Reassembling Black Star Canyon

Author(s): Nathan Acebo

Year: 2017


The Santa Ana mountain landscape of contemporary Orange County, California, has been dichotomously characterized as "a wild frontier" and "a tamed indigenous space" where the material and social histories of indigenous communities are downplayed and legacies of Spanish, Mexican and American colonial society are both solidified and continued. Within this landscape, the Black Star Canyon Village site (CA-ORA-132) objectifies this binary historicity as the site constitutes a prehistoric/historic period landmark associated with the local history of the "Battle of Black Star Canyon," in which Native Americans were accused of stealing horses and were subsequently massacred in 1831 by American fur trappers. This paper seeks to complicate the fractured modern narrative of the site by exploring how prehistoric and colonial era materialities of the mountain afford local and non-local indigenous practices of social and economic subversion while challenging dominant historical accounts of extinction and indigenous passivity.

Cite this Record

Reassembling Black Star Canyon. Nathan Acebo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431920)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15407