The Barona Cultural Center & Museum Collections total nearly 22,000 pieces that focus on the indigenous lives and perspectives of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Southern California Native American community members, and members of the Yuman Language Family. After ten years of developing the collection, Barona Cultural Center & Museum is one of the largest repositories of ancestral and contemporary Southern and Baja California Native American material.
Comprised of archival records, paintings, sculpture, photography, textiles, basketry, ceramics, and gaming pieces, the collection is maintained in four discrete components: Object Collection, Photograph Archive, Media Archive, and Document Archive. Ranging from ancient Paleo-Indian points to contemporary fine arts, the Object Collection includes works of aesthetic, religious, and historical significance as well as articles produced for everyday use.
The Photograph and Media Archives include images, oral histories, and audio and visual recordings of past and present Native American communities. The Document Archive includes field notes, maps, transcriptions, and project records for archaeological investigations, historical studies, Mission Agency Records, and institutional projects.
Through implementation of its mission, the Barona Cultural Center & Museum hopes to expand the scope of the collections and continue its historically significant work in documenting the material culture of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Southern California Native American community members, and members of the Yuman Language Family.
Collections and Exhibits
The Object Collection contains archaeological artifacts, ethnographic material, historic objects, and contemporary artworks from the Barona Band of Mission Indians, other Southern and Baja California Native American cultural nations, and other indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Organized into two series: Ancestral Collections and Contemporary Collections, the focus of the collection is to increase understanding and appreciation of the Kumeyaay/Diegueño/’Iipay/Tiipay people.
Photograph, Media and Document Archives
Although maintained as four discrete components, the Object Collections, Photo Archive, Media Archive, and Paper Archive are deeply intertwined since each contains items that relate to one another.
The Photograph and Media Archives include images of objects, people, and places in the Barona and surrounding Southern and Baja California Native American communities. In addition, the Document Archive includes field notes, project documentation, and institutional records for all aspects of the combined collections.
The rapidly growing archival collections document the cultural, political, and social mores of the Barona Band of Mission Indians and provides insight into the people and environment of Southern and Baja California Native American communities. Formats represented in the Barona Cultural Center & Museum archival repository include photographs, digital images, films, audio tapes, video tapes, and optical disks, as well as the more traditional unpublished letters, field notes, and other manuscripts.
Highlights of the collection include the Barona History Collection, the Barona Language Preservation Program materials, the Barona Veteran’s Wall of Honor Collection, the 2003 Cedar Fire Collection, the 1932 Irving Gill House Restoration and Evaluation Project materials, the Yuman Language Conference Collections, and the Barona Valley Ranch & Casino Collection.