War and the Cahuilla People

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

The Cahuilla, like most of the California Indians, have been a very peaceful people. Their main troubles were between villages, and were caused by boundary disputes. Each village had definite boundaries, within which the inhabitants lived, hunted, and gathered mesquite and other food products. Food was very scarce in the old days and any infringement of one group on the land of the adjacent group was considered grounds for enmity and often subsequent war.

Poisoned arrows were used when it was considered necessary. A small strip of flesh which is connected with the lungs of animals was dried and softened in water. It was then soaked in a concoction made of poisonous herbs, ants, and tarantulas. A tiny particle of this was then placed on the tip of the flint arrowhead.

I shall now relate a few tales which were told me of war with foreign groups. Whether they are authentic or mythical I could not determine.

Long ago, there was a clan or village called Simotakiktem about six miles south of Agua Caliente. There was one man in the clan who caused a great deal of trouble for the surrounding groups. So these got together and decided to make war on the entire group. When the Simotakiktem saw the other Cahuilla coming, they hid in a big round rock which was just like a room and had a stone door. The Cahuilla surrounded them, forced the door, and threw firebrands inside, and then closed the door. They were all suffocated.

There was a village by the name of Sewekiktem. The people there were very wicked. Once, while they were in the big house, the Cahuilla surrounded them and killed them all.

At one time, when the Mexicans were living near Los Angeles, a great many Indians from Yuma came and stole their horses. The Mexicans asked the Cahuilla to help get them back. They all started out determined to annihilate the Yuma Indians. On the way they got lost in the desert and most of them died from lack of water. Those who survived returned to their homes.




MLA Source Citation:

Hooper, Lucile. The Cahuilla Indians. Berkeley, California: University Of California Press. 1920. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 20 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/war-and-the-cahuilla-people.htm - Last updated on Jul 4th, 2013


Categories: , ,
Topics:

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.