San Jose Facts

1901 Smithsonian Native Languages Map

California, including the Bay Area, have always been places of great diversity. Before Europeans arrived, California already supported the densest population of native peoples anywhere in what would become the United States of America, with over 300,000 native people. (1)(3) Along with this, California supported more distinct languages and culture groups than anywhere else in the future US. The map above is from a Smithsonian report in 1901 displaying native languages of north America and it is easy to see the increased density in California. (2) The native people of San José, California were the Thamien. They were just one of approximately 40 groups of native peoples speaking 12 different languages now referred to as the Ohlone people inhabiting the area from San Francisco Bay to Monterey Bay. (1)

(1) The Ohlone Way, book by Malcom Margolin, 1978, pages 1 to 3.
(2) ,2020.
(3) , 2020.