Diego's Native People
shards, 'metates' or grinding stones, pieces of obsidian traded in
far off lands, and other remnants of the Kumeyaay native American
population who lived and managed land in this area for hundreds of
years from inland to the coast are sprinkled across San Diego's refuges.
Today, Kumeyaay residents continue to be active members of the San
Diego community. Kumeyaay who live just across the international border
with Mexico frequently visit relatives and neighbors for social, cultural
and business activities.
In times past, Kumeyaay managed the water- starved landscape of San
Diego by building dams and sluices to enhance natural meadow wetlands
trapping water that would linger long after the last rains of winter.
These wetlands enabled Kumeyaay villages to produce crops, attract
wildlife like the area's mule deer and rabbits and, in general, sustain
life through the long dry months of spring and summer.
Native plants were used for clothing, food, shelter and medicine.
Juncus, a strong, flexible, reedy plant that grows along rivers and
in marshes was used to make intricately decorated baskets as were
pine needles from trees farther inland. These tightly woven baskets
were used for everything from food storage and cradles to cooking
pots. Kumeyaay baskets and pottery are highly valued today by collectors
for their beauty and fine craftsmanship.
Photographs Courtesy Of The San
Diego Museum Of Man
on a photo below to view a large image
Celestine La Chappa Basket: "Snake"
Celestine La Chappa Basket: "Leaves"