The Kitanemuk (“kih-TAN-e-muk”) Indians occupied the west end of the Antelope Valley and up through the Mountains into the southern San Joaquin Valley.
The Antelope Valley was a major trade area, with trade items passing through representing 120 different Indian cultures of the California coast, Southwest, Great Basin Desert, and Central Valley regions.
The area between Fairmont and Antelope Buttes was one of the most significant rhyolite quarries in California, supplying stone "blanks" that were traded out to be used for making projectile points.
A spring between the buttes provided water and wildlife to support a significant occupied site. Imagine a scene before you of men breaking rock on the hill while others made trading deals below with visitors from afar, smoke rising from cooking fires, women singing and gossiping at mortar holes by the stream, and children chasing jackrabbits.
The Kitanemuk people are now federally recognized as the Tejon Indian Tribe, and are working to strengthen their community and reconnect their culture.
Collecting artifacts is a serious federal crime; leave any
objects you find exactly where they were, so they stay in their archaeological context. Do not pick them up and bring them to park staff; they are not ours to disturb. Photos of artifacts found in the Antelope Valley, with GPS data attached, can be emailed to the Antelope Valley Indian Museum Curator.
To learn more about the Indian cultures of the Antelope Valley, visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, open weekends 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.