Sitka Life and Land stands in solidarity with any movement that seeks to give all peoples a fair shake, the opportunity to advance their lives, live freely, work well, contribute, and enjoy their time on earth, and protect the Earth. Tongva, also known as the Gabrielino, Gabrieleño, and Kizh, means “people of the earth.”
They inhabited great swaths of coastal California centered in the Los Angeles Basin and the Southern Channel Islands, an area covering approximately 4,000 square miles. In the precolonial era, they occupied 100 vibrant villages. Their language group is Uto-Aztecan and are believed to have first settled in the L.A. area. around 500 BC, two thousand years before they first encountered Europeans.
One of the most famous Tongva was Toypurina, a medicine woman who led a revolt against the Spanish in 1785. The revolt was put down, and after her trial, Toypurina was sent into exile at Mission San Carlos Borromeo, where she became Christian and married a Spanish soldier. Could this portrait, seen on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach, be a depiction of the beautiful and courageous Toypurina? We honor her and her people.