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Celebration provides look at Native American past, preservation of natural resources

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Photos by Andrea Swayne and Allison Jarrell

Sunday’s Panhe celebration provided a look at the history of the San Mateo valley as one of the sacred sites of the Acjachemen people. Dozens of people filled the area of the San Mateo Campground set aside for the event to hear about the history of the land, experience cultural performances and learn about environmental conservation efforts.

Events at the campground included traditional Native American dancing, singing and flute playing, as well as crafts and educational demonstrations celebrating the continuing presence of the Acjachemen people and the environmental significance of the site. Children had the opportunity to feed and interact with butterflies in a butterfly tent and craft their own arrowheads and yucca fiber paintbrushes in a miniature Acjachemen village.

“This is another wonderful celebration of the cultural history and roots of this valley,” San Onofre Parks Foundation founder Steve Long said. “People have been here 9,000 years or more, and it should always be protected and preserved, as a park, for future generations.”

Listen to more sounds from Panhe below.

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