Serrano Indians

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Serrano Indians – A Spanish word, meaning “mountaineers.” Also called:

  • Banumints, Chemehuevi name.
  • Ców-ang-a-chem, own name (Barrows 1900).
  • Cuabajái, applied by Mohave to those about Tejon Creek.
  • Genigueches, by Games in 1776.
  • Gikidanum, or Gitanemuk, Serrano of upper Tejon and Paso Creeks in the San Joaquin Valley drainage.
  • Hanakwiche, by some Yuman tribes.
  • Hanyuveche, Mohave name.
  • Kaiviat-am, given by a native as their own name, from kai-ch, “mountain.” Kuvahaivima, Mohave name for those about Tejon Creek.
  • Marangakh, by their southern and other neighbors.
  • Marayam, Luisefio name.
  • Mayintalap, southern Yokuts name for Serrano of upper Tejon, Paso, and possibly Pastoria Creeks, meaning “large bows.”
  • Möhineyam, name for themselves, given by Mohave River Serrano.
  • Panumits, Chemehuevi name for Serrano north of the San Bernardino Range, toward Tehachapi Mountains.
  • Pitanta, Chemehuevi name for those Serrano north of San Bernardino Range in Mohave Desert and on Tejon Creek.
  • Takhtam, by Gatschet (in Wheeler Surv., vol. 7, p. 413, 1879), meaning “men.”
  • Tamankamyam, by the related Aguas Calientes.
  • Witanghatal, Tubatulabal name for the Tejon Creek Serrano.

Serrano Connections. The Serrano belonged to the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock.

Serrano Location. In the San Bernardino Range; a tract of unknown extent northward; the San Gabriel Mountains or Sierra Madre west to Mount San Antonio; and probably a tract of fertile lowland south of the Sierra Madre, from about Cucamonga east to above Mentone and as far as San Gorgonio Pass.

Serrano Villages

The following place names have been recorded and many of these probably were names of villages:

  • Acha-va-t, east of Bear Lake.
  • Aka-va-t, west of Banning.
  • Arhangk, near Colton.
  • Atan-pa-t, northeast of Acha-va-t. Hikavanu-t, west of Colton.
  • Hisaku-pa, on the outlet of Bear Lake.
  • Hunga-va-t, in San Timotec Canyon.
  • Kayah-pia-t, at Bear Lake.
  • Kotaina-t, on Santa Ana River east of San Bernardino.
  • Malki, northeast of Banning.
  • Maronga, on Morongo Creek.
  • Musku-pia-bit, northwest of San Bernardino.
  • Nilengli, near San Bernardino Peak.
  • Nanamu-vya-t, at the head of Mohave River.
  • Padjiidjii-t, at the head of Mohave River.
  • Puwipuwi, near San Gorgonio Mountain.
  • Toloka-bi, in San Timoteo Canyon.
  • Wacha-vak, where San Timoteo Canyon comes out on Santa Ana River.
  • Wahinu-t, in Cajon Canyon.
  • Yamiwu, perhaps Cahuilla, north of San Jacinto Peak.

Serrano Population. Kroeber gives 1,500 Serrano as an ample allowance in aboriginal times; the census of 1910 returned 118. (See Alliklik.)

MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. Web. 22 January 2015. - Last updated on Apr 18th, 2013

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