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Borders and Baskets: How the Creation of Borders Changed Kumeyaay Life

When Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s fleet first sailed into the San Diego harbor in 1542, the Kumeyaay were on hand to greet the strangers. The various bands of the Kumeyaay have called a wide range of land — including what is now San Diego County, east to the Yuma Sand Dunes, north to Warner Springs Valley and south to Ensenada — home for more than 10,000 years.

The Spaniards encountered a complex society, who were master ecologists. The Kumeyaay had developed advanced land and watershed management strategies and social structures. They inhabited a wide range of ecological niches ranging from low desert to sky-high mountains, rich watersheds, forests — both mountainous and dry — and oceanside resources.


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