Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chanjay the Headman from the Rumsen village

"When Father Serra arrived at Monterey in 1770, he was met by the people of the Rumsen villages of Achasta. The news of the arrival of those foreigners traveled fast through the five Rumsen villages. It wasn't long before "Chanjay", the Headman from the Rumsen villages of Echilat, learned of their arrival.

After gathering much knowledge and offering prayers to the creator, the sixty-year-old Chanjay convinced tribal Chiefs from the villages of Achasta, Tucutnut, Soccorronda, Echilat and Ichxenta to send tribal members to assist Father Serra in building Mission San Carlos and planting crops.

Chief Chanjay's role as a Rumsen Headman was to pass on the culture by his teachings, stories, songs, and dances, organizing gatherings and by conducting ceremonies. Chanjay sanctioned marriages and oversaw disputes among tribal members and other Rumsen villages.

By 1783, 90 tribal members from Chanjay's village entered Mission San Carlos to become members of that Mission. Little did they know what lay in store for them, as upon their joining they were enslaved for life. "

From: Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe
Picture from: Western Historical Quarterly

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