Opening the Pakoinga (Pacoima) DMV

November 7, 2019 / Comments Off on Opening the Pakoinga (Pacoima) DMV

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On October 23, 2019, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Department of Motor Vehicles facility in its traditional territory of Pacoima, California.

Pictured above (L to R): Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, Vice President Mark Villaseñor, Assemblymember Luz Rivas, Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr., and Senator Bob Hertzberg.

President Rudy Ortega and Vice President Mark Villaseñor were present to share a welcoming song. The event included informational posters about the Tribe’s history, land, and language.

Screenshot of the transcription of J.P. Harrington’s Fernandeño Reel #106, dated to 1916, in which he documents from the fluent language speaker Setimo Lopez the meaning of Pacoima.

Pacoima is a located on a native village that is within the traditional and historical territory of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Pacoima comes from a traditional word that has been mispronounced by settlers over time. Traditionally, the word pakoi means “to enter” in the fernandeño dialect. Pakoinga means “the place of the entrance,” which is presumed to be the entrance to Tujunga. Separately, Tujunga is also a traditional placename meaning “the place of the old woman” and is named after a sacred boulder that held the shape of an old woman. These villages have ties to several traditional stories and date to time immemorial.

Pictured above (L to R): Vice President Mark Villaseñor, Genevie Agustinez (DMV), and Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr.