Classes and Demonstrations
Educational classes for adults and children offer hands-on experiences with Native crafts such as basketry, pottery making and firing, musical instrument making, fry bread cooking, mineral pigment making, gourd art, and pine needle weaving.
Free outdoor demonstrations on the Village Green in front of the Museum teach us much about how the Cahuilla people lived over thousands of years. They feature displays of photos and of cultural objects such as gourd rattles, California Indian toys and games, agave fiber skirts and sandals, cordage, baskets, pottery, and much more.
Lectures and Panel Discussions
Informative and illuminating lectures and panel discussions focus on Native American history and the culture of tribes in the Coachella Valley and other parts of the western United States.
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum presents the artistry of Native performers, filmmakers, actors, and writers. Special cultural events produced by the Museum feature Native storytelling, traditional bird singing and dancing, and a five-day film festival that showcases films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other indigenous people.
Tours of the Museum include a guided interpretation of permanent and seasonal exhibitions, the story of the Cahuilla Indians and their adaptation to the mountain and desert environments, and the art of Cahuilla basketry and pottery. Tours are limited to 30 participants. The length of tours is dependent upon group size and specific interests.
Guided cultural hikes for school groups feature an easy-to-moderate one-mile loop of beautiful Andreas Canyon. Hike commentary includes information on the natural resources and cultural heritage of the site, with a visit to a replica of an ancestral village of the Cahuilla people. Plants, animals, and the landscape are discussed to provide a context for understanding how natural resources were used in daily desert life. Artifact replicas of common tools are also used to illustrate aspects of Cahuilla culture. Hikes taking approximately 1.5 to 2 hours are designed to accommodate up to 20 participants.
School, Civic, and Business Presentations
Focusing on Cahuilla adaptations to desert and mountain environments, community outreach to groups explore topics such as shelter, clothing, hunting, food gathering and processing, and the use of tools. Presentations are tailored to focus on the specific areas of interest of each participating school, civic organization, and not-for-profit group. Replicated artifacts and a 15-minute audiovisual program that depicts the traditions and customs of Cahuilla culture may be included in these 45-minute presentations.
Library and Archives Research Opportunities
The library and archives of the Museum house a growing collection of materials on Native cultures, with a special emphasis on the Agua Caliente Band's history and Cahuilla culture. More than 5,000 book titles, periodicals dating from 1934 to the present, a Cahuilla reference collection, and finding aids to archival collections are available to the public by appointment Monday through Friday. For more information, please click here.
For information about scheduling a Museum tour, canyon hike, or group presentation, please call Claire Victor, Administrative Assistant/Programs, at 760.833.8169.
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