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September 27, 2005 > 12th Annual Gathering of Ohlone Peoples

12th Annual Gathering of Ohlone Peoples

by John Fisher

It's estimated that for over 12,000 years, the Ohlone Peoples inhabited this area. The term Ohlone Peoples is a compromise nomenclature used to describe more than 45 independent groups of indigenous people that lived in and around the Bay Area. The name Ohlone comes from the name Oljo(.

This year, Coyote Hills Regional Park will be celebrating this unique culture with its 12th annual event- Gathering of the Ohlone Peoples, with food, crafts, games and more. Each booth is manned by someone that can claim Ohlone heritage.

Activities will feature two dance groups; the Hamaya and the Amah-ka-tura, performing in the morning and afternoon.

Feast on the many unique types of food, including Acorn Soup made with hot stones that are dropped into a basket of liquid to heat it, and seed cake, also known as Pinole which uses 70 different types of plant seeds. Manzanita cider, made by crushing berries of the Manzanita bush and filtering water through it, will also be offered.

Visitors will be invited to try their hand at an Ohlone game called "Hoop & Pole." A five foot pole is tossed through a three inch hole. When the Ohlones played, the first person to score three points was the winner. An enlarged hoop will be used on the event day to give visitors a sporting chance.

Walk across a tule pond on the wooden wharf, down a lane between six foot tules and you'll arrive at a 2000 year old village site. It is fenced and the only time you can enter is during special events like this one. The actual tribal group living at this site were the Tuibun. You can look back and see the Coyote Hills, which was a virtual island surrounded by tule ponds.

There will be demonstrations on basket weaving, jewelry making, soaproot brush and dogbane string making. Learn about how fire was made without matches. Participants can also make a miniature tule boat that to take home. Listen to tribal history, songs, discussions and watch dancers; all by descendants of the Ohlones.

12th Annual Gathering of Ohlone Peoples
Sunday, Oct. 2
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Coyote Hills Regional Park
8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont
(510) 795-9385

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