Did Native Kumeyaays Live at Ocean Beach Before the Spanish Arrived?

by on September 16, 2015 · 0 comments

in California, Culture, Environment, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach

Richard Carrico

Richard Carrico

Have you ever wondered if native peoples – the Kumeyaay – ever lived at what is now Ocean Beach? If they did, what were their lives like? What did they eat?

All you answers will be given at the OB Historical Society’s presentation this Thursday night, September 17th, with Professor Richard Carrico, an expert on the lifestyles and history of the native peoples in San Diego County.

Carrico will be presenting “Kumeyaay on the Coast – Overlooked Aspects of Native Fishing and Maritime” at the Point Loma United Methodist Church at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at 7 pm. The program is free to the public.

From the OB Historical Society:

The San Diego region has always been a mecca for those who want to fish and to enjoy the rich bounty of our bays and ocean. When guest lecturer Professor Richard Carrico says always, he means always—as in for thousands of years.

The Kumeyaay people of San Diego County are often portrayed as people who relied on acorns, deer, and rabbits as their primary food sources. While these foods were important, the Kumeyaay were also masters of the bays and oceans—they were maritime peoples thousands of years before arrival of the Spaniards.

Mr. Carrico has been researching the role of the ocean and bays in Kumeyaay culture, including the Ocean Beach area, for more than thirty years. Relying on archaeological, anthropological, and historical data, Carrico will peel back more than 3,000 years of history to provide an image of the Kumeyaay that has been largely ignored.

This discussion will focus on the techniques and methods used by the Kumeyaay to procure a large variety of fish, shellfish, and other maritime food sources.

Topics will range from the types of boats and canoes used by the Kumeyaay, the importance of the oceans and bays in Kumeyaay oral tradition, the various locales exploited by the Kumeyaay including the deep ocean, the off shore islands, and San Diego and Mission Bays. Mr. Carrico will also place Kumeyaay fishing and maritime activities within the context of their overall cosmology including the many native maritime place names.

Mr. Carrico will also be available to sign copies of his recently re-issued, and award winning, book “Strangers in a Stolen Land”, a vivid history of the Indians of San Diego County. This OBHS Program is free.


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