When did people reach California?
Some of these people kept on going south and reached Central America and then South America. Some moved inland, fishing out of Lake Tahoe and other lakes instead of in the ocean. Others stopped in California, where they did very well.
Californian Native economy
Soon many people lived in California. They didn’t live in cities, though. Californian people lived in small groups of about a hundred people, a few related families. They were fishers and hunters and gatherers. They wove baskets.
Acorns and pine nuts
California people used controlled fires to encourage plants to grow where and how they wanted them. That’s a kind of farming. Some of these early California people were related to the Ute and Aztec people further east and south.
Californians get bows and arrows
Californians and North American trade
By 1000 AD, Californian people like the Chumash (near Los Angeles) were trading with the Shoshone in Wyoming and with the Pueblo people in Arizona and New Mexico. The Chumash sold beads they made out of seashells. They strung the beads on cords. People all over the western part of North America used those beads as money, trading up and down the rivers as far as the Mississippi River.
How many people lived in California?
By this time, California was the most crowded part of North America other than the Aztecs in Mexico. About a third of all the people in what is now the United States lived in California.