Last updated
Cochimi map.png

The Cochimí were the aboriginal inhabitants of the central part of the Baja California peninsula, from El Rosario in the north to San Javier in the south.

El Rosario, Baja California Place in Baja California, Mexico

El Rosario is a small town on the west coast of the state of Baja California on Highway 1, 61 km south of San Quintín and 119 km north of Cataviña. The census of 2010 reported a population of 1,704 inhabitants. It is part of the Municipio of Ensenada.

San Javier is a village in Loreto Municipality, located in Baja California Sur state, Mexico.

They spoke a set of dialects or closely related languages that have been classified in a variety of ways. The most prominent division, between Northern Cochimí and Southern Cochimí, has generally been put to the south of San Ignacio (Mixco 1978, 1979, 2006; Laylander 1997). At one time designated "Peninsular Yuman", Cochimí bears an evident relationship to the Yuman languages of northern Baja California, southern California, and western Arizona. Mauricio J. Mixco (1978, 2006) reassessed this relationship and judged it to be too distant for Cochimí to be included within the Yuman family proper. He placed Cochimí as a sister language to the Yuman family, thus forming the Yuman–Cochimí family.

The Cochimí were first encountered by Spanish seaborne explorers during the sixteenth century, including Ulloa, Cabrillo, Vizcaíno, and others. Sporadic encounters continued until the Jesuits established missions on the peninsula in the late seventeenth century. Eusebio Francisco Kino made an abortive foundation at San Bruno, to the north of Loreto, in 1683-1685. Juan María de Salvatierra began the first successful mission in 1697 at Loreto among the Monqui, who were southern neighbors of the Cochimí. This was quickly followed by Francesco Maria Piccolo's Cochimí mission at San Javier in 1699. Over the next seven decades, the frontier of Jesuit control over the Cochimí gradually extended northward, with missions at Mulegé (1705), Comondú (1708), La Purísima (1720), Guadalupe (1720), San Ignacio (1728), Santa Gertrudis (1751), San Borja (1762), and Santa María (1767). After the Spanish crown expelled the Jesuits from Baja California in 1768, the Franciscans under Junípero Serra established an additional mission at San Fernando Velicatá (1769) on their way north to Alta California. The Franciscans' successors in Baja California, the Dominicans, created the final new mission among the Cochimí at El Rosario (1774). Decimated by epidemics of Old World diseases, the Cochimí population declined, until sometime in the nineteenth or possibly the early twentieth century their language and traditional culture became extinct.

Francisco de Ulloa Spanish explorer

Francisco de Ulloa was a Spanish explorer who explored the west coast of present-day Mexico under the commission of Hernán Cortés. The reports of his expeditions along the Baja California Peninsula are credited with being influential in the perpetuation of the 17th century cartographic misconception of the existence of the Island of California.

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo Portuguese explorer

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was a Spanish explorer born in Palma del Rio, Córdoba, Spain, although he is also claimed by tradition as a native of Portugal. Among other things he was a maritime navigator known for exploring the West Coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Cabrillo was the first European to navigate the coast of present-day California. He is best known for his exploration of the coast of California in 1542–1543. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo served under the command of Pánfilo de Narváez and aided him in the conquest of Cuba about 1518.

Sebastián Vizcaíno Spanish explorer

Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548–1624) was a Spanish soldier, entrepreneur, explorer, and diplomat whose varied roles took him to New Spain, the Philippines, the Baja California peninsula, the California coast and Japan.

The Cochimí were hunter-gatherers, without agriculture or metallurgy. Pottery-making may have reached the northern Cochimí before Spanish contact (Rogers 1945). Their material culture was generally simple, but it suited their arid environment and mobile lifestyle. The highest level of social organization was the autonomous local community, and inter-community conflicts appear to have been frequent. Among the unusual cultural traits noted for the Cochimí and some of their neighbors were the second harvest of the pitahaya, the maroma, wooden tablas, and human-hair capes:

This article refers to the archaeologist. For others with the name Malcolm Rogers, please see Malcolm Rogers (disambiguation).

Seasonal food Produce that is in season

Seasonal produce refers to the times of year when the harvest or the flavour of a given type food is at its peak. This is usually the time when the item is harvested, with some exceptions; an example being sweet potatoes which are best eaten quite a while after harvest. It also appeals to people who prefer a low carbon diet that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food consumption.

Peveril Meigs, III, was an American geographer, notable for his studies of arid lands on several continents and in particular for his work on the native peoples and early missions of northern Baja California, Mexico.

Information on Cochimí customs and beliefs has been preserved in the brief observations by explorers but, above all, in the writings of the Jesuits (Aschmann 1959; Laylander 2000; Mathes 2006). Particularly important and detailed are the works of Miguel Venegas (1757, 1979) and Miguel del Barco (1973).

W. Michael Mathes historian

William Michael Mathes was an American historian and academic who focused on the histories of Mexico and Spain. Mathes was a leading expert on the history of Baja California. His articles can be found in the Journal of San Diego History and other publications.

Miguel Venegas Mexican Jesuit

Miguel Venegas (1680–1764) was a Jesuit administrator and historian. He is most known for his book Noticia de la California, a standard geographical, historical, and ethnographic description of Baja California, Mexico—a region he never personally visited.

Miguel del Barco (1706–1790) was a Jesuit missionary in Baja California, Mexico and wrote major contributions to the peninsula's history and ethnography.


The Cochimí language was part of the Yuman–Cochimí family.

Related Research Articles

Ferdinand Konščak Croatian missionary and explorer

Ferdinand Konščak was a Croatian Jesuit missionary, explorer and cartographer.


The Pericú were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Cape Region, the southernmost portion of Baja California Sur, Mexico. They have been linguistically and culturally extinct since the late 18th century.

Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó

Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó was a Spanish mission on the Baja California peninsula in colonial Mexico, the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The site is in present-day Loreto Municipality of Baja California Sur state. The mission was located at 25°51′38″N111°32′37″W. San Francisco Javier mission was founded by Jesuits of the Roman Catholic church in 1699 and closed in 1817. The missionary's objective was to convert the local Cochimí Native Americans (Indians) to Christianity. A mission church survives and is in use.

Yuman–Cochimí languages language family

The Yuman–Cochimí languages are a family of languages spoken in Baja California, northern Sonora, southern California, and western Arizona. Although only Cochimí is no longer spoken, going extinct in the late 18th century, all other Yuman languages are nearly extinct.

Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte

Mission Guadalupe was founded by the Dominican missionary Félix Caballero in June 1834, at the site of the modern community of Guadalupe, Baja California. This was the last of the new Dominican missions in Baja California and the only one begun after Mexico had gained its independence in 1821.

Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá

Located in Baja California, Mexico about 35 miles southeast of El Rosario, Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá (1769–1817) was the only mission founded by Franciscans in Baja California.

Sigismundo Taraval (1700–1763) was a pioneering Jesuit missionary in Baja California who wrote important historical accounts of the peninsula.


The Guaycura were a native people of Baja California Sur, Mexico, occupying an area extending south from near Loreto to Todos Santos They contested the area around La Paz with the Pericú. The Guaycura were nomadic hunter-gatherers. They are distinguished by a language unrelated to any other Native American language, indicating in the opinion of some linguists that their ancestry in Baja California dates back thousands of years.


The Monqui were indigenous peoples of Mexico, who lived in the vicinity of Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, at the time of Spanish contact. Monqui territory included about 65 kilometres (40 mi) of coast along the Gulf of California and extended a few kilometers inland to where the Cochimi people lived.

Wenceslaus Linck was the last of the outstanding Jesuit missionary-explorers in Baja California.

The Comondú Complex is an archaeological pattern dating from the late prehistoric period in northern Baja California Sur and southern Baja California. It is associated with the historic Cochimí people of the peninsula.

Kiliwa aboriginal people of northern Baja California, Mexico

The Kiliwa are an indigenous people of Mexico living in northern Baja California. Historically they occupied a territory lying between the Cochimí on the south and the Paipai on the north, and extending from San Felipe on the Gulf of California to San Quintín on the Pacific coast. Their traditional language is the Kiliwa language.


The Paipai are an indigenous people of Mexico living in northern Baja California. Their traditional territory lies between the Kiliwa on the south and the Kumeyaay and Cocopa on the north, and extending from San Vicente near the Pacific coast nearly to the Colorado River's delta in the east. Today they are concentrated primarily at the multi-ethnic community of Santa Catarina in Baja California's Sierra de Juárez.

Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco Prehistoric rock art pictographs in Mexico

The Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco are prehistoric rock art pictographs found in the Sierra de San Francisco mountain range in Mulegé Municipality of the northern region of Baja California Sur state, in Mexico.

Kiliwa, alternate Names: Kiliwi, Ko’lew or Quiligua is a Yuman language spoken in Baja California, in the far northwest of Mexico, by the Kiliwa people.

Waikuri language language

Waikuri is an extinct language of southern Baja California spoken by the Waikuri or Guaycura people. The Jesuit priest Baegert documented words, sentences and texts in the language between 1751 and 1768.

Cochimí was once the language of the greater part Baja California, as attested by Jesuit documents of the 18th century. It seems to have become extinct around the beginning of the 20th century There were two main dialects, northern and southern; the dividing line was approximately at the Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán, in the north of present-day Baja California Sur.

Sierra de San Borja

The Sierra de San Borja, also known as Sierra La Libertad is a mountain range on the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. It is one of the Peninsular Ranges which form the backbone of Baja California. The Sierra de San Borja is located between 28° North latitude and 29° North latitude. The highest point of the Sierra is Cerro La Sandia, 1,775 metres (5,823 ft) in elevation located at 28°24′25″N113°26′18″W.