Connecting California





Connecting California

Dances of Early California Days

In the early days of California, the natives of the land who were Indians danced as a means of producing knowledge. This was different from other parts of American where dancing was a form of entertainment hence this is an important detail to consider when understanding the origins of the Californian dance. In this part of the book, one learns the main reason why the natives danced. As explained by the author, they sought to create a corporal existence of the spiritual realm through dance. Another lesson includes mastering the descriptive details of the dances such as the specific movement of the individuals that partook in the dance, the direction they moved in, the manner of entry, the direction of gestures and their bodily expressions.

Recipes of the Ranchos

Rancho is categorized as part of the California Mexican cuisine that has remained popular since introduction by the Spanish settlers. The first lesson learnt are the ingredients of the California Cuisine, which included arugula, goat cheese, and chicken. The author elucidates on the history of Ranchos by the Californios, another term used to refer to the Spanish settlers, by mentioning the way it has evolved over time. The evolution is observed from the simple mashed beans and onion to the inclusion of fig, squash blossoms, fresh herbs, and olives as part of the recipe. The third lesson elaborated on is the importance of chilies in cooking Rancho and as part of the Californian cuisine. Beans are also included as the main ingredient in cooking Ranchos. The main lesson learnt is the preparation of Rancho, which is very interesting and detailed.

The Cattle Drives of Early California

In this part of the book, there are several facts that have been learnt pertaining to the origin of cattle drives. Firstly, the history of cattle drives is clearly explained. It is said to have originated from Texas. Cowboys were responsible for operating these drives. The raising of cattle in this region continued even after the Spanish tried to domesticate the native Indian tribes during the 18th century. The uses of the cattle are also listed whereby they were slaughtered for tallow and meat. On reading this section of the book, one understands the main reason why the cattle drives where taken to California. As elaborated by the author, California had become a popular hub because of the discovery Gold in 1850. The drives lasted for six months whereby they commenced from San Antonia through to San Diego passing El Paso. One also learns about the methods used by the herders to differentiating cattle belonging to different owners. These methods include use of earmarks and branding. Another important aspect that is highlighted by the author is the peak period where the cattle drives were popular and most rampant. Other important lessons include the trails that were followed, the Texas fever that impeded the cattle drives, and the reasons why the cattle drives ended.

Ramona- A novel of Mexican California

The first lesson learnt about this Mexican California novel, Ramona, is the portrayal of racism experienced by a mixed race orphan girl. One can also partially learn on the culture of South California and the experiences of the Mexican natives during the colonial period. The author provides intricate detail on the political discrimination and racism that the natives underwent when the Americans encroached on their lands. From this explanation, it is clear to observe that the new settlers who originated from Midwestern and northern states considered


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