Sacred Texts  Native American  California 

Seed-beaters, pl. 3  [1908] (Public Domain Image)
Seed-beaters, pl. 3 [1908] (Public Domain Image)

Ethnography of the Cahuilla Indians

by A. L. Kroeber


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This is a short ethnography of the Cahuilla, who inhabited the desert of Southern California. This mostly covers material culture. However, Kroeber also includes some notes on place names, which solves the debate about where the city names Cucamonga, Yucaipa, Chino, and (notably) Azusa came from. (And no, it's not 'From A to Z in the USA.') --They are all Native American place names. We also learn that the original name of Los Angeles was Wenot.

In a short section on social and religious life, Kroeber notes that the 'large low-flying meteor' (Cahuilla dakush) is distinguished from ordinary shooting stars (ngamngam), which just deepens that mystery.

Title Page
Stone Implements
Implements of Wood and Fibre
Ceremonial Objects and Beads
Social and Religious Life
Catalogue Numbers of Specimens Shown in Plates