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Piegan tipis Home > Museum > Gallery of Nations > Cahuilla - Torres-Martinez Desert Band

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Torres-Martinez Desert Band of Cahuilla

Flag Map

The Torres-Martinez Reservation is named after the early village of Toro and the Martinez Indian Agency located in the Coachella Valley in southern California.

The Cahuilla were a peaceful people. They lived close to a water source in domed-shaped brush shelters or rectangular thatched huts. Their villages included an acorn granary, sweatlodge, and ceremonial house used for curing, dances and other ceremonies.

Since they were a desert people and water was scarce, the Desert Cahuilla developed the technology to create large hand-dug wells. These pits with terraced sides were sometimes 100 feet across.

About the Flag:

The design was created by Ruby Modesto and drawn by an artist known only as "Gruffum". The deer was once a common sight on the Torres-Martinez reservation. In the moonlight the deer would come in to drink, surrounded by palm trees. This beautiful sight assuredly witnessed by the ancestors of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla, has become a symbol of their culture. MAU-WAL-MAH SU-KUTT MENYIL means "among the palms, deer moon" in the Cahuilla language.

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