Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Leda Martins

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© 2012 Julia Edith Rigby


Orange County is the traditional homeland of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation. Though the tribal-nation is not federally recognized, it is a state and county recognized tribe. Development is a constant threat to Acjachemen ancestral homelands. The Acjachemen are faced with the problem that their ancestral sites are now other peoples' lands. Many Acjachemen sacred sites have already been developed, like the burial grounds at Putuidem.

The four sacred sites I explore -- the Cogged Stone site at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach, California, Puvungna in Long Beach California, Putuidem in San Juan Capistrano, and CA-ORA-64 at the Newport Back Bay in Newport Beach -- share very political histories as well as immense ceremonial significances, significances measured in great part by their sacred rocks, their other natural features, and their roles as gathering places. I learned that, by opening my mind to the ways rocks ground ceremony, I could better appreciate Acjachemen ways of being and, in turn, appreciate these spaces' sanctity.

My role in writing this thesis is to facilitate an exchanges of ideas -- ideas which explore what is sacred and ceremonial, and why - in hopes of cultivating in the reader a consciousness about these complex issues. This is a celebration of the individuals who have shared their stories with me, a celebration of ceremony and Acjachemen heritage.