Cupeño (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Cupeño were patrilocal and married outside their kin groups. With no direct access to the ocean, the Cupeño relied on acorns, seeds, berries, deer, quail, and small animals. They occupied two politically autonomous villages, united by trade, marriage, rituals, and language. Clans were headed by men through inheritance; they maintained the clan's ceremonial dance house and paraphernalia. Ceremonies were concerned with mortuary rituals, world-renewal rites, and an eagle-killing ritual.
The Cupeño were first contacted by the Spanish in 1795, but no sustained contact was established until 1820 when asistencias were built by the Spaniards to graze their cattle. With control of their lands gone, the Cupeño were forced to work as serfs until eventually the “owners” of Cupeño lands wanted them removed in the late 1890's. Years of litigation and national protest prevented this, until the California Supreme Court removed the Cupeño to the Pala Reservation in Luiseño territory.
(The entire section is 155 words.)
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