BELIEFS

 RELIGION and MEDICINE

There was only one god to the Tongva Tribe. The name of their God was so sacred that they hardly ever spoke it. It was believed that when the world was formed it was in a state of chaos and everything was distorted. Then their God gave the world the present form. The Tongva people also believed that the world was supported upon the shoulders of seven giants and that whenever one of these giants grew tired and shifted position, there was an earthquake.

Ceremonial Dance

 The tribe had plenty of explanations for the creation of the world, why things happen, and the origin of death. Every village had a worship center that was used for ceremonies. One of the ceremonies was cremating the dead. The tribe also had a mourning ceremony every year that would last for sixteen days for all the people of the village who had passed away. On the last day they dug a hole. A fire would be placed at the bottom of the hole followed by the bones of the dead and items that were reserved at the time of death. The hole was then covered with dirt.

Healing was spiritual also.The medicine man was their doctor and he used plants as his medicine. Stomach ache was treated with Wild Peony. Lizard tail roots were stewed, into a broth, to gargle for a sore throat. White Sage used to steam one's self in the burning leaves for happiness or sickness.

The air was thought to be cleaner in the Riverwood Ranch area of Sunland and so sick people were brought there to get well.

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