The Birthplace of the People

Puvungna means “the gathering place”. Today, students at CSU long beach recognize it as “that old Indian burial ground”.  The story behind it is so much more than either of these two phrases can convey. Puvungna is a large empty lot with an amazing story behind it. Years ago the Tongva people habituated this area and they considered Puvungna a sacred place. To the Tongva people Puvungna is the birth place of the great prophet, Chingichngish. It is also considered the birth place of their people. It is believed that after the death of a tyrannical leader at the hands of his own sons the creatures of the world were meeting to decide how things should be done. During this time Chingichngish and set rules for the creatures of the earth. At the same time he created a new race of people out of mud. His teachings set the standard for the future of tribal law for the Tongva people. It was at Puvungna that the Tongva people believe their race was formed.

Puvungna is a powerful piece of land. In the past it was a birthplace for the Tongva people and today it is a place of worship for them. What is disappointing about Puvungna is the fact the not enough people take the time to learn about it. They either see it as a plot of land or a burial ground. Even if they learn about it being a burial ground, they don’t necessarily take the time to learn the full story behind the sacred site. The religion itself could have easily been lost to the missionaries that worked so hard to rid the indians of their culture. The fact that the sacred site and the story that comes with it is a great representation of the perseverance and dedication of the Tongva people through times of great trials. I encourage everyone to visit Puvungna and soak in the ancient story and powerful feelings it provides.

One Comment

  1. Nissa Araque

    I’d heard about the Native American burial ground somewhere on campus (or near it?), but I’ve never been to it. I think it’s impressive that something like a burial ground still exists, knowing what the invaders had done to almost everything else. It is pretty neat that the Tongva tribesmen have been able to preserve it all this time. Thank you for sharing the story of the Puvungna. If I ever get around to visiting the site, I’ll know how sacred the land that I’m on is.
    -N. Araque

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