Indigenous California peoples fight to save ancient burial mounds

Some 400 supporters joined Ohlone organizers and community Nov. 25 for the annual Shellmound Walk in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2005, Shellmound Walks are held the day after “Unthanksgiving” to raise awareness of the struggle of the Native California coastal nations to save the ruins of their ancient burial mounds. 

Credit: PHOTO: Perry Matlock

This year Ohlone community organizers and supporters gathered at the West Berkeley Shellmound, the site of the earliest known habitation in the Bay Area. The 5,000-year-old Ohlone village and burial site was recently desecrated with a parking lot. A rally was followed by a walk to the Emeryville Shellmound site in West Oakland.

Over 500 shellmounds, similar to the Egyptian pyramids in their great age, originally ringed the Bay Area. These sites marked villages and burial grounds, where Miwok, Coastal Me-Wauk, Bay Me-Wauk, Ohlone, Patwin, Wappo, Wintu, Yokut and other coastal nations gathered before colonialism.

The ancient shellmounds of the California Coast were depicted on the original U.S. Coast Guard maps as landmarks, due to their great size. The Emeryville Shellmound was constantly occupied from 500 BCE until Spanish soldiers and missionaries imprisoned the Ohlone people. This shellmound was devastated repeatedly since U.S. colonization, most recently by real estate developers for a shopping mall.

— caption by Stephanie Hedgecoke

Stephanie Hedgecoke

Share
Published by
Stephanie Hedgecoke

Recent Posts

Capitalist system cause of wealth inequality

In a study titled “Survival of the Richest,” published Jan. 16 to coincide with the…

January 27, 2023

On the Picketline

Unionized Yale grad students begin collective bargaining Yale graduate students have joined the ranks of…

January 27, 2023

Mass strike in France to defend pensions – Time to fight for Social Security here

Over 2 million workers in France participated in a general strike/mass mobilization on Jan. 19,…

January 27, 2023

The demise of Davos

The World Economic Forum held its 53rd Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 16-20. This…

January 26, 2023

Justice for Jalen Randle!

Houston Over 100 angry people gathered Jan. 14 at Houston City Hall to demand justice…

January 26, 2023

What’s behind involuntary commitment? – a WW commentary

Eric Adams, a man who prides himself on bringing some “swagger” back to the New…

January 26, 2023