There are many versions of Cahuilla creation story. The three Cahuilla creation stories presented here were recorded in the first half of the 20th century. Two of them were collected by early anthropologists to the area, William Duncan Strong and Lucile Hooper. Alejo Patencio’s (Agua Caliente Cahuilla) story was interpreted for W.D. Strong by Julian Norte in 1925. Lucile Hooper does not identify who told her the story, but we know she was here in 1918. The third story was told to Margaret Boynton by Francisco Patencio (Agua Caliente Cahuilla), and published in 1943. Each story is told slightly differently, but the underlying message is the same.
Baskets are important not only amongst the Cahuilla, but for Native peoples throughout the west and northwest regions of the United States. It seems fitting, then, to focus the eyes of conservators on baskets and other items made from plant materials in the collections of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. This exhibition demonstrates the kinds of discoveries that UCLA graduate conservation students made in the investigation and treatment of cultural objects in the Museum collections.
Sports played a prominent role in the traditional life of most Indian communities. Games such as shinny, lacrosse, footracing, archery, swimming, hoop and pole, and various types of football all reinforced survival skills and community values. This exhibition presents a look at Native American sports through the years, including traditional, boarding school, reservation, and professional sports. Notable Indian athletes, local reservation teams, and heroes such as Cahuilla baseball player, John Tortes Meyers – catcher for the New York Giants – are spotlighted.
Both the Agua Caliente Band and the City of Palm Springs derive their names from the famous Agua Caliente Hot Spring. Cahuilla oral literature tells of the Spring's creation in the beginning by a powerful elder who created it as a perpetually-enduring place to heal.
According to Cahuilla bird songs, the oral literature of the Cahuilla people, the Cahuilla Indians have occupied the region now known as the Coachella Valley since time immemorial. Recent excavations in the Tahquitz Canyon area mirror these stories, revealing evidence of human habitation in the Palm Springs area as early as 3000 B.C.
This exhibition is currently on display in Palm Springs City Hall located at 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way (92262). Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For directions, call 760.323..8299.
Crossroads & Intersections holds a magnifying glass to a Palm Springs roadmap, revealing a matrix of history depicted in street names. As you peer through this glass you will discover – scattered between street names inspired by recreational sports and Hollywood celebrities – references to the history and culture of the Cahuilla people.