KWAAYMII CULTURAL CENTER
HISTORIES OF SIGNIFICANT INDIVIDUALS
of the Kwaaymii.
"This is where they lived and where they died and where they still live on, as far as memory is concerned," Carmen said. "They should not be forgotten." Carmen Lucas, 2004.
|KWAAYMII; PEOPLE RIGHT HERE
Naming is an act of power. Scripture informs us that naming is the first recorded act of dominion. Thus, naming is assigning the symbol of identity. The one who assigns is the insider. Similarly the first response, to another or others is to assign a name..
Night: Indian Sky
By Roy Cook
Summer is a great time to look to the stars. Many times at night, when the air is still in the desert or we are on a high place elsewhere, it seems we can almost touch the stars. Some say all that we need to know is in the sky above us if we just take the time to SEE and not just look. Sacred Above, X , Sacred, Below. How many stars are there in the sky? How many stories about the stars are there? There are many Tribal stories that explain and/or include the stars. We will look to four tribal stories: from the West, East, South and North.
Where I am from, Southern Arizona, these things are best done in sets of four. Traditionally the Oodham watch the stars and when the Pleiades cross the sky in one night that is the proper time for story telling. These nights are the longest of the year. The stories are told for four nights. Traditionally by groups of two, one telling the story and one assisting him. There is an often-told Tohono O'odham story that describes the Milky Way as spilled tepary beans a coyote stole and dropped as he ran away.
Some stories can only be properly told at night or in certain seasons. To do otherwise would be telling stories in the off-season and that would jeopardize the....
Sky was acknowledged during a recent Wildcat song practice session and
according to Jon Mesa Cuero, This
song was composed in 1848 or 1849. It presents the impressions
of the composer starting a jouney North from Tecate in the Sun wise circle
of the Tipai villages. Yellow Sky was a man who was very slender and tall.
(One of the physical characteristics of the River people, especially the
Quechan, is their height. Many well over six and a half feet.) Thus, according
to Jon, This man was so tall he could have painted the sky. This
is why he was called "pinta el cielo amarillo" in Tipai, Mai
Ta Quas, Paints the Sky Yellow. A further association with the Kwaimii
is the Nymii Wilcat song the makes direct reference to the southern village
site Ewiiaapaay or Cuyapaipe. Refer to village map for song clip and location.
(Click map to enlarge and hear clip.)
WA AMAAY KWAKAS (Yellow sky) is a historical Native American from the turn of the 20th century. He was documented and photographed by the Mesa Grade resident and prominent ethnographer Edward H. Davis.
Study the character of SuSaana Klietch. . Visualize the delight and laughter those smile lines experienced. Imagine a life over 120 years. A life of wonder. A life of tradition. A life surrounded by the beauty of the Creator's world. Confident in her ability to pray. SuSaana is Kwaimii and known to us from early accounts. She lived in a time of pressure, change and tragedy. The qualities of endurance are written in her entirety. SuSaana is Kwaimii tradition.
The women bring forth life. Women nurture and sustain our heritage. "Ask your Mother." This is a constant thought we hear throughout life. "Women know, they just know." Also speaks to the sustaining role tribal women fulfill.
SuSaana was Mother to two daughters. One, passed on, the other is Maria Alto. SuSaana's husband is Pedro Pamay. They lived their lives in a traditional Kwaimii culture. She was a singer, known for this ability far and wide among Kumeyaay people. Further, she was often sought out for her knowledge of botanicals and medicine. SuSaana is reported to have be gifted in her ability to diagnose illness with song and rhythm. Her acts of responsibility and generosity demonstrate traditional Kwaimii hospitality. We cherish the memory of Susanna Klietch and the beauty of her association. By Roy Cook
|BRIEF HISTORY OF EFFORTS TO RETAIN TRIBAL LANDS|
|'THE KUMEYAAY INDIANS'|
Interesting bits of information about the area:
|JOSE MANUEL HATAM
Respected Indian leader from a
band inhabiting present day Balboa Park
|In the Spring Valley area, Judge
Augustus S. Ensworth hired Indians
to work his spread. Ensworth paid his Indian employees a dollar a day.
Ironically, Ensworth had built his adobe ranch house in the center of the
recently abandoned Tipai (Kumeyyay) village of Neti or Meti.
This important village was a leader in the 1775 attack on Mission San Diego de Alcala.
|Further south in National City, Charles Kimball, the founder of National City, noted in his diary of 1877 that he had hired two Indian laborers for ten dollars a piece per month plus board|
|Jane Dumas - D Q Language Course|
|WHAT IS THE REAL NAME FOR THIS PLACE ? Click
here to continue
In the old days, of course, speakers of 'Iipay had their own names for the various places around San Diego. A lot of these have been forgotten now,
but here are a few of the ones that people still remember. (Look at the maps
to see where they are.)
Quite a few place names around San Diego are of Kumeyyay origin.
La Jolla - This is probably from the Tipai word for "hole" or "cave" Ilehup.
In one dialect the name for La Jolla would be MAT KALLUP "place of caves". But in another dialect of Tipai, it is MAT KULAAHUUY which
is closer to the modern name.
Mission Gorge 'Ewiiykaakap ("goes around the rock ")
It is true that until 1900 and 1910 many Kumeyyay Indians had lived in
Mission Valley and in various places around San Diego. A favorite spot
was between 13th and 17th around K Street. Other Indian living areas were:
on the bay at the foot of Fifth Street, along the Silver Strand, at the foot of Rose Canyon, along Ocean Beach, around the edge of Mission Bay
(False Bay), and all up and down Mission Valley. Each of these locations has been corroborated independently by non-Indian "old timers" in San Diego.
During this same period of time, in addition to the Indians
on the reservations of San Diego County, there
were off reservation Indians camped throughout Lakeside, El
Cajon, Monte Vista, Jamacha, Otay, and all the little mountain valleys
of the San Diego back country, like Descanso
By 1910 the non-Indian populations of San Diego were increasing and filling Mission Valley with small farms and the city area with houses and business. The Indians gradually moved out of the coastal regions
|Learn to Speak IPAI - Kumeyaay||Kumeyaay Language Course|