Exploring Yosemite Park

by Roberto Poeti
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Where is Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada in California. It has an area of 3,027 Km2, is as big as the region of Val d’Aosta (Italy) . One of the most beautiful parts of the Park is the Yosemite Valley along which flows the Merced River. The white granite cliffs that surround this canyon , 13 km long , are among the most beautiful on the planet.

Where is the Yosemite Valley

Some pictures of Yosemite Valley

The first movie

The movie picks up a part of Yosemite Valley and the rock face of El Capitan, a granite monolith. It presents almost vertical walls and rises 2,307 metres above sea level and dominates the western end of Yosemite Valley; at its base there is the Merced River.

The second movie

The movie take up the Yosemite Valley and its immense granite peak, 2700 metres high which, if looked at from the side, it looks like cut in half to net, taking the form of a pointed beak of bird of prey, or a sharp claw.  Everything is taken from Glacier Point .

Who were the inhabitants of Yosemite Park

The Miwok were a Native American Indian tribe of California, exercising hunting, gathering and fishing. They lived in the North-Central California, from the Pacific Ocean coast up the slopes of the Sierra Navada . A group of this tribe the Ahwahneechee lived in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley was the home of these Indians for about 8000 years. Many generations of Ahwahneechee lived in this area near the Lower Yosemite Fall (waterfall). For thousands of years, the Indians adapted to climate change, drought, fires in the Sierra Nevada. They were also survivors of the conflicts with other Indian settlements.

The beginning of the end

But by the mid-19th century gold rush in California drastically changed their way of life forever. Thousands of miners invaded the hills of the Sierra Nevada from 1849 to 1851. Some Indians retaliated by breaking into a shop, killing several miners. In 1851 a band of volunteers formed the Mariposa Battalion, authorized by the State of California, to clear the area from the threat of the Indians. These soldiers were the first non-Indians to enter Yosemite Valley.

The tragedy

When they entered the Yosemite Valley burnt systematically villages and food reserves and won the endurance of the Ahwahneechee people by forcing then men, women and children to flee their homes. When the Indians returned to the Valley was no longer theirs. New settlers had claimed as their property.

Images of the past of the Ahwahneechee people.

Few Ahwahneechee returned slowly and established small communities in the Valley. Survivors of other tribes settled here where they could live better. By 1910 over 90% of the original inhabitants Ahwahneechee were dead or missing

 

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