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The area was inhabited by the Temecula Native Americans for hundreds of years before their contact with the Spanish missionaries. The Pechanga Band of Luiseño believe they have been here since "time immemorial". In Pechanga mythology, life on earth began in the Temecula Valley. They call it, "Exva Temeeku", which means "the place of much water." Alternatively, in the Luiseño language, temeekunga means “looking-place” or “viewing-place”; and refers to a sacred place looking out over a large valley where people gather to pray and connect with each other spiritually. The first recorded Spanish visit occurred in October 1797 when Father Juan Norberto de Santiago visited an Indian rancheria at present day Rancho California Road and Cahuilla Road (then called El Camino Viejo). Father Santiago kept a journal in which he noted seeing 'Temecula' written on an oak tree ("Quercus lobata").