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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Kumeyaay Indians - a foot in both worlds

The Kumeyaay people's traditional land straddles the border between Mexico and California in the US. It is believed that their ancestors have inhabited this area for at least 1,300 years. Many ended up on Spanish missions or reservations, but many others have lead a semi-nomadic existence down to the present day. Until only a generation or two ago many of the unsettled Kumeyaay moved back and fourth across the border. Here 'Ancient ways remained not only relevant but necessary to get by.' Sadly today their language and traditional crafts are in danger of being lost forever.

Just as the traditional Kumenyaay lands straddled the border, so too do the descendants of the Kumenyaay people have a foot in both a traditional way of life and a modern one. In many ways, to outside observers it seems that these two worlds are set on an inevitable collision course. That may not necessarily be the case, because 'not a simple snapshot of the past, but a complex amalgam of old and new' as indicated in this interesting article.

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