• The tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument

    Cabrillo

    National Monument California

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  • Cabrillo National Monument Theater Closed on Selected Dates

    Due to National Park Service alternate uses, the Cabrillo National Monument theater will be closed to the public on the following dates: October 28 all day, October 29 9am-12pm, November 6, 2014 12pm-5pm. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Kumeyaay

Kumeyaay Woman
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo encountered Kumeyaay people - much like this reenactor - when he arrived here.  Today, their contemporary descendants still live in San Diego County.
NPS Photo
 

The Fifth Nation

As Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed north, he knew that the land he was to claim for Spain was already occupied by people called Indians. When he entered the harbor here, he saw several Kumeyaay Indians waiting on shore and was greeted by three of them. They had long hair, some in braids and adorned with feathers or shells. Some men wore capes made from the skin of sea otter, seal, or deer. By mimicking men with lances on horseback and demonstrating armor and the slashed sleeves worn by Spanish soldiers, the Kumeyaay indicated that other Spanish were several days’ journey inland and that they had killed many Indians. “They showed that they (the bearded men) had crossbows, and made gestures with their right arm as if they were spearing,” Cabrillo wrote. “They went running as if they were on a horse, and for that reason they were afraid.” Cabrillo, however, gave the Kumeyaay gifts and said he would not harm them. He noted that they looked prosperous and sailed far out to sea fishing in reed canoes. The Kumeyaay lived well by understanding their environment. They made pottery, baskets, and abalone and other shell jewelry that they traded to neighbors.

Today, descendants of the Kumeyaay people that Cabrillo encountered still live in San Diego County on thirteen reservations. Tribal members are an integral part of the annual Cabrillo Festival Open House, along with representatives from the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Portugal. Known as The Fifth Nation, the Kumeyaay share their traditions and stories with thousands of Festival visitors. To learn more about Kumeyaay history and culture, click on the link to the right.

 

Did You Know?

CNMF

Did you know that, since its inception in 1956, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation has donated over $1.5 million to the educational and interpretive efforts of Cabrillo National Monument?