Cahuilla women gathered acorns, nuts, beans, and fruits. They baked bread from specially prepared acorn flour, or sometimes from corn they got in trade from the Mojaves.
From people living along the Colorado River, the Cahuilla traded for food (corn, melons, squash, and gourds), turquoise, and axes. With all of their neighbors, they traded their crafted items such as baskets, pottery, bows and arrows.
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 were originally designated as the Pass Cahuilla, Mountain Cahuilla and Desert Cahuilla. Mesquite beans and pine nuts were important staples of their hunting and gathering subsistence, but some farming — corn, beans and squash (CBS) was also practiced in aboriginal times.
Today, the Cahuilla people live on nine reservations in Southern California. These can be found in the counties of Imperial, Riverside, and San Diego.
Instead of baskets the Cahuilla were using modern utensils, plates, pots, etc. Also, since it is more a work of art the designs became more elaborate.
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.
Cahuillas’ favored trading partners were the Halchidhoma, before the 1830s, and the Gabrielinos. Many exchanges were on a basis of reciprocity (Bean 1978:583). Since virtually all humans live in some kind of society and have at least a few possessions, reciprocity is common to every culture.
noun, plural Ca·huil·las, (especially collectively) Ca·huil·la. a member of a North American Indian people of southern California.
Cahuilla word for “master.” This word, as. pronounced by Katherine Saubel, is in fact.
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. Hunters used bows and arrows to kill game, like birds, rabbits, and lizards.
Unlike some tribes who had winter and summer villages, the Cahuilla had permanent villages. They built near water and food sources, often in or around canyons for protection from harsh winds. They marked the boundaries of their hunting-gathering territory with designs carved into rocks.
The canyon floor was a place where Cahuilla children played kickball or shinny (a game with a ball, sticks, and a goal post), where Cahuilla women wove baskets or crushed acorns gathered in the fall, and where Cahuilla men hunted rabbit and, in winter, the mule deer that ventured down from the mountains to keep warm.
The Cahuilla have been historically divided into “Mountain,” “Desert,” and “(San Gorgonio) Pass / Western” groups by anthropologists. Today there are nine Southern California reservations that are acknowledged homes to bands of Cahuilla.
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.