The Asians who crossed the Bering Strait land bridge beginning around 50,000 B.C. most likely migrated as far south as the Baja Peninsula, but relatively little archeology has been done to test the theory.
About 7,000 years ago, a group called the San Diegito moved south into Northern Baja and lived near the peninsula’s freshwater sources. Next came the Yumanos, around 2,500 years ago, who painted much of the peninsula’s rock art—the only aspect of the culture that survives today. Yumano tribes included the Cucapá, Tipai, Paipai (or Pa’ipai), Kumyai, and Kiliwa.
Historians believe that the indigenous people who lived in Central and Southern Baja at the time of the Spanish conquest were more primitive than the Yumanos, who engaged in more advanced hunting, fishing, and cultivation. But it is difficult to know for sure because the missionary histories—the only documentation available—were written with a strong bias against the indigenous people, whom they sought to convert.
According to the missionaries, the Cochimís inhabited the central peninsula and Comondú, while Guaycuras (consisting of the Pericú, Huchiti, and Guaicura tribes) lived in Southern Baja near the capes.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition