August 14, 2017

Cahuilla Indians


The Cahuilla belonged to the southern California group of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan stock.

Cahuilla. A name perhaps of Spanish origin, but its significance is unknown. Also spelled Kawia.

Location. Mainly in the inland basin between the San Bernardino Range and the range extending southward from Mount San Jacinto.


  • Desert Cahuilla, at northern end of the Colorado Desert.
  • Mountain Cahuilla, in the mountains south of San Jacinto Peak.
  • Western or Pass Cahuilla, centering in Palms Springs Canyon.


  • Duasno, on or near the Cahuilla Reservation.
  • Juan Bautista, in San Bernardino County.
  • Ekwawinet, at La Mesa, 2 miles south of Coachella.
  • Kavinish, at Indian Wells.
  • Cahuilla, on the Cahuilla Reservation.
  • Kwaleki, in the San Jacinto Mountains.
  • Lawilvan or Sivel, at Alamo.
  • Malki, on the Potrero Reservation in Cahuilla Valley east of Banning.
  • Pachawal, at San Ygnacio. Palseta, at Cabezon.
  • Paltewat, at Indio in Cahuilla Valley.
  • Panachsa, in the San Jacinto Mountains.
  • Sechi, in Cahuilla Valley.
  • Sokut Menyil, at Martinez.
  • Sapela, at San Ygnacio.
  • Temalwahish, at La Mesa. Torres, on Torres Reservation.
  • Tova, at Agua Dulce.
  • Wewutnowhu, at Santa Rosa.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 2,500 Cahuilla in 1770; in 1910 there were about 800. (See Alliklik.)

Connection in which their name has become noted. The name Cahuilla is preserved in that of a village called Kaweah in Tulare County.

Uto-Aztecan Language Family
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