Exhibit shows Kumeyaay history in the South Bay.

The Chula Vista Heritage Museum now has an exhibit that includes Kumeyaay history in the South Bay. Bringing the past to life.
The Chula Vista Heritage Museum has an exhibit that features Kumeyaay history in the South Bay. Bringing the past to life.

Until this afternoon I’d never stepped inside the Civic Center Branch of the Chula Vista Public Library. The other day I learned this library is home to the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, so I wanted to take a look!

The small but very fine museum, which is located in a corner of the library, now features an exhibit titled Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay. There are all sorts of fascinating displays concerning fossils and wildlife and natural resources that are an essential part of Chula Vista’s story. But the section that fascinated me most provides information about the Native American Kumeyaay people and their very long history in the South Bay.

If you are interested in this region and its rich history, head down to the Civic Center Branch of the Chula Vista Public Library when it’s open, and take a stroll through the Chula Vista Heritage Museum!

In addition to displays about birds, fish, wildlife and plants, the exhibit explores the history of indigenous people in the South Bay region.
In addition to displays about birds, fish, wildlife and plants, the exhibit explores the history of indigenous people in the South Bay region.
Our Kumeyaay ancestors understood that without water there is no life. The term Mai Ha refers to the Creator--the life sustaining water cycle from the heavens to the Earth.
Our Kumeyaay ancestors understood that without water there is no life. The term Mai Ha refers to the Creator–the life sustaining water cycle from the heavens to the Earth.
The Kumeyaay near the coast traded acorns, deer meat, baskets, seafood and shells for obsidian, red ochre, pottery, agave and other items from clans in the eastern mountains and deserts.
The Kumeyaay near the coast traded acorns, deer meat, baskets, seafood and shells for obsidian, red ochre, pottery, agave and other items from clans in the eastern mountains and deserts.
Kumeyaay artifacts include willow baskets. Bedrock mortars and metates were used to grind acorns to flour.
Kumeyaay artifacts include beautiful willow baskets. Bedrock mortars and metates were used to grind acorns to flour.
The Kumeyaay made sandals, nets and rope from the fibers of Coastal Agave and Yuccas.
The Kumeyaay made sandals, nets and rope from the fibers of Coastal Agave and Yuccas.
Maps show extent of the Kumeyaay/Diegueño Nation in 1775, 1822 and 1850, as Spain, Mexico and the United States took control of more land.
Maps show extent of the Kumeyaay/Diegueño Nation in 1775, 1822 and 1850, as Spain, Mexico and the United States took control of more land.
The Kumeyaay of the Sycuan band have ancestral village sites along the Sweetwater River. The village of Chiap or Chayp was located by mudflats at the southern end of South Bay.
The Kumeyaay of the Sycuan band have ancestral village sites along the Sweetwater River. The village of Chiap or Chayp was located by mudflats at the southern end of South Bay.
Historical photo of a Kumeyaay village in the South Bay region. San Diego Bay and the Silver Strand are visible in the background.
Historical photo of a Kumeyaay village in the South Bay region. San Diego Bay and the Silver Strand are visible in the background.

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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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