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date: 11 July 2020

Diegueño [Ipai-Tipai; Iipay Tipay; Tiipay; Kumeyaay; “Mission Indians” of Southern California; Kumeyaay Kumiai (Mexico); Cochim (Mexico)]locked

  • Leanne Hinton
  • , revised by Kay Edwards


[Ipai-Tipai; Iipay Tipay; Tiipay; Kumeyaay; “Mission Indians” of Southern California; Kumeyaay Kumiai (Mexico); Cochim (Mexico)]

Native American group, whose territory included most of what are now San Diego and Imperial counties, and Western Baja California, extending somewhat south of Ensenada. Like most Californian Indians, the Diegueño were not recognized as a tribe in a political sense, but were a set of autonomous clans, each identified with a defined territory, and all speaking mutually intelligible dialects of a single language; the separate clans were linked to each other primarily by marriage and by social ties expressed in ceremonies and their accompanying dances and songs. The Kumeyaay-Diegueño are one of four surviving tribal groups indigenous to San Diego County and include 13 federally recognized bands (nations).

Solo instrumental music was rare among the Diegueño, as it was among other North American Indians. Young men played courtship melodies on the flute, and the musical bow and whistle were played for entertainment. The bullroarer was used as a call to ceremonies. Other instruments included scraped baskets, and rattles made of clay, gourds, turtle shells, or deer hooves; for instance, in Kumeyaay-Diegueño bird songs, gourd or tortoise-shell rattles filled with palm seed are used to provide rhythm. The Diegueño did not use drums. Most Diegueño sang, though many song types were restricted to shamans, or to men who had taken jimsonweed at initiation in an effort to obtain spiritual contacts. Singing played a central role in most social gatherings. It was also a necessary part of attempts to cure illness and to manage weather, and of all ceremonial occasions, including adolescence rites, religious ceremonies, and mourning rites. Much recreation involved singing, including a traditional gambling game, known by its Spanish name ...

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