Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Museum

Miiyuyam (hello to all of you) from the Cultural Resources!

While the Wa$xayam Pomki Museum remains closed throughout the pandemic, museum staff is working on providing educational materials and online resources that will be made available on the Rincon website. The Museum hopes to ensure that everyone can continue to learn about Luiseño language and culture throughout this Covid-19 crisis.

Rincon’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office is still fully functioning, responding to project notifications and consulting with federal, state, and local agencies on development projects. For years now, San Diego County has experienced a population increase and infrastructure and housing developments can be found everywhere. All these lands that are being developed, hold the history and culture of the Luiseño people, places that Luiseños lived on, gathered medicine, and prepared food. What they left behind are bedrock milling features, rock art, arrowheads, and other things. Through consultation, Rincon’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office is seeking to limit the damage to cultural resources by requesting avoidance of areas, or relocation of artifacts to prevent damage. To further protect tribal resources on these construction sites, Rincon has Tribal Monitors observe construction work, looking for artifacts, recovering, and relocating findings out of harms way. Tribal Monitors are the Tribe’s last line of defense, and they continue their exceptional work throughout this crisis.

Qayaawiyam ‘om-maay (wash your hands) and stay safe!

A Luiseño basket in Wasxayam Pomki Museum
While the museum is undergoing these exciting changes, Museum Specialist, Cheryl Madrigal, is cataloguing and caring for numerous Luiseño artifacts that will be displayed in the new exhibit. This is an example of a Luiseño gift basket typical of those created at Rincon.

Villiana Calac Hyde, Luiseño historian and author
Photo courtesy of the Escondido Historical Society.
Additional exhibits will focus on the legacy of Luiseño language preservation projects by Villiana Hyde Calac, basketry and games, and a fabulous centerpiece featuring reproductions of Rincon’s Luiseño artifacts.

Construction on the San Luis Rey River diversion
Photo courtesy of the Escondido Historical Society.
Exhibits will include a comprehensive historical timeline and the diversion of the San Luis Rey River. The diversion of the San Luis Rey had a major impact on the Rincon Reservation and all surrounding Reservations who depended on the water. The Tribe has been in a decades-long court battle to regain water rights

Sherman Institute Handbook
Rincon Tribal members are also contributing to the museum by designing two digital exhibits to address the history of the Indian boarding schools and to honor Rincon’s military veterans.