Monday, May 13, 2019

The Native Villages of Los Angeles

The Tongva were the original people of Los Angeles. They lived in Tovaangar, a land which reached from Palos Verdes to San Bernardino and from Saddleback Mountain to the San Fernando Valley. You can learn more about the Tongva people on a new L.A. Times story map which explores the locations of Tongva's native villages.

Mapping the Tongva Villages of L.A. begins with a map of modern Los Angeles. As you scroll through the L.A. Times story map the first thing that happens is that all the modern place-names and thousands of L.A. roads are removed from the map, leaving a simple relief map of the Los Angeles Basin. Scaled markers are then added to this map to show the locations and relative sizes of the original Tongva villages. As you continue scrolling the story map takes you on a small tour of some of the Tongva villages which existed long before the Spanish arrived. During this brief tour modern place-names are added back to the map to help you understand where modern L.A. sits on top of native Tongva settlements.

The interactive Tongva story map is part of the L.A. Times' series Saving Tonga, which explores Los Angeles' native language. As well as the interactive story map this series includes an audio tour of the Tongva language, as spoken by its students and teachers, and a study guide for teachers who are interested in teaching their students about the native people of Los Angeles.

You might also like Native Land, an interactive map documenting the territories and languages of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia.

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