Chochenyo Language Revitalization

Muwemka Ohlone Tribe Language Committee Present Day

Muwekma Tribal Member

"Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum. Makkin Mak Non wente Mak Hoise Muwekma Noono! We are Muwekma Ohlone. We speak in our beautiful Muwekma language! in 2002, the Muwekma Ohmone Tribe language commitee was established and began the quest to restore our tribe's native Muwekma Ohlone language. Silent for over 65 years, cocenyo (chochenyo) was spoken for the first time by Muwekma tribal members. Our great-grandmother was Mercedes Marine, born on the Pleasanton Rancheria, and her godparents were Caption Jose Antonio and Jacoba (a Mayyin, or female leader). Her first child was our grandfather Alberto Marine Arellano, and they appear). Her first child was our grandfather alberto built his house in Russell City (Hayward) which is within the aboriginal terotory of his great-great grandfather Liberato Culpecse from the Jalquin Ohlone tribe. As Muwekma Tribal Councilmembers, we carry on their lineage and traditions. We are grateful to have the authority and privilage to issue public welcoming declarations in our native language to Muwekma's ascestral land, and blessings on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. Aho!"

- Monica V. Arellano (above, middle), Tribal Vice-Chairman and Co-Chair of the Muwekma Language Committee & Gloria E.Arellano-Gomez (above, left), Tribal Councilwoman and Muwekma Language Committee Member.

"My family lineage is very important to me and, as a Tribal Councilwoman for the Mewekma Ohlone Tribe and Co-Chair of the Muwekma Language Commitee i proudly represent my Native American heritage. My great-grandfather was Jose Guzman who was born near Dublin in the East Bay and my great-grandmother was Francisca Nonessi born on the Niles rancheria. ose Guzman was one of the last knowledgeable speakers of hte Chocheno (East Bay) Ohlone language until his death in 1934. As a native California Indian growing up in the East Bay and Central Valley, I feel that it is very important for our rich history and cultural heritage to be both preserved to the general public. Aho!"

- Sheila Guzman-Schmidt (above, right), Tribal Councilwoman and Co-Chair of the Muwekma Language Committee.

Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Membership

Chochenyo Language Workshop #2 - Utthin
March 20, 2004 - San Jose State University

  • Mak suyykma... Our  Family
    Mak suyykma... Our Family
  • Mak siiniinikma, mak hussistak Our children our future
    Mak siiniinikma, mak hussistak Our children our future
  • Mak accokma... Our friends
    Mak suyykma... Our Family

Nonwente Mak Cocenyo
Let's Speak Chochenyo
Workshop Series

Taahe Mak Cocenyo
"Let's Listen To Chochenyo"


  • J P Harrington
    John Peabody Harrington (1884 - 1961)
  • Jose Guzeman
    Jose Guzman (circa 1934)
  • Maria De Los Angeles Colos
    Maria De Los Angeles Colos (circa 1929)

Field Notes of John Peabody Harrington, Anthropologist and Linguist, Bureau of american Ethnology 1921-1930.

Meets 83.7(a)(4).

Note: Harrington wrote:

"Tribes [Tribal names]
The San Jose Indians were of many tribes - gathered at the mission. They are called Chochenos". [Emphasis added] (Reel 36.156).

Clearly, Harrington's principal Muwekma consultants, Angela Colos nad Jose Guzman were talking about the Chocheros (a Sland word referring to the Mission San Jose Indians) as an Indian entity in the present and not in the past.


Between 1925 and 1930, Harrington interviewed visited, and/or identified at least a minimum total of 15 members of hte Missin San Jose/Verona Band/Pleasanton/Niles/Livermore "landless" Indian community and therefore an "entity"

  • Jose Guzmnan
  • Angela Colos
  • Francisca Guzman
  • Martin Guzman
  • Tony Guzman
  • Alfred Guzman
  • Jack Guzman
  • Susanna Nichols
  • Lawrence Nichols
  • Catherine Peralta Marine
  • Lucas Marine
  • Trinidad Gonzales Reyes
  • Phoebe Alaniz
  • Joe Binoco
  • Albert Arellano

J.P. Harrinton Notes from an interview with Maria De Los Angeles (Angela) Colos, A Principal Chochenyo Language Informant October 12, 1929

Maria De Los Angeles Colos

According to Maria De Los Angeles' own account to J.P. Harrington, she was born on the ranch of Don Agustin Bernal in Santa Teresa, South San Jose. Angel's mother, Joaquina Pico was apparently raised by the Pico family living in the San Jose and she eventually moved to the Bernal Rancho, where Maria was born.

Mission Santa Clara records indicate that Maris De Los Angeles' parents, Zenon and Joaquina, were married at the Mission in 1838. Joaquina was listed as a neophyte from Mission San Jose.

1838 October 16, #2711, Zenon & Joaquina
"En 16 de Octbre de 1838 en la yglecia de eata mission... case y vele a los siguientes... A un Neofito (orginario de la Mision de S[an] Raf[ae]ly recidente en el Rancho de los Vernales) Ilamado Zenon con una Neofita de S[an] jose Ilamada joaquina."

Maria De Los Angeles was born between 1839 and 1840 and she was baptized at Mission San Jose on February 2, 1840 (SJM Bapt #7774). She shared with Harrington the tragedy of the deth of her younger brother, Prudencio (Pnciano) who died at the age of 14 of a hemorrhage on Moraga's Ranch, in the East Bay. She also informed Harrington that her "younger half-sister. Maria Antonia Pina" grew up in San Rafael on the Dona Maria Jesus Briones ranch and died there (handwritten notesL 47-48).

A Muwekma Ohone Chochenyo Song by Jose Guzman, circa 1934

Ohlone Costanoan Languages

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