Gabrielino Indians

The Gabrielino Indians, named after the San Gabriel Mission in Los Angeles County, were also known as Kizh, Playsanos, Tobikhars, and Tumangamalum. Their closest relatives were the Fernandeno, and both groups were part of the California branch of the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan stock. The Gabrielino inhabited the drainage area of the San Gabriel River, the Los Angeles region, and southward into Orange County, including Santa Catalina Island and likely San Clemente Island. They established numerous villages, such as Ahau near the Los Angeles River, Akura near San Gabriel Mission, and Pimu on Santa Catalina Island. In 1770, their population, including the Fernandeno and Nicoleno, was estimated at around 5,000, but they are now nearly extinct.

Gabrielino Indians. Derived from San Gabriel, one of the two missions in Los Angeles County. Also called:

  • Kizh, reported by Gatschet (1876) ; Hale (1846) has Kij.
  • Playsanos, a name which seems to be applied to the California Shoshoneans living in the lowlands, especially near the coast in the region of Los Angeles.
  • Tobikhars, said to mean “settlers,” but probably from Tobohar, the mythical first man.
  • Tumangamalum, Luiseiio name.

Gabrielino Connections

The nearest connections of the Gabrielino were the Fernandeno; both belonged to the California branch of the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan stock.

Gabrielino Location

In the drainage area of the San Gabriel River, the territory about Los Angeles, and all the country southward to include half of Orange County, also Santa Catalina Island and probably San Clemente.

Gabrielino Villages

  • Ahau, near Los Angeles River north of Long Beach.
  • Akura, near San Gabriel Mission.
  • Akura-nga, at La Presa.
  • Aleupki-nga, at Santa Anita.
  • Apachia, just east of Los Angeles.
  • Asuksa, west of Azusa.
  • Awi, between Pomona and the San Gabriel River.
  • Chokish-nga, at Jaboneria.
  • Chowi, near San Pedro.
  • Engva, near Redondo.
  • Hout, south of San Gabriel Mission.
  • Hutuk, inland on Santa Ana River.
  • Isantka-nga, at Mission Vieja.
  • Kinki or Kinkipar, on San Clemente Island.
  • Kukamo, southwest of Cucamonga Peak.
  • Lukup, near the mouth of Santa Ana River.
  • Masau, on the coast near San Pedro.
  • Moyo, on the coast south of the mouth of Santa Ana River.
  • Nakau-nga, at Carpenter’s.
  • Pahav, southeast of Corona.
  • Pasino, southeast of Pomona.
  • Pimoka-nga, at Rancho de los Ybarras.
  • Pimu or Pipimar, on Santa Catalina Island.
  • Pubu, inland on San Gabriel River, east of Long Beach.
  • Saan, on the coast south of Santa Monica.
  • Sehat, inland near the middle course of San Gabriel River.
  • Shua, near Long Beach.
  • Siba, at San Gabriel Mission.
  • Sisitkan-nga, at Pear Orchard.
  • Sona-nga, at White’s.
  • Sua-nga, near Long Beach.
  • Tibaha, north of Long Beach between Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.
  • Toibi, at Pomona.
  • Wenot, at Los Angeles.

Gabrielino Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 5,000 Gabrielino, Fernandeno, and Nicoleno in 1770; they are now practically extinct.


Orange County CA,

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

1 thought on “Gabrielino Indians”

  1. Annette Ramirez

    My ancestors were all Gabrielino or should have been registered as Gabrielino but we’re actually register Diegueno, not even sure what tribe. And then to top that off my father blood decree on record shows less than he is. Just discovered my mother has more Native American that stems from her grandparents that came from Mexico, settled in Azusa, where they died from the influenza in 1918 when my grandmother was only 2 yrs old. So to read that the Gabrielino Indian in nearly extinct really isn’t true cuz just my family alone, I have 10 siblings and a humungous extended that has lived in this San Gabriel Valley for over 100 years and continue to live here. My father was baptized in San Gabriel Mission Church. I would love to get this all corrected and do have roll numbers to work with less the struggle i have obtaining my mother ancestry and wondered if it was even possible to somehow get it corrected? Im aware that the Ancestry DNA test r not accepted proof but what i do know is that I thought I was the last of the blood line but having the DNA testing done, I discovered I am 40% Native American! My father is 44% and mother 34%! So while in the process of researching my pedigree, I just wondered how possible it would be to registered as Gabrielino?

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