Category Archives: Kumeyaay Corner

KPBS Midday Edition Interviews Author of “Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias”

The interview features Michael Wilken-Robertson, Anthropologist and Professor at Cal-State University San Marcos talking about his book, Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias.

For thousands of years, the Kumeyaay people of northern Baja California and southern California made their homes in the diverse landscapes of the region, interacting with native plants and continuously refining their botanical knowledge. Today, many Kumeyaay Indians in the far-flung ranches of Baja California carry on the traditional knowledge and skills for transforming native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items. Kumeyaay Ethnobotany explores the remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias through in-depth descriptions of 47 native plants and their uses, lively narratives, and hundreds of vivid photographs. It connects the archaeological and historical record with living cultures and native plant specialists who share their ever-relevant wisdom for future generations.

Listen to the interview with Wilken-Robertson from January 2018 on KPBS Midday Edition in MP3 format. If this doesn’t work for you, visit the KPBS website.

Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias.


How the Creation of Borders Changed Kumeyaay Life

Rose Creek is in the traditional lands of the Kumeyaay. The Kumeyaay are a living cultural group here in San Diego and in the northern part of Baja California, Mexico.

Every month, the Friends of Rose Creek tries to bring you a tidbit of information on Kumeyaay culture, news, or current events.

Enjoy this great program about Kumeyaay culture and the Nation-State border that has divided the people. Watch How the Creation of Borders Changed Kumeyaay Life on KCET.

KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. In addition to broadcasting the finest programs from around the world, KCET produces and distributes award-winning local programs that explore the people, places and topics that are relevant to our region.

The Art of Basket Weaving

Enjoy this great documentary on Native American Basket Weaving with a special focus on California traditions.

Native American basketry has long been viewed as a community craft, yet the artistic quality and value of these baskets are on par with other fine art. Now Native peoples across the country are revitalizing basketry traditions and the country looks to California as a leader in basket weaving revitalization. There has been a revival in traditional basket weaving, thanks to the work of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA), which was founded in 1992 under the slogan “keeping the tradition alive.” This episode was made in partnership with the Autry Museum of the American West and CIBA.

Click here to watch

Kumeyaay-Ipai Interpretive Center

From the Friends of the Kumeyaay website:

Approximately 1,000 years ago, a Native American people called the Kumeyaay lived throughout what is now San Diego County and Baja California. During that time, the Pauwai Valley was occupied by hundreds of Kumeyaay-Ipai living off the land. The Ipai were a linguistic division of the Kumeyaay living in the northern part of what is now San Diego County. The Kumeyaay were still in Poway until the early 1900s. The evidence of their lives and work can be seen today at the Kumeyaay-Ipai Interpretive Center, founded by a partnership with the Friends of the Kumeyaay, the San Pasqual Band of Indians, and the City of Poway.

Tour of Interpretive Center from Friends of The Kumeyayy website.

Visit the Kumeyaay-Ipai interpretive Center on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10 am – 1 pm. 13104 Ipai Waaypuk Trail (formerly called Silver Lake Drive), Poway, California 92064.


Learn more at the Friends of The Kumeyaay website.

Kumeyaay Community College

The Kumeyaay are the people who were living in this region when the Spanish arrived. For hundreds of years, their culture was under attack but times are changing. Cuyamaca College and the Tribes of San Diego sponsor Kumeyaay Community College in El Cajon with information on Kumeyaay history, language and culture. Classes are open to anyone and can be used a college level credit at Cuyamaca Community College and potentially other community colleges.

Kumeyaay Community College is dedicated to creating a program of superior education and academic training through Native people’s worldview with an emphasis on the Kumeyaay perspective.

Study ethnobotany and ethnoecology, gain an understanding about the landscape and plants of the area, and/or learn about Kumeyaay history, language, arts and culture.

To learn more, visit the Kumeyaay Community College website.

News from So Cali Tribes

The Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association publishes the monthly TANF Newsletter with articles of interest to the First Nations of Southern California. The newsletter features historical information, cultural goings on, as well as a calendar of events. For those of us whose ancestors did not live along Rose Creek, taking the time to understand the people whose ancestors hunted antelope and fished along Rose Creek is important.

Read the entire March newsletter online.