Kumeyaay Oral Tradition, Cultural Identity, and Language Revitalization


This article discusses an example of Kumeyaay oral tradition from Baja California, Mexico, focusing specifically on the relation between stories and song cycles and their importance as vehicles for the intergenerational transmission of cultural values and group identity. Focusing on the nature of variationist language ideology in the Kumeyaay community and the indexicalization of group identity in storytelling, this essay demonstrates the importance of collaborative research in American Indian communities, especially in relation to language revitalization and archiving.



Küree temple above Lower Talda, Kuroty Valley, Altai Republic, 2010.

Photo: Margaret Field.

Ke'nápa Tipaay. Rabbit and Frog: a traditional Kumeyaay story.

Video: Margaret Field.

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