Kumeyaay Clans and Territory

Kumeyaay Clans and Territory

Kumeyaay trace their family lineage back to a distant past and often to animals and creatures.  The table below depicts clans that were still extant in San Diego in the early 1900s.  Several of the clans reportedly originated in what is now Imperial Valley and clearly document a strong and probably ancient Kumeyaay presence in the territory east of the Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains and into the Algodones Dunes.

CLAN

MEANING

GLOSS/FAMILY NAME

     

Tipai (Southern)

   
     

Kwitak

 

Quitac

Nahwach/Naxwate

   

Yachap/Yatcap

 

LaChappa

Miskwis/Mishkwis

   

Kwamai

Wants to be tall

 

Saikul

   

Kwatl

Animal hide

Cuero/Hyde

Hetmeil/Hitlmiup

 

Hilmeup

Kanihich/Kwinhich

   

Hayipa

   

Hakisput

   

Tumau

 

Grasshopper

Kanihite/Kwinhite

   

Bolded clans are desert-based

   
     

Ipai (Northern)

   
     

Kukuro

Dark/Shady

Couro

Letcapa

 

LaChappa

Matuwir/Methuir

Hard like a rock

 

Critcak/Shrichak

Kind of owl

 

Kwilp/Kwitlp

Name of a shrub

Quilp

Xesil/Hesitl

Manzanita bush

 

U’u

Kind of owl

 

Baipa

 

Paipa

Esun

 

Osuna

Gwaha/Kwaha

   

Tumau

Grasshopper

 

Xipuwac/Hipuwach

   
     

shimulks

SHIMULKS (CLANS) OF SOUTHEASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY