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Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians of the Cahuilla Reservation facts for kids

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Cahuilla Band of Cahuilla Indians
Chief Meyers baseball card.jpg
John Tortes "Chief" Meyers, Major League Baseball catcher and tribal member
Total population
154 (est.)
Regions with significant populations
United States United States (California California)
English, Cahuilla language
traditional tribal religion,
Christianity (Roman Catholicism)
Related ethnic groups
Cahuilla tribes

The Cahuilla Band of Cahuilla Indians of the Cahuilla Reservation is a federally recognized tribe of Cahuilla Indians, who are Cahuilla Indians located in California. Their tribe originally came from Coachella Valley, through San Gorgonzola Pass, to the San Jacinto Mountains. In 1875 their tribe had been relocated to modern day Anza.


The Cahuilla Reservation (33°31′13″N 116°42′42″W / 33.52028°N 116.71167°W / 33.52028; -116.71167) is located in Riverside County near the town of Anza. It is 18,884 acres (76.42 km2) in total, but 16,884 acres (68.33 km2) of the reservation belongs to individuals members of the tribe. 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) belong to the entire tribe in common. It was founded in 1875.

Economic development

The tribe owns the Cahuilla Casino and Mountain Sky Travel Center, which is a convenience store and gas station located in Anza.

Notable tribal members

  • Chief Meyers (1880–1971), professional baseball player
  • Gerald Clarke (1967- ), artist and professor

Culture and Traditions

The Cahuilla tribe's origin story starts off with two brothers, Mukat and Tamaoit, who help create the world. They created the skies, sea, and the rules that governed the land, but each had a different idea in mind when creating the image of a human. Tamaoit took his creation of man and went to the underworld, while Mukat stayed above ground. However, some of Mukat's creations were burned, and they scattered to different parts of the globe, each speaking a different language. Only one man spoke the same language as Mukat, so Mukat named this man the first ancestor of the Cahuilla. During this time, Mukat also created a path to the afterlife where the path was surrounded by moving hills. When people died, the good people could pass onto the afterlife; the bad people would be crushed by the moving hills and transformed into a small creature, such as an insect.

The Cahuilla Band's language is derived from the Uto-Aztecan language, and according to a 1990 census only around 35 speakers still speak the original language today. Now, they pass down their language and culture through various songs, games, and stories. One of these song traditions is bird singing, where multiple tribes gather to sing different songs. Before, it was also used to help people find potential marriage partners, but now it is used to gather old friends and relatives. Another prominent tradition is basket weaving, where people gather to weave different baskets; here, the older generation passes down millennia old traditions to the younger generation. Another prominent tradition is their funeral ceremony, where they bury their loved ones and sing songs all night. The funeral lasts for 7 days, and close relatives of the deceased are not allowed to participate in joyful traditions (such as dancing) for a year.

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