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The Kumeyaay Indians. What did the Kumeyaay eat? What kind of shelter did the Kumeyaay live in? What kind of activities did the Kumeyaay participate in? What was the Kumeyaay’s religion?. What land did the Kumeyaay inhabit? What were Kumeyaay ceremonial occasions like?

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who were the kumeyaay indians
What did the Kumeyaay eat?

What kind of shelter did the Kumeyaay live in?

What kind of activities did the Kumeyaay participate in?

What was the Kumeyaay’s religion?

What land did the Kumeyaay inhabit?

What were Kumeyaay ceremonial occasions like?

Where are the Kumeyaay today?

What is the Kumeyaay’s future?

Who were the Kumeyaay Indians?
kumeyaay the first americans
Kumeyaay—The First Americans
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Activities
  • Kumeyaay were a hunting and food gathering society
  • Kumeyaay harvested plants
  • Kumeyaay hunted on land
  • Kumeyaay caught sea life
food harvesting
  • Acorns and pinon nuts were collected in the fall from the Laguna mountains and the mountains of Baja California.
  • Flowers, fruits, grain, seeds, stems, bulbs and roots were gathered in the spring and summer from the valleys, canyons and foot hills.
  • Kumeyaay also ate the agave plant, prickly pear, manzanita berries, elderberries, and pine nuts
harvesting acorns
Harvesting: Acorns
  • Acorn meal was a basic food for the Kumeyaay.
  • Acorns were gathered and crushed into powder with a mortar and pestle.
  • The powder was then washed over with water in a leeching basket to remove the bitterness.
  • It was then cooked into a cake and eaten.
harvesting acorns1
Harvesting: Acorns

This is what the grinding tools used to create acorn meal looked like:

harvesting agave plant
Harvesting:Agave Plant
  • Also very important in the Kumeyaay diet was the agave plant
  • The agave plant was dug up and the root cooked
  • It tastes like a sweet potato and was very popular
food hunting
  • Kumeyaay hunted rabbit, small rodents, birds
  • They also hunted large animals such as mountain sheep, antelope, and deer
  • The Kumeyaay hunting was done year round
hunting tools
Hunting: Tools
  • The Kumeyaay used bows and arrows to hunt deer, antelope, and big horned sheep
  • When hunting the big game the Kumeyaay attached the arrows made of obsidian
  • For smaller game, such as rabbit, only a sharpened point of the arrow shaft was needed
food sea life
Food—Sea Life
  • The Kumeyaay collected oysters, lobster, and abalone
  • The pieces of shell were used for making hooks to catch fresh and salt water fish
  • After the fish and mollusks were caught they could be eaten then or dried
  • Kumeyaay built their homes from the willow trees that grew so abundantly in the area
  • The dwellings were circular domed structures woven from willow branches that still had the leaves attached
  • Many of these homes scattered along the streams and valleys would be a part of the village
shelter dome shaped home
Shelter: Dome Shaped Home
  • The dome shaped home had a small door opening
  • A large basket or woven mat would be pulled over it at night to keep the cold air out
  • Sometimes a small fire was built within the structure for warmth
  • Often a rabbit blanket was also used as a soft warm covering and grasses were used to soften the floor
  • Cooking was done outside in fire pits
  • Kumeyaay activities included:
  • Music and Dance
  • Basketry
  • Pottery
  • Games and Recreation
activities music and dance
Music and Dance were a part of Kumeyaay ceremonies

The songs were a way to tell stories about their history and creation

To create music the Kumeyaay used the rattle and the flute

Activities: Music and Dance
activities basketry
Activities: Basketry
  • Kumeyaay created coiled baskets
  • Kumeyaay baskets were tightly knit in all different shapes and sizes
  • The baskets could be used to carry water or intricately designed and given as a gift
activities basketry1
Activities: Basketry
  • The materials used to make the baskets included: Bunch grass, deer grass, juncus and three leaf sumac
  • Many baskets were detailed and colored from beige to black
activities pottery
Activities: Pottery
  • Kumeyaay used pottery to store food, water, and cremated remains
  • Kumeyaay also used pottery to cook in
  • The pottery was made from clay collected from river banks and cliffs
activities games and recreation
Activities: Games and Recreation
  • The Kumeyaay took pride when playing games showing endurance
  • Kumeyaay also enjoyed playing games of chance
  • Kumeyaay still play a game today called Peone
kumeyaay the first americans1
Kumeyaay—The First Americans
  • Religion
  • Land
  • Ceremonial Occasions
  • The religious year was observed by solstice and equinox ceremonies, all managed by the kuseyaay or shaman
  • The kuseyaay were the healers of the village
  • The kuseyaay were also astronomers
  • Personal ceremonies such as marriage and death were performed by the kuseyaay only after certain star movements
  • The Kumeyaay inhabited what is now San Diego County and Baja California
  • This land includes coastal, desert, and mountainous areas
ceremonial occasions
Ceremonial Occasions
  • Ceremonies took place to provide for good hunts, seasons, and health of the people.
  • Personal ceremonies also took place for naming, puberty rites, marriage and death
ceremonial occasions death
Ceremonial Occasions—Death
  • When a Kumeyaay died the body was cremated
  • The body was stored in a pottery jar and buried at a special death ceremony
  • It was a Kumeyaay tradition to cut your hair when someone died
kumeyaay the first americans2
Kumeyaay—The First Americans
  • Today
  • San Diego
  • Future
  • After the Civil war, about 1865, Americans started to flood California, looking for new land and new opportunities
  • The new settlers forced the Kumeyaay into reservations
  • The Kumeyaay people now live in many different reservations
san diego
San Diego
  • Today in San Diego, the Kumeyaay are well known for their casinos
  • The Kumeyaay and many other native people are using the profit from casinos to benefit their communities as a whole.
  • The Kumeyaay are working to shape policy, create better homes and health services, and provide for themselves and their community
  • By remembering the past, the Kumeyaay move into the future, by educating young Kumeyaay on where they come from
  • The Kumeyaay are able to continue helping many non-gaming tribes in Southern California from the money brought by the casinos