San Fernando Mission was established in 1797 and 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, Japchbit in the east, and as far north as present-day Tejon ranch.
The Tataviam of Takic speakers settled in the area circa AD 450 into tribal villages or tribelets. Each tribelet or village held territory and maintained political and economic sovereignty over its local area. The villages or bands, as the anthropologist A. L. Kroeber says, “were de facto self-governing, and it was they that each owned a particular territory, rather than that the nationality owned the overall-territory. Ordinarily, the nationality, miscalled tribe, was only an aggregate of miniature sovereign states normally friendly to one another.” A. L. Kroeber defines a tribelet as containing 250 to 200 people, and a village having 100 people or less.
The tribal villages, or triblets, in this area consisted of Chumash, Kitanemuk, Serrano, Tataviam, and Tongva speakers. All four major groups intermarried extensively and had economic, social, and cultural relations. Exogamy, or marriage outside of the group, was a consistent pattern and was emphasized as a way of gaining knowledge and increasing economic resources and political and social ties.
The house, or Ki´j, was a dome-shaped framework of willow in a circle. This structure represents a permanent family dwelling the poles were bent in at the top, to form a dome then smaller saplings or branches were tied on cross-wise. To cover the outside, bulrush or cattails were added in below. A hole was left in the top, which was covered with a hide when it rained, allowed for a fire pit in the center of the Ki´j. If it rained, the people could cook inside and remain warm and dry. The Ki´js were between 12 to 20 feet in diameter.
The historical Tataviam ate acorns, yucca, juniper berries, sage seeds and islay, and they hunted small game. Jimsonweed, native tobacco and other plants found along the local rivers and streams provided raw materials for baskets cordage and netting.
Tataviam Land Grants/Patents
Villages that were granted or patented from Mexico and U.S. governments to the Mission Indians of San Fernando.
Sjútkanga (El Encino), Encino, California
Chaguayanga, Newhall, California
Cahuenga (Place of the hill), Studio City, California
Sikwanga (A green place), Van Norman Reservoir, California
Jucjauingna, El Rancho Escorpion, Canoga Park, California