Virtual Pedro Point

The Ohlone

Ohlone People: The Ohlone people lived here dating back 4,000 to 6,000 years. They were hunter gatherers, fished and practiced some agriculture.

The Ohlone territory covered the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula south to Big Sur. Ethnohistory suggests that the Ohlone had an estimated 500 shell mound burial sites near the ocean and inland shores of the San Francisco Bay Area, mostly of molluscan shells dating back thousands of years.

Before the arrival of the Spanish missionaries and explorers in the mid-1700s, it is estimated that the Ohlone consisted of about 50 tribes organized into small villages. They moved annually between temporary and permanent village sites that coincided with seasonal fishing, hunting and gathering. Periodic burning of the landscape is thought to be one of the practices to promote the growth of native grasses for seed gathering and to create forage food sources for deer and other mammals.

There was never an established unification of Ohlone language, yet a number of distinct dialects were spoken by the various tribes. As many as eight regional languages have been identified by researchers. The Ohlone tribes practiced a kind of shamanism that is very common to Native Americans from the western United States.

Further Reading: Pacifica Historical Society

Ohlone Mural image

Chlone Canoe image

The Ohlone village of Pruristac was located on what became the Sanchez Adobe site. The San Pedro Valley provided the Ohlones with an abundance of food and raw materials. Hunters and gatherers, they used tools made from stone, shell, wood and plant fibers. They built dwellings of willow poles covered by tule.

from: San Mateo County Museum Site