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The Ohlone living today belong to one or another of a number of geographically distinct groups, most, but not all, in their original home territory.The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe has members from around the San Francisco Bay Area, and is composed of descendants of the Ohlones/Costanoans from the San Jose, Santa Clara, and San Francisco missions.Cultural arts included basket-weaving skills, seasonal ceremonial dancing events, female tattoos, ear and nose piercings, and other ornamentation.The Ohlone subsisted mainly as hunter-gatherers and in some ways harvesters.Generally, men did not wear clothing in warm weather.In cold weather, they might don animal skin capes or feather capes.Popular historical depictions by early colonial photographers have fixed in time ideas about Native American life.In this talk we will see how Native American photographers, from Horace Poolaw in the 1920’s to contemporary fine artists such as Cara Romero, break free from romanticised and colonial stereotyping.
The term "Ohlone" has been used in place of "Costanoan" since the 1970s by some tribal groups and by most ethnographers, historians, and writers of popular literature.
The Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation, consisting of descendants of intermarried Rumsen Costanoan and Esselen speakers of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, are centered at Monterey.
The Amah-Mutsun Tribe are descendants of Mutsun Costanoan speakers of Mission San Juan Bautista, inland from Monterey Bay.
In hills where redwood trees were accessible, they built conical houses from redwood bark attached to a frame of wood. One of the main village buildings, the sweat lodge was low into the ground, its walls made of earth and roof of earth and brush.
They built boats of tule to navigate on the bays propelled by double-bladed paddles.