Originally, Cahuilla people didn’t wear much clothing– men wore only American Indian breechcloths, and women wore knee-length skirts. Shirts were not necessary in Cahuilla culture, but the Cahuillas sometimes wore rabbit-skin robes at night when the weather became cooler.
As with other California Indians, traditional Cahuilla subsistence relied upon acorns, mesquite, and a variety of small game; these resources tended to be concentrated near water sources, which were unevenly distributed across the desert landscape.
The Cahuilla learned of Spanish missions and their culture from Indians living close to missions in San Gabriel and San Diego. The Cahuilla provided the vaqueros that worked for the owners of the Rancho San Bernardino, and provided security against the raids of the tribes from the desert and mountains on its herds.
All land is held in trust. Only 2,000 acres belong to the tribe in common; the remainder is allotted to individual members of the Cahuilla Band. Members of the Cahuilla tribe have long resided in the area of southern California where the present reservation exists.
Throughout time, Cahuilla people used various plants and grasses to weave their baskets, depend- ing on what was native to their specific region. Cahuilla baskets were primarily woven from deer grass, sumac, and juncus.
Food. The Cahuilla depended on acorns, mesquite, and small animals for their diets. They used traps and snares to catch smaller animals, such as squirrels, rats, and ducks. Deer, antelopes, and larger animals were hunted with bows and arrows.
Did the Cahuillas wear feather headdresses and face paint? Originally, Cahuilla people didn’t wear much clothing– men wore only American Indian breechcloths, and women wore knee-length skirts.
They were made of grass and were either twined or coiled. The colors that were chosen to decorate the baskets included dark yellow, rich red, white and black. The particular designs were selected to represent the world in which the Cahuilla People lived. They would include flowers, eagles, lightning and whirlwinds.
noun, plural Ca·huil·las, (especially collectively) Ca·huil·la. a member of a North American Indian people of southern California.
In time many Cahuilla converted to Catholicism and others to Protestantism. Today the Cahuilla still maintain elements of their traditional beliefs and practices.
Since time immemorial, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has called the Palm Springs area home. Long ago, they built complex communities in the Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino canyons.
The peoples who occupied and used portions of the area now set aside as Joshua Tree National Park before the arrival of Europeans in 1769 were the Serrano, the Cahuilla, the Mojave, and the Chemehuevi.
What did they eat? The Cahuilla ate soups and breads made from mashed acorns. They gathered pine nuts and grass seeds in baskets. They gathered berries, roots and cactus fruits.