American Indian Intertribal Cookbook
American Friends Service Committee Intertribal Friendship House
Millenia before the Pueblo de Los Ángeles was formed, The Tongva (or Kizh) people lived in villages throughout what is now the Los Angeles Basin. California missionaries assigned their own Spanish word, “Gabrieleño,” to the Tongva and it remains part of official tribe names.
Native villages such as Topanga, Cahuenga, Tujunga, and Cucamonga may be familiar to current LA residents. Those area names feature in books throughout this Archive, though the original Tongva communities were violently broken apart by Spanish, and later American, settlers.
Yet despite a difficult modern history, Tongva traditions survived. The Tongva people have been cooking and eating on the land that is now LA for thousands of years. Their food history in Southern California is many fold longer than that of any other cuisine.
The American Indian Intertribal Cookbook was printed in Northern California with recipes gathered from “the ladies of The Intertribal Friendship House”. The printing was sponsored by the Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee. The Intertribal Friendship House, founded in Oakland in 1955, was one of the first urban, American Indian community centers in the US. The organization is still active today.
This book did not originate in Los Angeles and contains recipes attributed to many different tribes. However, I have included it in the Archive because several recipes share techniques and ingredients that were central to Tongva culinary traditions, such as crushed acorns and steeped manzanita berries.
Early written records of Southern California Native foods were mostly transcribed by outsiders. In contrast, this book contains recipes directly from tribe members.
Please also see Cooking The Native Way by The Chia Cafe Collective.