garden dedicated to the tribe in Westchester. The Tongva today are a state-recognized tribe in the process of seeking recognition from the federal government. 

EVENTS

Moompetam,Gathering of the Salt Water People
Third weekend in September
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
562-590-3100
www.aquariumofpacific.org
www.keepersofindigenousways.org

Acorn Festival
3rd Weekend in November
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
909-625-8767 EXT. 200
www.rsabg.org

ATTRACTIONS

Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Tongva Park
1615 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Heritage Park Tongva Exhibit
12100 Mora Drive
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Moompetam

Gathering of the Salt Water People—is a celebration of Indigenous California Indian maritime cultures, including Ajachemem, Chumash, Costanoan, Luiseño, kumeyaay and Tongva. Enjoy traditional songs and dances, crafts demonstrations, educational programs, storytelling, and a colorful array of indigenous Pacific Ocean life.”Moompetam” means “People of the Ocean” in Pipiimar/Tongva/Gabrielino. 

Acorn Festival

Fall is a time of harvest festivities for the people of Southern California; acorns from the live oak (Quercus agrifolia) were traditionally a major food source. In honor of this, Native American dancers and tribal leaders join the Tongva to celebrate their connections with California native plants. Dancers demonstrate various dances intermittently throughout the day. There is also an artisans’ marketplace.