Global Award Nomination Honors L.A.’s Original People The Tongva
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, April 19, 2012
D.E. Lamont's Book Cover
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GLOBAL AWARD NOMINATION HONORS
L.A.'S ORIGINAL PEOPLE, THE TONGVA
LOS ANGELES, CA – April 19, 2012 – If you asked a person on the street who the original inhabitants of Los Angeles were, many would say the Spanish, and others the Mexicans. And some might say the film companies! None of these would be correct.
The original peoples of Los Angeles were a culturally rich tribe called the Gabrielino-Tongva, or just the Tongva, which means "People of the Earth." The name "Gabrielino" was used because so many Tongva lived and worked in association with the San Gabriel Mission after its establishment. But their native heritage outstrips the Spanish Mission era by thousands of years: Southern California has been their homeland for at least 2500 years, and some sources say 5000.
Relatively few people are aware of this tribe because they were nearly exterminated in the period between the Spanish Mission Era and the nineteenth century. It was so close, in fact, and their numbers and culture were so decimated by missionization, disease and persecution that some historians mistakenly believed they were extinct.
The good news is that the Tongva community is still here in its homeland. More than 300 enrolled members of the Gabrielino-Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, and an estimated 2,000 or more descendants of the tribe, live throughout the Los Angeles-Orange County area. There is no tribally owned land or reservation and the Tongva Nation has yet to be federally recognized, but various Tongva tribal groups and bands are organized and have been recognized by local governments.
The Tongva community works hard to recover and preserve their culture, language, and native identity. The Tongva community gathers for meetings and celebrations, to dedicate cultural sites, and to participate in other community events. They also work to prevent the destruction of sacred burial sites by developers.
An increasing number of Tongva historical sites, village sites and markers have been formally dedicated. The story of how a peak in the Verdugo Mountains came to be dedicated as Tongva Peak is linked here: articles.latimes.com/2001/aug/13/local/me-33740
The illegal and secret excavation by Los Angeles County of remains of Tongva and other remains during the construction of the downtown LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes project was still unresolved and federal grant money still being withheld as of February 1, 2012. "Concerns over Indian remains stall LA museum grant" indiancountrynews.net/index.php; blog.theautry.org/2011/05/05/george-harwood-phillips-on-stitching-together-the-story-of-a-people/
Author D.E. Lamont wished to honor the Tongva and let more people know about them by writing a story about them set in the period before the arrival of the Spanish in 1542. Her ebook novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening, is a historical fantasy. It portrays a young Tongva brave's adventures in surviving the dangerous lessons given him by his mysterious spiritual mentor and finally coming to know who he really is. Its well-researched details can give readers a taste of what life for the Tongva might have been like.
The Way of the Eagle has been well received. The softcover edition was designated a Weekly Pick by Kirkus, which wrote in its review,
"There is hardly a word out of place ... what is most commendable is the precision and unpretentiousness of the prose while still managing to invoke the intense quality of Tacu's visionary quest and moving nature of his movement." The book was honored as an Award-winning Finalist in USA Book News's "Best Books 2011" in the category of Visionary Fiction. A judge in another competition stated:
"I found this 'journey' easy to follow, easy to enter into with Tacu, easy to rejoice, hurt, and cry with him on his path to maturity. ... This book is nearly flawless and I found few areas, if any, that I could comment on in the area of improvements. It was very inspirational."
- Judge's Commentary, 19th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, Jan. 2012
Lamont was raised in the rapidly developing San Fernando Valley during the 50s and 60s, but was never taught that Native Americans had been there originally. When she and her brothers found arrowheads, an ancient cave, and the vestiges of a native village site in the wild chaparral-covered hills and canyons surrounding the Valley, she wasn't sure if these artifacts were real. Later, as an adult, Lamont felt that it was ironic that thousands of years before Hollywood, a creative, resourceful and fun-loving people lived a rich, bountiful life in the same locations.
The Way of the Eagle has been nominated for a 2012 Global Ebook Award. Now in its second year, the Global Ebook Awards honor and bring attention to the future of book publishing—Ebooks. The Awards are presented in 72 specific categories. They are open to all publishers large and small so that a winner is the best in its category, not just the best of small or regionally-published ebooks. globalebookawards.com/
The Way of the Eagle is available in illustrated ebook format at Smashwords.com at www.smashwords.com/books/view/61918 and in the Kindle store at Amazon.com at www.amazon.com/The-Way-Eagle-California-ebook/dp/B0051CSN4M/ref=tmm_kin_title_0. It is also available in quality softcover at Amazon.com. D.E. Lamont can be followed at Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/DE-Lamont-Author-Historical-Fantasy-Mainstream-Fiction-Nonfiction/200597963310732, and at Twitter @DELamont1.
# # # LOS ANGELES, CA – April 19, 2012
(Author and Independent Publisher)