Luiseno Tribe

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Luiseño Indians. The southernmost Shoshonean division in California, which received its name from San Luis Rey, the most important Spanish mission in the territory of these people. They form one linguistic group with the Aguas Calientes, Juaneños, and Kawia. They extended along the coast from between San Onofre and Las Animas creeks, far enough south to include Aguas Hedionda, San Marcos, Escondido, and Valley Center. Inland they extended north beyond San Jacinto river, and into Temescal creek; but they were cut off from the San Jacinto divide by the Diegueños, Aguas Calientes, Kawia, and Serranos. The former inhabitants of San Clemente Island also are said to have been Luiseños, and the same was possibly the case with those of San Nicolas Island. Their population was given in 18561 as between 2,500 and 2,800; in 1870, as 1,299; in 1885, as 1,142. Most of them were subsequently placed on small reservations included under the Mission Tule River agency, and no separate tribal count has been made. Their villages, past and present, are:

  • Ahuanga
  • Apeche
  • Bruno’s Village
  • La Joya
  • Las Flores
  • Pala
  • Pauma
  • Pedro’s Village (?)
  • Potrero
  • Rincon
  • Saboba
  • San Luis Rey (mission)
  • Santa Margarita (?)
  • Temecula
  • Wahoma

Taylor2 gives the following list of villages in the neighborhood of San Luis Rey mission, some of which may be identical with those here recorded:

  • Cenyowpreskel
  • Ehutewa
  • Enekelkawa
  • Hamechuwa
  • Hatawa
  • Hepowwoo
  • Itaywiy
  • Itukemuk
  • Milkwanen
  • Mokaskel
  • Mootaevuhew


  1. Ind. Aff. Rep., 243 

  2. Taylor, Cal. Farmer, May 11, 1860 

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 20 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 26th, 2014

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