The Kumeyaay were friendly people. Their lifestyle depended on keeping peaceful relations with nearby tribes. They often traded items with their neighbors.

However when peace efforts failed, the Kumeyaay were prepared to fight. Sometimes, war was necessary to protect their land and people. If Kumeyaay territory was invaded, war would likely break out.

The Kumeyaay often ambushed their enemies. When fighting, they used war clubs and bows and arrows. Their war clubs were cylinder shaped. Their bows were made of willow and had strings made from sinew. Arrowheads were made from stone or wood. These were attached to the arrows with asphaltum.

Prior to European contact, war did not always lead to death. Sometimes, the Kumeyaay were satisfied simply to chase away an enemy.

Yet after European contact, some of the traditional Kumeyaay war methods changed. The tribe began using horses and guns during battle. This made war more deadly.

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