The distinct community of the present-day Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (Band) originated in the lineages, villages and culture of the pre-Mission period. Mission San Fernando was established on September 8, 1797 at the village of Achoicominga and, for years following, gathered converts from the Indian villages in the geographically surrounding area, ranging from present day Santa Catalina Island and Malibu in the west, Cahuenga and Encino in the south, Tujunga in the east, and the present-day Tejon Ranch in the north. Before the founding of Mission San Fernando, the Indians in the region lived in lineages within villages that were associated with territories. The tribal villages, or tribelets, consisted of speakers from the Takic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language, who intermarried with individuals from other linguistic groups within the area, as well as strengthened economic, social, and cultural relations with those outside of their language group by practicing exogamy. Each tribelet or lineage held territory and maintained political and economic sovereignty over its local area, but was also linked through social exchange to neighboring villages and lineages.
History Section Overviews
The next section, entitled “Pre-Mission,” provides a brief introduction to the term “Fernandeño,” as it relates to the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (Band). Fernandeño is a post-Mission term that incorporates four pre-Mission Indian groups described below. The section includes an explanation of the pre-Mission peoples (according to their associated territories), linguistic terms, and the difference between those recruited at Mission San Fernando and Mission San Gabriel. The maps illustrate the evolution of Fernandeño territory, as described by anthropologists in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The “Social and Political” section provides a timeline of the Band’s social history and contemporary political development. This sections touches the pre- and post-Mission periods, as well as land dispossession, Nation building, and Cultural Renewal efforts by the Band.