Luiseño Language

The Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians is one of six Luiseño groups living in Mid-Southern California. The Luiseño, or Puyumkowitchum, (Western People) are characterized as a Uto-Aztecan language-speaking group. It is believed that the ancestors of the Luiseño originally came from present day Nevada. The Uto-Aztecan language that Luiseño people spoke is similar to the Shoshone language of that region. Unfortunately, all fluent Luiseño speakers in the Pauma community have passed on. It is critical to our tribe to revitalize our language. Some of our revitalization efforts include assisting tribal speakers in improving their skills in speaking and teaching the language so that new speakers are continually evolving. The Pauma band works with many partners to promote Luiseño language revitalization and has established partnerships with First Voices, the Indigenous Language Institute , and Palomar College.

Our revitalization efforts also include the use of online resources and website technology training. Our partnership with Palomar College delivers hands on online language courses that have been successfully used by many of our tribal members.

Future plans include the development of a radio station that will use the Luiseño language for public service announcements and language development.

Click below for a demonstration from Annabelle Dixon, one of our youngest Luiseño language students. Can you guess the name of the song?