Fernandeno-Tataviam Tribe | Opening Ceremony of the Tataviam Interpretive Village at Rancho Camulos
The newly completed Tataviam Interpretive Village on the grounds of Rancho Camulos Museum was dedicated Saturday, May 4, 2019, by representatives of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the nonprofit Pukuu Cultural Community Services. On hand to witness the formal unveiling were museum board members and tour guides, corporate sponsors of the village and dozens of members of tribal families, some of whom descend from people who lived in the Piru-Camulos area prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in the 1700s.
The village features a kitc, or traditional dwelling; a hoyatsu, or traditional sweat house; a haramokngna, or gathering place; and native plants that are used culturally. Camulos was once known as Coaynga, an ancient Tataviam village that translates to the “place of food.” Coaynga was held by the tribe’s Tataviam-speaking ancestors until enslavement at Mission San Fernando in the first decade of the 1800s. In the 1850s, ancestors of current tribal citizens provided construction labor for the adobe hacienda that is now the centerpiece of the museum, and subsequently worked as agricultural laborers and domestic servants for the ranch owners.
Built at the direction of tribal citizens, the new village provides a cultural space that can be utilized by the tribe for cultural and spiritual purposes, as well as an educational space that can be enjoyed by the public.
Museum President Leon Worden opened Saturday’s ceremony with a summary of the history of Native Americans in the region and introduced tribal President Rudy J. Ortega Jr. Together with tribal Vice President Mark Villasenor, Ortega acknowledged sponsors and gave special recognition to Alan Salazar, chairman of the tribal Elders Council, who spearheaded construction of the village from traditional plant materials. Ortega and Salazar acknowledged the contributions of numerous tribal citizens, community members and museum docents who assisted with the creation of the village over the last two years.
The village is sponsored by FivePoint, SCVTV and Rancho Camulos Museum. For more information, visit www.tataviam-nsn.us/
The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians is a native sovereign nation of northern Los Angeles County composed of a coalition of lineages originating in the Santa Clarita, Simi, San Fernando, and Antelope valleys. Today, the Tribal Administration Office is located in San Fernando. The tribe was originally recognized in 1892 when a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney recommended that the federal government take action for Fernandeño land rights under the Mission Indian Relief Act of 1891. The Tataviam Tribe is currently under review by the Office of Federal Acknowledgement for federal recognition.
Pukuu Cultural Community Services is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that provides services for low-income American Indian families, including relief to those in emergency situations; help in fostering, adopting, and educating American Indian youth; and cultural awareness.
Rancho Camulos Museum is a 40-acre National Historical Landmark situated within an 1,800-acre working ranch. It is the best remaining example of a Spanish-Mexican rancho in its original rural environment and is noted for its literary significance as the setting for Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona. Rancho Camulos is dedicated to researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting the diverse cultural heritage and agricultural history of Southern California.