Kumeyaay Exhibit

In honor of the Kumeyaay Garden Dedication Ceremony taking place on Friday, September 22nd, Copley Library’s exhibit space features artifacts and publications highlighting the Kumeyaay people.Kumeyaay exhibit case with baskets and books. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Kumeyaay resided throughout what is now San Diego and into Baja California, including on the land that is now the University of San Diego Campus. The Kumeyaay Garden, located on Alcala Park Way behind the Hahn University Center, is a space that honors the Kumeyaay people, their traditional territory on which the USD campus resides, and plants indigenous to this land.

Copley Library’s Kumeyaay exhibit, curated by Diane Maher, Head of Special Collection, contains three works of Kumeyaay basketry, courtesy of the May Collection. Made of bear grass, juncus, pine, and yucca, these baskets represent a snipped of the Kumeyaay use of native plants. Once you view the intricacies of these baskets, visit the Kumeyaay Garden to see how these plants grew and how they had to be transformed to be utilized.

Kumeyaay pine needle basketry jar with lid.

Kumeyaay basket made of pine needles wrapped with yucca fibers.

Also featured in the exhibit is the work of Florence Connolly Shipek, an American anthropologist and ethnohistorian who focused much of her work on the study and advocacy of Southern California Indians. In addition to her published works about the Kumeyaay and other Native California tribes, Shipek served as an expert witness in Indian land and water rights cases. She also served as the Director of the Community Development Program for the University of San Diego where she headed an Indian Reservation Community Development program. Shipek’s work, along with a variety of publications on Kumeyaay history and culture available in the Library and Special Collections, are on display.

Delfina Cuero and autobiography.

Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay Indian, in whose autobiography she delves into life as a Kumeyaay woman and the changes she observed on what had been her ancestors land.

The Kumeyaay Garden Dedication Ceremony, which takes place on California Native American Day, will feature storytelling, tours, bird singing and Kumeyaay cultural activities. Be sure to attend the Ceremony, stop by the Kumeyaay exhibit space in Copley Library, and visit the David W. May American Indian Gallery in Serra Hall which also features an exhibit in conjunction with the dedication of the Kumeyaay Garden.

 

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