Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum & Acjachemen Center

Grantee:  Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum & Acjachemen Center
Location:  San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Award:  Mobilizing the Community Through the Arts
Discipline:  Acjachmen Cultural Revitalization & Youth Documentation Project
Web Site:  N/A

The Acjachemen are representative of the myriad of ethnic groups found along the California coast. The Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum and Acjachemen Center fosters the preservation and continuity of the tribe’s cultural patrimony.

Funding for the Acjachemen Cultural Revitalization Project supported a cultural revitalization project highlighted by nine monthly tribal workshops, led by traditional cultural practitioner Domingo Belardes. The project promoted community vitality, building community understanding between the land and cultural activities, and giving tribal members ownership of stories, histories and culture.

The monthly workshops included instruction in the fabrication of traditional tools, gourd rattles, jewelry, and baskets. Tribal members worked with willow, tule, sedge, shells, deer, rabbit, and coyote skins. The group traveled to the 10,000 year old Acjachemen village and sacred site, Panhe; to Casper Wilderness Park for an ethnobotany workshop and studied Acjachemen astronomy. Youth documentarians filmed each workshop, conducted interviews with tribal leaders and elders and edited footage to create three trailers and several short films.

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