Cahuilla (American Indians Ready Reference)
Cahuilla Indians lived at the southern tip of California. Men used the bow and arrow to hunt deer, rabbits, and mountain sheep; women roasted and dried surplus meat for winter use and gathered acorns, piñon nuts, seeds, beans, fruit, and berries. Many of the goods so gathered were ground into flour and stored in pots and baskets.
Cahuilla villages were situated near water, which became scarce in summer. The homes were constructed of brush gathered together and formed into dome-shaped structures; there were also some larger dwellings, rectangular in shape, that could be as long as twenty feet. Men wore deerskin loincloths; women wore skirts made from mesquite bark or deerskin. Rabbitskin blankets provided winter warmth.
Cleanliness was very important to Cahuilla. They regularly bathed and sweated in village sweathouses. It was a great disgrace for any foreign particles to be discovered on household utensils and baskets. They believed in supernatural spirits and a universal power which explained unusual or miraculous events. Elderly tribe members were greatly respected; they taught values and skills to the young and were regarded as repositories of knowledge.
In 1774, Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza made the...
(The entire section is 376 words.)
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