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Serrano and Cahuilla Teaching San Manuel Indian Elder Dies

An elder among the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians name Pauline Murillo passed away Friday at the age of 76. She taught the Serrano language (extinct since 1994) and the extremely endangered Cahuilla languages of California (around 15 speakers), and she was influential in teaching and preserving Southern California Indian culture.

Mrs. Murillo is described as a motherly figure culture who made crafts, told stories, and with her husband, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund a local medical center, and an observatory. Her tribe had gotten quite wealthy on bingo halls and casinos. She lamented that the tribe’s wealth spurred some unhealthy changes, and young people spend too much time on the internet instead of more activities. However, also embraced modern life with a traditional values, and aided the development of an interactive Serrano-language CD-ROM. One could say she supported the merger of modern lifeways and traditional values.

She lives on through her husband, three children, eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, who have inherited her stories. She published two books on her life and San Manuel culture and traditions: “Living in Two Worlds” and “We are Still Here Alive and in Spirit.”

• Visitation: 3 PM on Thursday Jan 27 at Mountain View Mortuary Chapel, 570 E Highland Ave, San Bernardino.

• Rosary and Wake: 7 PM at the Chacon Residence, 26535 Indian Service Road, on the San Manuel reservation.

• Funeral Service: 10 AM Friday Jan 28 at the San Manuel Indian Reservation Cemetery.

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One Response to “Serrano and Cahuilla Teaching San Manuel Indian Elder Dies”

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