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

2 months ago

La Rumorosa Rock Art

Happy birthday today to Don Liponi! ...

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2 months ago

La Rumorosa Rock Art

“There's less than 200 copies left of Don's excellent book, “La Rumorosa”, so you better get your copy today!”

—Walt Whitman
...

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2 months ago

La Rumorosa Rock Art

From "Vestiges"

Monthly Newsletter of URARA, the Utah Rock Art Research Association

June 2018; Vol 38; Number 06

Book Review, La Rumarosa Rock Art
Richard Jenkinson

La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border: Survey of Kumeyaay and Related Artwork in Southern California, Colorado River Corridor, Western Arizona and Baja California

Photography by Don Liponi and Daren Sefcik
Contributions by: Aha Makav Cultural Society, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; Cheeyow and He-Emah, Tipai Native Americans, Campo Kumeyaay Nation; Lynn H. Gamble; Ken Hedges; Michael Wilken-Robertson; Polly Schaafsma; M. Steven Shackley with Steven Lucas-Pfingst, Kwaaymii-Kumeyaay Native American; Ben H. Swadley; and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Desert Trails Publishing
2017
306 pages

A helluva lot of color photos
The book focuses on rock art and Native American culture along the California-Mexico border. This area has received little previous attention in rock art literature. The rock art is not as spectacular as what we often see in Utah or in other parts of California, but what is special here is the comprehensive treatment of the material. We get the perspectives of history, archaeology, ethnology, and interviews and essays by Native Americans of the region. There is commentary by rock art experts, including perceptive essays by Ken Hedges and Polly Schaafsma. The book is lavishly illustrated with color photography. There are six galleries of photos of rock art that run fifteen to twenty pages each. Most of the rock art photos are DStretched because the artwork is often badly faded. The format and comprehensive approach to the material provide a template that can be used to examine the rock art of other areas. Very highly recommended!
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