Your "Friendship Trails"
(“I’m going to town.”)
Still more rain poured, and poured. A couple days passed as the next round of heavy rains soaked Southern California’s Native American homelands. Elder Ernest Siva (Cahuilla-Serrano), president of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, waited for the river to allow a safe crossing. Once all was safe, he and his wife, June, got ready to go to town.
What was it like in older times to go from the reservation into town? Ernest Siva grew up with the Native American Serrano language spoken at home. He remembers trips to town, the joys of visiting, and laughing at family jokes over language mixups.
(< 4-minute video)
Francisco Patencio’s view of the San Jacinto Mountains, as seen from between Whitewater and Cabazon, circa 1940s. Some people saw an “angel” in these hills. (Photo courtesy of Banning Library District)
In older times, “The trails of the Indians were everywhere,” the late Cahuilla leader Francisco Patencio remembered in 1939.“They led up all the canyons. There were hunting trails for the men, and used by the women to gather the seed, nuts, plums, and acorns, so many things. They led from the land of one tribe to another. All the Indians did their part to keep the trails clear. The trails were sacred to the Indians.
“A trail led from Chino Canyon up to the San Jacinto Peak. Another went from Chino across the hills to Snow Creek at the foot of San Jacinto. This was a hunting trail but used by the women also as a friendship trail for visiting.”
What are your 2023 “friendship trails”?
Save the date
Here’s hoping some of those trails lead to Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, where this year our 501c3 nonprofit celebrates 20 years of saving and sharing Southern California Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.
Save the date: March 11, 2023, for Native Voices Poetry Festival, 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning, where, in partnership with the Native American Arts Center of Idyllwild Arts, we’ll celebrate the human voice in all the arts.
Inspire. Discover. Explore. Create! Enjoy a day of free family fun at performances, creative workshops, and other activities.
Thanks for your support from Center leaders Ernest and June Siva and Editor Pat Murkland, January 18, 2023. News from Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, your free online newsletter, as always, values you and welcomes your comments and ideas. Please EMAIL.
Francisco Patencio, as told to Margaret Boynton, Stories And Legends of the Palm Springs Indians, 1943, copyright 1943 by Caroline S. Snyder, Times-Mirror, Los Angeles, p 70.