Clothing

Kumeyaay clothing was made from plants and animals. Women wore skirts woven from willow bark. Men wore waist cords made from plant fibers. These belts resembled netting. The men used them to hold tools. During winter, both men and women wore robes for extra warmth. The robes were made from animal hides or furs.

The Kumeyaay wore basket hats for protection and decoration. Underneath them, they kept their hair long. The men wore their hair loose or tied up in a knot. Women had bangs.  After a family member’s death, relatives cut their hair short as a symbol of mourning.

To decorate their bodies, the Kumeyaay tattooed and painted themselves. Women tattooed their chins and sometimes their arms or chests. Men occasionally tattooed their legs. Both men and women painted their faces and bodies for ceremonies.

Kumeyaay material provided courtesy of ABDO Publishing Company.  Author Barbara A. Gray-Kanatiiosh, JD.  Illustrations by David Kanietakeron Fadden