Kumeyaay Elder Series

Kumeyaay Elder Series

This 8-part series introduces the Kumeyaay, an Indigenous tribe who have lived at the northern border of Baja California in Mexico and the southern border of California. Their Kumeyaay language belongs to the Yuman–Cochimí language family. This video explores their culture and history while highlighting their rich musical traditions in song, dance, and art.

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Course Description

The Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai or Diegueño, have lived at the shores of the Pacific Ocean for centuries. Their legacy is one of culture and perseverance. Through their Kumeyaay language, songs and stories we are reminded of their connection to nature, family and community. We are excited to share their voices and knowledge.

The Kumeyaay elder series is a cultural documentation project based on the teachings of Kumeyaay traditional leaders. This project was conceived as a means to preserve the knowledge, practices, stories and songs of the Kumeyaay people in an effort to restore their lost cultural heritage.

A Special Thank you

This Kumeyaay Elders Series is supported by the MAT Access Points Project, which is funded through the Department of Health Care Services California MAT Expansion Project and is administered by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.

The Kumeyaay Elders Series was produced by Indigenous Regeneration and The Yumans
Directed by Cyrus Sutton, Lacey Cannon, Chris Alvarado, Richard Bugbee, and Nocturnes Films.

Filmed by: Cyrus Sutton, Nocturnes Films and Leia Marasovich

A special thank you to the elders, team members and funders that made this project possible.

Our last Chief - Cinon Duro

Meet our Kumeyaay Speakers


It is important to know who you are. The first step is to know your language.

We are here to adapt how you learn. You deserve to know your history told by your ancestors!

We can do it all! Teach it, sing it, and make it! Learn from us one on one.

It is important to know who you are. The first step is to know your language.