The Kumeyaay or Tipai-Ipai were formerly known as the Kamia or Diegueños, the former Spanish name applied to the Mission Indians living along the San Diego River. The term Kumeyaay translates as “Those who face the water from a cliff”, with the word meyaay meaning “steep” or “cliff”.
Their houses were dome-shaped structures covered with bundles of rushes and long grasses. In the mountains, they had sturdy, triangular- shaped houses of wood and bark. They had no horses or other beasts of burden. The men wore bark or buckskin loincloths, and the women wore grass or bark skirts.
Kumeyaay ( Kumiai ), also known as Central Diegueño, Kamia, and Campo, is the Native American language spoken by the Kumeyaay people of southern San Diego and Imperial counties in California. Hinton (1994:28) suggested a conservative estimate of 50 native speakers of Kumeyaay.
THE FOUR INDIGENOUS TRIBES native to the County of San Diego include: CAHUILLA, CUPENO, LUISENO, and KUMEYAAY (aka Iipay -Tipay- Diegueño ). Also visit the KUMEYAAY.INFO KUMEYAAY RESEARCH and CALIFORNIA INDIAN RESEARCH portals. See our KUMEYAAY GUIDE for a list of the Kumeyaay reservations.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
The Kumeyaay planted trees and fields of grain; grew squash, beans and corn; gathered and grew medicinal herbs and plants, and dined on fresh fruits, berries, pine nuts and acorns. Kumeyaay fished, hunted deer and other animals, and were known for basket weaving and pottery.
The Kumeyaay Indians lived in a dome shaped home called an e’waa [ee-wah’]. The ewaa was usually 15 to 20 feet long and wide. The floor was either soft grass, sand, or dirt.
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.
Five Civilized Tribes, term that has been used officially and unofficially since at least 1866 to designate the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians in Oklahoma (former Indian Territory).
For example, the word for ‘ hello ‘ is háawak, pronounced: HAAWka, and not haawka. The examples used to illustrate each sound are, as much as possible – words which in some form are common to all three Kumeyaay languages.
The word Kumeyaay is pronouned KOOM-yai. The KOOM part rhymes with loom and the yai part rhymes with pie. Some people pronounce Kumeyaay in three syllables and add an extra “uh” between KOOM and yai.
The Kumeyaay Indians hunted many different animals. They hunted large animals like antelope, goats, deer, and mountain sheep with bow and arrows. They also trapped little animals like badgers, rabbits, rodents and birds like quail.
The Yurok Tribe is currently the largest group of Native Americans in the state of California, with 6357 enrolled members living in or around the reservation.
The Pine Ridge Reservation is home to the lowest life expectancy, and a number of the poorest communities in the United States. The average life expectancy on Pine Ridge is 66.81 years, the lowest in the United States.
Tribes included the Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mojave, Yokuts, Pomo, Paiute, and Modoc. On the other hand, the mountains that divided the groups made extensive warfare impractical, and the California tribes and clans enjoyed a comparatively peaceful life.