Tecate is a charming border town of northern Baja California, Mexico, less than an hour from the cities of San Diego and Tijuana. It is also at the center of the ancient territory of the Kumiai (Kumeyaay in English) people, who today live both north and south of the international border. Surprisingly, many people are unaware of the rich cultural legacy of the Kumeyaay, their role in our history, and their continued presence in the region today.
The museum project began as an idea of Kumiai community members who dreamed of a place where Kumeyaay culture could be passed on to future generations. The Kumiai Community Museum of Tecate is a place where students, teachers, tourists, and other visitors can learn about the original peoples of the region from the living descendents of our local indigenous groups. Located in the Tecate Cultural Center, this multilingual museum will offer permanent installations and exhibits, as well as educational programs and cultural revitalization activities, including:
- Museum building featuring the innovative architectural design of artist James Hubbell
- Interactive educational exhibits on traditional culture, history, and contemporary issues of indigenous Baja California, including a world-class collection of ancient and modern indigenous arts of the region, antique and contemporary photographs, and multimedia presentations that include the local Kumeyaay people’s own stories and the sounds of the living Kumeyaay language.
- Events and workshops in native culture led by local indigenous instructors, including basket-making and other arts, acorn processing, music and language.
- Training programs will be carried out for members of the Kumeyaay communities in the documentation of indigenous language, oral history, and traditional lifeways.