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See this link for the most complete and recent information on this record: https://repository.californiarevealed.org/node/375056. Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum Foundation President, Domingo Belardes, on documenting Acjachemen history and carrying on traditional practices that continue to the present day. Recorded at Blas Aguilar Adobe;San Juan Capistrano, California.
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Indigenous Voices of San Juan Capistrano: The Acjachemen (Juaneño) Indian Community
One of the really neat things about San Juan [Capistrano] is it still has ten adobes that are still standing. They're either privately owned, they're retail or shops, or theyr'e - the City owns two of them. They own this one and the property and they own the Montanez, and we were able to partnership with them and try to tell the story of the people who lived here and how the town developed and then, even before that though, make sure that people know that the Mission, when it - before it had come here, at the village site here, the village was called Acjachema and the people, once they went back and reorganized the tribe and became the Juane±o Band of Mission Indians, they took that name of being Acjachemen.
Text: "How has San Juan Capistrano Changed?"
There's the Juane±o part of it, making sure that we know that part of it, then there's the historical aspect of it, there's certain areas that we want to make sure that we know historically that we have documented, trying to map - make sure that they're mapped - so that we can go and show, like the different layers, basically. This is what the Juane±o people had, this is what the Spaniards encountered, and this is what, kind of what's there now, showing the housing developments that have developed around those areas, or basically on top of them.
I just want to talk about the vaqueros real quick. One of the things my family member - one of - my dad's half brother, or even - actually, it goes back into, even to Teodosio [?]. Teodosio was a vaquero who worked on the Santa Margarita Rancho, which is Camp Pendleton now. And one of the things that they did is, they would make their own ropes out of the cow hides. They called them, "riatas." And also, what they would do is - one of the things we're trying to bring back is that historical aspect of it too, is the hats that they wore, the flat brim hats that are distinct to California, is to show that aspect of it.
One of the other gentlemen I want to talk about is Cecil Martinez. His family still lives here, his daughter, Bunny Martinez. He's one of the last Juane±o vaqueros to come off of Rancho Mission Viejo and that was in the - I want to say was in the, the late '80s is when he passed away. And he was one of the last ones to work out there and be a vaquero out there.
So, you know, one of the things, you talk about the Juane±o people and before Mission times, they were hunters and they were gatherers and they lived in this area. Once the missionaries came in, they taught them all these different trades: blacksmith, woodcarvers, some of them became cooks. They worked and made the bricks to build the different buildings and all that, but one of the big, main things that they carried on, even into the - even after the Missions had gone - is that they were vaqueros and cowboys and they still did that all the way through into that part of it. My grandpa, Matias, they had horses on the ranch, over on the other side too, so that was one of the things that they really grasped and took part in.
The people here, they are doing, or they did, or are still doing - I don't like to use the fact that we used to or that we did or that this used to be our territory. Everything for us is, we're still here. This is still our land. We still do these things. It's in the fact that we try not to use that other part of the - "oh, we used to do these things", and stuff like that. They were in charge of what Orange County is known for now, it's a bustling business economy. There's money going through, there's technology being done in here and all that stuff. They were doing that stuff too. They were doing that stuff. They had money. The shell beads, the dentalium shells, the tavella, the bead shells. They were their money. They were their commerce.
Text: "Thoughts on the California Indian Lands Settlement payment of 1964"
The government was sending them a check, and I'm trying to think, I wanna say it was, I think it was over a hundred bucks. I wanna say, maybe 140, or maybe even less than that. But, they had gotten checks but they didn't cash them. And that was the government basically going, "We'll give you this money, then everything's good. We're good on everything", so they didn't cash it, so it wasn't good [laughs].
Text: "Final Thoughts"
[One of the] things, though, is we - we wanna, you know, make sure that everybody knows that, you know, this is still our land and our area and stuff like that. That we still reside here and stuff and still practice our culture. That's one of the main things that we want people to realize is that we haven't gone anywhere. We're still here and that we're still doing the things that our ancestors taught us.