Native Americans of San Juan Capistrano

The Takic speaking people associated with San Juan Capistrano have been called Juaneño since the Spanish occupation . While there were some language differences with the natives to the south at San Luis Rey, who were called Luiseño, and the neophytes at San Gabriel, who were called Gabrielino in the mission era, researchers have concluded that "all of these people were ethnologically and linguistically one ethnic nationality" (page 550, cited below). The estimated pre-contact population was 10,000.

MISSIONARY IN NATIVE VILLAGE

MISSIONARY IN NATIVE VILLAGE
A mural at San Juan Capistrano photograph by David J. McLaughlin © 2007 Pentacle Press

The neophytes at San Juan Capistrano included members of other Takic speaking tribes, particularly the Cupeño (a small linguistic group in the Warner Ranch area) and Cahuilla (who occupied the hills and valleys to the east of the mission.
These Indians in the San Juan Capistrano area lived in autonomous village groups with specific hunting, collection, and fishing rights. 1

  • 1. "Gabrielino" by Lowell John Bean and Charles R. Smith pp. 538-549; "Lauiseño" by Lowell John Bean and Florence C. Shipek pp. 550-563;"Cahuilla" by Lowell John Bean pp. 575-587; "Cupeño" by Lowell John Bean and Charles R. Smith, pp 588-591 in Volume 8 CALIFORNIA in the Handbook of North American Indians, Smithsonian Institution: Washington, 1978