Indian Languages – Suppressed, not Dead

Posted on: 30/11/2009

In San Francisco on the south side of King Street there are 104 small brass plaques embedded in the sidewalk. On them are engraved all of the known words of a language called Rammaytush, the language of the people who lived for more than 1,000 years in what is now called Mission Bay. But nothing is quite as simple as it seems. The people of Mission Creek have not vanished. Their descendants are around still – and they are attempting to revitalize the Rammaytush language and get their tribe – the Muwekma Ohlone – recognized by the government.

“The Indian language was suppressed, but at home, at night, they spoke their own language,” Galvan said. “Just like the kids in San Francisco schools now. At school they speak English, at home they speak in their own language.”

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