The Aboriginal Population of the San Joaquin Valley, California

The Aboriginal Population of the San Joaquin Valley, California

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Excerpt: ... entire group of villages, rather than only one or two of them, and may be provisionally accepted. On the basis of the records presented, a probable population value for the valley floor between the Merced and the Kings rivers in the decade 1810-1820 was 5,100. But this may well be an underestimate and be representative of the aboriginal population. Evidence pointing in this direction is the almost complete obliteration of these tribes before 1850. That very serious attrition was going on among these exposed people is evident from the records of all the explorers. The massacre and kidnaping described by Pico is itself significant. In addition, we have the discussion by Estudillo in 1819, who found almost the entire surviving population of Tape sick and dying. He also points out that at the moment there were no less than four expeditions, including his own, ranging up and down the open valley, bent upon destruction. To explore the problem further indirect methods must be employed. We may therefore turn to estimates based upon stream distances. If minor local variation is disregarded, the habitat provided by the Merced and the Kings rivers from the lower foothills out to the center of the valley is in no essential respect different from that characterizing the Mariposa, the Chowchilla, the Fresno, and the San Joaquin throughout its length below the foothills. The native villages were spaced more or less uniformly along the larger rivers. Hence an approximate proportionality should have existed between riverbank distance and the number of inhabitants. No high degree of precision can be expected from calculations based upon these premises but the method yielded rational results for the period centering around 1850 and from it the correct order of magnitude should be obtainable. Airline distances are used for the rivers. The general course of all the streams is substantially straight and the numerous small meanders are uniform in size and occurrence...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 48 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 104g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236714431
  • 9781236714435