Famous Luiseno Chiefs and Leaders
The Luiseño, or Payómkawichum, (also called Juaneño) are a Native American people who at the time of the first contacts with the Spanish in the 16th century inhabited the coastal area of southern California, ranging 50 miles from the present-day southern part of Los Angeles County to the northern part of San Diego County, and inland 30 miles.
Erle Stanley Gardner, lawyer and mystery writer, most famous for the Perry Mason novels and television show. In addition to writing over 100 fiction novels, he also wrote several non-fiction books and dozens of short stories and magazine articles.
James Luna, performance artist
Fritz Scholder, painter and sculptor
Pablo Tac (1822–1841), historian
Freddy Herrera, music artist
Pedro Calac, Pro Football Player
Wawa Calac Chaw (Wa-Wa-Chaw) meaning Keep From The Water, was from the Rincon division of the Luiseno tribe (1888-1972). She was a writer, artist, and a feminist on Indian matters.
Today Luiseño people are enrolled in the following federally recognized tribes:
Additionally, the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseños is organized and active in northern San Diego County, but is not currently recognized by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.