LOCAL CULTURE

“THE PERICÚES” History of Cabo San Lucas.

NATIVE CALIFORNIANS

THE PERICÚES

La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS). Our peninsula began its settlement approximately 12,500 years ago. The groups that arrived from Asia, and entered this American continent through the famous Bering Strait. Little by little they descended towards the south, and some of them entered the peninsula that currently bears the name of Baja California, where they were encapsulated. This was the antecedent of the native ethnic groups that during the Colony were known as Pericúes, Guaycuras and Cochimíes.” (Libro de historia natural de B.C.S.)

They were the first groups to exist in the southern part of the Baja California Sur Peninsula, Mexico, and resided precisely in Cabo San Lucas, covering part of Cabo Pulmo (protected area). They lived in a very hostile environment, as B.C.S is characterized by heat and water scarcity. The Pericúes were unfamiliar with agriculture, so they survived through hunting and gathering of fruits. However, they knew the land where they lived very well, making them skilled navigators and excellent fishermen, given the abundant aquatic diversity in B.C.S. In terms of terrestrial food, they obtained maguey, pitahaya, and deer.

 

Los Pericúes.
Los Pericúes.

Their neighbors were the Guaycuras, but they did not have a very good social relationship, so wars between factions were common.

The Spanish and Pericúes had contact in the 1530s during exploration, religious activities, and sporadic pearl extraction. Sometimes the interactions were friendly, and other times, they were violent.

Due to the missionary activities focused on evangelizing the inhabitants of Californias, the Pericúes rebelled, initiating the Pericú Revolt in 1734, leading to the interruption of Jesuit activities for two years. The Pericúes perished due to battles and epidemics brought by the conquerors. When the Spanish Crown expelled the Jesuits from Baja California, the Pericú people and culture no longer existed.

The Pericúes disappeared in the second half of the 17th century, although some descendants still survive among the mixed population of the state.

*Facts about the Pericúes*

  1. The Pericúes were taller and stronger than most inhabitants within the region of Mexico.
  2. The Pericúes were great divers.
  3. The Pericúes are closer to the ancient populations of South Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific Basin.
  4. They inhabited caves, roofless rock shelters, or structures covered with branches, mastered fire, used stone bowls, sewn palm containers, and spiral baskets. Women covered their bodies with a cape, and men were naked with their bodies painted entirely. Both sexes had long hair.

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