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Chinigchinich Ritual Practice among the Tongva: Exploring Patterns of Colonial Consumption and Revitalization

Author(s): Elisabeth Rareshide

Year: 2017

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The Mission Period in Alta California (AD 1769-1834) radically changed the lives of indigenous people such as the Tongva. The strict discipline of the Franciscans’ enculturation program in the missions contrasted with the relative autonomy of Tongva people on San Clemente Island. Evidence of ritual practice of the Chinigchinich religion at sites such as Lemon Tank on San Clemente Island suggests continuity in Tongva ritual practice into the Mission Period. At the same time, Spanish missionaries and colonists introduced new material culture that the Tongva selectively incorporated or excluded in their traditions. Therefore patterns of consumption of native and foreign material culture may reveal new layers of meaning in persistent ritual practices. The abundance of shell beads and relative dearth of glass beads at Lemon Tank suggests that San Clemente Islanders may have shunned Spanish material culture in their ritual practices. If Tongva people were actively avoiding incorporating colonial material culture (such as glass beads) in their ritual practices, then the Chinigchinich religion could have been part of a nativistic revitalization movement in which people tried to expunge colonial influence.

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Chinigchinich Ritual Practice among the Tongva: Exploring Patterns of Colonial Consumption and Revitalization. Elisabeth Rareshide. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431925)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15596

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America