Pechanga Band to reclaim collection of ancestors and artifacts

A view of the Temecula Valley, the home of the Luiseno people. Photo from Destination Temecula

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is set to reclaim a large collection of ancestors and artifacts that were removed from a historic tribal village in California.

The items were taken from Temeéku, the first village of the Luiseño people, in the 1950s. They are due to be returned by the San Bernardino County Museum under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

“That’s where the world began for the Luiseño people,” Myra Masiel-Zamora, an assistant curator for the tribe, told The Riverside Press-Enterprise. “It’s a very important collection. To have all these items as close as possible to where they were uncovered is better than being in a museum box.”

Masiel-Zamora has been maintaining the collection, which includes more than 50,000 items, since January 2011, the paper reported. The items are likely to stay on the reservation because other Luiseno tribes support the Pechanga Band's efforts.

A notice of the intent to repatriate was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday. The museum also completed another inventory collection of at least two ancestors that have been linked the Luiseno people.

Get the Story:
Tribes to get artifacts from 1950's dig (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 4/30)

Federal Register Notices:
Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA (March 28, 2015)
Notice of Inventory Completion: San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA (March 28, 2015)

Related Stories:
Military halted dig on island after questions from Pechanga Band (03/05)
Pechanga Band to reclaim ancestors and artifacts from military (3/2)

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