"People of the
Amah-ka-tura, a symbol
successful efforts of Pat Orozco and
the Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian
Council's ongoing commitment in
preserving traditional Ohlone culture.
Sharing the Culture
Patrick Orozco began eighteen
years ago sharing the knowledge of his people with school children. In his presentations to the schools, he describes
our land as it used to be and tells about the European contact period from the Indian perspective. He brings myths
and legends from his culture alive by singing songs from the Ohlone tradition. He wears regalia and plays instruments
he has made himself based on authentic descriptions and using traditional materials. He encourages the children
to participate in the singing and dancing with his group and conveys to them Indian attitudes of respect and love
for the natural world.
Dancing and singing were always a central feature of California Indian life. He has encouraged the return of the
songs and dances of the people. The kas kas chajt (dancers), generally 10 to 20 children and adults, dance for
tribal gatherings and events, such as weddings, fundraisers, and festivals.
The group, Amah-ka-tura, travels to grade schools, universities, public events, private schools, state parks, and
dedications. Other cultural activities include teaching the language, telling the stories, making musical instruments
(clapper sticks, primarily) and regalia (shell and feather headdresses, rabbit fur capes and other features of
authentic Ohlone regalia).
For many of these events, a fee is charged to pay for costs and to reimburse the dancers and teachers. The group
would like to be able to go to any school that requests them; however, not all schools have the financial resources
to pay their fee. Donations and grants to cover their expenses would improve their ability to preserve and share
Pat Orozco at 831-728-8471 to schedule a performance.
activities of the Pajaro people
Protecting Sacred Sites.
The non-profit Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council (PVOIC) was formed to protect sacred sites. The Headman becomes
involved with construction projects that impact gravesites. He works with government officials, tribal persons,
archaeologists, and others to find ways to preserve the burials and prevent desecration. He must appear often at
public hearings and utilize the media to promote his cause when there is indifference or insufficient legal protection.
Sometimes he travels a considerable distance, because the Ohlone people inhabited land from the Carmel River to
The tribe helps
persons in need.
Tribal leaders provide food, bedding, household necessities, and funds. Sometimes they work with probation or welfare
personnel. They provide employment, vocational, spiritual and personal counseling.
Search for land and a cultural
This is a central need of the people. The PVOIC has begun negotiations with the City of Watsonville, and the proposal
has been submitted to the County Board of Supervisors for a Native American Cultural Center. This project would
provide a sustainable economic base by developing jobs and job skills. It would create a single, centrally located
center for workshops, dances, events, and opportunities for collaboration, participation and partnership among
Native Americans. It will also promote awareness of health and prevention issues facing Native American communities,
provide an environment to research Native American prevention and treatment needs, and give access to and use of
prevention and treatment resources.
The PVOIC also explores possibilities for land for a replica Indian village and for trails connecting Indian sites
that could be part of the Watsonville park system.
To ensure the success of these projects support from the communities is a must. We need volunteers of all types.
To volunteer your skills please call Aaron at 831-662-4760. Tax deductible contributions can be made out to the
PVOIC and sent to:
644 Peartree Drive
Watsonville, CA 95076
Or, call 831-728-8471.