Satwiwa

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Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center
Established1980
Location4126 1 W. Potrero Road, Newbury Park, CA 91320
TypeCulture Center
National Park
Public transit accessThousand Oaks Transit (TOT)
WebsiteOfficial websites

Satwiwa (Chumash: "the bluffs") was a former Chumash village in the Santa Monica Mountains of Newbury Park, California. The current Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center is operated by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Friends of Satwiwa.[1] Satwiwa has been inhabited by Chumash Indians for over 10,000 years.[2][3] It is situated at the foothills of Boney Mountain, a sacred mountain for the Chumash.

Bordering thousands of acres of wilderness in the Santa Monica Mountains, the fauna surrounding Satwiwa includes golden eagles, mountain lions, Valley coyotes, snakes, bobcats, foxes, falcons, and hawks.[4][5]

The main trail from Satwiwa is nicknamed the backdoor to the Point Mugu State Park.[6][7][8] Satwiwa is one of the four primary entrances to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.[9]

Etymology[edit]

Satwiwa is Chumashan and directly translates to "the bluffs."[10][11][12][7] By strict definition, the name, which also can translate to "higher places", originally referred to the neighboring mountain, known as Boney Mountain.[13] Satwiwa (Sat-wi'wa) was also the Chumashan name used for a former village near the current culture center.[14][15][16] The original Chumash village was just north of Big Sycamore Canyon in southern Newbury Park, at the foothills of Mount Boney.[17]

Background[edit]

National Park map.

Satwiwa is adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains and Rancho Sierra Vista[18][12] within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.[19][20][21] It is situated at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains of Newbury Park, CA and borders National Park land. Satwiwa and surrounding areas have been inhabited by the Chumash people for over 10,000 years. Currently, the former Native-American village is home to a natural center with a Chumash Indian demonstration area where Native-American docents or park rangers are available for presentations during weekends. Art shows, ceremonies, and interactive exhibits also take place at Satwiwa. Hiking trails connect to the larger Point Mugu State Park, including trails to nearby waterfalls in the Santa Monica Mountains.[2]

Satwiwa (meaning "bluffs") and surrounding Point Mugu State Park (Mugu derives from the Chumashan word "muwu", meaning beach) make up 16,000 acres at the northwest edge of the Santa Monica Mountains. The landscape is characterized by the dramatic backdrops of Boney Mountain, rocky canyons, coastal shrubs, creekbeds, oak- and sycamore trees, rolling green slopes, and chaparral. It is home to a multitude of trails, connecting to open-space areas such as the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Los Robles Open Space, Dos Vientos Open Space, Circle X Ranch, Ventu Park, and others.[22]

History[edit]

Satwiwa is located at the foothills of Boney Mountain, a sacred mountain to the Chumash Native-Americans.

Native American Indians have lived in the area for over 10,000 years. With a lifestyle based on the food abundance and materials provided by the environment, they fished in the Pacific Ocean and hunted deer and rabbits in the canyons. They also gathered acorns from the surrounding oak trees in which they grinded for food. Prosperous, the tribes lived in the center of a commerce that extended up and down the coast, as far west as the California Channel Islands.[3] The Spaniards were the first Europeans to arrive here when they arrived in the 1500s. During the colonization, the Spanish established various nearby missions to claim the territory for Spain. With the arrival of the Spanish, Satwiwa became a portion of Rancho El Conejo.[23][24]

Native-Americans of Chumash, Tataviam, Tongva and Vanyume ancestries are still utilizing Satwiwa in order to keep traditions alive. Native-American culture is often showcased through a variety of contemporary programs, arts and displays. Traditional- and religious ceremonies and dances are still held at Satwiwa.[25][26]

Satwiwa was purchased by the U.S. National Park Service in 1980.[27] Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains of Newbury Park, California, the Satwiwa Native-American Indian Culture Center is operated in partnership between Native Chumash Indians and the U.S. National Park Service. The center offers a diverse range of educational lectures and workshops, Native-American art displays, and more.[28]

Chumash Indians[edit]

Chumash flute player at Satwiwa.

The Ventureño Chumash Indians first settled in Satwiwa 13,000 years ago,[29] and lived in the village as recently as 2,000 years ago.[30] The village served as a post for travelers and traders who crossed the Santa Monica Mountains through the Sycamore Canyon in order to get from the Conejo Valley to the Mugu Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.[31][12][32][17] The Chumash traded with the Gabrieleño-Tongva Indians, who mostly lived in areas of Los Angeles County.[10][12] Numerous Chumash artifacts and petroglyphs have been discovered in the surrounding area, particularly along the Arroyo Conejo on its way to its estuary in the Mugu Lagoon.[33][34] Satwiwa is situated at the foothills of Boney Mountain, which is a sacred mountain for the Chumash people.[35][30] Many of the artifacts are for display at the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center and the Chumash exhibit at the Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park,[36] as well as at the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks.

Satwiwa is still regularly used by Native-American groups, particularly by the Chumash Barbareño-Ventureño Band of Mission Indians for events such as community dancing and celebrations of various ceremonies, e.g. summer solstice and the Hutash ceremony.[37][1][38]

The original inhabitants of the village of Satwiwa recognized Boney Mountain as the sacred home of all of creation.[39] The peak remains sacred to the Chumash people today.[40][41][42][43][44] The cultural center houses a Chumash demonstration village which sits across the path from the center. This reconstructed Chumash village houses the traditionally made ‘ap (houses). It is particularly visited during weekends when Native-American teachers and National Park rangers are present.[45]

Recreation[edit]

A Chumash 'ap (house) at the demonstration village.

Over 100 miles of trails can be found within Point Mugu State Park, which is one of California’s largest state parks. Almost half the state park’s total area make up Boney Mountain State Wilderness Area, a natural wilderness surrounding Mount Boney, a sacred mountain to the Chumash people. Several trails lead to a series of cascades, mountain overlooks, and some cross the Santa Monica Mountains leading to the coast of Point Mugu.[46] While Old Boney Loop leads from Satwiwa to the heart of the Boney Mountain State Wilderness, the shorter hike to Sycamore Canyon Waterfall is 3.5 miles roundtrip from the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center. Sycamore Canyon Waterfall consists of a 70-foot series of cascades near a tree-covered creek bed.[47]

There are numerous overlapping trails throughout the surrounding area, and trails are utilized by both runners, hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and others.[48]

Wildlife[edit]

Adjacent to national park land - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area - wildlife is in abundance near Satwiwa. Commonly encountered species include rabbits, coyotes, deer, prairie falcons, roadrunners, hawks, golden eagles, foxes, and raccoons.[45]

The surrounding area is home of a variety of wildlife, including rattlesnakes and mountain lions.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kennedy, Frances H. (2008). American Indian Places: A Historical Guidebook. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Page 243. ISBN 9780547523675.
  2. ^ a b Riedel, Del Monique and Allen (2011). Best Hikes Near Los Angeles. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 102. ISBN 9780762768189.
  3. ^ a b https://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/historyculture/nativeamericanindians.htm
  4. ^ Riedel, Monique Del (2009). Best Easy Day Hikes Ventura. Falcon Guides. Page 49. ISBN 9780762751211.
  5. ^ Smith, Jonathan (2015-01-08). "Livestock killed in local mountain lion attack | January 8, 2015 | www.theacorn.com". The Acorn. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  6. ^ Sanger, Kay and Tom Sanger (1990). Southern California for Kids. C.N. Potter. Page 12. ISBN 9780517573471.
  7. ^ a b Sheer, Julie (2013). Moon Take a Hike Los Angeles: 86 Hikes within Two Hours of the City. Avalon Travel. Page 33.
  8. ^ McKinney, John (2004). California's National Parks: A Day Hiker's Guide. Wilderness Press. Page 320. ISBN 9780899973876.
  9. ^ Butcher, Russell D. (1999). Guide To National Parks: Pacific Region - American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii. Globe Pequot Press. Page 91. ISBN 0762705736.
  10. ^ a b Ayer, Eleanor H. (1992). Parks and Monuments of California: A Scenic Guide. American Traveler Press. Page 10. ISBN 9781558381193.
  11. ^ McKinney, John (2004). California's National Parks: A Day Hiker's Guide. Wilderness Press. Page 320. ISBN 9780899973876.
  12. ^ a b c d "Map and Site Information: Rancho Sierra Vista/ Satwiwa - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)". Nps.gov. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  13. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1987-10-22/news/vw-15642_1_newbury-park
  14. ^ Hodge, Frederick Webb (1910). Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: Vol. 2. U.S. Government Printing Office. Page 470.
  15. ^ Brown, Ann Whitlow and Rohit Chopra (2004). Let’s Go California (10th Edition). Macmillan. Page 474. ISBN 9780312335441.
  16. ^ https://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/satwiwa-native-american-indian-culture-center.htm
  17. ^ a b "Parks". LAMountains.com. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  18. ^ Young, Don (2009). Southern California Adventure Guide. Hunter Publishing. Page 22. ISBN 9781588430915.
  19. ^ Stienstra, Tom and Ann Marie Brown (2012). Moon California Hiking: The Complete Guide to 1,000 of the Best Hikes in the Golden State. Avalon Travel. Page 711. ISBN 9781612381633.
  20. ^ Lightfoot, Kent G. and Otis Parrish (2009). California Indians and Their Environment: An Introduction. Page 258. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520244719.
  21. ^ Eargle, Dolan H. (1992). California Indian Country: The Land & The People. Trees Company Press. Page 122. ISBN 9780937401200.
  22. ^ Murphy, Kelly (2012). Local Multi-Use Trails. Kelly Murphy. Page 97. ISBN 9781479165599.
  23. ^ Riedel, Del Monique and Allen (2011). Best Hikes Near Los Angeles. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 102. ISBN 9780762768189.
  24. ^ Riedel, Allen (2006). Best Hikes With Dogs: Southern California. The Mountaineers Books. Page 82. ISBN 9780898866919.
  25. ^ http://archive.vcstar.com/news/local/conejo-valley/satwiwa-center-hosts-native-american-dance-demonstration-39e47321-a0eb-6732-e053-0100007fa172-391216301.html
  26. ^ https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2018/06/06/chumash-share-stories-music-their-past-newbury-park/613300002/
  27. ^ McKinney, John (1992). Day Hiker’s Guide To Southern California. Olympus Press. Page 92. ISBN 9780934161121.
  28. ^ Lightfoot, Kent G. and Otis Parrish (2009). California Indians and Their Environment: An Introduction. University of California Press. Page 258. ISBN 9780520244719.
  29. ^ Bangs, Ray and Chris Becker (2004). 52 Great Weekend Escapes in Southern California. Globe Pequot. Page 55. ISBN 9780762730834.
  30. ^ a b "Museums, Festivals, Classes Open Door to Learning Indian History - Page 2 - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-03-10. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  31. ^ Maulhardt, Jeffrey Wayne (2010). Conejo Valley. Arcadia Publishing. Page 40. ISBN 9780738580395.
  32. ^ Straus, Naomi (2004). Let's Go California 10th Edition. Macmillan. Page 474. ISBN 9780312335441.
  33. ^ Ciolek-Torrello, Richard (2006). A Passage in Time: The Archaeology and History of the Santa Susana Pass State Historical Park, California. Statistical Research. Page 42. ISBN 9781879442894.
  34. ^ Whitley, David S. and Ellen L. McCann (1980). Inland Chumash Archaeological Investigations. Institute of Archaeology. Pages 155 and 255.
  35. ^ Riedel, Allen (2008). 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California: San Bernardino National Forest, Angeles National Forest, Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur and the Sierras. The Mountaineers Books. Page 118. ISBN 9781594851254.
  36. ^ "Chumash Exhibit". Stagecoachmuseum.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  37. ^ "Chumash influence lingers". Vcstar.com. 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  38. ^ "NEWBURY PARK : Chumash Event to Greet Solstice - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 1991-06-19. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  39. ^ Riedel, Allen (2011). Best Easy Day Hikes Conejo Valley. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 26. ISBN 9780762765812.
  40. ^ Riedel, Allen (2008). 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California: San Bernardino National Forest, Angeles National Forest, Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur, and the Sierras. The Mountaineers Books. Page 118. ISBN 9781594851254.
  41. ^ Riedel, Allen (2011). Best Easy Day Hikes Conejo Valley. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 21. ISBN 9780762765812.
  42. ^ Mallarach, Josep-Maria and Thymio Papayannis (2007). Protected Areas and Spirituality. Island Press. Page 109. ISBN 9782831710235.
  43. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1990-03-10/news/vw-1882_1_american-indian-festival/2
  44. ^ http://archive.vcstar.com/news/chumash-influence-lingers-ep-371061888-352924811.html/
  45. ^ a b Riedel, Allen (2006). Best Hikes With Dogs: Southern California. The Mountaineers Books. Pages 80-81. ISBN 9780898866919.
  46. ^ Schad, Jerry (2009). Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide. Wilderness Press. Pages 184-184. ISBN 9780899974996.
  47. ^ Schad, Jerry (2009). Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide. Wilderness Press. Pages 191-192. ISBN 9780899974996.
  48. ^ Riedel, Allen (2006). Best Hikes With Dogs: Southern California. The Mountaineers Books. Page 81. ISBN 9780898866919.
  49. ^ https://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/RecPub_Safety-2.pdf

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°9′1″N 118°57′41″W / 34.15028°N 118.96139°W / 34.15028; -118.96139