Wassama Round House

State Historic Park - California

The park and Round House is used by local Native Americans as a ceremonial meeting place. Gathering Day, held the third Saturday of October, includes demonstrations of dancing, crafts and basket weaving. The Wassama Roundhouse is a reconstruction built in 1985 upon the location of four previous such houses. Originally dating prior to the 1860s, the roundhouses served as the focal point of spiritual and ceremonial life for many Native Californians. In 1903, the third roundhouse was built using portions of the center pole from the two earlier houses.

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Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=586 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassama_Round_House_State_Historic_Park The park and Round House is used by local Native Americans as a ceremonial meeting place. Gathering Day, held the third Saturday of October, includes demonstrations of dancing, crafts and basket weaving. The Wassama Roundhouse is a reconstruction built in 1985 upon the location of four previous such houses. Originally dating prior to the 1860s, the roundhouses served as the focal point of spiritual and ceremonial life for many Native Californians. In 1903, the third roundhouse was built using portions of the center pole from the two earlier houses.
Wassama Round House State Historic Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. the Miwok are still here: this traditional spiritual gathering place provides local Miwok and Yokuts people a connection to their past. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (209) 742-7625. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Wassama Round House State Historic Park 42877 Round House Road Ahwahnee, CA 93601 (209) 742-7625 © 2016 California State Parks W assama Round House State Historic Park preserves the traditional meeting place of the Southern Sierra Miwok people. Here, ancient customs of local Native California Indians are honored and passed down to younger generations. their diet. The Miwok also used fire and other sustainable harvesting techniques to manage favored plants and trees for basket-making and food resources. In 1849, more than 100,000 Europeans and The First People Americans poured Native Americans into California have been living in during the first year this area for at least of the gold rush. 8,000 years — passing The impact of gold on their traditions, seekers flooding beliefs, and practices into the Sierra for generations. Nevada was dramatic and Chief Peter Westfall, ca. 1920 By the early 1700s, devastating for the native the Southern Sierra people whose livelihood Miwok were thriving in the area of Wassama was tied to the land. Miners re-routed rivers, (“leaves falling” in Miwok). Life for the Miwok clear-cut forests, and hunted game for profit revolved around hunting, fishing, collecting to supply the exploding populations in the plants, and food processing. Acorns, deer, state’s mining camps and port cities. fish, and birds were significant staples in In the “Southern Mines,” miners came into direct conflict with the Southern Sierra “I was raised not far from here. My Uncle Miwok and other native groups who lived Charlie owned all this land. Any ceremony here, here. As miners encroached upon, displaced, I was always here with my mom and dad, my mom especially, who did the cooking. They put pine needles in the round house, so we could sleep in there. [In the 1930s], we’d go to school, and I’d walk past this place every day. I grew up here. I used to climb on that rock. All my ancestors are buried here: mom, dad, brother, aunts, sisters, cousins.” – Bernice (Jeri) Graham “My family, my people, my culture, my history are here. It’s very strong and emotional.” – Suzanne Ramirez and terrorized the native people, the Miwok began to retaliate and raid the miners. In September of 1850, James D. Savage’s trading post on the Fresno River was attacked, and three of his men were killed. In response, a state-sponsored militia known as the Mariposa Battalion was mustered. The battalion of 200 soldiers, led by Savage, was ordered to forcibly bring in the Miwok, who had refused to discuss peace with the federal commissioners. During the spring of 1851, the militia killed any Miwok who resisted; they then burned Miwok villages and their critical acorn-storage granaries. “I have to go back to growing up here. It’s a gathering place for native people to interact, to share their experiences and traditions. My grandfather explained a lot of things to me, but now I’m learning more. We weren’t in a position to teach (before), but now we’re putting it into words, so that we’re able to carry that out, especially for younger people. Everything is natural here. It’s how we survived.” – Les James After the loss of their traditional lands, an April 1851 treaty was proposed by the federal government to provide reservation land for the Southern Sierra Miwok. The reservation land was located on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley east of Chowchilla, Madera, and Fresno. Unfortunately, the treaty was never ratified by Congress, so the Miwok were forced off this land as well. In April of 1858, Special Treasury Agent J. Ross Browne wrote: “In the history of the Indian Races, I have seen nothing so cruel and relentless as the treatment of these unhappy people by the authorities constituted by law for their protection. Instead of receiving aid and succor, they have been starved and driven away from the reservations and then followed into their remote hiding places, where they sought to die in peace, and cruelly slaughtered till but few are left and that few without hope.” “To me it’s unexplainable. It’s peaceful. Our people have b

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