Ohlone Indian Tribe
Indian Tribes
Native American Indian Nations
Abenaki  Acoma  Algonquin  Anishinaabe  Apache
  Arapaho  Assiniboine  Athabascan  Aztec  Blackfeet  
Blackfoot  Caddo  Cayuga  Cheraw  Cherokee
  Cheyenne  Chickasaw  Chicora  Chinook  Chippewa
  Choctaw  Chumash  Coeur d'Alene
  Comanche  Costanoan  Cree  Creek (Muskogee)  Crow  
Dakota  Delaware  Dene  Edisto  Euchee  Flathead
  Gros Ventre  Gwitchan  Haida  Haudenosaunee  
Havasupai  Hidatsa  Ho-Chunk
  Hopi  Huron  Iowa  Iroquois  Kaw  Kawaiisu
  Kickapoo  Kiowa  
Lakota  Lenape  Lumbee  Maliseet  Mandan  Mattaponi
  Maya  Menominee  Metis  MicMac  Mojave  Mohawk  
Mohegan  Mohican  Monacan  Muscogee  Nanticokes
  Narragansett  Navajo  Nez Perce  
Nipmuc  Odawa  Ohlone  Ojibwe  Omaha  Oneida
Onondaga  Osage  Paiute  Pima  Ponca  Potawatomi  
Powhatan  Pueblo  Quapaw  Sac  Salish  Seminole
  Seneca  Shawnee  Shinnecock  Shoshone
Sioux  Tsalagi  
Tuscarora  Ute  Wea  Wichita  Winnebago  Wyandot
  Yavapai  Yokut  Zuni  
" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief

Family Tree Search

Free Genealogy Search

Free People Search

  Cherokee Indians!

Register for our FREE Newsletter!
Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name
Subscribe    Un-Subscribe  
Received Newsletter Format: Plain Text HTML
This information will not be used for any other purpose
or made available to others for any reason what so ever.
Newsletter includes: American Indian Issues, Genealogy,
Website News, Updates, Etc.

 American Indian Tribes Map & Encyclopedia

Click here to visit Comanche Lodge!

The Ohlone, formerly Costanoan, are an ethnic group whose members lived in what is now the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay areas of California until after the European discovery and settling of this area. At one time, the name "Ohlone", derived from a Spanish rancho called Oljon, referred to a single band who inhabited the Pacific coast near Pescadero, but since the 1960s the term is now informally extended to refer to all the native Americans who live around San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay, replacing the term Costanoan ("coastal people"), a name given to them by Spanish-speaking invaders. Their settlements included: Ahwaste, Altahmo, Ansaime, Aulintac, Chalone, Costaños, Kalindaruk, Karkin, Mutsun, Olhon, Romonan, Rumsen, Tamyen, Tulomo, and Wacharon, Werwersen.

The Ohlone people had fixed village locations, moving temporarily to gather seasonal foodstuffs like acorns and berries. Seafood from the bay and ocean were important to their diet. An estimated 10,000 Ohlone people lived in the central California coastal areas between Big Sur and the Golden Gate of San Francisco Bay prior to Spanish contact. This group consisted of approximately forty different tribelets ranging in size from 100-250 members. Unlike many other Native American ethnic groups, the tribelets did not have a common sense of identity and did not act jointly. The Ohlones spoke related Ohlone languages in the Utian linguistic family that were about as close as the languages of the Romance family, i.e. it was as if French was spoken in Berkeley and Portuguese in Monterey. Their basket-weaving skills were notable. Archeologists suggest that they arrived in the Bay Area about 500 AD, displacing or assimilating earlier Hokan-speaking populations of which the Esselen in the south represent a survival.

Their mythology centered around the Californian culture-hero/trickster Coyote, as well as Eagle and Hummingbird. Coyote - clever, wily, lustful, greedy, and irresponsible - was responsible for the creation of mankind, under the direction of Eagle, and taught mankind the arts of survival. He competed with Hummingbird, who despite his small size regularly got the better of him. Their creation story began with a world covered entirely in water, apart from a single peak (Mount Diablo in the northern Ohlone's version) on which Coyote, Hummingbird, and Eagle stood.

Spanish and U.S. encroachment into the California coast, starting with a landing by Sebastian Vizcaíno in December 1602, disrupted and undermined Ohlone social structures and way of life. By the early 1880s, Ohlone people had nearly been displaced from their communal land grant in the Carmel Valley. To call attention to the plight of the California Indians, Indian Agent, reformer, and popular novelist Helen Hunt Jackson published accounts of her travels among the Mission Indians of California in 1883.

The last fluent speaker of an Ohlone language, Isabel Meadows, died in 1939. Some of the Mutsun Ohlone today are attempting to revive the language.

The Mutsun and the Muwekma are among the small surviving groups of Ohlone. The Esselen Nation also describes itself as Ohlone/Costanoan, although they historically spoke an entirely different Hokan language. Their tribal council claims enrolled membership by currently approximately 500 people from thirteen extended families, approximately 60% of whom reside in Monterey and San Benito Counties.

The Ohlone language was a member of the Utian linguistic group.