Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Diegueño Indians

Diegueño Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

The rabbit-fur robe for protection from cold, agave-fibre sandals for occasional use, and small, double aprons of fibre or of bark for women, were the only garments. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, men were commonly wearing loin-cloths and women woolen dresses, which they had been taught to weave by the Spanish priests. The hair of both sexes hung loose, and gypsum and iron oxide were used in decorating face and body. Many
women had the chest and the chin tattooed, the latter with three perpendicular lines.

Dwellings

The Diegueño dwelling was a small, conical hut of poles thatched with brush, bark, grass, and earth. The floor-space was slightly excavated, and there was a vent at the apex. The sudatory was like that of the Luiseños, a somewhat elongate, earth-covered structure with roof sloping to the ground, with an excavated floor, and with a baffle at the low entrance to deflect the heat inward.

Food

The diet of the Diegueños was identical with that of the Luiseños. Acorns, sage-seeds, and rabbits were the staples.

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