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Joshua Tree National Park > Roadside Interpretations

Desert People

We tend to think 50 or 100 years is a long time. And we see things as being the way they are now, not as they were. Places like this surprised us, where for centuries people escaped the weather, worked, ate, and slept. Desert people- Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Cahuilla Indians- knew the necessity of simplicity for living in this arid land. The desert was as familiar to them as your own neighborhood is to you. And this site was as welcoming as a motel or campground.

Desert people moved with the seasons, gathering the harvest, hunting, and escaping the harshness that each season brought. Here they likely camped in fall while gathering juniper berries, pinyon nuts and acorns. The raw foods were crushed in the rock mortars found here and then spread out on the flat grinding stone known as a metate. With a hand-held rock called a mano, the foods were ground and processed into mush, cakes and breads.

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More about: The Serrano, World View

Also see:
The Ancient Ones - Rock Art, Pictographs & Petroglyphs

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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