El Dorado Hills, United States

The Miwok Tribes of El Dorado Hills

   In the beautiful foothills of sacramento valley you would meet people of indian heritage, more specifically the Miwoks. The Miwoks were indians living in Southern California and had lived in respect to nature.but what was their purpose during american history and what happened to them.

    The Miwoks were the most dominant tribe that had lived mostly near the foothills of the Sierras, and up into the mountains, the Miwoks had considered themselves to belong to tribelets, or a small group of villages. They were a humble people living off of the land from what they find from nature, were the Miwok women wore a piece of deerskin wrapped around their waist to be used as a dress. The Miwok men wore a piece of deerskin around their hips for added warmth in cold weather, both the men and the women used blankets or robes that had been made from animal skins such as Deers, bears, lions, coyotes, and rabbit skins were also used to make robes. The Sierra Miwoks had depended on deer and elk as their main source of meat, elk and antelope were easier to get with each group that traveled to the other’s area for hunting.  Black bears and grizzly  bears were hunted over in the Sierra hills smaller animals like rabbits, beavers, and squirrels were used as food, but not coyotes, skunks, owls, snakes or frogs.  The Miwok would catch salmon and sturgeon from the Sacramento delta waters in mountain streams as their fish and meat were cooked over on an open fire that they made, earth ovens that were heated by stones to be used to bake and steam food. In the spring, the Miwoks would gather green plants to eat like columbine, milkweed, wild pea, sheep sorrel, and many other veggies, in the summer, they would gather many types of seeds like Roots and mushrooms to be eaten.

   However the spread of diseases such as the swine flu, the white settlers and gold prospectors that would bring  more diseases to the Native Indians that lived in the surrounding areas of the westward trails and had started a series of conflicts and massacres against the Miwoks and other tribes. The Spanish had established missions to get southern Miwok territory by the early nineteenth century, in the 1840s, Mexican rancheros had been routinely kidnapping southern Miwok women and men to work on their ranches and staged massacres to intimidate the survivors. And as a result of all this bloodshed other neighboring tribes had banded together to form military alliances to deal with the spanish invaders.

    However the miwoks were no match for the advanced weaponry of the spanish getting shot down in groups from muskets. Most of the miwoks were wiped out killed murdered as the us would form several treaties were all the miwoks were deported and taken out of california. Today the miwoks are a reminder of the past with their impact today being california being the most diverse state in the us. As for today, the Miwok culture is alive and still practiced in which traditional events have been created to keep their traditions alive. The Acorn Festival, for example attracts people from all areas to celebrate local tradition.

Article by Cameron Cunningham

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