Save the Shellmounds!
Beneath the streets and landfill of Emeryville, San Francisco, and much of the Bay Area endure the ancient monuments and funerary places of the Chochenyo Ohlone Nation, whose homeland is the San Francisco Bay Area. The Spanish invasion, beginning in the 1770s, delacerated the sovereignty, culture, religion, and language of the Muwekma Ohlone. Today, the physical legacy of the Spanish invasion include the Mission Dolores and the Presidio’s Officers; Club in San Francisco, for both structures were erected in the 1770s. However, the physical legacy of the Muwekma Ohlone has not received equal preservation nor respect. Prior to the Spanish invasion, some 500 shellmounds lined the sea and bay shores fo the San Francisco Bay Area. These mounds, generally consisting mostly of molluscan shells, were made by the Muwekma Ohlone for thousands of years, and act as cemeteries.
Sadly, archaeologists have referred to these shellmounds as “middens.” A “midden” is defined as a waste pile, for the word’s origin occurs in Middle English/Norse, and means a “dung hill.” The Chochenyo Ohlone term to describe a shellmound is not available or not known, for the destruction of the local language has brought much harm. Some of these shellmounds might not have functioned as cemetaries, yet in any case, they remain the cultural treasures of the Chochenyo Ohlone Nation.
Read on here: http://ipocshellmoundwalk.homestead.com/shellmound.html