Mutsun is a Yok-Utian language that was spoken in parts of northern California in the USA. It was the main language of the the Ohlone people, who lived in the Mission San Juan Bautista area, and particularly along the Pajaro and San Benito watersheds in San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. It is also known as San Juan Bautista Costanoan. The last fluent speaker, Ascencion Solórzano de Cervantes, died in 1930.
Mutsun was first documented by the Spanish Franciscan missionary and linguist, Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta (1780-1840). He collected a vocabulary in 1815, which was published in Spain in 1846. It was the first work on a Native American language to be published.
The language was further documented by various people during the 20th century, includingy C. Hart Merriam, J. Alden Mason, and John Peabody Harrington (1884–1961), an American linguist and ethnologist. A grammar of Mutsun was written by Marc Okrand in 1977, based largely on Harrington's work.
The Amah Mutsun band are running a language revitalization program, which involves lessons and classes the University of California Davis and the University of California Santa Cruz, and also online lessons.
Information supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum
Information about Mutsun
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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