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Yang Na

200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
0000 1781

Before colonial settlers took over in 1781, Los Angeles was called Yang Na and was home to the Tongva Tribe.

One of the largest villages of the Tongva people and a favorite trading spot for native peoples of the region before Spanish colonization is now the site of City Hall. The tribe allowed same-sex marriage and believed homosexuality was determined before birth. They honored same-gender love and had initiation ceremonies for lesbian and gay adolescents, who were known as “two-spirit” people. The Chumash Indians, who lived north of Malibu, and Jauneno Indians, who lived north of San Diego, held similar beliefs. Most of the tribe were eventually killed or sold as slaves.

A plaque to honor Tongva peoples is at El Pueblo Historic Monument (125 Paseo De La Plaza).