Cahuilla Indians Food

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

The native belief is that all food was once human and could talk just as we can. Mukat designated certain people in the beginning who were to become plants and be converted into food for our use.

The mesquite tree is the main reliance of the Desert Cahuilla for food. It is their staple. The mesquite tree grows to a height of from thirty to forty feet. The wood is very hard, and all of it, even the roots, is used as fuel. The leaves are small and abundant and the branches very spiny. On the desert, in the Coachella valley, these trees grow in clumps, their roots reaching down to the subsoil water.

The mesquite beans, which ripen in the late summer, and of which there are several varieties, are gathered in great quantities, dried, and packed away in basket granaries. These are not husked but are pounded in a stone mortar with a pestle. Many of the beans are worm-eaten in spots, but regardless of this they are all pounded together. A very fine meal is obtained in this way. It is then placed in an earthen dish and soaked. Then it is ready to be eaten and is very sweet and palatable.

I was told by several old men that the reason the Indians are dying so fast is that they are eating white man s food, canned goods and the like. They formerly used to eat their dogs when necessary, certain kinds of snakes, turtles, insects, in fact anything they happened to have around. They assert that from eating such food as this, the medicine men were much more powerful than they are now.

Mukat told Sokut (deer) that he must go to the mountains for he was to be food for the people. He told him he could hide in the bushes and high places for a while but that soon men would find him. Sokut felt very badly about this but he had to do as Mukat had told him to.

MLA Source Citation:

Hooper, Lucile. The Cahuilla Indians. Berkeley, California: University Of California Press. 1920. Web. 27 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 4th, 2013

Categories: ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest


Share This

Share this post with your friends!