How Big Were Their Footprints?

Ancient Times - The Cahuilla

The Cahuilla lived by hunting and gathering. Some groups may have planted corn, beans and squash, but most of their food was gathered from the earth. They harvested acorns for soups and breads, pine nuts, berries, grass seeds, roots, leaves and other plant parts. Their homes were made of plant materials. They left almost no footprint. You can see a sampling of what remains of their era in the County Museum.



Followed the water supply. They moved up and down the San Timoteo Creek to find food and water.

Probably little or no effect. There were too few people to affect the water supply much. Their natural soaps made from plants did not pollute.

Gathered local plants: seeds, roots and leaves.

Their gathering didn't harm the local plants because there weren't many people. They never took all the seeds. Their methods of harvesting were very gentle to nature.

Built semi-permanent buildings

The Cahuilla kish was made of small tree trunks and woven reeds. It would last until it was time to move on. Santa Ana winds could blow it away. Over time the home would decay.

Cahuilla did not bring new animals into the area

Native animals didn't have to compete for food or water.

Cahuilla used natural remedies and believed in healing by native healers.

Population remained steady from year to year.

The Cahuilla did not farm as we know it. Although some near Palm Springs may have planted a few crops of corn, beans and squash, they didn't plow large areas.

Gathering of food that grew naturally didn't force Nature to grow what they wanted. They learned to eat and use what Nature provided. The balance of nature was protected.

The Bottom Line:

The Cahuilla footprints were small and shallow. They had almost no effect on the land. Their homes and villages did not remain after they had been removed from the land. A few implements and bones have been discovered.