Chief Marin

Paperback, 6.1 x 9.2,
344 pages with over 25
illustrations, photographs,
and maps.
ISBN: 9781597140539.


By Betty Goerke

It’s a little known fact that the San Francisco Bay Area’s Marin County is named after a Coast Miwok chief who achieved notoriety for defying Spanish authority over his people. Anthropologist and archaeologist Betty Goerke has pieced together a portrait of the life of this Native American leader, using mission records, ethnographies, explorers’ and missionaries’ diaries and correspondence, and other material.


“As Betty Goerke sketches the life story of Chief Marin, she effectively remaps Marin and southern Sonoma counties, providing Indian and non-Indian alike a rich historical tapestry of the region’s native people and their against-all-odds survival, a tapestry that has heretofore been ignored or forgotten.”

—From the Foreword by Greg Sarris, Tribal Chair, Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria


“With meticulous research and lively prose, Betty Goerke tells the true story of one group of California Natives overwhelmed by a century of change, and of one of their chiefs, Marin, whose intelligence, skills, and independent spirit epitomized his people’s yearning to be free.”

—Beth Ashley, Marin Independent Journal


Betty Goerke has been teaching anthropology and archaeology at the College of Marin for over thirty years. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork in California, Colorado, Greece, Holland, Kenya, and India, and has authored books and articles and produced several videotapes, including Archaeology: Questioning the Past.