Kawaiisu, The Tehachapi Native Americans

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Kawaiisu, the Tehachapi Natives Americans: Their Beginnings and Encounters with the White Settlers Long before European invasion, there were gentle people who lived in the Tehachapi Mountains. Unfortunately, white man’s greed for land forced the peaceful people off their land and caused near extinction. Who were the people who once lived free amongst the beautiful mountains we call them the Kawaiisu. History Prior to the European invasion, The Kawaiisu people lived peacefully for thousands of years as gathers, hunters, and basket weavers in what is now known as California. The Kawaiisu people lived in the Tehachapi Mountains and surrounding areas and had good relationships with the nearby tribes. They had great respect for the land…show more content…
Garces was a Spanish priest who traveled extensively in California as an Indian missionary. The intent of the Spanish was to transform the natives into obedient, Christian subjects of the crown (Foner, 2014, p 26). Fortunately, for the Kawaiisu, this initial contact did not have much of an impact on them. However, the fate of other Indian tribes was not as fortunate as the Kawaiisu. The Spaniards were known to brutalize the Indians and what was called the Black Legend. (Foner, 2014, p 28). The little contact the Kawaiisu had with the Spaniards was trading glass beads. Unfortunately, the first significant negative interaction was from the Mexicans in the 1840s. The Mexican government encouraged the settlement in California and established land grants called ranchos. Mexican Ranchos exploited the Kawaiisu people as laborers. The white settlers who also abused the Kawaiisu for cheap labor soon followed this example (Zaglauer, 1995). The introduction of the Mexican culture transformed the lifestyle of the Kawaiisu which included interracial marriage further changing the Kawaiisu…show more content…
With Jackson’s headstrong position of the removal of Indians rather than embracing them as a separate nation, he set a chain of events that was near genocide. One of the most common themes in early American history was acquiring land. Americans kept pushing Indians further west until there was nowhere else to push

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