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California Heartland

 


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  Season 8 - Episode 812
 

Native American Farming

Native American Farming

Native American Farming

Native American Farming

Native American Farming

  Native American Farming

When you spend a day at the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, you take a step back in time. This 135-acre park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, tells the tale of the Miwok people. Ranger Curt Kraft explains, "There's no other place in North America that you can visit that has a spot like this with so many mortar holes in one location. What we have here is a huge outdoor kitchen. This is a food processing area where the Native People for thousands of years used the grinding rock to process acorns and other seeds into a useable food."

It is believed that acorns were the main food staple for three-fourths of the Native Americans in California. While the men were off hunting for deer, the women gathered the acorns and ground them up on a large outcropping of marbleized limestone. Today, visitors can see over a thousand mortar holes in the grinding rock.

While most Native Americans used acorns as their main food supply, some tribes did rely on crop production. One example is the Mojave tribe that lived in a desert area along the lower Colorado River. This tribe grew corn, squash, and beans on land flooded by the river.

Much of the knowledge from the early Native American way of life is still being used today. With parks such as the Grinding Rock, you can be sure that the past is being preserved to educate and enlighten future generations.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located at:
14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road
Pine Grove, CA 95665

For more information, visit www.sierra.parks.state.ca.us.

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

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