Artist’s Statement

The area where Ohlone Elementary School now sits was once the homeland of the native Huchiun Ohlone people. For thousands of years these people lived in their way, utilizing the plants and animals of their world, and practicing refined skills and following their time-tested rules provided for a fine life.

In designing this logo, I wanted to use images that were important to and represent the people of that earlier time, yet remain important today.

In Ohlone mythology Eagle figures most prominently, having once been our leader, saving the world from permanent destruction and bringing people back in the world again. Because he is the most venerated character in our mythology, I placed him centrally, giving him a position of honor.

Coyote was also an important animal-person, although he most often taught us through his folly rather than his wisdom. In life it is also important to learn what not to be, and Coyote lets us learn while laughing, so that life doesn’t always have to be serious.

In the lower foreground is the sweat lodge, a symbol of cleanliness and camaraderie, a structure central to the community. The tule houses remind us of people, of families living together and working together, as all people do. Technologies have changed dramatically since those earlier times, but the human things, the friendships, the dynamics of people working togehter in a community, the love and challenges within the families, the resourcefulness of people, remain the same.

Finally, I’ve included acorns because they are a traditional food and represent the abundance of the land that provides for us and reminds us to take care of our resources, our sustenance for the future.

Linda Yamane
Rumsien Ohlone
July, 1994