AHC: "Aboriginal names" for California cities

"California is sown thick with the names of all the little and big saints. Chase them away and substitute aboriginal names."--Walt Whitman, *An American Primer.* https://archive.org/details/anamericanprime00whitgoog/page/n56/

AHC: Do it! Maybe a 19th century wave of anti-Catholic nativism, maybe a modern "woke" conviction that these saints' names were all established by European colonialists and unustly imposed on the Native Americans. So what do the cities now named after Our Lady the Queen of the Angels https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles Saint Francis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco Saint Didacus of Alcalá https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego etc. get called?
 
"California is sown thick with the names of all the little and big saints. Chase them away and substitute aboriginal names."--Walt Whitman, *An American Primer.* https://archive.org/details/anamericanprime00whitgoog/page/n56/

AHC: Do it! Maybe a 19th century wave of anti-Catholic nativism, maybe a modern "woke" conviction that these saints' names were all established by European colonialists and unustly imposed on the Native Americans. So what do the cities now named after Our Lady the Queen of the Angels https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles Saint Francis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco Saint Didacus of Alcalá https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego etc. get called?
Well, the Wiki pages you linked may offer some clues.

Los Angeles — Yaanga
San Francisco — Chutchui, or any one of the native towns initially encountered by the Spanish.
San Diego — Kosa'aay
 
Sacramento might share the same name as myself!?

No seriously, by a quite unreasonable coincidence my Family name is the same as a central Californian Native American Tribe.
 
The problem is that finding the native names would involve either looking through archives of the missions or talking to the same natives who were quite Catholic (if syncretic) and whom society (at best) pretended didn't exist anymore. In some areas of California, this would involve talking to the same natives who were being actively hunted down and killed in the 1850s. Certain areas of California (lower San Joaquin Valley) have almost no attested native toponymy because the surviving natives (in this case, the northern Yokuts) were so acculturated and diminished in number that a huge amount of traditional knowledge like that had been lost by the early 20th century, although in the mid-19th century it would almost certainly have been possible to find a few individuals who knew it.

And then there's no guarantee the Anglos will even apply the right name, since a few places in California with native toponymy actually where their namesake is. For instance, the town of Petaluma is several miles away from where its namesake Miwok village was located.
 
Top