ATTRIBUTION: a Cahuilla phrase meaning “a plain view”
Ta che vah is a Cahuilla phrase and place name meaning “a plain view.” It is correctly pronounced in Cahuilla as taw-cheh-váh.
According to tribal elder Francisco Patencio, Ca-wis-ke-on-ca, a head man of the Cahuilla migration legend, once went hunting and looking over the country. He saw a green spot which is now Palm Springs and called it Seche (boiling water). He also saw a canyon with an unusual rock formation now called Dry Falls. This canyon he called ta che vah, which means ‘a plain view.’
About Tachevah Canyon & Tachevah Creek
The entrance to Tachevah Canyon, located at the end of Alejo Road, was known as Ng-natches-pie-ah in Cahuilla. It was here that fine white sand, so prized by medicine men for their work, was obtained. Translated, Ng-natches-pie-ah means “spreading sand.”
Tachevah Canyon formally obtained the name “Tah-che-vah” when an early settler filed for water rights to the creek’s water on December 18, 1893. Tachevah Creek is about two miles long and flows northeastward into the Colorado Desert at Palm Springs. The name “Tahchevah” first appeared on a 1901 U.S. Geological Quadrangle map.
In 1975, the City of Palm Springs purchased a square mile of mountainous land overlooking the City in order to preserve it permanently. Contained in this area were Tachevah Canyon and Dry Falls. Called Pulluvil in the Cahuilla language, Dry Falls is a rock monolith that rises several hundred feet in Tachevah Canyon. During an especially wet season, or immediately following rain, a sheet of water appears on the rock’s surface. The “falls” are dry for the remainder of the year.
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