The term Serrano is of Spanish origin and refers to the mountainous homeland of the people. In their own language, Serrano people refer to themselves and their language as Maarrenga'. Maarrenga' can refere to the language of Maarra' or one who speaks that language. Maarra' is the world that existed before this one. Ahaamitcuiv - long, long ago - that world became too polluted and crowded, and those strong enough in spirit left that world, and followed a White Eagle. They trailed behind the White Eagle like a mist, or fog. After circling this world three times, their spirits gained physical bodies and touched this Earth for the first time at the oasis at Twenty-Nine Palms. The people named this oasis Maarra' after the name of the world before (and after) this one. Maarra' is the domain of spirit. In the Serrano way, to speak Maarrenga' - especially the older "pure" form of the language - was to communicate in the language of the power that gave birth to the world and the creators of it.
The name of the Morongo Reservation comes from outsiders trying to pronounce the clan name of Maarrenga' A'uushran, a Serrano kiika (leader) who was better known as "Captain John Morongo." Captain John was from the Maarrenga'yam Hiitiiddith clan. Hiitiiddith and Muyatnyam make up the two main dialects of Serrano spoken on the Morongo Reservation. Another dialect belongs to the Yuhaviatam, the 'people of the pines' at San Manuel Reservation. There are many other dialects of Serrano, some include: Kitanemuk, spoken in and around the Tehachapi Valley; and Tongva/Pipimarra'yam, spoken in and around greater Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and San Clemente Island.
Limu is actively developing curriculum, classes, and media for many Serrano dialects.
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