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.
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 live on 9 reservations in some cases with Chemehuevi (Southern Paiute), Cupeno and Serrano peoples.
“ The California fan palm tree, the only species of palm tree native to California, was very important to the Cahuilla,” Toyama says. “They used it for food.
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 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.
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.
The Cahuilla believed that they lived in a systematic, but unpredictable, universe, in which one could maintain existence only by being able to access and use “? iva? a,” or power, which was also unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.
The Miwoks were hunter-gatherers. Miwok men hunted deer and small game and caught fish in the rivers and lakes. Miwok women gathered acorns and ground them into meal to make bread and fruits, as well as collecting berries, nuts, and other plants.
noun, plural Ca·huil·las, (especially collectively) Ca·huil·la. a member of a North American Indian people of southern California.
Members of the Cahuilla tribe have long resided in the area of southern California where the present reservation exists. The language of the Cahuilla people belongs to the Takic branch of the Uto-Aztecan greater linguistic family. Elder reservation residents continue to speak their ancestral language.
Like other California Indians, the Cahuilla created complex baskets. These tightly woven vessels were used to carry, store, and cook food and water, in addition to other purposes. Cahuilla women still make baskets that are highly prized today.
Today, the Chumash are estimated to have a population of 5,000 members. Many current members can trace their ancestors to the five islands of Channel Islands National Park.