The Agua Caliente band of indigenous Americans spans Cahuilla and other native communities living in the Coachella Valley and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains. The tribes have formed the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in response to the endangerment of their cultural, spiritual and linguistic survival in the face of rapid change, and they use the space to embrace new technologies and resources to support the celebration and preservation of the lifeblood of their cultures. If you’re in the are visiting Ace, or you live near Palm Springs or in the low desert, go check out their new Interpretive Garden of Native Plants. Native plants used for food, medicinal purposes and building materials are identified in the garden by their Cahuilla, common and botanical names. You can catch the ribbon cutting ceremony in Palm Springs this Wednesday, December 7 from 6 to 8pm. See more about the museum, the Cahuilla people and the event on their website.
Photos are of Teodora Cuero, a revered Kumiai plant specialist and traditional authority in her village La Huerta in Baja, seen here gathering some of the valley’s native plants for healing, food and other purposes. The bottom photo is the Opuntia ficus_indica, aka prickly pear tuna, which grows wild all over the San Diego back country and is a delicious snack, photographed by Deborah Small.
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