What Did the Cahuilla Indians Eat?

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The Cahuilla Indians ate soups of mashed acorns, breads of mashed acorns, pine nuts, grass seeds, berries, roots, cactus fruits, birds, rabbits and lizards. The Cahuilla Indians focused on gathering plant food and hunting animals for food rather than farming.

They are therefore referred to as “hunter-gatherers.” Hunters used bows and arrows to kill game and young boys learned how to throw a curved stick in order to hit prey such as rabbits. They stored their gathered food in large baskets and pottery jars.

Food was boiled by using a hot rock. The rock would first be heated by a fire, and then it would be deposited into the basket of acorn soup where it would give off its heat to the acorn soup or other liquid in the basket. The Cahuilla used long sticks to move the hot rocks around the cooking basket as well as in and out of the cooking basket.

The Cahuilla Indians lived in bands or groups of people. They never married anyone within their own band and would always marry someone from another band. They loved to tell stories and told a number of stories about the way in which the world began. Boys were taught how to hunt and girls were taught how to make baskets and pots as well as how to gather food.