The Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai or by their historical Spanish name Diegueño, is a tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas who live at the northern border of Baja California in Mexico and the southern border of California in the United States.
The Kumeyaay, Yuman-speaking people of Hokan stock, have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years. Today, Kumeyaay tribal members are divided into 12 separate bands: Barona, Campo, Ewiiaapaayp, Inaja-Cosmit, Jamul, LaPosta, Manzanita, Mesa Grande, San Pasqual, Santa Ysabel, Sycuan, and Viejas.
Before contact, the Kumeyaay lived along oceans and rivers. They lived in small family groups which had to move frequently to find new sources of food and water. Some of these nomadic clans were allies, others were enemies. Each clan wintered in a sheltered valley and migrated into the mountains in the spring.
Kumeyaay fished, hunted deer and other animals, and were known for basket weaving and pottery. The people had sophisticated practices of agriculture, plant and animal husbandry; maintained wild animal stocks; controlled erosion and overgrowth; built dams; created watersheds and stored groundwater.
The Kumeyaay Peoples are the Indigenous people of present -day Southern California (San Diego and western Imperial Counties) and Northern Baja California.
The Kumeyaay are not the Aztecs, although other local indigenous groups, such as the Luiseño and Cupeño, are distant Aztec relatives.
“ The Kumeyaay, referred to as Diegueño by the Spanish, were the original native inhabitants of San Diego County. The Kumeyaay, Yuman-speaking people of Hokan stock, have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years. Historically, the Kumeyaay were horticulturists and hunters and gatherers.
The tribal groupings make up the indigenous Indians of San Diego County: the Kumeyaay/Diegueño, the Payoomkawichum (Quechnajuichom/Luiseño and Acjachemen/Juaneño), the Kuupiaxchem/Cupeño, and the Cahuilla.
Kumeyaay shelters were called ‘ewaa. The ‘ewaa were dome-shaped and were made of poles that were covered with grass, brush, or bark. There was one door and one hole in the roof that allowed smoke to escape. They slept on mats made of tule reeds and used blankets made of rabbit skin.
THE FOUR INDIGENOUS TRIBES native to the County of San Diego include: CAHUILLA, CUPENO, LUISENO, and KUMEYAAY (aka Iipay-Tipay-Diegueño).
Kumeyaay women wore willow bark skirts while the men usually wore no clothing, only a woven agave belts to hold tools for hunting and gathering. They sometimes wore agave fiber sandals over rocky or thorny areas but usually went barefoot. In cold weather men and women wore a rabbit fur blanket.
Religious Beliefs. The Kumeyaay worshiped a high god and his prophet, Kuuchamaa, who taught moral rules and proper behavior. Eagles, red-tailed hawks, and ravens were messengers between chiefs and God. Lesser spirits in all living things were placated by rituals.
Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement The university was built on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. Today, the Kumeyaay people continue to maintain their political sovereignty and cultural traditions as vital members of the San Diego Community.
KERE AT THE TURN OF THE 21ST CENTURY the 12 surviving North American Kumeyaay bands in the United States are recognized by the federal government as SOVEREIGN TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS. Four Kumeyaay tribal communities survive south of the border in Baja California, Mexico.
The Kumeyaay tribe calls San Diego home. Highway 8 that runs near campus is named after the Kumeyaay, and San Diego State is actually located on Kumeyaay ancestral lands.
The Luiseño or Payómkawichum are an indigenous people of California who, at the time of the first contacts with the Spanish in the 16th century, inhabited the coastal area of southern California, ranging 50 miles (80 km) from the present-day southern part of Los Angeles County to the northern part of San Diego County,