The Kumeyaay “down near San Diego used to take lots of salt from the bay and trade it for mesquite beans and other things from the desert. They used to go a long way to trade for what they needed. There were no roads then, just trails, and we walked and carried everything on our backs. Dried sea food, pumpkins, and dried greens were traded for gourds, acorns, agave, and honey.” (Excerpted from…)

For at least 12,000 years the Kumeyaay lived on the San Diego, California coast.  The Kumeyaay are metropolitan in the sense that they are connected over an extreme variety of landscapes, including the Pacific Ocean, verdant mountains and desert lowlands. Traditional Kumeyaay territory spanned from the coast, East over the mountains and nearly as far as the Colorado River, North into the Yuha/Anza Borrego desert and South into Baja California.  At the center of it all is a wide open valley called Jacumba. It is not only geographically central in Kumeyaay land, but it is also spiritually central as it is the source of sacred hot springs where many Kumeyaay would spend the winter. It stands at what is now the border of two countries.

This is an inside look at some of the landscape and pictographs in the prehistoric trading, ceremonial hub, and winter camp of Jacumba.

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