Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Juaneño

Juaneño

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Juaneño'
Start a new discussion about 'Juaneño'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Juaneño or Acagchemem are a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 group
Group (sociology)
In the social sciences a social group can be defined as two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar characteristics and collectively have a sense of unity...

 from Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

. The Juaneño lived in what is now part of Orange
Orange County, California
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County...

 and San Diego
San Diego County, California
San Diego County is a large county located in the southwestern corner of the US state of California. Hence, San Diego County is also located in the southwestern corner of the 48 contiguous United States. Its county seat and largest city is San Diego. Its population was about 2,813,835 in the 2000...

 Counties and received their Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 name from the priests of the California mission chain
Spanish missions in California
The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of religious and military outposts established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Christian faith among the local Native Americans. The missions represented the first major effort by Europeans to...

 due to their proximity to Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish mission in Southern California, located in present-day San Juan Capistrano. It was founded on All Saints Day November 1, 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order...

. Today they call themselves the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation.

The former Spanish settlement at Sajavit lies within that area occupied during the late Paleoindian period and continuing on into the present day by the Native American society commonly known as the Juaneño. The name denotes those people who were ministered by the padres at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Many contemporary Juaneño, who identify themselves as descendents of the indigenous society living in the local San Juan and San Mateo Creek
San Mateo Creek (Southern California)
San Mateo Creek is a stream in Southern California in the United States, whose watershed mostly straddles the border of Orange and San Diego Counties. It is about long, flowing in a generally southwesterly direction...

 drainage areas, have adopted the indigenous term Acjachemen. Their language was related to the Luiseño language
Luiseño language
The Luiseño language is an Uto-Aztecan language of California spoken by the Luiseño, a Native American people who at the time of the first contacts with the Spanish in the 16th century inhabited the coastal area of southern California, ranging 50 miles from the southern part of Los Angeles County,...

 spoken by the nearby Luiseño tribe. The language was extinct but is being revived by several tribal members learning the language, thanks to the research and records of Anastacia Majel and John P. Harrington who recorded the language back in 1933 (the tape recordings resurfaced around 1995).

The Acjachemen territory extended from Las Pulgas Creek in northern San Diego County
San Diego County, California
San Diego County is a large county located in the southwestern corner of the US state of California. Hence, San Diego County is also located in the southwestern corner of the 48 contiguous United States. Its county seat and largest city is San Diego. Its population was about 2,813,835 in the 2000...

 up into the San Joaquin Hills
San Joaquin Hills
The San Joaquin Hills are a set of low hills in coastal Orange County, California. They extend in a northwest-southeast direction, starting in the northwest in Newport Beach at the southern edge of the Los Angeles Basin, and extending southeast to San Juan Capistrano.-Geography and habitats:Named...

 along Orange County's
Orange County, California
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County...

 central coast, and inland from the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 up into the Santa Ana Mountains
Santa Ana Mountains
The Santa Ana Mountains are a short peninsular mountain range along the coast of Southern California in the United States. They extend for approximately 36 mi southeast of the Los Angeles Basin largely along the border between Orange and Riverside counties.- Geography :The range starts in the...

. Aliso Creek formed the northern boundary. The bulk of the population occupied the outlets of two large creeks, San Juan Creek
San Juan Creek
San Juan Creek, also called the San Juan River, is a stream in Orange County, California that consists of a catchment basin encompassing . Its mainstem rises in the Santa Ana Mountains, in the Trabuco Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest...

 (and its major tributary, Trabuco Canyon
Trabuco Creek
Trabuco Creek is a small river in the U.S. state of California, flowing from the westernmost extreme of Riverside County through Orange County to join San Juan Creek in the city of San Juan Capistrano. long, its watershed covers in southeastern Orange County, including portions of three...

) and San Mateo Creek (combined with Arroyo San Onofre
San Onofre State Park
San Onofre State Beach is a state park located in San Diego County, California, USA. The beach is south of the city of San Clemente on Interstate 5 at Basilone Road. Governor Ronald Reagan established San Onofre State Beach in 1971...

, which drained into the ocean at the same point). The highest concentration of villages was along the lower San Juan, where Mission San Juan Capistrano was ultimately situated. The Acjachemen resided in permanent, well-defined villages and seasonal camps. Village populations ranged from between 35 to 300 inhabitants, consisting of a single lineage in the smaller villages, and of a dominant clan joined with other families in the larger settlements. Each clan had its own resource territory and was "politically" independent; ties to other villages were maintained through economic, religious, and social networks in the immediate region. The elite class (composed chiefly of families, lineage heads, and other ceremonial specialists), a middle class (established and successful families), and people of disconnected or wandering families and captives of war comprised the three hierarchical social classes.

Native leadership consisted of the Nota, or clan chief, who conducted community rites and regulated ceremonial life in conjunction with the council of elders (puuplem), which was made up of lineage heads and ceremonial specialists in their own right. This body decided upon matters of the community, which were then carried out by the Nota and his underlings. While the placement of residential huts in a village was not regulated, the ceremonial enclosure (vanquesh) and the chief's home were most often centrally-located. Fray Gerónimo Boscana
Jerónimo Boscana
Gerónimo Boscana was an early nineteenth-century Franciscan missionary in Spanish Las Californias and Mexican Alta California...

, a Franciscan scholar who was stationed at San Juan Capistrano for more than a decade beginning in 1812, compiled what is widely considered to be the most comprehensive study of prehistoric religious practices in the San Juan Capistrano valley. Religious knowledge was secret, and the prevalent religion, called Chinigchinich
Chinigchinix
Chingichngish is the name of an important figure in the mythology of the Payomkowishum , Tongva , and Acjachemem Native Americans of coastal Southern California.-Character:This character was first mentioned in a description of the beliefs of the native...

, placed village chiefs in the position of religious leaders, an arrangement that gave the chiefs broad power over their people.

Boscana divided the Acjachemen into two classes: the "Playanos" (who lived along the coast) and the "Serranos" (who inhabited the mountains, some three to four leagues from the Mission). The religious beliefs of the two groups as related to creation differed quite profoundly. The Playanos held that an all-powerful and unseen being called "Nocuma" brought about the earth and the sea, together with all of the trees, plants, and animals of sky, land, and water contained therein. The Serranos, on the other hand, believed in two separate but related existences: the "existence above" and the "existence below". These states of being were "altogether explicable and indefinite" (like brother and sister), and it was the fruits of the union of these two entities that created "...the rocks and sands of the earth; then trees, shrubbery, herbs and grass; then animals..."

Today, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians is seeking federal recognition as a federally organized tribe. Its headquarters is in San Juan Capistrano, California
San Juan Capistrano, California
San Juan Capistrano is a city in southern Orange County, California, located approximately southeast of Downtown Santa Ana. The current OMB metropolitan designation for San Juan Capistrano and the Orange County Area is “Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA.” The population was 34,593 at the 2010 census,...

 and it has over 2,800 enrolled members. It sought the retrieval of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was a United States Marine Corps Air Station located near Irvine, California.Before it was decommissioned in 1999, it was the home of Marine Corps aviation on the West Coast. Designated as a Master Jet Station, its four runways could handle the largest aircraft...

, which was an Indian Rancheria until the 1930s when the land was sold to the US government.

See also

  • Population of Native California
    Population of Native California
    Estimates of the Native Californian population have varied substantially, both with respect to California's pre-contact count and for changes during subsequent periods. Pre-contact estimates range from 133,000 to 705,000 with some recent scholars concluding that these estimates are low...

  • Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas#California
  • Mission Indians
    Mission Indians
    Mission Indians is a term for many Native California tribes, primarily living in coastal plains, adjacent inland valleys and mountains, and on the Channel Islands in central and southern California, United States. The tribes had established comparatively peaceful cultures varying from 250 to 8,000...


External links



----