Amah Mutsun, Mount Umunhum

The Amah Mutsun Native Americans Of Mount Umunhum

The Amah Mutsun Native Americans named one of the Santa Cruz Mountains “Umunhum” after the hummingbirds that they saw within the landscape. Various religious ceremonies were held by the natives at the summit of the mountain.

On June 18, 1452, during the Age of Discovery, Pope Nicholas V issued to King Alfonso V of Portugal the papal bull Dum Diversas, which instructed the Portuguese crown “to invade, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ, to put them into perpetual slavery, and to take away all their possessions and property.”

In 1454, another bull titled Romanus Pontifex furthered that thinking, ordering the crown of Portugal to conduct the seizure of non-Christian lands in parts of Africa and restating the legitimacy of enslaving non-Christian people.

In 1823, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided in Johnson v. McIntosh (8 Wheat., 543) that the United States of America had garnered dominion over all native lands.

In 1850s, during the “Gold Rush Era”, California Governor Peter Burnett continued the centuries old notion that Indians were unworthy of basic human rights, after he issued extermination orders targeting the Amah Mutsun, and other tribes throughout the state that were recently subjected by the Spanish led California Missions.

In 1990, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band was formed and is recognized by the California state government.

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