Cupeno of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 290

ROP3 Code: 102335
IMB Affinity Group: American Peoples
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Language: English - (eng)
Religion: Christianity - Roman Catholic
Country of Origin: United States

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Majority Located Where

  San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA - 140

  San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA - 20

Their headquarter is located in in Warner Springs, California, a small town just west of the Los Coyotes Reservation and northeast of San Diego metro area.

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Brief Profile

Dispersed in southern California, the Cupeno people, which means "one from Kupa", are a Native American people associated with the Cahuilla people. The Cupeño delineation was a result of the Spanish missionization which separated the tribe from the Cahuilla.

They are actually the Kuupangaxwichem, the "people from the sleeping place". The sleeping place and their headquarter is located in in Warner Springs, California, a small town just west of the Los Coyotes Reservation. The Cupeño people were long time inhabitants of the Warner Springs area. The town is known for its hot springs and for tourist gliding.

Former California Governor John Downey purchased the Warner Springs Ranch in 1880, to graze cattle and sheep herds. In 1892, after years of disputes with the Cupeños living at the ranch, Downey sued to evict the Indians. In 1894 after Downey's death, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Cupeños. The eviction order came in 1901 and their exodus two years later became known as the “Cupeno Trail of Tears.”

As mentioned, their traditional homeland was at Warner Springs, but following their exodus the survivors were relocated to what is now the Pala Reservation in Pala, California. As a result, today the Cupeno are dispersed, residing in several towns in the San Diego County and southern California. At their peak, the Cupeño are estimated to have numbered only about 750 people. During the last half of the 19th Century, there were usually about 200-300 Cupeño total, with most of them living in Pala.

The Cupeño continue to mourn their historical loss. However, like the Cupeño people are continuing to embrace their traditional cultural heritage through events such as the annual Cupa Days celebration, and through classes, activities, and research at the Cupa Cultural Center.

The Cupeno and Cahuilla languages are closely related and are part of the Takic language family. Along with the Cahuilla language, their language is considered an endangered one.

The Cupeno adhere to Roman Catholicism and also indigenous tribal religions and traditions.

Visit the Pala Band of Mission Indians to learn more about the Cupeno people. Watch a YouTube video on the Cupeno people.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for Cupeno to hear a message of grace that comes not because of not of doing good but comes as a result of the free git of God as provided through Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for God to send messengers of the gospel among the Cupeno.


Global Recordings Network
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Native Americans - Worldview and Trends
Online Talking Bible - English
Displaying 1-2 of 2 results.
StatusCountry City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesPalaSan Diego-Carlsbad-San MarcosCA140
United StatesWarner SpringsSan Diego-Carlsbad-San MarcosCA20