EPIC SHELLMOUND PEACE WALK WITHIN SAN FRANCISCO
Never in the recent history of San Francisco was there an epic peace walk covering the major shellmounds in the city of San Francisco and the extended Bay area. It has been some days now that a group of stalwart and ardent souls have covered the major sites in the East Bay and after visiting San Bruno Mountain near Brisbane have now come to pay their respects to the famous shellmounds of San Francisco.
Shellmounds are sacred burial grounds of the Ohlone the First People of San Francisco. Espanola Jackson and Francisco Da Costa have done their best to accommodate the wishes of the Sacred Marchers that have been joined by some Buddhists monks and nuns on this Sacred Pilgrimage with deep far reaching blessings all around.
13,000 years ago the Bay Area and that includes San Francisco was pristine with streams, rivers, creeks, lakes, and of course the Bay rich in fish and other food resources. Pristine wetlands and marshland were found everywhere. There will hills; many hills and the Sacred Shellmounds were part of the ecology and landscape of the hilly region.
It always amazes me how the Whites love to desecrate that which is most sacred to all aboriginals and First People of the world. Again and again Whites desecrated Sacred Burial grounds often dismissing them as Middens. Middens are thrash sites that better fit the living and disposal habits of Whites but cannot be associated with the First People that wasted little and had no DNA ambitions of greed, waste, and materialism.
This epic march by the ardent souls have left an imprint all over San Francisco and touched the hearts of thousands. I had to join them and support them by giving them a small talk but also seeing to it that we in San Francisco took care of their needs. We tried to feed them and support them in the pursuit of this pilgrimage that will have far reaching consequences. Look at the photographs and they will say a lot. Shellmounds are like acupuncture needles in the Earth they remind us of those that rest; Ohlone that were free for thousands of years before some strangers came and made hell of heaven. The early Russian and Spanish travelers tell as a lot and what we read can paint a picture of pure bliss as the Ohlone were shaped well, lived well and had an abundance of food resources.
The strangers that first landed in San Francisco preyed on the bounty of the Ohlone. In course of time they cornered the Ohlone to abide by rules prompted by mostly false religious fanatics and a spirituality that was closer to hell then heaven. Franciscans friars prompted by a false sense of spiritual calling thought that they could save souls when most of them needed saving them.
It was common for soldiers to spread venereal diseases to the Ohlone women and the friars looked the other way when it came to Whites but beat and tortured the Ohlone and there were many unfortunate deaths. Today such behavior would land the Franciscans in deep trouble but we all know that in the days of the Padriado; Rome earned for gold, wealth, some souls but more wealth. Some went to the King and Queen but the Church in Rome got its share of ill begotten sacrileges wealth.
In California too many First People suffered at the hands of those that stole the land, all the gold that lay in the veins of the Earth for thousands of years, raped women and children, killed as many First People as they could because they equated the First People as savages and closer to animals then humans. $5 fetches a scalp and California governors issued edicts that encouraged the Whites to kill the Native American tribes of California.
Today most Whites do not think that way but their ancestors did and for that they should be held accountable and deemed to pay back or what is politely called retribution. What the Miwok, Piute, and Pomo and others suffered; closer home the Ohlone suffered and in worse measure. Some books have been written more to please the Whites but there is no factual account of the real drastic atrocities committed on a people innocent and NOT deserving of horrendous crimes that would shame Adolf Hitler the man that put to death millions of Jews. The few intact Shellmounds are a reminder of a rich past but also a deep spiritual reminder of a people that were noble. Today some few Ohlone take a stand and join in a march such as the one organized by the Indian People Organizing for Change. Others choose not to join and from a far watch and think that the communion with other tribes and well meaning people is not theirs to participate in. Time will tell.
I admire Perry Matlock and other like minded folks that truly revere the Shellmounds. I know how they feel as I took a stand to save the Shellmound on Crissy Field. There are Shellmounds near the Cliff House and Sutro Baths and no one is taking care of them. The National Park Service is in the business of Preservation and Protection but has done nothing much for the Ohlone in general and the Muwekma Ohlone in particular. Brian O'Neill has lied so many times that no one in their right mind trusts him. As those before him that spoke in fork tongues Brian O'Neill continues to be a L.A. Dorrington the infamous Bureau of Indian Affairs agent that removed the Muwekma Ohlone from the Federal Register in 1927.
In the year 2005 few constituents of San Francisco are really aware of the Shellmounds and still fewer of the spiritual implications. The City and County of San Francisco and the Board of Supervisor have 3 separate Resolution honoring the Muwekma Ohlone as the First People of San Francisco. Beyond these three Resolutions life goes as usual.
Several times I have made a statement in Room 250 the chamber of the Board of Supervisors that the land was stolen. I have reminded the legislators to pay their due respect to the Ohlone but time and time again greed, materialism, and money seem to win the battle of the day and spiritual elements dear to the Ohlone of the past are relegated to the back burner.
The epic marchers beat the drum and even as the heart beat the marchers braved the elements and made it from on shellmound to another and soon all the ground will be covered. The Sacred Drum Beat will resonate and touch those that need healing. There is always good from sacrifice and there is no love with sacrifice. This is a time of understanding but more a time of healing. To the living dead this should be a clarion call to awake and pay heed. Aho.
Praying by the Shellmound near Executive Park.
On the way to Thomas Street.
Samoan Sam Ripley blesses the marchers.
By Cesar Chavez on the way to Mission Dolores.
Arriving at Mission Dolores.
At Mission Dolores.
A dialog of sorts.
Resting at Dolores Park.
Jim Brown addressing the Sacred Marchers.
Espanola Jackson - Muwekma Liaison.
Perry Mattlock documenting.
After Dolores on to Crissy Field.
On to Cliff House Shellmounds.
Epic Shellmound March, Nov, 2005.