Ancient Times - Page 2

The Years of the Cahuilla

1000 A.D. - 1810 A.D.

San Bernardino County Museum

These sandals were made of yucca fiber. How many people today know how to make their own shoes? Could you make clothes, shoes, and your house from the plants that grow around your house?


The Cahuilla knew how to do all this and more!



How did they use the resources of the valley?

The Cahuilla hardly changed anything. They moved their villages around to find water and food. They lived with the things they could find. They used grass to make baskets and clay to make pots. They cut a few small trees to make the frame for their homes. They gathered seeds, roots and berries.

Like other Native Americans, they believed the land was sacred, and did not like to waste anything. They used bones for needles and beads.

Oak trees at Mission School drop their acorns every year. Trees like these provided much of the food supply for local Natives.

Where did they go?

Most of the Cahuilla in the Loma Linda area died of smallpox during several epidemics in the first few years after the Spanish arrived. The United States decided to move all local Indians to one place, so about 1885 the survivors were forced to move to reservations.

Some went to Soboba Reservation near San Jacinto. Others went to San Manuel Reservation on the other side of the valley. Their homeland was taken over by group after group of Europeans.

Maxine and Ralph Strane

How big were their "footprints."

The Cahuilla homes were temporary, and none remain. We have pictures of how they lived, but their villages are mostly paved over or have modern buildings there.

The Cahuilla hardly dented the land. Even though they lived here for about two-thousand years, they didn't leave big footprints. The only artifacts around today are some baskets, pots and grinding stones. There are a few tools, clothes and toys in the County Museum in Redlands. The San Manuel Indians have some things in their Tribal Museum, and the Malki Museum in Banning has some more.

The Cahuilla lived in their habitat, but did almost no damage at all.


Tomo and his villagers could rebuild their village after the Great Wind. The Europeans did a lot more damage when they arrived!

Maxine and Ralph Strane

How Big Were Their Footprints?