Kumeyaay and The Tracks We Leave Behind.

Native American Kumeyaay from the San Diego area work near the foot of an Ewaa, or dome shaped home made of sycamore and oak tree branches.
Native American Kumeyaay from the San Diego area work near the foot of an ewaa, a dome-shaped hut made of sycamore and oak tree branches.

Over two years ago, when Cool San Diego Sights was relatively new, I blogged about some amazing public art near the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego. I provided just a brief glimpse, really.

The artwork, titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, created by Betsy K. Schulz in 2008, is so utterly fantastic, so absorbing, I’ve decided to blog about it once again. Whenever I walk past (which is often), I like to pause an extra few seconds beside my favorite column, which features gorgeous mosaics that depict wild nature and the Native American Kumeyaay people, who have lived around San Diego for about 12,000 years.

Living in this place we set fires to open the land and make the seeds grow. We fish all year, both near shore and deep. We walk to the canyons and the mountains--hunting, gathering food and trading . . .
Living in this place we set fires to open the land and make the seeds grow. We fish all year, both near shore and deep. We walk to the canyons and the mountains–hunting, gathering food and trading . . .
Public art titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, by Betsy K. Schulz, 2008, includes image of a Kumeyaay hattepaa (coyote) howling.
Public art titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, by Betsy K. Schulz, 2008, includes the image of a Kumeyaay hattepaa (coyote) howling.
Beautiful handmade mosaic tiles show a Kumeyaay ispa (eagle) in flight.
Beautiful handmade mosaic tiles form a Kumeyaay ispa (eagle) in flight.
The bald eagle has captured a Kumeyaay hiiwaa (fish).
The bald eagle has captured a Kumeyaay hiiwaa (fish).
Yellow Sycuan Suncups grace this gorgeous, detailed public artwork in downtown San Diego.
Yellow Sycuan Suncups grace this gorgeous, detailed public artwork in downtown San Diego.
The yellow bloom of a prickly pear. This sculpted tile mosaic is so phenomenal, you almost can't remove your eyes from it!
The yellow bloom of a prickly pear. This sculpted tile mosaic is so phenomenal, you almost can’t remove your eyes from it!
The native Kumeyaay people (also called Kumiai, Ipai-Iipay, Tipai-Tipay, Diegueño, Kamia) have lived in the San Diego region for around 12,000 years.
The native Kumeyaay people (also called Kumiai, Ipai-Iipay, Tipai-Tipay, Diegueño, Kamia) have lived in the San Diego region for around 12,000 years.
Public art in San Diego depicts Cinon Duro Mataweer, spiritual leader (kuseyaay or tribal shaman) of the Ipai (formerly northern Diegueño) Native American Indian tribe.
Public art in San Diego depicts Cinon Duro Mataweer, spiritual leader (kuseyaay or tribal shaman) of the Ipai (formerly northern Diegueño) Native American Indian tribe.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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