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 Desert Wild Grape

Desert Wild Grape

The Cahuilla Indians were resourceful in their use of plants for food, beverages, medicine, fuel, housing, clothing, baskets, mats, netting, dyes, tools, bows, and arrow shafts.


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Plants of the Cahuilla Indians of the Colorado Desert and Surrounding Mountains

We are proud to announce the publication of Robert Hepburn's book "Plants of the Cahuilla Indians of the Colorado Desert and Surrounding Mountains". This book is an ethnobotany of the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California. The book is designed as a handbook for the trail. It delineates Cahuilla usage of the plant life of the Colorado Desert, and the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, San Bernardino, and Little San Bernardino Mountains. The entries are organized in an easy to reference format with Cahuilla plant uses, harvest and bloom information, and plant geographical data.

There are 700 total photographs: 630 botanical photographs, 51 historical photographs, and 19 general photographs. Other features include: Cahuilla Plant Bloom Chart, Cahuilla Plant Harvest Chart, Life Zones, and a map of The Territory of The Cahuilla and Their Neighbors. The book contains 212 pages.

The book includes a Cahuilla Word List and Cahuilla Pronunciation Guide. There is a Latin Pronunciation Guide, and a Latin Accentuation Guide. The Latin Pronunciation Guide includes both classical and botanical Latin.

An extensive index system provides easy access to the plant information through a Plant Index, Supplementary Index, Plant Usage Index, an Index of Common Names, Plant list by Families, Index of Scientific Names, and Scientific Name to Common Name conversion.

A Naturalists' Field Notes section offers hikers a chance to keep their own records. This section contains lined paper, graph paper, blank field bloom and harvest charts, and pages designed for photograph records.

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California Fan Palm

The Fruit of the California Fan Palm

Holly-Leaved Cherry

Holly-Leaved Cherry

The Cahuilla used the fruit of the Desert Wild Grape, the California Fan Palm, and the Holly-Leaved Cherry for food. Foods were eaten fresh, or dried and ground into mushes, or baked into cakes.