The Kumeyaay

History of the Kumeyaay Indians

The Kumeyaay and their ancestors  have lived on the Baja-California border at least 10,000 years in accordance with a recent excavation near Jacumba. Their descendants are probably the Yuman speaking Tipai. The striking red, black and white pictographs were painted in caves and on rocks along the southern California border, up the Gila River and along the Colorado River, ranging from the lower Grand Canyon to the Sea of Cortez. This tradition of ancient art is called La Rumorosa, after a site in northeastern Baja, Mexico.

The Kumeyaay Indians Today

There are twelve surviving North American Kumeyaay bands in the United States that are recognized by the federal government as sovereign tribal governments. Four Kumeyaay tribal communities survive south of the border in Baja California, Mexico.

One of the more successful tribal ventures are the San Diego County Kumeyaay Indian casinos, resorts, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, and golf courses. You can learn more about them by clicking on this link.

Basketry of the Mission Indians

A photo from 1924 by Edward S. Curtis from The North American Indian (1907-1930) v.15, Southern California Shoshoneans. The Dieguenos Plateau Shoshoneans. The Washo ([Seattle] : E.S. Curtis ; [Cambridge, Mass. : The University Press], 1926), plate no. 509

Kumeyaay Bands of the United States

  • Campo Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
  • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians
  • San Pasqual Band of Indians
  • Inaja Cosmit Indian Reservation
  • Capitan Grande Indian Reservation
  • Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Indians, aka Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel
  • Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians aka Cuyapaipe
  • Manzanita Indian Reservation
  • La Posta Indian Reservation
  • Jamul Indian Village A Kumeyaay Nation
  • Mesa Grande Indian Reservation
  • Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation

The Baja California, Mexico, Kumiai Bands

  • San Jose de la Zorra
  • La Huerta
  • Juntas de Neji
  • San Antonio Necua
  • Santa Catarina (Kumeyaay-Pai Pai)

Campo reservation is only a few miles from the Mexican boundary.

A photo from 1924 by Edward S. Curtis from The North American Indian (1907-1930) v.15, Southern California Shoshoneans. The Dieguenos Plateau Shoshoneans. The Washo ([Seattle] : E.S. Curtis ; [Cambridge, Mass. : The University Press], 1926), plate no. 525

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