When Father Santa Maria came to San Francisco Bay in 1775, he recorded in his diary this incident of his first encounter with the Ohlone tribe:

“I landed and remained alone with the eight Indians, so that I might communicate with them in greater peace. The landing boat went back to the ship and at the same time they all crowded around me and, sitting by me, began to sing, with an accompaniment of two rattles that they had brought with them. As they finished the song all of them were shedding tears, which I wondered at, not knowing the reason.”

In 1816, Louis Choris, a French artist traveling on the Russian exploration ship Rurik, transcribed this fragment of Ohlone music:

Here is my rendering, played on a modern flute with the sound of rattles (both by me) dubbed in:

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An old California condor bone flute from central California

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