Acjachemem was a linguistic tribe of Native American people who lived in Southern California at Orange County. This tribe was also referred to as Juanenos a term that was co0ined by the priest of California mission chain which is currently referred as Juaneno Band of Mission Indians. The former Spanish settlement lied in the area that was occupied during the Paleo-Indian period and continuing on into the current Native American that are known to us as Juaneno.
As described in Lisbeth’s study (1999, p. 134) Contemporary Juanenos identify themselves as the descendants of the aboriginal society living in the local San Juan and the drainage areas of San Mateo Creek. This group adopted the term Acjachemen which is indigenous to the aboriginal group. The language of the Acjachemen was related to the Luiseno language that was spoken by the neighboring Luiseno tribe.
The language became extinct but currently it is being revived by the several tribal groups which are interested in their language. In the year 1933, the research and records of the tribe and their language were recorded by the Anastacia Majel and John Harrington and the recordings were resurfaced in 1995. The territory of the Acjachemen extended from Las Pulgas Creek in the Northern San Diego County to the San Joaquin Hills along Orange County central coast. The majority of the group occupied the outlets
The highest number of villagers lived along the lower San Juan, where Mission San Juan Capistrano was ultimately located. The Acjachemen lived in permanent, well-defined villages and camps that were seasonal. Village residents ranged from between 35 to 300 residents, which consisted of a single lineage in the smaller villages, and of a main clan joined with other families in the larger settlements. (Lisbeth, 1999, p. 108)
Each clan had its own source territory and was politically independent. Connections to other villages were maintained through economic, religious, and social networks in the instantaneous region. The elite class comprised of chiefly families, lineage heads, and other ceremonial specialists, a middle class of established and well to do families, and people of detached or wandering families and captives of war made up the three hierarchical social classes.
Some of this group inhabited the mountains while other inhabited the coastal areas. There were also theories related to creation of the two groups. The playanos who lived along the coast held the powerful position of unseen power while the Serranos who lived in the mountain areas believed in two believes the existence below and above. (Lisbeth, 1999 p. 77)
The cultural practices of this group of people were similar in both the categories. The group today is of importance in the cultural learning as it teaches the learners of the diversity in culture of the society. Migration of the group in coastal region of California is an important aspect in their cultural roles. The two categories had different roles which were related to their environment.
Today, the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians is seeking federal recognition as a federally structured tribe. Their headquarters is located in Sanjuano Crispano Sanjuana California and it has 60 enrolled members. This is of importance to the history of their culture in today’s learning. Although the group is extinct they are seeking recognition which is of great interest to historians. The group does not receive any funding from the federal government and are fighting for scholarships from well wishers.
Lisbeth, H. (1999). Conquest and historical identities in California. New York: McMillan Press. Pp 12-158.