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June 1987
CALIFORNIA LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITY PROJECT
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CALIFORNIA
LOW -LEVEL RADIOACTIVE
WASTE DISPOSAL PROJECT
CULTURAL RESOURCES SURVEYING:
ETHNOGRAPHIC RESOURCES
CANDIDATE SITE SELECTION PHASE
Report Prepared
by
Cultural Systems Research, Inc.
823 Valparaiso Avenue
Menlo Park, California 94025
for
US Ecology,. Inc.
1600 Dove St.
Suite 408
Newport Beach, California 92660
June 30, 1987
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
CSRI Staff
List of Maps
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER I.
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
CHAPTER II. THEORY
i
v
vi
vii
1
2
4
5
7
PHASE I REPORT
PHASE I METHOD
CHAPTER III.
CHAPTER IV. RESULTS OF RESEARCH
CRITERIA.
.
TRADITIONAL HOMELANDS OF NATIVE AMERICANS
IN THE STUDY AREA
NUMIC- SPEAKING PEOPLES
Western Shoshoneans
Kawaiisu
Owens Valley Paiute
Chemehuevi /Southern Paiute
9
14
.
18
TAKIC - SPEAKING PEOPLES
Serrano /Vanyume
Cahuilla
YUMAN- SPEAKING PEOPLES
Mohave
Quechan
ETHNOGRAPHY AND ETHNOHISTORY
.
.
Kawaiisu.
.
.
NUMIC- SPEARING PEOPLES
Western (Panamint) Shoshone
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
Southern Numic- Speaking Peoples:
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
Southern Numic- Speaking Peoples:
20
20
20
21
21
22
22
26
26
26
28
.30
30
30
30
35
.40
40
42
Southern
Paiutes /Chemehuevi
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
TAKIC - SPEAKING PEOPLES
The Cahuilla and the Serrano /Vanyume
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
44
44
47
52
52
52
55
YUMAN- SPEAKING PEOPLES
Mohave
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
Quechan
Ethnography
Ethnohistory
SENSITIVE SITES
1.
Bristol Lake Basin
2.
Broadwell Lake Basin
3.
Cadiz Lake Basin
4.
Coyote Lake Basin
5.
Cronese Lake Basin
6.
Danby Lake /Ward Valley Basin
Mesquite Drainage Basin
7.
8.
Pahrump Valley
9 and 10. Palen and Ford Lake Basins
11.
Panamint Valley
12.
Saline Valley
13.
Searles Lake
14.
Sheep Hole Basin
15.
Silurian Lake Basin
16.
Silver Lake Basin
17.
Soda Lake Basin
Superior Valley
18.
PHASE II AND III REPORT
CHAPTER V. PHASE II AND PHASE III METHODS
A.
Phase II Methods
Chronology
Preliminary Tasks
Kawaiisu
61
61
61
65
69
69
69
71
72
72
72
73
73
74
75
75
76
77
78
81
81
81
82
82
83
84
85
85
86
86
89
TAKIC - SPEAKING PEOPLES
San Manuel Indian Reservation
Morongo Indian Reservation
Agua Caliente Indian Reservation
90
90
90
Torres - Martinez Indian Reservation
91
Cabezon Indian Reservation
92
YUMAN- SPEAKING PEOPLES
92
Quechan Indian Reservation
92
Mohave
93
NUMIC- SPEAKING PEOPLES
93
Western (Panamint) Shoshone
93
Chemehuevi: Chemehuevi Indian Reservatio 94
Chemehuevi: Twentynine Palms Indian
Reservation
94
Southern Paiute
95
BARSTOW URBAN INDIAN COMMUNITY
96
B.
PHASE III METHODS
97
CHRONOLOGY OF FIELD WORK
97
CHAPTER VI. RESULTS OF RESEARCH
103
RESULTS OF OFF -SITE CONSULTATIONS (PRIMARILY PHASE II) 103
Introduction
103
Criteria
105
ii
Kawaiisu
Takic- Speaking Peoples:
The Cahuillas and Serranos .
109
116
119
120
Quechan
Panamint /Death Valley Shoshone
Native American Concerns: Colorado River and Pahrump. .123
Ethnic and Tribal Group Concerns: Introduction . .125
Mohave Expressed Concerns
126
General Concerns: Health Risks
126
General Concerns: The Desert as a Sacred
126
Place
General Concerns: Plants and Animals .
.
.
128
Specific Concerns:
128
Introduction
Ward Valley Water
128
Ward Valley Plants and Animals
128
Summary of Mohave Concerns
129
Najavo Expressed Concerns
129
General Concerns:
129
Introduction
General Concerns: Plant Use
130
Specific Concerns:
Southern Ward Valley
and Cadiz Valley
131
Danby Camp: Indian Homes
131
Chemehuevi Expressed Concerns
131
General Concerns:
Introduction
131
Water
132
Plants and Animals
132
Specific Concerns:
132
Sacred Trails
Ward and Palen Valley Plants and Animals. . . 134
Mountain Cave
134
Summary of Chemehuevi Concers
135
Southern Paiute Expressed Concerns
136
General Concerns: Water
136
Attachment to Place
136
Plants and Animals
136
Transportation
137
Specific Concerns:
Introduction
138
Animals
138
Hunting
139
Sacred Sites
139
Proximity to Homes
139
Summary of Southern Paiute Concerns
140
SUMMARY OF TRIBAL CONCERNS:
COLORADO RIVER GROUPS 141
RESULTS OF TRIPS TO CANDIDATE SITING AREAS (PHASE III)
Bristol
143
Broadwell
144
Cadiz
145
Chuckwalla
145
.
Coyote /Alvord
146
147
147
149
150
154
155
Danby
Fenner North
Fenner South
Pahrump
Panamint
Searles Central
iii
Searles South
Silurian
Silver
Soda North
Ward Valley
156
157
158
158
159
161
REFERENCES
Appendix:
Tribal Addresses
iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
In conducting this study, CSRI has had the assistance of many
individuals and institutions.
Foremost among the many whom we wish to
thank are the Tribal Chairpersons and other Native Americans who were so
generous with their time and energy. In addition, we wish to express
our gratitude to the following:
U. S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM):
Ethnographer Robert Laidlaw
Garth Portillo
Patricia McLean
Joan Oxendine
California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC)
Richard Milanovich
Paige Talley
Sacramento office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Phoenix office
Dr. Catherine Fowler of the Department of Anthropology, University of
Nevada, Reno
Lester Ross of the San Bernardino County Museum
Daniel McCarthy
Michael Lerch
Dr. Phil Wilkie, Archaeological Research Unit at the University of
California, Riverside
Harry Lawton, authority on southern California history and ethnography
CSRI STAFF
Principal Investigators:
Lowell John Bean, Ph.D.
Sylvia Brakke Vane, M.A.
Field Ethnographers:
Nancy Peterson Walter, Ph.D.
Jackson Young, B.A.
Research Assistant and Secretary:
Karla Young, B.A.
From the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan:
Richard W. Stoffle, Ph.D.
Michael J. Evans, M.A.
Florence V. Jensen
vi
LIST OF MAPS
Map 1.
Map 2.
Map 3.
Map 4.
Siting Study Area
Traditional Territories of Numic- Speaking People.
Showing Cahuilla and Serrano Territory
within California
Showing Mohave and Quechan Territory at Western
edge of Southwest
Map Set 1.
Candidate Siting Areas Showing Sensitivity
Ratings
vii
.
.
10
.19
24
27
161
CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTION
This report describes the results of an ethnographic study performed by Cultural Systems Research, Incorporated (CSRI) for US
Ecology, Inc. The study Is part of US Ecology's efforts to select a site
for the disposal of Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) for the State of
California, and describes the work undertaken prior to selection of
three candidate sites by - US Ecology. A detailed description of the
overall process leading to this decision in contained in "Candidate Sites
Selection Report" (US Ecology, June, 1987).
Additional ethnographic studies are scheduled as part of US Ecology's efforts to compare the three candidate sites. The results will play
a part in selecting a single preferred site for disposal facility
development. A separate report by CSRI will include information gained
in that phase of work.
Federal legislation (Low -Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980,
Public Law 96 -573) makes states responsible for disposal of LLRW,
which medical, educational, research, and industrial facilities generate.
Guidelines for disposal of the wastes were provided by the Federal
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on January 26, 1983 (10 CFR
61). The State of California in AB 1513 in 1982 and SB342 in 1983
directed the Department of Health Services to draft a plan for the
management,
treatment and disposal of LLRW that met the NRC
regulations, and to choose a private company to select a site and
develop a facility.
The California Department of Health Services applied the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission's site screening criteria to the state, and
developed a composite map that showed the desert of southeastern Cali-
fornia to be the largest area likely to meet the criteria.
US Ecology,
having been selected by the California Department of Health Services as
its license designee to site, build and operate California's Low Level
1
Radioactive Waste (LLRW) disposal site, proceeded in the spring of
1986
to choose a number of desert basins within this area to study further,
and has been in the process of decreasing the size of areas under
At the end of February, 1987, three specific candidate
sites were chosen for intensive study. Two alternate site areas were
consideration.
also named.
The ethnographic study is mandated under a number of State and
Federal Laws that make it necessary to consider the impact of a project
on Native American values and cultural resources, among them the
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Executive Order 11593, the
Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974, and California's
The latter law established the Native American Heritage
AB -4239.
Commission, which is directed to assist state agencies in negotiations
with federal agencies for the protection of Native American sacred sites
on federal land.
The study was conducted in three phases during a period when US
Ecology's planning and environmental team conducted three rounds of
public meetings.
At the beginning of each phase, maps designated as "Manuscript
Maps" (1:110,000) of the desert basins being considered were provided
to CSRI by Environmental Science Associates, Inc. (ESA) , US Ecology's
prime contractor for coordination of project environmental assessment
documents.
PHASE I.
CSRI was asked to provide for each of the basins being considered
the following information:
1.
Mapping information to show which tribal groups have
traditional or contemporary interest in each area;
2
2.
The location within or near the areas of any sites or areas
known (on the basis of a literature search) to have
significance for Native Americans; and
3.
A preliminary set of criteria for evaluating the relative
impacts of alternative site use with respect to Native American
values. These criteria were to be considered tentative and to
be refined in consultation with the tribal councils of
reservations with historic relationships and /or geographical
proximity to alternative siting areas.
CSRI was also asked to conduct a search of the published and
unpublished literature on the Native American groups that traditionally
occupied the study area, and to provide summaries of the ethnography
and ethnohistory of each group. These summaries are included in
Chapter IV, under Phase I Results of Research.
It was specified that work was to follow closely the first two
components of background research, described under "d. Ethnographic
Studies, (1) Background Research," in US Ecology's Application for
Selection as licensee designee, (Pages I -31 and I -32), but that CSRI
would interpret "all published and unpublished documents, site records,
and interview materials relevant to Native American cultural resources
in the study area" as meaning all those known and available to it and
expected to contain data useful for this study, and possible to review
given the time frame of the study.
This phase of CSRI's study was completed June 30, 1986.
A description of the theoretical considerations underlying this
study is presented in Chapter II of this report. Reports on the
methods used to accomplish the first phase of the study, as well as the
results of the research are presented in Chapter III.
PHASE II.
This phase consisted of a first round of consultations with Native
Americans whose ancestors traditionally occupied the study area. Work
began in August, 1986, and was carried out principally in October and
Phase II was based on the criteria for evaluating
siting impacts on Native American values developed under Phase I.
November, 1986.
From the refined criteria and related impacts assessment, CSRI's tasks
were described as follows:
1.
Identification of specific locations within the mapped potential
siting areas which have a particular and identifiable value, (e.g. , rock
art sites, collection areas, ritual sites, etc.) .
2. Identification of any general areas considered to have value for
reasons that may not lend themselves to mapping of site - specific
features.
3.
A recommended framework for identifying impact criteria and
related geographic locations which should be considered highly
constrained for site development, and hence might most appropriately be
excluded from further siting consideration.
4.
Related to #3. above, a recommended framework for identifying
criteria and /or locations for which the impacts of disposal site
development might be mitigated through approaches found acceptable in
the past or likely to be considered acceptable by tribal groups with an
interest in such areas.
It was understood that actual site- specific
mitigation measures were to be evaluated at a future time. The purpose
of this evaluation was to differentiate mitigable impacts from
exclusionary impacts to the extent practicable at this stage of the
project.
5.
An assessment of perceived Native American reactions to the
weighting approaches described in the Phase I preliminary impact
assessment criteria, (e.g., regular occupation vs. occasional use,
4
recency of use, etc.) , and to the criteria as a whole, including
identification of possible areas of controversy. It was understood that
the consultation interviews would lead to refined criteria.
The methods used to accomplish the goals of this phase and the
following Phase III make up Chapter V of this report. The results of
the research in this phase and Phase III make up Chapter VI.
PHASE III.
This phase consisted of a second round of consultation with Native
Americans whose ancestors traditionally occupied the study area, this
time with limited on -site visits to most of 16 Candidate Siting Areas
(CSAs), which had been identified by US Ecology. These Candidate
Siting Areas were greatly reduced portions of the Drainage Basins
considered, and reflected elimination of geotechnically
unsuitable areas. Visits to sites primarily included areas that could be
originally
viewed from public highways adjacent to them, rather than extensive
on -site surveys for cultural resources. Work on this phase took place
in January, 1987. The report on this phase is included in Chapters IV
and V of this report, as stated above.
PI ?ASE I REPORT
6
CHAPTER II. THEORY
Native American groups in the United States of the 1980s are
persistent social systems within the larger society (Spicer 1971) .
Like
other persistent systems, they survive in part because of certain
attributes that permit them to maintain a strong ethnic boundary (Barth
1969). That is, they identify strongly with a homeland; they often
have religious beliefs that set them apart from other Americans
(although they may belong to Christian churches in the mainstream
culture as well) ; they control the inward flow of information about the
dominant society and the outward flow of information about themselves
and their culture; and they often maintain a cautious attitude toward
the dominant society. These attributes are all a part of the process of
ethnicity maintenance.
Certain other attributes of strong ethnic boundary maintenance are
no longer found among the Native American groups whose ancestors
occupied the Study Area in traditional times. These Native Americans
no longer speak their own languages exclusively, no longer eat many of
their traditional foods except on ritual occasions, and do not necessarily
wear clothing, ornaments, or cosmetics that set them apart.
Such
attributes have been selectively dropped as it has become advantageous
to be able to assume less distinctive identities for economic or social
reasons.
It follows that Native Americans, given a chance to express their
opinions about such proposed projects as a Low Level Radioactive Waste
Disposal facility, express some of the same concerns as their non - Indian
neighbors, as well as concerns that are specific to themselves.
Like other Americans, Native Americans are concerned that low
level radioactive waste reach its disposal site safely; hence, they ask
about how it will be transported and what safety measures will be
7
taken. They are concerned about air and water purity, and don't want
the LLRWD site where they believe wind might blow contaminated dust
over their homes, nor where their water supplies might be contaminated
by underground leakage. Like other Americans, they are aware that
safeguards have sometimes failed in the past; hence, they are
distrustful of safeguards promised for the future.
Additionally, Native Americans have concerns shared not at all or
to a lesser degree by members of the dominant society -- concerns for
their homeland, its geographical features, its flora and fauna, its
archaeological and historical sites, and its sacred places. The concern
of its members for their homeland's plants, animals, and other features
is not simply an intensification of the concern felt by any
environmentalist .
It has a different dimension in that to the Native
American, the plant, animal, or even rock is sentient, aware, sensitive
to feeling and perception. Moreover, their homelands are their sacred
places of creation, as sacred for them as Mecca for Moslems, or
Jerusalem for Christians, Jews, and Moslems. Traditional trails figure
in songs sung ceremonially, recreating a sacred time somewhat as
Christians at Christmas recreate the journey of Mary and Joseph with
the infant Jesus. Isolated valleys in the mountains or deserts often
have a special value as places where Native Americans can have a
spiritual experience of "recreation" in the word's most literal sense.
For a more complete presentation of the above, see PERSISTENCE
AND POWER: A STUDY OF NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLES IN THE
SONORAN DESERT and the DEVERS -PALO VERDE HIGH VOLTAGE
TRANSMISSION LINE (Bean and Vane 1978:2 -1 to 2 -13) .
8
CHAPTER III.
PHASE I METHOD AND RESULTS OF RESEARCH
METHOD
In Phase I of this study, CSRI was asked to search relevant
published and unpublished materials in order to provide the following
information for each of the drainage basins being considered (see
Map 1) :
1.
Mapping information to show which tribal groups have
traditional or contemporary interest in each area;
2.
The location within or near the areas of any sites or areas
known (on the basis of a literature search) to have
significance for Native Americans; and
3.
A preliminary set of criteria for evaluating the relative
impacts of alternative site use with respect to Native American
values. These criteria were to be considered tentative and to
be refined in consultation with the tribal councils of
reservations with historic relationships and /or geographical
proximity to alternative siting areas.
It was specified that the work was to follow closely the first two
components of background research, described under "d. Ethnographic
Studies, (1) Background Research," in US Ecology's Application for
Selection as licensee designee, (Pages I -31 and I -32), but that CSRI
would interpret "all published and unpublished documents, site records,
and interview materials relevant to Native American cultural resources
in the study area" as meaning all those known and available to it and
expected to contain data useful for this study, and possible to review
given the time frame of the study.
9
N
JE
Saline
STUDY AREA
Panamint
Silurian
Superior
Coyote
/
Crones
'/
Silver
BAKER
/
Soda
Mesquite Hills
BARSTOW
Broadwell
Danby
SAN BERNARDINO
Sheephole
RIVERSIDE
Ford
BLYT
0
10
20
30 MILES
10
SITING STUDY AREA
In a series of previous CRM studies, including the ethnographic
Devers -Palo Verde report (Bean and Vane 1978), the Allen - Warner
Valley report (Bean and Vane 1979) , and the Intermountain Power
Project report (Bean and Vane 1982), CSRI had studied the Native
American resources of most of the Study Area, excepting a small
territory between the boundaries of the Allen - Warner Valley Study Area
and the Devers -Palo Verde Study Area.
In the course of these
studies, CSRI mapped all archaeological sites recorded at the time the
studies
were
done,
studied
the
published
and
unpublished
ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and historic record, and interviewed the
Native Americans with a concern for the area. These reports and the
background data supporting the conclusions therein have been reviewed
as a first step in this project.
Basic ethnographic documents on the peoples of the Study Area,
such as those in three published volumes of the HANDBOOK OF NORTH
AMERICAN INDIANS (Heizer 1978, Ortiz 1983, and d'Azevedo 1986), and
other ethnographic works recognized as authoritative on the peoples of
the Study Area have been reviewed. Various articles, archaeological
reports, and newspaper clippings pertaining to the Study Area were
also reviewed.
Another major source of previously collected information about the
current study area is the body of literature on Cultural Resources and
Native American Values assembled by the U. S. Department of the
Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the course of a study
of the California Desert Conservation Area, which resulted in Draft and
Final Environmental Impact Statements and Proposed Plans (U. S.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 1979, 1980a,
and 1980b) . Bean and Vane visited the Bureau of Land Management's
Sacramento, California office, for consultation with ethnographer Robert
Laidlaw, who was the ethnographer for the Desert Plan study.
Vane
visited the Riverside, California office of the BLM, for consultation with
Garth Portillo. Laidlaw and Portillo shared primary documents from the
BLM's Desert Planning research effort. The Draft and Final Desert
Plans have also been studied. Patricia McLean and Joan Oxendine of
11
the Ridgecrest, California office of the BLM were also consulted. Data
from the Desert Plan has been a major source of information about the
Study Area.
BLM personnel furnished CSRI with copies of pertinent documents
from the Land Claims Case of the 1950s, which were invaluable for
describing the traditional boundaries of various groups.
In Sacramento Bean and Vane met with Gary Paul Beck, Executive
Director of the California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC),
and with Paige Talley, his assistant. The NAHC provided lists of
names of most likely descendants of each group, and a general
orientation into its current activities.
The Sacramento office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
provided an up -to -date list of Tribal officers, addresses and phone
numbers for California (BIA 1986) .
The Phoenix office provided similar
information about the tribal groups along the California /Nevada and
California /Arizona border.
Dr. Catherine Fowler of the Department of Anthropology,
University of Nevada, Reno, and Dr. Nancy Walter, who has been doing
research in Eastern California, were consulted about the northern three
drainage basins. Dr. Richard Stoffle of the Institute for Social
Research, University of Michigan, was consulted about the concerns of
the Southern Paiutes, Chemehuevi, and Mohave, with whom he, has
worked for a number of years.
Lester Ross of the San Bernardino County Museum and Daniel
McCarthy, Michael Lerch, and Dr. Phil Wilkie of the Archaeological
Research Unit at the University of California, Riverside were consulted.
Ross and McCarthy have mapped archaeological sites on 15° or 7.5°
maps (depending on which was available) , and provided a summary of
findings for each such site. CSRI also acquired copies of the actual
site records, which provide more complete information.
12
Harry Lawton,
authority on southern California history and
ethnography, was consulted, as was Katherine Siva Saubel of Malki
Museum at Banning, a prominent Cahuilla scholar.
CSRI provided US Ecology with addresses of tribal chairman (see
Appendix A) , and consulted on the composition of a letter to them
announcing a first round of public meetings about the project.
13
RESULTS OF RESEARCH:
CRITERIA
CSRI agreed to "provide . . . a preliminary set of criteria for
evaluating the relative impacts of alternative site . use with respect to
Native American values." These criteria are to be considered tentative
and are to be refined after further review of the ethnographic
literature and in consultation with the tribal councils of reservations
with historic relationships and /or geographical proximity to alternative
siting areas.
In order to decide the relative impact of alternative site use, CSRI
I.
gives weight to information from the following sources:
1.
Current testimony from the tribal group in whose traditional
territory a site lies. Where a site lies in territory held by
one or more tribal groups, and the information varies from one
to another, special weight is given to those who have most
recently lived in or used the area. Regular occupation is
given more weight than occasional use. In cases of
disagreement that cannot otherwise be resolved, it is judged
that the most negative impact should receive special
consideration. This kind of information was not available
in the first phase of this study.
2.
Information gathered in the course of recent cultural resource
management studies with respect to the expected impact of
cultural resources on such facilities as transmission lines,
generating stations, pipe lines, and so on, and based on
consultation with tribal groups whose traditional lands are
affected. The remarks about variations in Paragraph 1 would
hold in this case as well.
3.
Information from ethnographic, linguistic, historic,
archaeological, and other literature -- published and
14
unpublished. Especially valuable are the records of tribal
groups' oral literature when it is possible to identify places
whose Native American names can be equated with present -day
names on maps. This kind of literature was usually collected
from knowledgeable tribal elders who are now deceased.
II. CSRI rates the relative impacts of alternative sites use with respect
to Native American values on the basis of whether the following
conditions are present, and the location and density thereof.
A site is judged very sensitive to impact if it is sacred. Among the
kinds of places deemed sacred are:
1.
Sources of residual sacred power, creation sites, and other
sites named after or closely identified with powerful sacred
persons or happenings. In southern California, these are
usually mountain -tops, but may be caves, rockshelters,
springs (especially hot or mineral) , or rock art sites.
site is also judged very sensitive to impact if it has ritual
associations. The following kinds of sites are associated with ritual:
A
2.
Ritual sites (may often be the same as above) , burial and
cremations sites; places used for prayer and meditation, for
healing, and for training shamans; places where materials
(plants, animals, or minerals) for sacred use are gathered.
The presence of ritual objects such as quartz crystals,
shamans' bundles, or ground figures indicates that a place is
sacred.
Also very sensitive:
4.
Rock art sites are assumed to have had ritual connotations
when made, and are considered sacred by most Native
Americans .
15
These are particularly vulnerable to impact when anything
makes them more accessible.
Sites sensitive to Native Americans because of association with their
traditional life:
5.
Native American trails, and places where they are known to
have passed in pursuing religious, social, or economic goals,
very often all of these at once.
6.
The sites of villages, with the most recent ones most sacred
and sensitive because they have a direct historical connection
with living people. Modern reservations and other places
where today's Native Americans live are also very sensitive.
7.
Collection areas - -or micro ecosystems:
Stands of plants, such
as pinyon trees, mesquite, palm oases, cacti, and plants
providing food, basketry, or other materials important to
Native Americans. Basketry materials are particularly
important because basketmaking has become an ethnicity
marker - -a symbolic representation of the past for California
Native Americans. Species that are endangered or whose
ecosystems are endangered are of special concern to Native
Americans.
8. Sites frequented by desert tortoises, desert bighorn sheep,
etc. , important to Native Americans. Species that are
endangered or whose ecosystems are endangered are of special
concern to Native Americans.
9.
Springs and other sources of water. As mentioned above, hot
springs or springs where healing rites are performed are
especially sensitive, having sacred connotations. It is
believed that hot springs are connected underground with
sources of power, which can be dangerous, but also can be
tapped for healing purposes.
16
10.
11.
Sites named in traditional songs and other literature.
Sites to which people came to trade, visit, recreate, or
process foods.
Significant clues to sensitivity include the presence of bedrock
mortars and slicks, other groundstone artifacts, scatters of stone
flakes, stone circles, stone effigies, pottery. Rockshelters and caves
may have deep deposits of artifactual materials, including burials,
shamans' bundles, quartz crystals, etc. All other things being equal,
areas with a high density of artifactual materials are more sensitive
than those with low density.
Contemporary Native American concerns are apt to be highest in
areas which they presently use, or of which they have a direct
historical memory.
Whether impact to cultural resources would be direct or indirect,
and
the
difficulty
of
effective
mitigation
must
be
taken
into
consideration when judging whether the presence of cultural resources
in or near an area should remove it from consideration as a place for
low level radioactive waste disposal. Impact and mitigation evaluations
are not attempted in this report because consideration will occur at a
later time when a single preferred site has been named.
17
RESULTS OF RESEARCH: TRADITIONAL HOMELANDS
OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE STUDY AREA
The boundaries of the traditional areas of Native American groups
in the southeastern California desert cannot be drawn with precision.
They varied over time, and there has been overlapping and joint use of
many areas by various groups. The ethnographers who have tried to
draw boundaries in this area - -A. L. Kroeber, C. Hart Merriam, and
many others - -have always not agreed with each other on specifics . For
most of the area, the most recent accounts are in the three volumes of
the HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS that deal with the
area. This series is being published by the Smithsonian Institution.
Each volume is edited by the available authorities on its area, and
draws on the great body of ethnographic literature that has been
accumulated, as well as on recent research.
The northern part of the Study Area, being part of the Great
Basin, is dealt with in the Great Basin volume (Volume 11) of the
HANDBOOK (d'Azevedo
1986) .
Map 2 shows the territory of that group
and that of the neighboring Owens Valley Paiute, Southern
Paiute - Chemehuevi, and Kawaiisu. This map indicates the most recent
thinking about the traditional boundaries in this area. The Chemehuevi
(the southernmost Southern Paiutes) moved southward about 1830,
occupying an area that had been occupied by the Halchidoma. Hence
the HANDBOOK map does not show the complete area considered their
A description of the
traditional homeland by the Chemehuevi.
Chemehuevi territory from the Claims Case is included as a guide to
the whole area claimed by them. This area overlaps in part with
territory claimed by the Mohave.
The peoples who live along the Colorado River are discussed in
of the HANDBOOK (Ortiz
Serrano - Vanyume, and Kawaiisu in Volume
Volume
10
4 are from these volumes.
18
1983) ,
8
(Heizer
and the
1978) .
Cahuilla,
Maps 3 and
\,` 1
..
-`Iorlhern tihohune and.
_
\
.
Aawaiisu
r--T
D
IMm.
1
1
50
KYOm,.tc
i00
...n
, .,m.,,.,,.,
Map 2.
Traditional Territories of Numic Speaking People
(From Volume 11, HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS (d'Azevedo 1986)
ix
19
Maps by these authorities do not indicate the complete areas of
interest of the various groups, which extend beyond these boundaries.
The claims made in the Claims Cases of the 1950s for many of the
groups have been copied for this report and are recommended as
describing the larger areas within which these groups have a concern
about resources.
Numic- Speaking Peoples
The peoples who traditionally occupied the northern part of the
Study Area were Paiutes, who spoke Numic languages (see Map 2).
There are three great divisions of the Numic language family (in turn,
a member of the larger Uto- Aztecan language family) : Western,
Central, and Southern.
The people who traditionally occupied the
Saline Valley Drainage Basin and the northern part of Panamint Valley
Drainage Basin were Panamint Shoshones or Kosos, who spoke a Western
Shoshonean language belonging to the Central division of Numic
languages. Immediately to the west was the traditional territory of the
Owens Valley Paiute, speaking a Western Numic language. Searles
Valley lies in an area that may have been jointly and variously used by
the Kawaiisu, the Western Shoshone, the Vanyume, or by the
Chemehuevi- Southern Paiutes (who spoke a Southern Numic language)
Western Shoshoneans.
(d'Azevedo
1986).
In the mountains to the southwest of Panamint Valley
lay the main part of the traditional territory of the Kawalisu, who spoke
a Southern Numic language. The Kawaiisu traditional territory also
extended into the southern part of the Panamint Valley Drainage System
and into southern Death Valley, according to D'Azevedo (1986) . It is
uncertain what the other traditional boundaries of the Kawaiisu were,
primarily because few Kawalisu remained by the time ethnographers and
historians became interested in the question. The northern boundary is
Kawaiisu.
thought to be the south fork of the Kern River; on the west the
Kawaiisu boundary joined Yokuts territory (Hopa 1979:107); and the
southern boundary is indeterminate- -the Kawaiisu were one of the
20
They may have occupied an
area as far to the southwest as the northern slopes of the San Gabriel
Present -day Kawaiisu express
Mountains (Kroeber 1925 :616 -618).
concern about cultural resources at least as far south as the Mohave
River, and remember that their grandparents collected foods there.
groups who occupied the Mohave Desert.
The Kawaiisu of southern Panamint Valley were called Panamints by
the southern Paiutes immediately to the east and by the Death Valley
Paiutes, thus confusing the situation for ethnographers.
The Owens Valley Paiute territory adjoins
that of the Western Shoshone to the north and west, and none of the
Study Area lies within an area generally considered theirs; however,
members of this group intermarry with the Western Shoshone, and their
ancestors hunted and gathered in the Mohave Desert (d'Azevedo 1986;
Owens Valley Paiute.
Laidlaw 1979) .
Chemehuevi- Southern
Paiute.
The
Chemehuevi
are
the
southernmost branch of the Southern Paiutes, a people speaking a
Southern Numic language (see Map 2). Sometime after 1827, the
Chemehuevi moved into an area along the Colorado River where the
lialchidoma had lived before 1827. The Chemehuevi homeland now
centers on the Chemehuevi Reservation, but their traditions and
historical data indicate that they used and occupied the eastern Mohave
Desert as well- -south of the Providence Mountains, north of the Clipper
Mountains, running northeastward to the Mohave boundary just south of
the 35th parallel. The song cycles mapped by Laird (1976) include
Chuckawalla Spring and Old Woman Mountains and the Pahrump Valley.
In the late nineteenth century, Chemehuevis came to live at Twentynine
Palms, Morongo Indian Reservation, and Cabezon Reservation. They
and Southern Paiutes proper also appeared along the Old Mohave Trail
in the historical record.
In the Claims Case, the Chemehuevi claimed the following:
21
Beginning at a point in southern Nevada six miles west
of a place on the Colorado River where said river encloses a
small island in the latitude of Mount Davis (this starting point
being east northeast from Searchlight and slightly east of
south from Nelson); thence southerly to the summit of the
mountain called Avi -Kwame by the Mohave and Yuman tribes,
and Agai by the Chemehuevi Indians; thence southerly along
the crest of the Dead Mountain - Manchester Mountain range in
California, generally paralleling. the Colorado River; thence
southerly along the ridge of the Sacramento Mountains to the
middle of Township 23 E 7N; thence southeast to the middle of
Township 24E, 6N, along a line dividing the Chemehuevi
Mountains; thence east across the Colorado River at a place
known as Blankenship Bend; thence north of east in the State
of Arizona to the Mohave Mountains; thence south southeast
over a peak known as Akoka -Numi, for approximately 12 miles;
thence west southwest across the Colorado River to the
southwestern corner of Township 26 E, 4N, in the State of
California; thence southwest along a line paralleling the
Colorado River to the summit of the Whipple Mountains; thence
southwest to the summit of the West Riverside Mountains;
thence southerly to the beginning of a gap in the Big Maria
Mountains separating the main eastern mass of these mountains
from a spur projecting westward toward the Little Maria
Mountains; thence northwest to the crest of the Iron
Mountains; thence northwest on a line between the Bristol
Mountains and the Cady Mountains; thence north, northeast,
east, and again north, on a curving line passing north of the
Bristol Mountains and first south and then east of Soda Lake
to a point about the middle of Devil's Playground at the
western edge of township 10W, 13N; thence east northeasterly
through Townships 10 to 14E, 13N, to Cima; thence northeast
to a place on the California - Nevada State Line about three
miles east of Nipton; thence easterly to the point and place of
beginning (U. S. Court of Claims 1950 -1960: Docket No. 351).
Southern Paiute traditional territory lay north of that of the
Chemehuevi. It extended northeastward to Las Vegas and beyond, and
west to the Black Mountains, the Awawatz Mountains, and the Old Dad
Mountains. It did not reach quite to Soda Lake (Kelly 1934:555 -556).
Takic- Speaking Peoples
Serran- Vanyume.
It is thought that the Serrano, who spoke a
Takic language (like Numic, a member of the Uto- Aztecan language
family) traditionally occupied part of the the San Bernardino Mountains,
an area to the south of the mountains, and the area directly north of
them that extended into the Mohave Desert. To the west their territory
extended beyond Cajon Pass, probably to the mouth of Little Rock
22
Creek (Harrington Serrano notes, ca. 1918). To the north, their
territory extended to the Barstow region. Most ethnographers place
their eastern boundary east of Twentynine Palms (see Map 3) .
The Vanyume occupied the Mohave Desert region to the east of the
Serrano when the Spanish explorer Garces travelled through the Mohave
Desert in 1776. Garces placed the eastern Vanyume boundary several
Spanish leagues east of the sink of the Mohave, Soda Lake, and the
western
boundary
at
Barstow.
The
Vanyume
appear
to
have
disappeared before the mid - nineteenth century, and little is known
about them. Although it is often assumed that they spoke a language
similar to that of the Serrano, the language was not recorded (Kroeber
1925:614).
The Vanyume, in fact, could be the Kawaiisu.
In the Claims Case, the Serrano claimed the following:
Beginning at a point approximately 5 miles East of the
City of Redlands; thence Northwesterly in an irregular line to
a point in the approximate area of the San Gabriel Range which
is due North of Mt. San Antonio; thence Easterly in an
irregular line along the San Gabriel Range to Cajon Pass;
thence Northerly in an irregular line approximately 8 miles;
thence Northeasterly in an irregular line to a point
approximately 3 miles Northeast of the town of Ludlow; thence
Southeasterly in an irregular line to a point approximately 1
mile Southwest of the town of Cadiz; thence Southeasterly in
an irregular line to a point in the approximate area of the
Big Maria Mountains, approximately 12 miles West of the
thence Southerly parallel with and
Colorado River;
approximately 12 miles Westerly of the Colorado River in an
irregular line to a point due West of Blythe; thence Westerly
in an irregular line to the approximate area of the present
Hayfield Reservoir on the Colorado River Aqueduct; thence
Westerly in an irregular line following the line of said
Aqueduct to a point approximately due North from San Jacinto
Peak; thence South in an irregular line to the approximate
area of San Jacinto Peak; thence Southeasterly in an irregular
line to the approximate area of Lookout Mountain; thence
Westerly in an irregular line to the approximate area of
Coahuila Mountain; thence Northwest in an irregular line to a
point which is approximately 12 miles southwest from the point
of beginning; thence Northeast in an irregular line approxi-
mately 12 miles to the point of beginning (U.S. Court of
Claims 1950 -1960: Docket No. 80) .
23
17.'
127`
.2
120"
.2"
40
.0
Key to Tribal Territories
118
N.
38.
124
Ils.
2s.
's.
122
i
23
O
50
73
I
I
I
Q
25
SO
75
100
lMws
I KdomwNf
100
Map 3. Showing Cahuilla and Serrano Territory within California.
(From Volume 8, HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS (Heizer 1978)
24
ix
Cahuilla.
"The Cahuilla occupied most of the area from the summit
of the San Bernardino Mountains in the north to Borrego Springs and
the Chocolate Mountains in the south, a portion of the Colorado Desert
west of the Orocopia Mountain to the east, and the San Jacinto Plain
near Riverside and the eastern slopes of Palomar Mountain to the west
(Bean 1978 :575) (see Map 3).
In the Claims Case, the Cahuilla claimed:
Beginning at a point which is approximately 71 miles
North and 10 miles East of Volcan Mountain; thence Easterly
in an irregular line to a point in the area of the Salton Sea,
which is approximately 14 miles West from the town of Niland;
thence Northeasterly in an irregular line to a point which is
approximately 12 miles West of the Colorado River and three
miles South of the Riverside -San Diego County line; thence
Northerly in an irregular line parallel with and approximately
12 miles Westerly of the Colorado River to a point due West
from Blythe; thence Westerly in an irregular line to the
approximately area of the present Hayfield Reservoir on the
Colorado River Aqueduct; thence Westerly in an irregular line
following the line of said Aqueduct to a point due North from
San Jacinto Peak; thence South in an irregular line to the
approximate area of San Jacinto Peak; thence Southeasterly in
an irregular line to the approximate area of Lookout Mountain;
thence Westerly in an irregular line to Coahuila Mountain;
thence Southwesterly in an irregular line to a point
approximately 2 miles South from the town of Sage; thence
Southeasterly in an irregular line to a point which is
approximately 9 miles Northwest from the top of Hot Springs
Mountain; thence Southeasterly in an irregular line to a point
which is approximately 4 miles North from said top of Hot
Springs Mountain; thence South in an irregular line
approximately 4 miles to the approximate area of Hot Springs
Mountain; thence Easterly in an irregular line to a point that
is approximately 3 miles North from the point of beginning;
thence South approximately 3 miles to the point of beginning
(U. S. Court of Claims 1950 -1960: Docket 80) .
25
Yuman - Speaking Peoples
Mohave. The HANDBOOK describes the territory of the Mohave
(see Map 4) as follows:
"The core and most heavily populated part of the Mohave
territory in precontact times was the Mohave Valley, where no
other tribe has ever been reported. The Mohave, if
Schroeder is correct in identifying them with the prehistoric
group he calls the Amacava, may have come out of the Mohave
Desert to the west to settle along the river in the Mohave
Valley as early as AD 1150 (Schroeder 1952b:29). Mohave
settlements in the valley extended from about 15 miles north
of the present Davis Dam down to the peaks known as The
just south of Topock, Arizona. The Mohave
apparently considered, too, that they owned the country
along the Colorado south to the Bill Williams River, although
in the nineteenth century they allowed the Chemehuevi,
migratory desert Indians, to infiltrate and farm along the
river in what is now known as the Chemehuevi Valley
Needles,
(Stewart 1983:55).
In the Claims Case, the Mohave claimed the following:
All
of the
Mohave
Valley
of the
Colorado
River,
extending north to the Black Canyon in said river, extending
south to the Mohave Mountains; extending east to the highest
crest of the Black Mountains, to the Buck Mountains and to
the Mohave Mountains; and extending west to the Sacramento
Mountains, the Dead Mountains, and to the Newberry
Mountains.
All of the lands on both banks of the Colorado River
extending from the midstream of said river back on either side
of said river, to the crest of the mountain; bordering on said
portion of said river and extending north to the Mohave Valley
in said river, and extending south to a point below what is
now 'known as and called the City of Blythe, in the County of
Riverside, State of California.
All of that part of what is now known as the Mohave
Desert in the State of California, extending east to the land
above described located on the Colorado River extending south
to the Whipple Mountains, the Turtle Mountains, the Granite
Mountains, the Eagle Mountains, the little San Bernardino
Mountains, the San Bernardino Mountains; extending west to the
San Gabriel and Tehachapi Mountains, and extending north as
far as the Granite, Soda Lake, Providence and New York
Mountains, including the valley now known as Paiute Valley
extending north into the State of Nevada (U. S. Court of
Claims 1950 -1960: Docket 283) .
26
1001
I
too.
90. 1
I
Key to Tribal Territories
R. Grande
K c rc,.i n>
Navajo
Jcnlci
N.
IIwa
1,
.licarilla
Apache
---'--
1
I
1
1
}
I
M aricnpa
251
/r.r..
.N
CaM.o
r
1
.;
i
'f
200
100
1
I
I
1
ri---T-1-- i
O
100
I Wu,
--,r
u.w.n.a.n.
200
/
I
,
1,1
(
1,
Ì
r
Map 4. Showing Mohave and Quechan Territory at Western edge of Southwest.
(From Volume 10, HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS (Ortiz 1983)
27
ix
Quechan.
HANDBOOK.
The Quechan area is shown on Map 4, from the
In the Claims Case the Quechan claimed the following,
which describes their larger area of concern:
Beginning at a point midstream of the Colorado River,
near Pilot Knob, and constituting the most easterly point of
the international boundary line between the State of
California and the Republic of Mexico; thence west along said
line to a point about ten miles west of the present town of
Mexicali,
Mexico;
thence
on
curved line,
parallel to the New River, and about ten
approximately
distant
therefrom, to the Superstition Mountains; thence northeasterly
miles
on a line through the present towns of Westmoreland and
Calipatria, and continuing to the southernmost extension of
the Chuckawalla Mountains and west of the westernmost
extension of the Chocolate Mountains located on the California
side of the Colorado River; thence northerly through the
Chuckawalla Mountains; thence northeasterly to the McCoy
Mountains; thence north to the Little Maria Mountains; thence
northeasterly to the Riverside Mountains; thence east along
the line of 34° north latitude to the Colorado River; thence
south along the channel of said river to a point opposite the
northern boundary of the town of Blythe; thence easterly to
the crest of the Dome Rock Mountains; thence southerly along
the crest of said Dome Rock Range, and continuing south to
the Chocolate Mountains located on the Arizona side of the
Colorado River; thence southwesterly along the crest of said
Chocolate Mountains to a point about five miles from the
Colorado River, at the place where the river turns south after
having flowed east from Picacho; thence in a southeasterly
direction to the Muggins Mountains; thence northeasterly on a
line in approximately the same direction as the channel of the
Gila River and about ten miles above said river, to a point on
a northerly projection of the line of the Mohawk Mountains;
thence southeasterly along the line of said Mohawk Mountains
to a point about ten miles below the Gila River; thence
southwesterly on a line about ten miles from said river to the
Gila Mountains; thence southeasterly along the crest of said
Gila Mountains to the Mexican border; thence northwesterly
along said border to the Colorado River; thence north along
said river to the point of beginning (Court of Claims
1950 -1960: Docket No. 319).
28
RESULTS OF RESEARCH: ETHNOGRAPHY AND ETHNOHISTORY
29
NUMIC- SPEAKING PEOPLES
When Euro- Americans arrived in the Great Basin of western North
America late in the eighteenth century, they found there a number of
desert - dwelling peoples whom they variously called Utes, Paiutes,
Shoshoneans, or Chemehuevi. It was later found that the language
these people spoke belonged to the Numic division of the Shoshonean
branch of the Uto- Aztecan language family. The people who lived in an
area extending from Owens Valley in California northward to eastern
Those
languages.
occupying a wedge- shaped area that included California's Panamint
Mountains, central and northeastern Nevada, and much of Idaho,
northwestern Utah, and Wyoming spoke Central Numic languages.
Oregon
and
Washington
spoke
Western
Numic
Those living in the southern Sierra Nevada of California, parts of the
Mohave Desert, southern Nevada, northwestern Arizona, much of Utah,
and part of Colorado spoke southern Numic languages (Hopkins 1965;
Fowler and Fowler
1971:5-7).
Central Numic - Speakers:
Ethnography.
Western (Panamint) Shoshone
The Native Americans who in traditional times
occupied the area east of the southern Sierra Nevada and east of Owens
Valley, where Saline and the northern part of Panamint Drainage Basins
lie, have been known by many names, but currently are most commonly
designated by anthropologists as the "Panamint Shoshone" to distinguish
them from other Shoshone. Present day Native Americans living east of
the southern Sierra Nevada use the term "Shoshone" to distinguish this
ethnic group from the (Owens Valley] Paiutes who are their closest
neighbors (Walter 1986) . It also distinguishes them from the Southern
Paiutes to the south and east.
The "Panamint Shoshone" are the westernmost of the "Western
Shoshone," whose traditional territory stretched from this area eastward
across central Nevada into northwestern Utah.
The "Panamint
30
Shoshone" language spoken by the Panamint Shoshone is distinct from
the "Shoshone" spoken by other Western Shoshone. Panamint Shoshone
and Shoshone languages, along with Comanche, make up the Central
Numic branch of the Uto- Aztecan language family (Thomas, Pendleton
and Cappannari 1986) .
The earliest published ethnographic accounts of the Panamint
Shoshone were written by Renshaw (1886), E. W. Nelson (1891),
Frederick V. Coville (1892) and B. H. Dutcher (1893) . Coville's report
was derived from his notes on a Department of Agriculture expedition
that visited Death Valley in 1891. C. Hart Merriam, who left notes that
are apparently still unpublished, also accompanied this expedition. A.
L. Kroeber's article on the "Koso or Panamint" in the Handbook of the
Indians of California (1925:589 -592) was much briefer than those on
most California groups.
Several anthropologists did further research on the Shoshone in.
the 1930s. Driver (1937) and Zigmond (1938) published articles on the
Panamint Shoshone. Julian Steward wrote Basin - Plateau Aboriginal
Sociopolitical Groups (1938) , which has long been the major source on
all the Western Shoshone. Fred Eggan reinterpreted the data on social
structure (1980) , and Thomas, Pendelton, and Cappannari brought what
is known of the ethnography of the Western Shoshone up to date in the
recent Great Basin volume of the Handbook of North American Indians
(1986).
Materials in government publications and unpublished archives,
explorer reports, and the Mark Kerr manuscript edited by Irwin and
several Shoshone (Irwin 1980) provide primary data on ethnohistory.
The petition for Federal Recognition by the Death Valley Timbi -Sha
Shoshone 'Band of Indians of California (Department of the Interior
[DOI] 1982) includes a fine ethnohistoric overview of the Panamint
Shoshone, as well as details of ethnography hard to find elsewhere.
Even though its geographic emphasis is on Death Valley, it covers much
of the present study area because the ancestors of the current Death
31
Valley group came from an area that included Saline and Panamint
Valleys.
The Western Shoshone shared many material culture traits with the
Yokuts of the San Joaquin Valley, probably as a result of contact with
the Tubatulabal. For example, they made a ceremonial skirt of strings
of eagle down, feather quill headbands, and basket styles. The women
wore a coiled carrying cap of Epicampes (Muhlenbergia sp.) grass stems
which were also the foundation for all coiled ware. Other plants used
for basketry include: the horns of Martynia pods, Scirpus roots, and
Yucca tree root. Twined baskets were made of strands of willow or
sumac (Kroeber 1925 :591).
They constructed earth - covered sweat houses that were large
enough to stand up in. The covering soil was placed over a layer of
arrowweed, Pluchea sericea (1925:591).
The short bow was made of juniper and was sinewbacked.
The
string could be made of wild hemp, Apocynum, instead of sinew.
Apocynum was also used to make cord. The arrow was made of either
willow or Phragmites cane (1925:591) .
Some principal plant food resources consisted of the pine nut,
Pinus monophylla, desert sand grass, Oryzopsis, gathered in both
mountains and valleys; seeds of the evening primrose, Oenothera sp.;
Ephedra sp.; devil's pincushion cactus, the mesquite bean, Prosopis
glandulosa;
a reed, Phragmites; the tree Yucca bud; prickly pear
(Opuntia erinacea) joints; and clover (Trifolium sp.) and other greens.
Mesquite beans in Death, Saline, and Panamint Valleys were ground,
using mortars and pestles, and made into cakes that could be easily
carried (Steward 1938; Driver 1937). Some acorns were gathered near
the foot of the Sierra Nevada west of Olancha, and Lycium berries were
gathered in the valleys, especially those around the Koso Mountains.
Grubs of a fly which laid its eggs in Owens Lake were traditionally
harvested and dried for food. Other animal food, which was not always
32
plentiful, consisted of rabbits, jack rabbits, rats, lizards (principally
the chuckwalla), birds, and mountain sheep, which took the place of
deer as the principal big game (Kroeber 1925:592). Today, the
Shoshone hunt deer in the upper reaches of the mountain ranges
between Owens Valley and Nevada.
The social structure of the Western Shoshone varied with habitat.
In the Panamint Valley and Death Valley area, where scarce and
unpredictable subsistence resources were far apart and separated by
wide expanses of desert, marriage was exogamous and a wide kinship
network was maintained. The resulting flexible social structure helped
keep people informed about the availability of resources over a wide
area. The economic life was based on a family band such as Steward
(1938) had thought characteristic of all Basin - Plateau groups. Several
families might come together for activities such as gathering pine nuts
or a communal rabbit hunt. Most of the time, each family pursued its
subsistence activities independently, spending winters in the valleys
and lower mountain canyons, and summers higher in the mountain
canyons. Panamint Valley, being low in elevation, and bounded by the
Panamint range on the east and the Argus range on the west, probably
had "virtually no water within the valley where winter villages could
have been located ", but the mountains which surround the valley have
many springs which were used by the Shoshone during the spring and
fall (Thomas, Pendleton, and Cappannari 1986; Eggan 1980; Steward
1938:84).
Seed harvests were owned by women of a family band, who were
not obligated to share with families of their siblings. Populations
tended to be about one person for each twenty square miles in such
areas (Thomas, Pendleton, and Cappannari 1986; Eggan 1980)
In such areas as Saline Valley, where there were more abundant,
but far scattered, stands of some plant resources such as pinyons,
populations averaged one person for each five to nine square miles.
Here fairly large groups gathered for fall harvests. Afterward people
dispersed in groups whose membership varied from year to year to move
33
from place to place as varying resources became available (Thomas,
Pendleton, and Cappannari 1986; Eggan 1980). Families owned specific
pine nut groves in the Saline Valley (Steward 1938:72 -3) .
There was a fall festival which was usually held at one of the
larger villages. The main gatherings were recorded at Koso Hot
Springs, Olancha, Saline Valley, or northern Death Valley. The
direction of the festival was considered by some to be the most
important task of the chiefs (Steward 1938:75).
The Shoshone term for their leader translates only loosely as
"chief." Political controls were not extensive outside of the family.
The next order of allegiance was to the people who lived in the winter
village .
The main functions of a chief appear to have been being
informed about village matters important to all, such as when the pine
nuts were ripe. There was no tendency to form into stable bands,
although Steward (1938) pointed out that these loosely organized
villages with fluctuating families did form districts. The families within
a district might change winter villages but tended to stay within a
district. The main time for cooperation within a district was the rabbit
drive or the fall festival (Steward 1938 :75). While the power of a chief
was limited, it was a patrilineally inherited position. If a man died and
left no son, he might be succeeded by a brother or another male
relative (Steward 1938:76).
The chiefs had varying control over rabbit drives and festivals.
Steward (1938) discussed the two chiefs of Saline Valley, Caesar and
Tom Hunter, who directed the rabbit drives and fall festivals there. In
the upper part of Death Valley, the Grapevine Canyon area, Dock led
the rabbit drives, assisted on occasion by Pete, Sam's father from Surveyor's Well. People living in upper Panamint Valley tended to have
their hunts and dances either alone or with Saline Valley or Death
Valley depending upon whichever was convenient. No one observed
these activities in lower Panamint Valley, which was occupied by the
Kawaiisu (Steward 1938 :76).
34
The inhabitants of Panamint Valley north of Ballarat in traditional
times were predominantly Shoshone and some intermarried Kawaiisu.
South of Ballarat they were mostly Kawaiisu. The main village in the
northern area was at Warm Springs, Ha:uta, with a smaller village eight
miles north known as Su'navadu at Wildrose Springs (Steward 1938:84).
Steward listed place names known within Panamint Valley as: Emigrant
Springs, tingah'ni; springs near the Modoc mine, Hunupa; springs by
Snow Canyon, Tahahunu; springs by Wood Canyon, Pipum'ba or
Pibump'; the spring in Revenue Canyon, Tusi'gaba or Tusi'gava;
springs in Upper Shepherd Canyon Nia'va; springs in Lower Shepherd
Canyon, Taka'goba; and five springs which were near pine nut camps
in upper Tuber Canyon (1938:85). Kroeber wrote that in 1910 the
Panamint Shoshone were living near Cottonwood Creek in northwestern
Death Valley, south of Bennett Mills on the eastern slope of the
Panamint Mountains, near Hot Springs at the mouth of Hall Creek
leading into Panamint Valley, and on the west side of Saline Valley near
Hunter Creek at the foot of the Inyo Mountains (1925:590).
Ethnohistory
The first recorded non - Indians to enter the homeland of the
Panamint Shoshone were fur traders. Joseph Reddeford Walker and his
party, who came through in the winter of 1833 -1834, were probably the
first to come from the United States. In the ensuing years there was a
great deal of livestock raiding in the San Bernardino Valley by
non - Indians and Utes from the inland Great Basin, and some of it was
driven through the Shoshone area. Shoshone oral tradition, as
recorded by Kerr, suggests that the Shoshone were also somewhat
involved.
Near what is now Ballarat, for example, the Shoshone
burned grass one fall to ensure good grazing in the spring, and then
went south, probably beyond the San Bernardino Mountains., captured a
herd of horses, and brought them home just in time for the new growth
of grass (Irwin 1980:69 -70).
The Gold Rush, and the subsequent annexation of California to the
United States, brought a number of prospective miners and surveyors
through the area in the late 1840s and the 1850s. Shoshone oral
35
traditions recorded the strange behavior of emigrants who came across
Panamint Valley, breaking their own trails instead of taking established
Shoshone trails where the going would have been easier, failing to
recognize mesquite beans as food, and passing near water without
finding it (Starry 1980 :35)
In 1860, the discovery of gold and silver near the village of the
Coso Shoshone - -the first of a number of mines to be discovered east of
the Sierra Nevada, brought miners and then the first settlers to the
area. The destruction of the fields of the Owens Valley Paiute farmers
by livestock brought in by the settlers led to the outbreak of hostilities
between the Indians of the area and the non - Indians in 1862. When the
Indians, probably including the Panamint Shoshone as well as the
Paiutes, assembled an effective guerrilla force, the U. S. Army
systematically destroyed the Indian subsistence base to force negotiations. By August, 1862, a peace had been negotiated, and Camp
Independence had been established. Hostilities broke out again off and
on for the next four years. Inyo County was established by the California legislature in February, 1866. Mining and cattle raising were its
principal industries in the 1860s; irrigation farming became more
important in the 1870s and 1880s. Paiutes and Shoshones increasingly
worked as miners, cowboys, and laborers on farms and small towns
(Brooks,
et
al.
1979:32 -35;
1982 :33 -34; DOI 1982).
Walter
1986:65 -72;
Bean
and
Vane
In the early part of this century, a Shoshone, who took the name
George Hanson, but was better known as Indian George, made his home
at the foot of the Panamint Mountains, recorded in government records
as "Indian Ranch Rancheria." The Panamint Shoshone, of whom he was
the leader for many years, succeeding a man named Panamint Tom, had
long used it as their winter home. Indian George acted as a guide for
prospectors and hunters, and later worked for farmers and cattle
ranchers. At his rancheria he irrigated crops with water brought down
the mountains in a clay flume (Starry 1980:34-60). Descendants still
own this ranch, which was made a reservation in 1938 and terminated in
1964 (DOI 1982 :5).
36
Later in the nineteenth century, a number of Shoshone families
began to spend the winters in the Lone Pine area. Neither the
Panamint Shoshones nor the Owens Valley Paiutes signed treaties ceding
water and land rights with the United States. By the early twentieth
.
century, they lived along the edges of the various valley communities
or on land owned by the federal government, much of it purchased
under the Homeless Indians Act. An allotment in the Panamint
purchased for Hungry Bill, one of the Panamint
Shoshones, in 1908. Another allotment was given to Robert Thompson,
son of Panamint Tom, in 1936 (DOI 1982:14).
Mountains
was
Panamint Shoshone children began to attend school about 1910.
Some went to public schools, some to Carson Indian Boarding School,
and some to Sherman Institute. The federal government paid tuition for
the children in public schools intermittently until 1932, and then more
regularly (DOI 1982:14-15).
Death Valley was made a National Monument in 1933. This action
created hardships for the colony of some 40 to 60 Shoshone who lived in
the valley during the winter.
These hardships were only partially
ameliorated by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the
Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service negotiated in
1936, which provided to some extent for housing and employment for
the Panamint Shoshone in Death Valley. The MOU did lead to the
setting aside of a 40 acre tract for the Indian colony (DOI 1982:16).
In an action that affected some Panamint Shoshone, as well as the
neighboring Owens Valley Paiute, the City of Los Angeles came into the
Eastern Sierra area in 1905 to buy land in order to obtain the water
rights. In the process, the ranches that the Paiutes and Shoshones
worked on were abandoned.
The abandonment destroyed the ecological
niche that the Indians had occupied. The federal government took a
number of inconclusive steps to remedy the situation. For example, an
Executive Order of 1912 was said by a U. S. Department of Commerce
publication to have set aside money for the Bishop Colony and Big Pine
Colony Reservations, even though there is no record of such
37
reservations being established (USDC:87, cited by Walter 1986 :76).
Executive Order 2264, on October 28, 1915 set aside lands for the Fort
Independence Reservation at the site of Fort Independence,
Executive Order 2375 of April 29, 1916 added to it (Walter 1986) .
and
In 1930, the City of Los Angeles undertook to assure its water
supply by relocating the Indians. The relocation, to three reservations
created on land owned by the city: Bishop, Big Pine, and Lone Pine
Indian Reservations, took place in the early 1940s. The city ceded the
land, but not the water rights of the reservations. In lieu of water
rights, each reservation is guaranteed a certain number of acre feet of
water each year. The reservations are governed by their own tribal
councils, and the Owens Valley Paiute- Shoshone Board of Trustees, on
which the Bishop Reservation has 5 members, and Big Pine and Lone
Pine, one each (Walter 1986) .
All these reservations have both Paiute and Panamint Shoshone
members, but Paiutes outnumber the Shoshone except at Lone Pine.
Fort Independence members are primarily Paiute.
After World War II, a large area east of the southern Sierra was
set aside for the Naval Ordnance Test Station, which has since been
renamed
the
Naval
Weapons
Center
(NWC) .
The
of
Not only
community
Ridgecrest has grown up near it to provide needed services .
has the NWC limited access to the Coso Hot Springs, which the
Panamint
Shoshone and neighboring peoples had used for curing
ceremonies, but also the planes from this base fly experimental missions
over Panamint Valley, disturbing its traditional quiet.
The establishment of the Death Valley Monument and of the NWC
have changed the local economy for Native Americans as well as
non - Indians. People whose fathers and grandfathers found employment
on the cattle ranches and mines of the early twentieth century now find
employment in the tourist and service businesses of Death Valley and
Ridgecrest, or at the Naval Weapons Center itself.
38
The Panamint Shoshones, centered on those who have lived at
Death Valley through the years, won Federal recognition in 1982 as the
Death Valley Timbi -Sha Western Shoshone Band by satisfying all the
criteria of 25 CFR 83.7. Many of this group live during the cooler
parts of the year on a 40 acre site in Death Valley (DOI 1982). The
group currently has plans to sue the federal government for some of
the land taken from their ancestors without benefit of treaty.
39
Southern Numic- Speakers: Kawaiisu
Ethnography. Kawaiisu was spoken by people who lived in the
Sierra Nevada /Tehachapi watershed between the San Joaquin Valley and
the Mohave Desert. Kawaiisu belongs to the Southern Numic language
family, but is distinct from the the Ute subfamily to which the
Chemehuevi and Las Vegas Paiute languages belong. Its easternmost
extension lay in Panamint Valley. The Kawaiisu made some use of the
westernmost Study Area drainage basins south as far as the Mohave
River and somewhat beyond it. Kawaiisu culture resembled that of
their Great Basin and Mohave Desert neighbors, but had been modified
in response to their mountain environment.
The Kawaiisu have not been extensively studied. Gifford wrote a
monograph on the kinship terms of the Kawaiisu and Tubatalabal (1917),
and Kroeber included a four page description of the Kawaiisu in his
HANDBOOK OF THE INDIANS OF CALIFORNIA (1925)
.
Maurice L.
Zigmond has written a more complete account of their culture in the
Great Basin volume of the HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN
In this he drawn from data he has collected himself as well as
data collected by McCown (1929) , Driver (1937) , and Cappannari
(1947 -1949) . Zigmond has also published a number of articles (1938,
1971, 1972, and 1978), chapters of books (1977) and books (1980, 1981)
pertaining to Kawaiisu culture. Ngapare Hopa wrote an account of their
culture for CSRI in 1979.
(1986) .
Kawaiisu subsistence staples included not only the mesquite and
screwbean of the desert, but also the acorn. Their permanent villages
lay in the mountain, but they apparently had permission to hunt and
gather in the desert as well, having intermarried freely with the desert
peoples (Hopa 1979:108) . Zigmond in an ethnobotanical survey found
233 plant species known and used by the Kawaiisu (1981) . They cared
for stands of wild tobacco, and probably burned dry brush in late
summer to encourage abundant growth the following year. No other
horticultural practices are recorded. Bedrock mortars and foot and a
half long pestles were the principal food preparation tools, but the
portable mano and metate were also used (Zigmond 1986: 399) .
40
The Kawaiisu had round winter houses kept dry by bark and tule
mats over a forked pole framework, open flat - roofed houses for summer,
and earth- covered sweat houses located near water. Brush enclosures
protected their villages and celebration areas from wind. Acorns, nuts
and seeds were stored in granaries built several feet off the ground
(1986:401).
Both coiled and twined baskets were made, and there was a unique
kind of coiling that was distinctive of the Kawaiisu. There is no proof
of pottery - making. Pottery sherds in settlement sites are probably
from pots acquired by trade (1986:201).
According to Zigmond, there was minimal social and political
organization beyond the family. Kawaiisu chiefs were chosen for the
wealth and generosity. A principal responsibility was the sponsoring of
ceremonial events (1986:405-406).
The Kawaiisu had three kinds of shaman, whose specialties were
respectively curing, bewitching, and making rain. All apparently
acquired their power through dreams. Parents discouraged their
children whose dreams indicated either curing or bewitching
proclivities, since it was not always easy to tell which was which
(Zigmond 1986).
The supernatural continues to be an important aspect of the
Kawaiisu world. Especially Important are supernatural counterparts of
A
living beings called inipi and somewhat similar ya'hwe ?era.
dangerous being called the Rock Baby lives in rocks and makes
pictographs. It is therefore dangerous to touch, rub, or photograph
pictographs. Seeing the Rock Baby dooms the viewer. Dreams are
considered extremely important as conveyors of information and power.
Datura, tobacco, nettles, and ants are used to induce dreaming. Signs
and omens are assumed to foreshadow the future (Zigmond 1986 :406) .
Ritual rules governed the events of life cycle -- birth, puberty,
pregnancy, parturition, and death. Failure to observe these rules
41
could lead to illness or death. The names of the dead and their burial
places are avoided (1986:404).
Mourning ceremonies, held periodically, marked the end of a period
of mourning. They usually commemorated the death of more than one
person (1986:405).
Kawaiisu oral literature told of events extending somewhat beyond
the Kawaiisu traditional territory. It includes origin stories, but not
migration legends. Storytelling occurred only in winter (1986:407;
1980).
The Spanish explorer, Father Garces, was kindly
treated at a Kawaiisu village in 1776 (Hops 1979:107). There were
reported to be no Kawaiisu left by the 1870s (Powers 1877 :393). By
Ethnohistory.
then their territory had been occupied by settlers, trappers, and
miners. Despite the reputed extinction of the Kawaiisu, Zigmond was
able to locate about forty -five Kawaiisu- speakers in the 1930s.
Kawaiisu traditional territory was overrun during the Gold Rush of
the 1850s. The invading miners and later pioneers took over Kawaiisu
land and depleted hunting and gathering resources, but reacted
violently when Kawaiisu in turn took livestock for food. A massacre of
35 members of an intertribal group by soldiers under the command of
Captain Moses A. McLaughlin in 1863 is the best known of non - Indian
atrocities in the area (Powers 1974 :55) .
Eventually there was a rapprochement between the Kawaiisu and
the settlers, with a number of stable marriages between them. There
are still at least three families of Kawaiisu descent in Tehachapi, and
others in the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, and San Bernardino
(Hops 1979:108; Greene 1986).
Zigmond reports that there are no longer any group activities
(1986:410), but Kawaiisu are currently taking an active part in
"sweats" that are a feature of a revitalization movement over much of
42
inland California in the 1980s. Some are members of the Kern Valley
Indian Community, which is seeking Federal Recognition as an Indian
group, and some are active in the American Indian Council of Central
centered in Bakersfield. They demonstrate an active
interest in developments in their traditional territory.
California,
43
Southern Numic Speaking Peoples- Southern Paiutes / Chemehuevi.
Kawaiisu and Ute, but
Ute is divided yet again into a number of dialects, including the
various Ute dialects of Nevada and Utah, and the southern Paiute and
Chemehuevi of southern Nevada and southeastern California. The study
There are two Southern Numic languages:
of the ethnohistory of these groups is complicated by the fact that
almost any member of the Southern Numic - speaking groups may be
designated as a "Ute" or "Paiute" in the historical literature.
"Chemehuevi" is the Mohave word for the Southern Paiutes, and is
now used to designate those Southern Paiutes who came most in contact
with the Mojaves- -the most southerly ones, who now live on the Cheme-
huevi Indian Reservation near the Colorado River, in the Coachella
Valley near the Serrano and Cahuilla, and in such places in the Mohave
Desert as Barstow.
The ethnic boundary between them and the
Southern Paiutes of Pahrump and Las Vegas, to whom they are related,
is very weak (Kelly 1934:555-556).
Southern Paiute / Chemehuevi Ethnography.
The Southern Paiutes
had a hierarchy of leaders - -high chiefs and chiefs. In the late
nineteenth century, there were 161 people at Las Vegas, 34 in the
vicinity of Colville, 18 at Indian Springs, and 57 on Cottonwood Island,
all of whom acknowledged as their leader High Chief Ku- ni -kai -vets.
Fifty -six people at Potosi and Pahrump Spring, 85 people in the
Kingston Mountain- Ivanapah- Providence
Mountain
Area,
31
at Ash
Meadows, and 68 at Amargosa were under the jurisdiction of High Chief
To- ko -pur (Fowler and Fowler 1971:104) . One of the last high chiefs
controlled the area around Daggett, and probably as far east as the
Providence Mountains (Laird 1976:24; Kelly n.d.; King 1976:6-7).
The chieftainship was both a political and economic office and
carried a great deal of power and prestige. Members of chiefly families
could wear turquoise ornaments, eat quail -beans (black -eyed peas) , and
Runners and messengers, though less
speak Chief's language.
important than chiefs, were held in high esteem (Laird 1976 :24; Kelly
n.d.; King 1976:6 -7).
44
The Paiutes had a bilateral kinship system, and practiced group
This provided each person with the maximum number of relatives. Because it was customary to invite relatives to ceremonial events
at which gifts were exchanged, this social structure provided a fail -safe
exogamy.
mechanism for dealing with failures in the local subsistence system
(Bean 1972; 1976).
It was also socially acceptable for a family who fell
upon hard times to join another group where they had relatives. The
fact that each person might have multiple political identities during a
lifetime makes it difficult to determine where "ethnic" or territorial
boundaries were at any one time.
The Paiutes for the most part were hunters and gatherers, but
they also practiced a limited horticulture. They hunted wild game with
sinew- backed bows of willow and arrows with chipped -stone points and
feathers to make them fly straight to the target. Mammals such as
antelope, deer, mountain sheep, rabbits, squirrels, wood rats and
desert chipmunks; reptiles such as lizards, chuckwallas, rattlesnakes,
and desert tortoises; birds and bird eggs; and insects were eaten.
They harvested such desert wild plants as agaves, yuccas, sages,
arrowweed, tule, mesquite and screwbean pods and seeds, nuts from
pinyon and oak, grass seeds, wild grapes and berries for food. A
variety of plants yielded medications. Jimsomweed was used for
medicine and to produce ritual hallucinations.
Their major horticultural
practice was to plant gardens near springs, and return to harvest the
crops (Fowler and Fowler 1971 :47 -49; Laird 1976:5,6). Bears, foxes,
eagles, bluejays, crows, owls, and buzzards peopled sacred stories and
songs and were held sacred themselves (Laird 1976:5,6).
The care taken in building shelters depended on how long the
shelter was to be used. Temporary brush shelters were quickly constructed. Shelters intended for use over weeks or months were build
of willow saplings, sometimes tied together with grapevines (1976 :104ff) .
The Paiutes made coiled and twined baskets, and decorated them
elaborately (Kroeber 1925:597).
45
The Paiutes played hand games, gambling upon the outcome, and
sang hand game songs that went with the games. Women gambled with
dice made of nut shells filled with gum inlaid with shell (Kroeber
.
1925:597).
Storytelling was a highly developed art form. Various animals
peopled the stories and had well developed characteristics. Southern
Fox, for example, was an inveterate traveller. Pahrump Valley was one
of the places on his route. There were numerous stories telling about
the creation of the world.
The Chemehuevi /Paiute had hereditary songs that conveyed territorial hunting rights. In the late nineteenth century there were two
important hereditary groups (probably clans) , one of which owned the
Mountain Sheep Song, and the other, the Deer Song. There were also
the Salt Song, the Quail Song, the Day Owl Song, and the Skunk
Song. The owner of the song had the right to hunt in all the places
mentioned in the song. The Salt Song went south from modern -day
Parker to the vicinity of Palo Verde Wash, went northward west of the
Maria Mountains and Turtle Mountains, passed between Danby and the
Granite Mountains, and continuing northeastward, passed close to the
site of modern Las Vegas. The Mountain Sheep Song centered on
mountain ranges, including the Maria Mountains, Turtle Mountains, and
the Granite Mountains south of the Providence Mountains
1976 :111, front map).
(Laird
The dead were customarily buried, but those who died away from
home were cremated. It was inappropriate to speak the names of the
dead. Mortuary rites, especially those of important people, were
notable events, and featured long series of mourning songs.
Shamans acquired song powers, usually in dreams after long
meditation. Shamans healed the ill, usually by means of night -long
ritual singing and dancing, culminating in the revelation of the
particular evil intent or thought that had caused the illness (Laird
1976 :35 -36).
46
It is thought that the
Chemehuevi and Paiutes came from the north about A.D. 1500, and
Southern Paiute /Chemehuevi Ethnohistory.
replaced the Desert Mohave in the eastern Mohave Desert (Rogers 1945,
cited by C. King 1976:18). The Mohave retained some control of the
area, through which they travelled on trading missions to the coast.
Mohave and Chemehuevi maintained separate trail systems, just far
enough apart to that those who travelled them would not encounter each
other.
The Chemehuevi pushed southward. Garces encountered them near
the Whipple Mountains in 1776. Roth believes they moved on to the
Palo Verde Valley, whence they moved into the present -day Chemehuevi
Valley after the Mohave had expelled the Panya (Halchidhoma) . They
apparently lived side by side with the Mohave on Cottonwood Island,
which is now covered by Lake Mohave. They also moved somewhat
westward into what had been Serrano - Vanyume territory (Roth 1976;
Euler 1966:39).
Garces stopped at a "Chemevet" villab:3 that was probably Cow
Hole Camp on the eastern edge of Soda Lake in 1776. Five days later
he stopped at two villages in the Providence Mountains that he also labelled "Chemevet" (King 1976:207-208).
In some fifty years after Garces' trips, travelers across the
Mohave
Desert
wrote
of
encountering
the
Chemehuevi
only
once -- Jedediah Smith's expedition came upon two Paiute lodges at a
place apparently about eight miles (12.8 km) up the Mohave River from
Soda Lake (Sullivan 1936:33) . Archaeological evidence and historical
evidence from the late nineteenth century suggests that the
Chemehuevi- Paiutes were present, even though unrecorded, during the
first half of the century.
In the 1850s, the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) were at odds with
the United States, and came close to all -out war. By 1855 -1856, the
Mormons had established a mission at Las Vegas, which was visited by
the Chemehuevi and other Southern Paiutes. The Mormons gave them
47
guns at attempted to recruit them allies against the government (Roth
1976:95; Casebier 1976:66 -71).
Exploratory expeditions who came across the Mohave Desert in the
1850s reported encountering Chemehuevi /Paiute settlements, which were
marked by the presence of huts, the stubble of grain fields, empty
turtle shells, and the rinds of melon and squash. Some rock art was
also reported (Whipple 1856; Molihausen 1858).
The Chemehuevi guerrilla- warfare was a more effective battle tactic
against the incoming Euro- Americans than the hand -to -hand combat
favored by the Mohave. After the Mojaves made peace in 1859, and
Fort Mohave was established, the longtime alliance between the Mojaves
and the Chemehuevis began to break down. The Chemehuevi /Paiute
continued also to take hostile action against the Euro- Americans for a
year or more, and it was necessary for the U. S. Army to maintain a
military presence in the Mohave Desert, primarily at Camp Cady near
Soda Springs, until 1861, when the Civil War prompted the withdrawal
of the troops.
After
the
the flood of settlers and
accompanying livestock threatened the Chemehuevi /Paiute subsistence
base, and the latter defended their lands. In 1865, troops were again
Civil
War
was
over
sent to Camp Cady to protect travellers and livestock coming through
the desert. In 1867, it was necessary to establish outposts at several
places along the Mohave Road. Late that year, a peace was negotiated
between the U. S. Army and about sixty "well-armed Pah -Ute warriors"
(Casebier 1973:60 -64).
The Chemehuevi /Paiute, especially the latter, also warred against
the Mohave. in the years between 1865 and 1867. Most of the battles
occurred in the vicinity of Colorado River.
As a result of these
hostilities, many Chemehuevis moved westward to live with the Cahuilla
and Serrano.
48
Dispossessed of their traditional sources of subsistence,
the
Chemehuevi / Paiutes adopted a new strategy. They went to work for
the Euro- Americans. In the desert they provided a work force for
newly opened mines. In the San Bernardino Valley and Coachella
Valley, they went to work for settlers, or they joined the workforce
that was building the railroads. Some of their descendants are living
with Serrano and Cahuilla groups on Coachella Valley reservations (Roth
1976 :110 -111; Johnston 1976 :3).
Efforts by the government in
Chemehuevi /Paiutes to move to CRIR
the
were
early
1870s to get
sometimes temporarily
effective, but in the long run none were willing to stay there (Roth
1976:115). After the "Calloway Affair," in 1877, when Chemehuevis
shot a white man who had shot one of them, those Chemehuevi who
lived in the Palo Verde and Chemehuevi Valleys were forced to move to
CRIR, where they remained until 1885. After that they scattered to
Needles, or to other parts of Arizona and California. Some Chemehuevi
children attended the government school at Fort Mohave after it opened
in 1891 (Roth 1976:122 -125).
In the early 1900s, Chemehuevi settlements were concentrated in
an area that included Cottonwood Island, the hay and wood reserve of
Fort Mohave; the city of Needles, Beaver Lake, and the west side of
the River as far as Hardyville. Desert Paiutes lived in areas
encompassing the Providence, Kingston, and Ivanpah Mountains, and
Chemehuevi from Banning, Needles and Twentynine Palms came there to
hunt. At least one family lived at Paiute Spring, from which all Paiutes
had been excluded when the so- called Fort Paiute there was garrisoned
during 1867 - 1868.
During this period, wives and children tended to remain at their
homes while the men traveled to where there was work as cowboys,
miners, or wagon drivers. The wives gathered traditional foods and
tended their small farms.
49
From the government point of view, these Chemehuevi /Paiutes In
the desert were squatters without legal right to the land. In the early
1900s, the government attempted to set up a system for allotting speci-
fic plots of land to the Indians, but only a few allotments in Chemehuevi Valley were actually made. These made up a reservation there,
but this was lost when Parker Dam was constructed, and the waters it
impounded flooded the lands along the river in Chemehuevi Valley. The
Chemehuevi also lost their claim to land in the Beaver Lake and Needles
areas, lower Chemehuevi Valley, the river areas north of Fort Mohave,
and the mountain areas to the west (Roth 1976:158 -165)
A railroad had been built to Parker in 1905, and irrigation was
successfully introduced at CRIB in 1912. By then a number of
Chemehuevi had moved to that reservation. More Chemehuevi and some
Paiutes moved there between 1916 and 1927. Some Paiutes from the
California desert had moved to Las Vegas and Pahrump, and others to
Moapa (Roth 1976:165 -168).
The loss of farmland that resulted from damming the Colorado
River forced many Chemehuevi /Paiutes from their homes in search of
jobs, inasmuch as their earnings from wage labor were not enough to
support their families.
tribe was organized under the Indian
Reorganization Act of 1934. When Congress in 1940 passed a bill
awarding the Chemehuevi $82,000 for the loss of their flooded lands,
their was no legal entity that could receive it. The Chemehuevi split
into factions, each claiming the money.
No
In
Chemehuevi
1951,
the
Chemehuevi
Business
Committee
was
formed,
apparently to file a claim before the Indian Claims Commission. The
money awarded by the Claims Commission became a further focus of
contention. In 1964, all known Chemehuevis were invited to a meeting
at which it was decided to settle the Chemehuevi claim against the
government for one million dollars (Roth 1976 :191 -199; 201 -202) .
50
and Mexican- Chemehuevi
began to take an interest in controversies that finally led to the
The
formation of a Special Committeee on Chemehuevi Affairs.
California
off - reservation
Chemehuevi
Metropolitan Water District payment was released to this group, which
then wrote a constitution that established the Chemehuevi Reservation
in Chemehuevi Valley (Roth 1976:204 -216).
approved in 1971.
This constitution
was
Three hundred twelve Chemehuevis enrolled there,
about a fourth the number of those who applied for
Chemehuevi
aboriginal claims money, and about half as many as the number of
people at CRIR who have some Chemehuevi blood. About 15% are
northern Paiute, some of whom had joined the Las Vegas Paiute Indian
colony in the 1920s and 1930s (Roth 1976 :507 -512).
51
TAK1C- SPEAKING PEOPLES
The Cahuilla and the Serrano /Vanyume
Ethnography. Parts of the Study Area lie within the traditional
territories of the Cahuilla and the Serrano /Vanyume, whose languages
belong to the Takic sub - family of the Uto- Aztecan language family.
The traditional territorial boundaries of the Serrano and Vanyume
in the Study Area are not well known, because by the time anthropo-
logists showed an interest in these groups there were few if any of
them left in the desert. The Vanyume were largely extinct by the
century. Garces, who traveled across the Mohave
Desert in 1776, following closely the "Old Mohave Trail," reported the
eastern Vanyume boundary as being about a third of the way from the
sink of the Mohave (Soda Lake) to the Providence Mountains. In the
mid - nineteenth
west their territory bordered that of the Serrano, perhaps near the
present -day Barstow area or perhaps further south where the Mohave
River emerges from the San Bernardino Mountains (Kroeber 1925) .
The San Bernardino Mountains were the central homeland of the
Serrano, which extended somewhat to the east. Both the Serrano and
the Vanyume are likely to have hunted and gathered in some of the
Study Area drainage basins.
It is thought that the Serrano and Vanyume spoke closely related
dialects of the same language. The major difference between them, so
far as is known, is that the Vanyume were the allies and the Serrano
The Cahuilla, who spoke a
Takic language more closely related to that of the Cupeno and Luiseno
to the southwest, were also allies of the Mohave and Chemehuevi
(Kroeber 1925; Bright 1975).
the enemies of the Chemehuevi and Mohave.
The subsistence base of these Takic- speaking peoples reflected
environments . An important food plant of those in the desert was the
Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), as was the Spanish bayonet (Yucca
whipplei) . Those who had access to oak or pinyon groves used acorns
52
of various species and pinyon nuts. Seeds from sages (Salvia sp.) ,
several species of cacti (especially the barrel cactus, Echinocactus
acanthodes), nuts, berries, and other fruits were used as available.
All these people traded both food and food gathering rights with their
neighbors. Animal resources included antelopes, desert bighorn sheep,
mule deer, rabbits, rats, reptiles, and birds - -quail was the most
important bird. There is considerable evidence that the Cahuilla who
lived in the Coachella Valley were practicing irrigation agriculture
before the arrival of the Spaniards (Bean 1978) .
Cahuilla and Serrano villages were usually located near primary
water resources. Each was inhabited by one or more patrilineages
headed by a chief who was both a political and religious leader, and his
various assistants, including ceremonial leaders.
Serrano /Vanyume houses were circular and dome - shaped, usually
with willow frames and tule thatching. Those of the Cahuilla were
either dome - shaped or rectangular. Separate ramadas under which
many daily activities were carried out provided shade. There were
storage granaries for mesquite pods, acorns, and other basic foods. In
major villages, the politico- religious leader lived in a ceremonial house
which was also used for ceremonies and political meetings. There were
also sweat houses. These were for men only among the Cahuilla, but
for men, women, and children among the Serrano (Bean 1978; Bean and
Smith 1978).
Although people lived in permanent villages, the Cahuilla and the
Serrano/Vanyume travelled from one part of their territory to another
when such food resources as pinyon nuts, acorns, or Joshua tree
blossoms or fruit were ready for harvesting.
These Takic- speaking groups used the coil- and - paddle technique
for making pottery, and decorated their pottery water jars, bowls,
parching trays, and spoons or ladles with patterns not unlike those of
the Mojaves and Quechans. Their baskets, used for storage, for
parching and cooking,
and
as
caps
53
and
gambling
trays, were
For other items of material culture, they used
fiber, bone, wood, and stone as necessary, getting their raw materials
elaborately designed.
either from their immediate environment or by trade (Bean 1978; Bean
and Smith
1978) .
Village leaders carefully scheduled ceremonial events to maintain
the economic viability of the group. Because food and other goods
were traditionally exchanged under the guidance of chiefs and shamans
at ceremonial events, these events functioned to modify the effects of
drought and other environmental events on the level of subsistence
(Bean
1972).
The most important ceremonial events were those that celebrated
death and the transformation of the soul into the afterlife.
Such
ceremonies lasted a week and were attended by all the relatives of the
Because there were both group and moiety rules of
deceased.
exogamy, an individual had relatives in many neighboring groups, some
of them living in very different ecological niches (1972).
Other ceremonial events celebrated not only births, naming, the
onset of puberty, or a man's becoming a shaman, but also events in the
changing
year.
Ceremonial events featured traditional songs and dances that
re- enacted the sacred past. Nothing is known of the Vanyume sacred
literature. Those of the Serrano and Cahuilla are somewhat similar.
Each has a creation story that tells of twin creators, and the magical
killing of one of them. The Serrano notes of John P. Harrington at the
Smithsonian Institution (n. d.) place the climactic events of the Serrano
creation story in the vicinity of Baldwin Lake in the San Bernardino
Mountains, and tell that Coyote ran off with the dying Creator's heart
into "Paiute country," i.e. into the Mohave Desert and possibly into the
Study Area. Serrano place names and Serrano oral literature center on
the San Bernardino Mountains, the area to the south where the city of
San Bernardino is now located, and the area directly to the north and
east of them -- including parts of the Study Area (Bean and Vane
54
1981)
.
The Cahuillas have migration legends that tell of their coming from
the north down the Coachella Valley and adjacent mountains to the
Santa Rosa Mountains and beyond, with culture heroes giving names to
various features of the landscape.
None of those known to the
anthropological community name places in the Study Area, even though
historical records show that Cahuilla made use of an area to the east
and south of the Coachella Valley and the Little San Bernardino
Mountains extending into the Study Area.
Ethnohistory. In 1773, Sebastian Taraval, a Baja California Native
American, fled with his wife and another Native American from Mission
San Gabriel to the Quechan villages on the Colorado River, probably
travelling through Bautista Canyon in the southern part of Cahuilla
territory. Meeting Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco
Garces at the Quechan villages, Taraval was persuaded to act as their
guide on an expedition back to the coast, again through Bautista
Canyon (Bolton 1930, II) . Garces and Taraval made another trip from
the Colorado River to Mission San Gabriel, crossing the Mohave Desert
and then the San Bernardino Mountains (Hoover, Rensch and Rensch
1966 :317; La Fuze 1971 :3).
In 1806, Father Jose Maria Zalvidea wrote an account of an expedition sent from Mission San Gabriel into the Mohave Desert, and baptized five elderly individuals at each of the villages of Atongaibit (near
present -day Hesperia) and Guapiabit (on what was later Las Flores
ranch) . Two more were baptized at Muscupiabit, a village near the
later Camp Cajon (Beattie and Beattie 1951 :3,4).
The Indians of the area were fairly familiar with what went on at
the mission because converts who escaped from the mission fled to their
inland villages. In 1810, Serranos and probably Vanyumes participated
with the Mojaves in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Mission San
Gabriel. There had been a number of previous attempts to overthrow
the mission. These attempts delayed the San Gabriel mission fathers in
their plans for establishing inland missions, but in 1819, in response to
requests from Native Americans, probably Serranos) in the vicinity of
55
present -day San Bernardino, the fathers proceeded to establish an
asistencia of Mission San Gabriel near the village of Guachama. In
addition to this asistencia, there were mission ranches- -one them in San
Gorgonio Pass at the mouth of Banning Water Canyon (Bean and Mason
1962; Chase 1980:23).
At this time there were Cahuilla villages of the Wanakik clan on
both sides of San Gorgonio Pass (Bean 1960); and at least two lineages,
the Paniktum and the Kauisiktum, of another clan at what is now Palm
Springs (Bean and Vane 1983). Further down the Coachella Valley
were the homes of twenty other groups, whether lineages or clans is
uncertain. These were located at the foot of the Little San Bernardino
Mountains, at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, and in the valley.
Some of the village sites have been covered since 1906 by the Salton
Sea. In most of the villages there was a tradition of their ancestor's
having previously lived in the Santa Rosa Mountains. The names of two
of the villages are place names in the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
It was these southeasternmost groups who are most likely to have made
use of parts of the Study Area (Strong 1929) .
In 1821 a Cocomaricopa chief travelled through the San Gorgonio
Pass on a traditional trail to the coast. His visit at Mission San Gabriel
stimulated the launching of an expedition led by Captain Jose Romero,
the account of which shows that the Cahuilla of the Coachella Valley
were by then quite familiar with the Spanish (Bean and Mason 1962).
As the decade progressed, mission efforts to convert the inland Native
Americans were so intense that some Cahuilla moved into the mountains
to avoid conversion. In the Mohave Desert, fur traders began arriving
in the 1820s, and were the last to report the presence of Vanyume
villages. By the early 1830s, it appears that the Chemehuevi and Las
Vegas Paiute were moving westward to take their place.
the secularization of the missions in the 1830s, Native
Americans enjoyed considerable autonomy - -the last period for many in
With
which traditional life styles could be followed, even though there was
also considerable unrest.
56
Utes from the Great Basin, under Chief
Walkara, began coming into the San Bernardino Valley and stealing
By the
1840s,
large herds of livestock. Cahuillas and Serranos learned to use horses;
worked in lumbering mills in the mountains; and became laborers on
Spanish /Mexican land grants. In 1846, rancher Antonio Maria Lugo
arranged for the Cahuilla leader Juan Antonio and his Cahuilla forces to
protect the Lugo herds from Ute raiders. Another Cahuilla leader,
Cabezon, also allied himself with Euro- Americans, helping to capture
Indians who were leading bands of cattle raiders.
The Marina Serrano were living in Morongo Valley in 1846 when
John Morongo, later to be a leader at Morongo Reservation, was born.
At this time the Wanikik Wanakik Cahuilla lineage lived at Yamisevul, on
Mission Creek. At a later period, probably after 1860, the Wanakik
Wanakik moved to San Gorgonio Pass, and the Marina occupied
Yamisevul.
By the 1870s, the Serranos were already an important
group in the area which was to become Morongo Reservation. It is
probable that these moves were part of a general movement of peoples
into more favorable environments as diseases brought by the invading
Euro- Americans killed off the Native Americans.
After California became part of the United States in the late 1850s,
new waves of outsiders came into southern California. Exploratory and
mapping expeditions made their way through the Mohave and Colorado
Deserts, recording some of their contacts with Native Americans, who
still made up the majority of the population. Native Americans made
several abortive attempts in the 1850s, while they still outnumbered the
non - Indians, to get rid of the newcomers.
epidemic with an extremely high mortality
Americans made resistance more difficult.
An 1862 -1863 smallpox
rate among the Native
By that time non Indians
outnumbered the Native Americans.
A gold rush in the La Paz area east of the Colorado River ca. 1862
resulted in considerable travel through the southern part of the Study Area, much
those traveling in contact with Cahuillas, Mojaves and Chemehuevis.
57
there were regular stops at such stations as
Chuckwalla Springs. Native Americans sold hay to the travelers at
By October,
1863,
such stops, most of them at springs which had been important to them
in traditional times.
Although treaties with Native Americans setting aside lands for
them were negotiated in 1852, they were never ratified by the U. S.
Congress.
For
some
years
settlers
tolerated
Native
American
settlements on their ranches because they were dependent on Native
American labor, but by 1870 most of the desirable land had been
settled, and Native Americans were being evicted from their homes.
About 1870 there began to be a great deal of pressure for the
government
to
set aside land
for Native Americans,
partly on
humanitarian grounds, partly because settlers wanted the land where
they lived. Beginning in 1875, a number of reservations were set aside
by Executive Order for Cahuillas and Serranos whose traditional lands
extend into the Study Area. These included Agua Caliente, Cabezon,
Morongo, Twentynine Palms and Torres - Martinez Indian Reservations.
Adjustments to the boundaries of these reservations were made in
subsequent years, the most important being in response to the
recommendations of the Mission Indian Commission, which the U.S.
Congress appointed in 1891 to investigate the status of the "Mission
Indians." This commission, among other things, reduced the size of
Morongo Reservation, and established a number of new reservations for
Two of these reservations were
small, hitherto - landless groups.
Augustine Indian Reservation, established for a Cahuilla Indian lineage
now represented by a descendant who is a member of the Agua Caliente
Band, and San
Serranos.
Manuel
Indian
Reservation,
whose
members
are
Morongo Reservation (which acquired more of the land it had orig-
inally been granted in 1908 and 1911) was established in an area that
traditionally belonged to the Wanakik Cahuilla, but was intended at first
to be a reservation to which Native Americans from all over southern
California might move. Native Americans living near the coast did not
58
consider it a desirable place to live, however, and it is principally
peopled by Cahuillas, Serranos, and Chemehuevis.
Chemehuevis first came to the Coachella Valley after the war
between the Chemehuevis and the Mojaves in the 1860s.
More came in
the 1870s, drawn by jobs on the railroad, then being built through
Coachella Valley.
People of Chemehuevi descent are important not only
at Morongo, but also at Cabezon Indian Reservation.
For
Indians,
the
reservations on which
they were placed
represented not the acquisition of land, but the loss of most of the land
and water that had belonged to them.
They learned a new set of
adaptive strategies, prominent among them being the strategy of dealing
with non - Indian neighbors and agency officials. Although the Office of
Indian Affairs (subsequently the Bureau of Indian Affairs) took
measures to introduce an agricultural economy on the various
reservations, it rarely supplied enough farm machinery, enough water,
or enough good land to permit flourishing agriculture on any
reservation. Limited hunting and gathering continued, but wage labor
soon became a major source of subsistence.
At the schools to which the Serrano and Cahuilla were forced to
send their children, the use of their own languages was forbidden.
The education provided was designed to prepare the students for
occupations on the lower end of the economic scale.
the
the Indian Reorganization Act mandated the
establishment of Tribal Councils, a mandate strongly resisted on some
reservations. During these years there was somewhat of a resurgence
of hunting and gathering as supplements to the wage labor economy.
In
1930s,
Many Serranos and Cahuillas fought in World War II, or left the
reservations to work in war industries.
After the war, the United
States government sought to terminate as many Indian reservations as
possible on the grounds that termination would help Indian individuals
become part of the "mainstream" of American culture. Because the act
59
was so written that termination would put Native Americans at a disadvantage rather than an advantage, most Serrano and Cahuilla
reservations successfully resisted it. Only Mission Indian Reservation,
a small reservation on Mission Creek no longer inhabited, was
terminated.
Beginning in the 1930s, Indians in California had been banding
together to sue the United States government for taking their land and
water rights from them without due process of law. The first Claims
Case was taken to court in the 1940s and the second, in the 1950s.
These cases established that their lands and water rights had been
illegally taken from California's Native Americans, and that they should
be reimbursed for the loss. Those who proved descent from California
Native Americans to the court's satisfaction have received some
monetary compensation for land as a result of the Claims Cases. Some
reservation tribal groups have pressed suits against the government for
failure to protect water rights.
In the 1980s, Cahuillas and Serranos are well aware of their rights
and responsibilities, and have had long experience in dealing with the
United States governments and other aspects of the dominant society.
The establishment of Bingo parlors at San Manuel, Morongo, and
Cabezon reservations has brought additional income to people on these
reservations. The land in the city of Palm Springs owned by the Agua
Caliente Band and its members has placed them in a favorable economic
situation.
60
YUMAN- SPEAKING PEOPLES
Mohave
Ethnography .
Archaeological data and Mohave tradition indicate
that the Mohave lived first in the Mohave Desert, from which they
moved, perhaps about five hundred years ago, to the Colorado River
area, where they were living when the Spanish explorer Onate
encountered them in 1604 (Kroeber 1925:3). Their territory stretched
along the Colorado River from the site of Hoover Dam southward to
about a hundred miles below Parker Dam (Sherer 1965 :5), where it
that of other Yuman groups, variously the Panya or
Halchidhoma (in 1769), or the Quechan (in 1830).
adjoined
The name "Mojave" is derived from the true name Aha macave,
meaning "people who live along the water" (Scherer 1967:2-3). The
Mohave considered themselves a national entity, and their homeland a
country, which was made up of separate patrilineal clans. There were
22 of these in the mid- 1800s. Clan names were borne only by the
women, but were inherited through men. Both men and women were
commonly identified by nicknames. Nicknames of the women, but not
those of the men, described the entity to whom the clan name referred.
The Mohave were divided into three subgroups, the northern, the
southern, and the central, each of whom had one or more chiefs who
administered
various
community
activities.
There
was
also
an
hereditary great chieftain, chosen for his outstanding qualities and
ability to keep the confidence of the people. This hereditary great
chieftain was usually a member of the Malika clan.
The Mohave were a militant people, tall and large- boned, who were
effective in both offensive and defensive warfare. Their war leaders
and those under them were formally trained in combat, military theory,
and military strategy. Their military power had a major impact on the
history of the American Southwest. Their allies were the neighboring
Quechan, Chemehuevi, Cahuilla, and Serrano; and their principal
enemies, the Panya, the Maricopa, and the Cocopa. They traded and
61
had amicable relationships with the Gabrielino, Luiseno, and Chumash of
the California coastal areas (Bean and Vane 1978 : 5 -3ff) .
The flood plain of the Colorado River, where the Mohave had their
homes, was extremely hot. The men often wore no clothing at all, and
women usually wore only skirts. Both sexes adorned themselves with
body painting and tattooing, especially for ceremonial occasions. The
men wore their hair in elaborate styles (Kroeber 1925:729).
Mohave houses had frames of logs and poles, thatched with arrow weeds and covered with sand. Their size varied with the prestige of
the owner, but were usually squares of about 20 to 25 feet (1925:731,
735).
Mojaves derived their subsistence from flood plain agriculture,
gathering plant foods, and fishing. Because game animals were scarce
in the area, hunting was a much less important activity than among
most
Native American groups.
Fields of corn, beans,
pumpkins,
watermelons, cantaloupes, and several native grasses and herbs were
planted on the flood plains once the water went down in the spring.
Under the hot desert sun, these crops matured rapidly. After the
arrival of the Spaniards, wheat was added to these crops (Kroeber
1925 :735). Mesquite and screwbean, which grew at the edge of the
flood plain, were valued basic foods. Fields belonged to the family who
planted them. The ownership of mesquite and screwbean trees was
indicated by hanging arrowweed on them (Kroeber 1925:737).
Wooden mortars and stone pestles were used to grind the pods and
beans of screwbeans and mesquite; rectangular metates were used to
grind corn, wheat, and beans.
The resulting meal was eaten raw,
made into drinks, or made into dough and baked (Kroeber 1925:736).
The Mohave used seines for catching fish in deep water.
shallow sloughs they drove the fish into scoops.
used in stew (1925:737).
62
In
Fish were broiled or
According to Mohave oral tradition, pottery had been introduced at
the same time as agriculture. The shapes of Mohave pottery were more
distinctive than those of that made by other southern California groups,
and the variation in decoration greater. Pottery was made for a wide
variety of functions. Although the Mohave were good weavers, their
baskets were less notable than their pottery (Kroeber 1925:738)
.
Other tools used by the Mohave included stone axes, stones tied to
handles that were used to split the ground before planting, and tule
rafts for crossing the Colorado River. Clamshells were a favored shell
currency, being worn for decorative purposes as well. Fired glass
beads were used after the arrival of the Europeans
(1925 :739).
For recreation, the Mohave played hoop -and -pole games, a type of
football, shinny, peon, and the grass game. Women used staves for
playing dice.
Marriage was relatively flexible and could be terminated at will.
Women appeared to have more freedom and a better social position than
among some Native American tribes. Polygamy existed and was often
sororal.
Twins were thought to be sacred (Kroeber 1925 :747)
.
Female puberty rites in which the girls were instructed in their
proper behavior as young women and covered with hot sand for four
nights were carried out.
Mortuary rituals were important, and incorporated the singing of
ritual song cycles, and the destruction of personal property in ceremonies that lasted for several days and drew people from a considerable
distance. The dead were cremated.
For the Mohave, all reality is based on dreaming. Shamanistic
power, good fortune, economic and military success, and abilities are
dreamed rather than learned.
63
Song cycles that are sung on public occasions derive from dreams.
The, cycles, of which there are at least thirty, describe events that
happened at the time of creation.
These events are located in
geographical space along the Colorado River and in the Mohave Desert.
The basic Mohave creation story tells of the creator "Matavilya,"
who was replaced by his son or younger brother Mastamho, who was
greater than he. Mastamho created Avikwame (Spirit Mountain,
Newberry Mountain), and lived there. From here he finished the
creation process and allotted land to the Walapai, Yavapai, Chemehuevi,
Quechan, Kamia, and Mohave . He taught the Mohave , who were the
youngest, how to farm, make pottery, speak, and count.
Shamans
dream of Mastamho's house on Avikwame, where their shadows receive
power from Mastamho in the time of the beginnings (Kroeber
1925:770-771).
Avikwame is therefore a place of
great power and
sacredness.
Some of the Mohave song cycles tell of events that take place in
areas impinging on the Study Area:
In the Mohave Salt Song, four mountain -sheep brothers travel from
the Colorado River area westward to Hayakwiranya- mat'ara, "east of
Mohave station in Kawaiisu or Vanyume land" (Kroeber 1925:762) .
Another version of the Salt Song comes to an end "at Yava'avi - athi -i,
near Daggett, in Vanyume country" (1925:762).
In a version of the Deer Tale, grass was given to the Mohave
people at Avi- kitsekilyke, a place "north or west of Calico." The deer
rested at Ava- sa'ore, a mountain east or northeast of Calico near which
a prehistoric trail used to pass (Kroeber 1948:43).
Tumanpa Vanyume songs tell the story of journey that begins at
the Colorado River, "progresses to Matvilya -vova near Barstow, and
ends Aviveskwikaveik, south of Boundary Cone at the rim of Mohave
Valley" (1925:759). The oral literature upon which the songs in this
cycle are based may have been borrowed from the Vanyume; on the
64
other hand, the songs may have nothing more to do with the Vanyume
than that their territory is included in them (1925 :759).
Ethnohistory. Harrington (n.d.),. Kelly (n.d.), Eisen (1898), and
others collected ethnographic accounts (summarized by King and
Casebier 1976) telling of Desert Mohave living in the Mohave Desert as
far west as Soda Lake before the arrival of the Spaniards.
The
Chemehuevi have a tradition that the Chemehuevi came from the north
and fought a long war with the Mohave in this region, killing many of
them and driving the rest eastward to the Colorado River.
Archaeological findings suggest that this war ended between A.D. 1500
and 1700 (King and Casebier 1976:17 -18) .
It is uncertain whether the Mohave were in the Mohave Valley in
1604 when the Onate expedition encountered them (Kroeber 1925:3) , but
it is certain that they were there when Garces visited them in 1776. At
that time they demonstrated also a degree of control over the Mohave
Mojaves who guided him westward across the Mohave
Desert used a well established trail. They met other Mojaves coming
eastward. In Garces' further travels, he came upon Mojaves in the
Santa Clara Valley and at a rancheria in what is now Kern County. He
met more Mohave traders on his return trip across the Mohave (Kroeber
Desert (1925:4) .
1925:3 -4).
When Garces travelled up the Colorado River, he found the Panya
living in the Parker - Blythe valley and the Chemehuevi inland, west of
the Whipple Mountains and west of Chemehuevi Valley. Between 1825
and 1830, the Mohave drove out the Panya. They occupied the
conquered area for about a year, and then moved back to the Mohave
Valley, allowing the Chemehuevi, who were moving southward at the
time, to occupy the vacated area. The Mohave and Yuma continued to
make some use of this area, however.
In the 1820s, Anglo- American fur trappers came through Mohave
country, notably the expeditions of Ewing Young (of which James O.
Pattie was a member) and Jedediah Smith. Smith, having found the
65
Mojaves friendly on his first visit, in 1826, returned in 1827, only to
have ten of his men killed and two women taken captive- -one of the
worst disasters in American fur trading history. The change in Mohave
attitude dated from an encounter with the Ewing Young expedition in
which, according to James O. Pattie, sixteen Mohave had been killed
(Casebier 1975:23-27). Most Anglo- American travelers for the next
twenty years avoided the Mohave, taking the Old Spanish Trail to the
north despite the greater distance (1975:30 -32).
After the United States acquired the Southwest, a number of expeditions led by military men visited the Mohave villages. By 1854, when
an expedition led by Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple arrived, the Mohave told
him that they approved having a road opened up through their
country, inasmuch as it would provide them with an opportunity for
trade. Edward Fitzgerald Beale recommended in 1858 that a military
post be established on the Colorado to protect travelers, but before one
could be established, two emigrant trains were attacked by the Mohave
and allied Chemehuevis. Eight emigrants were killed and twenty to
twenty -five were badly wounded. Four Mojaves were shot and one was
killed. Hostilities continued until April 23, 1859, when a peace was
negotiated. In the negotiations, the great chieftain Homoseh quahote
was chief spokesman for the Mohave (Kroeber and Kroeber 1973:20 -23) .
Fort Mohave was then built at the bend in the river where the Mohave
villages had been. This fort was occupied until 1890, except for the
Civil War years (1973:32 -34).
Homoseh quahote resigned as head chief in 1861, but remained
chief of the northern Mohave. Another chief, Yara tav, became head
chief, but was ineligible to be great chieftain because he did not belong
to the Malika clan. When the Colorado River Indian Reservation (CRIR)
was established by Congress in 1865 (13 Stat. 559), Yara tav led about
800 Mojaves south to the reserved area. Several thousand Mojaves
remained in the Mohave Valley and opposed all efforts of the U.S.
government to move them to CRIR, although they remained friendly with
those Mojaves who had moved there (Sherer 1966:11 -13).
66
In the 1860s, hostilities erupted between the Chemehuevis and the
Mojaves. During this period Homoseh quahote apparently regained his
authority, especially over those Mojaves who had not moved to CRIR
(Sherer 1966 :11 -13).
The railroads, beginning in the 1860s, brought a new source of
Mohave men helped build the railroads, and
afterward helped operate them. Some of them moved to the town of
livelihood to the Mojaves.
Needles to be available for employment. Mojaves also became merchants,
making a living selling things to Needles residents and to tourists
(Sherer 1965 :54 -55).
In 1890 Fort Mohave was made into a boarding school for Indian
children. Its operation was transferred from the War Department to the
Department of the Interior, but the latter department's Bureau of
Indian Affairs had an almost military forcefulness in its efforts to get
Indian children to adapt new ways. Asukit, the acting great chieftain
of the Mojaves, assisted the superintendent in enforcing the compulsory
education law.
One of the most disruptive efforts of the school was the imposition
of the Anglo- American naming system, as well as English surnames. In
combination with the traditional naming system, this resulted in great
confusion, intensified by the fact that school authorities did not
understand the traditional naming system. Mojaves now tend to use
their English surnames when interacting with outsiders, and, to varying
degrees, their clan names within the group. Women often include their
clan names within their English name (Sherer 1965:42-46).
Early in the twentieth century, the government made plans to dam
the Colorado River. It had already granted every other section of the
traditional Mohave lands to the railroads. In 1910 and 1911, the 14,000
acres (5700 ha) that had belonged to old Fort Mohave and an additional
17,328 acres (7012 ha) were set aside as the Fort Mohave Indian
Reservation (FMIR) by Executive Order (Sherer 1966:18 -24). By this
time most of the northern group of Mojaves had become an urban rather
67
than a rural people. Many of them had moved to Needles, where the
expanding railroads were stimulating the economy (Myrick 1963) .
After 1930, the Santa Fe railroad moved its roundhouse from
Needles to Barstow, and the Needles economy suffered.
Further
problems were caused when a 1940 flood inundated 4000 acres (1600 ha)
of the FMIR. After another flood in 1947, the tribe bought sixteen
acres of land outside the city of Needles and built about fifty homes for
the Fort Mohave people whose homes had been destroyed. These homes
now make up Mohave community.
In 1957, a constitution for FMIR was approved by the Secretary of
the Interior. It established a tribal council of seven members to carry
our FMIR business. In 1964 the tribe was able to lease about 12,000
acres (4860 ha) of the reservation to lessees who agreed to use the
land for recreational development in which $22 million were to be
invested within ten years (Sherer 1965:8, 64, 70) .
68
Quechan
Ethnography. The Quechan (also known as Yuman) were another
of a series of agricultural peoples who lived along the Colorado River in
prehistoric times, all speaking Yuman languages. Their culture was
similar to that of the Mohave. Quechan territory centered on the
confluence of the Gila and Colorado River, and extended north along
the river as far as the area where present -day Blythe is located. The
northernmost rancheria is said to have been in the Palo Verde Valley.
The people who lived there moved southward to the confluence in the
last half of the nineteenth century (Bee 1983:87). It can be postulated
that before the mid - nineteenth century Quechan made some use of the
southernmost drainage basins being considered for this Project.
Ethnohistory. Quechan oral history tells of a southward migration
from Avikwame (Newberry Mountain) . Bee hypothesizes that between
the thirteenth and eighteenth century, small bands came together to
form a tribe.
The first mention of the Quechan by the Spaniards dates
to the late seventeenth century. In 1781 the Quechan destroyed a
mission that the Spaniards had established in their area near to
Colorado River.
After that their homeland
Euro- Americans for a long time, but in 1852,
avoided by
the United States
was
established Fort Yuma on a bluff near the confluence. The fort became
a school for Indian children when the Quechan Indian Reservation was
established in 1884, and most Quechan moved to the reservation. In
1893,
the reservation lost much of its land under the terms of
an
agreement with the United States. Its lands were allotted in 1912, each
person being given ten acres of land. Because the government had not
kept all the terms of the agreement, the tribe, after a long struggle,
got 25,000 acres of the original reservation back in 1978
(Bee
1983:94 -95).
After the establishment of Fort Yuma, the members of the tribe
turned to wage labor in the town of Yuma or on the river. By the
1920s and 1930s, most of the Quechan were no longer using agriculture
as a means of subsistence. Since 1934, the tribe has been governed by
69
a tribal council elected under the terms of the Indian Reorganization
Act of 1934.
The focus of tribal
attention
in this century has centered on
reservation endeavors. Many cultural patterns have been modified, but
a sense of ethnic identity remains important.
70
RESULTS OF RESEARCH:
SENSITIVE SITES
In the following pages, CSRI is providing information about the
location of sites and areas known to have significance for Native
Americans within or near the areas being considered as of May, 1986
(see Map 1), for low -level radioactive waste disposal. The information
has been gathered from ethnographic literature and interviews, other
archival sources, and from archaeological site record searches.
It is unlikely that there are any areas in the southeastern
California desert that have no significance whatever for Native
Americans. There are only areas with different degrees of significance.
The Mohave and Colorado Deserts were inhabited in traditional times by
people who were intimately acquainted with their environment. To them
their environment's every feature had some significance, and a great
percentage of its resources were put to use.
Although a search of archaeological site records has resulted in
information about the location and description of something over 800
sites, only a minuscule fraction of the existing sites are represented,
inasmuch as a very small percentage of the desert has been subjected
to systematic archaeological survey. Hence a low density of recorded
archaeological sites does not mean there are no sites present. The
archaeological surveys that will be necessary before a site for disposal
of waste is chosen
information.
1.
will
give cultural
as well as archaeological
Bristol Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Chemehuevi, Southern Paiute, and the Mohave.
There are 15 recorded archaeological sites within this drainage
basin. One contains a rockshelter, flaked stone, ground stone, and
71
pottery. Another contains a rockshelter and ceramics. Another site
contains a stone circle. Twelve sites contain only flaked stone.
The two rockshelters are highly sensitive.
The Chemehuevi from the Parker area traditionally gathered salt at
Bristol Lake and a prehistoric trail "runs south of the existing evaporation ponds northwest to southeast" (Laidlaw 1979) . There are
temporary camp sites around Bristol Lake confirming this activity,
which continued through historic times.
2.
Broadwell Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Mohave and the Chemehuevi.
There are two recorded prehistoric archaeological sites at the
north end of this drainage basin, one containing flaked stone, and the
other, a mile long, containing flaked stone and pottery, apparently from
more than one culture. In the Cady Mountains to the northwest, some
two miles from the proposed Study Area, is a site with stone cairns.
Two sites in the Bristol Mountains to the east of the valley, somewhat
over a mile from the proposed Study Area, are two petroglyph sites.
These latter are of high sensitivity.
BLM Ethnographic Notes indicated that this valley was used as a
seasonal collecting area through the 1930s (Laidlaw 1979 : 64- A -IIIa) .
3.
Cadiz Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Mohave.
There are numerous temporary camps thoughout this valley,
especially around lake beds where salt was collected. The valley floor
was used for food collection, and was crossed by many trails.
Extensive food collection continued through historic time in the southern
part of the valley. The Old Woman Mountains to the east were
72
important
in
Mohave
and
Chemehuevi
oral
literature
(Laidlaw
1979: XI- AIIIb) .
None of these sites is within the Cadiz Quadrangle. Two sites with
flaked stone artifacts lie in the Fenner Valley portion of the basin,
There is also a site in the Marble Mountains, near
Cadiz Summit, adjacent to Fenner Valley on the southwest, that consists
of stone windbreaks, ground stone and flaked . stone. There are no
sites on the Essex, Cadiz Lake, or Milligan Quadrangles portion of this
basin. In the Cadiz Valley Quadrangle portion of the basin are three
sites containing flake stone artifacts and one stone circle site.
Danby Quadrangle.
The density of archaeological sites in this quadrangle is low,
perhaps because little of it has been surveyed.
4.
Coyote Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern to
Southern Paiute,
(Western) Shoshone.
Mohave,
Chemehuevi,
Kawaiisu,
and
Panamint
There is a high density of archaeological sites in this area, mainly
containing flaked stone artifacts- -over one hundred sites, some of them
very extensive. Other recorded sites contain pottery (two sites), stone
alignments (two) , stone circles (three) , fire cracked stone (one) ,
ground stone (two) , a fire hearth (one) , and agave roasting pits (one
site) . This area is near the Mohave River, which brought water from
the San Bernardino Mountains into the desert, and the route of the
Mohave Trail.
5.
Cronese Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
Southern Paiute,
(Western) Shoshone.
Mohave,
Chemehuevi,
Kawaiisu,
and
Panamint
area contains an important archaeological complex of
considerable depth and density. Archaeological findings include a paint
This
73
quarry,
22
sites containing ground stone artifacts,
35
containing
pottery, and 44 sites containing flaked stone artifacts. These sites
area the remains of campsites mentioned in Mohave oral narrative as a
major intertribal trading center (Laidlaw 1970). The southern edge of
the basin adjoins the Old Mohave Trail, over which much of the
prehistoric from the California coast to the Colorado River took place.
The Mohave River, along which the trail ran, brought water from the
San Bernardino Mountains into the desert.
6.
Danby Lake /Ward Valley Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Mohave.
The part of this drainage basin that lies in the eastern part of the
Essex Quadrangle contains a flaked stone site nearly three miles long to
the east of the Little Piute Mountains . At the southern end of the
Little Piute Mountains near the basin are two rockshelters,
one
containing petroglyphs, and the other, pottery. These sites are very
sensitive. About four miles to the south and slightly west, near and
on a small hill are three rockshelters and site with flaked stone artifacts. Two of the rockshelters contain pottery. The other contains
petroglyphs, ground stone, and quartz crystals. The latter are often
particularly powerful ritual articles. All of these rockshelters are
considered highly sensitive. They are not far off the valley floor.
There are no archaeological sites on the part of the study area
that lies on Stepladder Quadrangle.
In the Old Woman Mountains west
of the
basin in Milligan
Quadrangle there is a petroglyph site. It is about five miles south of
the Essex Quadrangle rockshelters, and about a mile up the mountains
from Ward Valley. Also in the eastern slopes of the same mountain
range is a site containing pottery and flaked stone.
74
There are two flaked stone archaeological sites in the part of the
drainage basin that lies on Turtle Mountains Quadrangle, and one flaked
stone site on the part that lies on Iron Mountains Quadrangle.
There is a site containing stone structures in the Turtle Mountains
to the east of the study area on the Rice Quadrangle.
The area around Danby Lake in the southern end of the basin was
important for salt and food collection. There are numerous temporary
camp sites around the lake, not all recorded. There is a trail along
the southern side of the lake.
Ward Valley contains extensive seasonal collection areas, some still
used to date by the Chemehuevi. There are temporary and permanent
camp sites throughout the valley (Laidlaw 1979).
7.
Mesquite Drainage Basin
This drainage Basin is within the sphere of potential concern to
the Mohave and Chemehuevi.
Within this basin are three archaeological sites containing stone
alignments, pottery, and flaked stone. Of greater sensitivity are sites
in the Mesquite Hills to the north, primarily but not entirely on the
northern slopes that border the Mohave River Wash. These sites
contain stone figures, stone alignments, petroglyphs, cairns, circular
depressions, pottery, ground stone and flaked stone artifacts, and a
shell bead. These findings suggest use for ritual and collection. The
fact that the area is near the Mohave River and the Mohave Trail adds to
the sensitivity.
.
There. is also a petroglyph site on the north slope of the Bristol
Mountains at the southeastern edge of this drainage system.
8.
Pahrump Valley
This drainage basin is within the traditional area of the the
Southern Paiutes.
High sensitivity derives from present -day concern
75
from people who live there.
potential concern for it.
The related Chemehuevi also have a
In the Allen- Warner Valley ethnographic study (Bean and Vane
1979), Southern Paiutes of Las Vegas and Pahrump were found to be
highly sensitive about the cultural resources of the Pahrump Valley and
Mesquite Valley area because some of them live there, and others have
relatives who have lived there within this century. They still use its
resources and have a direct historical memory of an even more intensive
use. The Pahrump Valley Paiutes now live at Moapa Reservation and in
Las Vegas, as well as in Pahrump, but their concern for the valleys is
probably still very high (Stoffle 1986). The number of recorded
archaeological sites in this valley is low. Sites that have been recorded
contain flakes and tools. Rock features have been found in nearby
hills.
9 and 10. Palen and Ford Lake Basins
This area is within the sphere of potential concern of the Serrano,
Cahuilla, Mohave, Quechan, and Chemehuevi.
Between the Chuckwalla Mountains and the Coxcomb Mountains,
several temporary occupation sites have been recorded, some in
associate with agave roasting pits, suggesting that this was an area
where agave was collected.
There is a large occupation site, mostly south of Palen Dry Lake.
Archaeological
surveys east of the Coxcomb Mountains were
negative except for one temporary occupation site with rock features
northeast of the sand dunes.
Several temporary and permanent camp sites and associated burials
with ritual associations are distributed thoughout the drainage basin in
an area that includes Ford Dry Lake, McCoy Springs and McCoy Wash.
There are hunting and permanent camps in the adjoining foothills.
76
The site of a permanent village lies at Corn Spring in the northeastern Chuckwalla Mountains. It is associated with several trails
leading down to the valley floor, and near them lie such ritual features
as rock art and rock features. Burials, ground figures, and pottery
sherds are associated with the trails.
Other trails, rock art, and rock features lie at the edge of the
valley floor.
The Chuckwalla Valley south of the Palen Mountains is crossed by
several recorded trails, remnants of the Cocomaricopa trail network.
Numerous occupation sites are recorded in the eastern part of the
valley. They contain pottery, tools, midden, flaked stone, rock art,
and rock features, as well as a number of roasting pits.
The valley between the Little Chuckwalla Mountains and the Palo
Verde Mountains has few sites, mainly flaked stone sites. A rock
feature and quarry are in Coon Hollow in the Mule Mountains, to the
east of the valley floor.
11.
Panamint Valley
The northern part of this drainage basin is within traditional area
of the Panamint (Western) Shoshone, the southern part within that of
the Kawaiisu. It is also within the sphere of potential concern of the
Owens Valley Paiute. Informants considered it to have high sensitivity
deriving from the fact that it is near the homes of present -day
Panamint (Western) Shoshone, including the Timbi -Sha of Death Valley,
and that it is still used it for ritual purposes, as well as for hunting
and collecting.
Panamint
Valley
was
nominated
as
an
ACEC
in the
Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Proposed Plan for the Bureau
of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert Conservation Area (U.S.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 1980a) , but was
rejected as such in the final plan (U.S. Department of the Interior,
Bureau of Land Management 1980b) . It was noted that in the dunes
77
west of Death Valley National Monument there are "many prehistoric
artifacts, unique plant assemblages, and habitat for endemic beetles."
In the final plan, the dunes' identification as a wilderness area was
considered adequate protection.
BLM Ethnographic Notes (Laidlaw 1979) indicate that there are
occupation sites at all springs and sinks, and burials at the
northwestern tip and along eastern boundary of the northern part of
the valley. Panamint Springs and Panamint Canyon south of State
Route 190 is a healing area for Panamint (Western ) Shoshone. They
also indicate that there are hunting blinds in association with water
sources along eastern edge of valley (1979:24- C -IIb). Hunting blinds
and camps used to the present are distributed throughout the Panamint
Valley floor. The notes also describe a large permanent village site one
mile east of present Ballarat. A rock art site is nearby.
data, there are numerous
archaeological sites of great sensitivity and significance at the northern
Confirming
these
ethnographic
end of the valley, in the Dunes area and to the northwest of it. They
include a burial, a number of temporary occupation, rock features,
midden, flaked stone artifacts, pottery and many rock features. The
whole upper third of the valley, even those only partially surveyed,
has sites -- temporary occupation, rockshelters (in Lake Hill northern
slopes) and rock features on west slope of Panamint Butte.
12.
Saline Valley
This drainage basin is within traditional area of the Panamint
(Western) Shoshone, and within the sphere of potential concern of the
Owens Valley Paiute. Informants considered it to have high sensitivity
deriving from the fact that it is near the present -day Panamint
(Western) Shoshone, who still use it for ritual purposes, as well as for
hunting and collecting.
78
Saline Valley is rated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern
(ACEC) in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Proposed
Plan for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert
Conservation Area because of being "located in the area are both
prehistoric and historic cultural resources" (U. S. Department of the
Interior, Bureau of Land Management 1980b:3).
Laidlaw
(U.
S.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land
Management 1980a) , in the Draft Plan of the same document has written,
"An area of importance to Owens Valley Paiute and Shoshone, the Saline
Valley contains canyon collection areas and historic burial and village
sites with major rock art complexes." He made suggestions for the
mitigation of impacts to a village at the mouth of Hunter Canyon, and
continued, "Of critical importance to Native American informants is the
impact resulting from roads and any other intrusions into ritual areas
and cemetery and cremation sites. Informants also expressed concern
about the destruction of petroglyphs through vandalism. Intrusions can
endanger wildlife that is hunted by Native Americans and disturb the
collection of herbs and other fauna. Religious ceremonies occurring at
locations with sacred significance, they feel, should have restricted
access."
It
contains thick mesquite thickets and marsh,
environments
attractive to Native Americans in the traditional period. Plant species
mentioned in the ACEC comment include Phacelia amabilis, Perityle
invoensis, Eriogonum eremicola, and Eriogonum microthecum var.
panamintensis, species of concern to the Fish and Wildlife Service, and
the threatened species, Caulostrominea jaegeri.
The archaeological record search confirms the above, even though
only a fraction of this drainage basin has been surveyed for
archaeological sites.
A rock art site has been recorded in the Saline Range, about 11
miles east of the valley floor near the north end of Saline Valley.
Numerous sites with rock features, rock shelters and ground figures
have been recorded at springs two miles northeast of Palm Spring (a
79
hot spring), and northwest and northeast of Upper Warm Springs.
A
village site has been recorded at Lower Warm Springs.
A survey of one section in the Southeastern part of The Dunes,
east of McElvoy Canyon, revealed 14 sites that contain flaked stone
tools, pottery, midden,
temporary occupation.
and
ground
stone
artifacts
suggesting
At the mouth of Hunter Canyon are several significant sites,
including the site of a village rockshelter, rock art, rock features,
stone tools and midden. BLM ethnographic notes indicate that the
Hunter Mountain area is sacred, and that there are ritual healing areas
throughout southern Saline Valley and on the northeast slope of Hunter
Mountain.
They also indicate that there is a two square mile salt
collection area in west center of the basin (Laidlaw 1979: 12 -A -II) .
Several miles to the east of the mouth of Hunter Canyon, two
other clusters of sites have been recorded. One cluster, about six
miles east, is made up of sites containing both groundstones and flaked
stone artifacts, and pottery. A cluster near the eastern side of the
valley contains flaked stone. One site has rock features.
About three miles in the Panamint Foothills are two quarries with
associated trails and flaked stone. A nearby site is a rockshelter and
rock features.
At the southern end of Saline Valley in and near Grapevine
Canyon, are two rockshelter sites, a rock feature, rock art, and flaked
and groundstone artifacts.
80
13.
Searles Lake
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Chemehuevi and Southern Paiutes, the Kawaiisu, the Panamint
(Western) Shoshone, and the Owens Valley Paiutes.
The northern part of Searles Valley was used by the Panamint
(Western) Shoshone for the collection of basketry materials.
Twenty-five archaeological sites containing flaked stone artifacts
have been recorded for this drainage system, as well as 3 sites with
ground stone, one bedrock slick, and one rockshelter. The rockshelter
is on a hill west of Christmas Canyon. The overall drainage basin has
less cultural sensitivity than others because of the apparent generally
low density of sites, and the fact that this preliminary search has
revealed no expression of particular cultural concern for the valley by
Native Americans. However, the rockshelter is considered of high
sensitivity. Groundstone artifacts indicate food processing activity.
14.
Sheep Hole Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Mohave.
No archaeological sites have been recorded in this drainage basin.
No references to it have been found in the ethnographic literature.
15.
Silurian Lake Basin
The drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of the
Chemehuevi, Southern Paiute, Mohave and Kawaiisu
Southern Paiute respondents in CSRIPs 1979 Allen- Warner Valley
study knew of grinding rocks and stands of mesquite just north of
Silurian Lake, but only one archaeological site has been reported in the
basin. It contains stone flakes (Bean and Vane 1979) .
81
16.
Silver Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Chemehuevi, Southern
Shoshone, and Kawaiisu.
Paiute,
Mohave,
Panamint
(Western)
A rockshelter site at the northern shore of Silver Lake is of high
sensitivity, as is a petroglyph site at the southern edge of the Study
Area, near the base of a small hill. Three sites with stone alignments,
stone circles, stone cairns, fifteen sites with flaked stone artifacts, one
site with ground stone, a trail, and one site with pottery have been
recorded. The southern end of the basin lies near the Mohave Trail
and the Sink of the Mohave River.
Sites in the vicinity of Silver Lake were among the first in the
Mohave Desert to yield artifacts recognized as being as old as 8,000 to
10,000 years. Although many of these artifacts are now gone from the
sites, the area is significant for those interested in the prehistory of
California, and is of particular sensitivity to Native Americans.
17.
Soda Lake Basin
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Southern Paiutes, Kawaiisu, and Panamint
(Western) Shoshone.
A recorded archaeological site in the slopes to the north of this
valley contains rockshelters, and sites in the hills at northeast edge' of
the study area contain stone figures, a stone alignment, a stone
circle, and a trail complex- -all suggesting ritual use of the area.
Because the area is close to the Mohave River and the Mohave Trail, it
probably had considerable prehistoric use and occupation by the people
who creates the various rock complexes in the adjacent hills.
82
18.
Superior Valley
This drainage basin is within the sphere of potential concern of
Panamint (Western)
Chemehuevi.
Shoshone,
Kawaiisu,
Southern
Paiute,
and
Five sites containing rock shelters, ground figures, four petroglyph sites, seven sites with ground stone, two sites with bedrock
slicks, seven sites with stone circles, one site with pottery, and 26
sites with flaked stone artifacts have been recorded in this basin.
There is a concentration of sites at the mouth of Black Canyon to the
southwest of the valley and another cluster of sites at the southern end
of the valley about three miles north of Murphy's Well, at an elevation
of about 3000 feet. The rest of the recorded sites are at the northern
edge of the valley, where their density suggests considerable use and
occupation.
83
PHASES II AND III REPORT
84
CHAPTER V.
PHASE II AND PHASE III METHODS
A.
PHASE II METHODS
Phase II of this ethnographic study was based on the criteria for
evaluating siting impacts on Native American values developed under
Phase I. From the refined criteria and related impacts assessment,
CSRI was asked to provide the following information:
Identification of specific locations within the mapped potential
siting areas which have a particular and identifiable value, (e.g., rock
art sites, collection areas, ritual sites, etc.) .
1.
2.
Identification of any general areas considered to have value for
reasons that may not lend themselves to mapping of
site - specific
features.
A recommended framework for identifying impact criteria and
related geographic locations which should be considered highly constrained for site development, and hence might most appropriately be
excluded from further siting consideration.
3.
Related to #3. above, a recommended framework for identifying
criteria and /or locations for which the impacts of disposal site develop4.
ment might be mitigated through approaches found acceptable in the
past or likely to be considered acceptable by tribal groups with an
interest in such areas . It is understood that actual site - specific
mitigation measures would be evaluated at a future time. The purpose
of
this
evaluation
was
to
differentiate
mitigable
impacts
from
exclusionary impacts to the extent practicable at that stage of the
project..
An assessment of perceived Native American reactions to the
weighting approaches described in the Phase I preliminary impact
5.
85
(e.g., regular occupation vs.. occasional use,
recency of use, etc.) , and to the criteria as a whole, including
assessment criteria,
identification of possible areas of controversy. It was understood that
the consultation interviews would lead to refined criteria.
CSRI was authorized to show maps of the drainage basins being
considered for the LLRW disposal, now much reduced in area, to tribal
councils and others with an interest in ethnographic resources.
The major task in the second phase of the ethnographic study was
to make contact with Native American groups and consult with them
about which sites they felt should be removed from consideration as
places to dispose of LLRW. It was accomplished by a four component
approach: Mailings from US Ecology to tribal officials at addresses,
including invitations to a second series of public meetings; mailings
from CSRI ethnographers; telephone calls to make appointments; and
direct consultations by CSRI ethnographers with tribal officials, or
individuals and groups to whom the tribal officials directed the
ethnographers. Most consultations were audio- taped; and some were
video- taped. Tapes were transcribed and summarized for this report.
Where it was possible, place - related information was mapped.
CHRONOLOGY
Preliminary Tasks
CSRI commenced work on Phase II of the ethnographic study when
Bean and Vane attended a meeting on August 25 at US Ecology's offices
in Newport Beach, California. At this meeting the goals of this phase
and its schedule were presented, and plans were made for accomplishing
the goals. It was agreed that CSRI would retain Richard Stoffle,
Ph.D., of the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan
to head a team that would consult with Native Americans on the
Colorado River and Nevada in November, and that Nancy Peterson
Walter, Ph.D., would consult with the Western Shoshone east of the
Sierra Nevada.
86
Stoffle asked Michael Evans of the University of Florida to assist
him, and Jackson Young was recruited to assist Vane consult with
Kawaiisu, Barstow urban Indians, Serrano, Cahuilla, and Quechan.
Early in October, further discussions with US Ecology resulted in
a number of changes in the schedule and work plan. Work began on
ethnographies and ethnohistories of the tribal groups whose ancestors
US
traditionally occupied the drainage basins being considered.
Ecology sent letters to tribal council chairpersons, explaining the
project and plans to ask ethnographers to consult with tribal leaders.
On July 29, 1986, Steve Romano of US Ecology attended a meeting
of the CRIT Resources Committee to make a presentation on the
California LLRW disposal. Contacts made by the company in October
resulted in an invitation to US Ecology and CSRI ethnographers to meet
with the Colorado River Indian Tribe (CRIT) Resources Committee on
October 21.
Bean and Vane flew to Parker, Arizona to join Stoffle, who had
arrived in Las Vegas on October 19. On the morning of October 20,
Stoffle met at Fort Mohave Indian Reservation (FMIR) with the tribal
chair, the vice - chair, and another council member. During the
meeting, the project was described using the Manuscript Maps
(1:110,000 scale). The purpose of this meeting was to set up a meeting
with the FMIR elders early in November. Later that afternoon, Stoffle
met with the director and another museum employee at the (GRIT)
museum at Parker.
On the morning of October 21, Bean, Vane, and Stoffle met with
Charles Lamb, Director of the CRIT museum, and a Mohave member of
CRIT to discuss details of the study.
Bean, Vane, and Stoffle then met with Steve Romano of US
Ecology, who had just arrived. All three attended the meeting of the
Resources Committee of the CRIT tribal council. Romano made the
87
major presentation. Bean and Stoffle also spoke.
was given to having a joint meeting with FMIR.
Some consideration
It was agreed between Bean, Vane, and Stoffle that one Mohave
and one Paiute Native American should be hired as research associates.
They then consulted for several hours at CRIT. Bean and Vane
conferred with Lamb and with the museum librarian. Stoffle conferred
with the Mohave research associate. Stoffle stayed on to confer with
members of the museum staff.
Stoffle made arrangements to visit the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation (CIR), where an Official Tribal Contact Representative (OTCR) had
been appointed. Accordingly, Stoffle met that afternoon with two CIR
Council members, an official of the tribe, a member of the Planning
Committee, and another Chemehuevi. During this meeting a suggestion
that perhaps the Parker group of Chemehuevis and
reservation Chemehuevis might arrange to have a joint meeting.
was
made
After this meeting, Stoffle made arrangements to meet the Tribal
Chair of the Pahrump Indian Group later that evening for dinner.
During dinner, the possibility of having the Pahrump Chair work with
Evans was discussed.
Early October 23, Stoffle drove to Moapa, Nevada to talk with
tribal officials there about the project. The tribe's community planner
(as a council representative) and Stoffle talked about the proposed
LLRW disposal facility siting and about setting up a future meeting with
the Moapa Tribal Council. Later, Stoffle met with a Moapa elder, who
had acted as a Moapa OTCR on a previous project. In the afternoon,
Stoffle drove to Kaibab village, where he made arrangements with an
Indian elder to act as a consultant during the November meetings with
the elders.
Bean and Vane met briefly with Paul Gary Beck, Executive
Director of the California Native American Heritage Commission and his
88
assistant, Paige Talley, at the Second Annual California Indian
Conference at Berkeley on October 24 to 26.
Bean, Vane, Stoffle, and Walter met with US Ecology on the
morning of October 31. The group met with Paige Talley, assistant to
the Executive Director of the California Native American Heritage
Commission, who was informed of work progress.
Most of the fieldwork was carried out in November.
each ethnic group will be described separately.
Work with
Kawaiisu
CSRI ethnographers Sylvia Vane and Jackson Young consulted with
Andrew Young, a well informed Kawaiisu elder in Bakersfield on
November 6, 1986. At the elder's suggestion, the consultation took
place at the offices of the American Indian Council of Central California
(AICCC), some of whose members are also Kawaiisu. An AICCC member
who had been appointed by the Council to speak for its members was
present, and the AICCC Executive Director was present part of the
time.
On November 7, 1986, Vane and Young met with Ronald Wermuth,
a Kawaiisu who is secretary of the Kern Valley Indian Community. This
is a group that is currently seeking Federal Recognition as Indian.
This consultant had told Young on the telephone that a sweat was being
held on November 17, and that his group's comments on the Low Level
Radioactive Waste Site Project would be given after that event. He had
agreed to meet with Vane and Young, however, when it was pointed out
that the maps and other information they were bringing might be of use
in reaching conclusions about the Project.
The consultant invited Young and Vane to the sweat on November
17. When they were unable to attend, he invited them to come to one
at Kernville on December 6 or 7. They attended on December 7. The
consultant agreed that he would give the group's comments on the
89
project sites by phone during the following week.
Friday, December 12, and was given a statement.
Young called him on
Takic - Speaking Peoples
San Manuel Indian Reservation. Vane and Young consulted with
the San Manuel Chairperson at his home on San Manuel Indian
Reservation on November 12, 1986.
The Chairperson was shown the maps of the drainage basins that
indicate which areas were still being considered. He was given a set of
the 1 :110,000 Manuscript Maps, as well as a set of the 15' 1:62,500
maps, and the project was described. He gave his own reactions.
At the end of the consultation, he said he would show the maps to
others on the reservation, and discuss the project with them. As the
consultation came to an end, he said he had no further questions.
Morongo Indian Reservation. The Chairman of Morongo Indian
Reservation was consulted by Vane and Young on November 13, 1986.
He said that because of the press of other business , he had not had a
chance to look at the mailings on the LLRW Project sent him by CSRI
and US Ecology. He listened as the project was described and the
Manuscript Maps unfolded and then gave his comments.
He was given the set of Manuscript Maps and another copy of
CSRI's "Criteria." He agreed to study them, and to get in touch with
CSRI about any additional concerns.
Vane interviewed a Cahuilla elder for three hours on November 15,
1986.
Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The Tribal Chairman and the
Tribal Historian, of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation were
consulted by Bean, Vane, and Young at Palm Springs on November 12,
90
1986.
The Tribal Historian is also one of two surviving members of
Augustine Indian Reservation, which is presently unoccupied.
These two tribal officials had apparently read the mailings sent
them by US Ecology and CSRI with respect to the LLRW Project.
Manuscript Maps and the 15' maps were spread out and studied.
Torres - Martinez
Indian Reservation.
The
It was learned early in
November that the Torres Martinez Tribal Chairman had been removed
from office and that a reservation election was to take place early in
December. Cahuilla elders who were consulted suggested a candidate
for the office likely to be the next tribal chairman should be consulted.
He was first consulted by Young at lunch on November 15, 1986.
Because mailings from US Ecology and CSRI had been sent to the
previous tribal chairman, this consultant was not familiar with their
content.
At this preliminary meeting, he was given a set of the Manuscript
Maps, and a copy of CSRI's "Criteria." At the conclusion of this
meeting, it was agreed that he would attempt to set up a meeting with
other members of the tribal council on Monday, November 24.
The meeting on Monday, November 24, commenced, with seven
appointee of the Native
American Heritage Commission to US Ecology's Advisory Committee. He
is a member of Pechanga Reservation, but his wife is from
Torres - Martinez, and they are apparently living on or near
Cahuilla in attendance,
one of them the
He said that he'd come to the meeting
because of another item on the agenda. Also present was a realtor,
Torres - Martinez at present.
with whom the tribal council has business that was to come later on the
council meeting agenda.
The project was explained and the maps displayed, including the
contour maps.
91
.
Vane and Young met on the morning
of November 12 with the Chairperson of the Cabazon Band of Mission
Indians, and the Tribal Administrator at the Cabazon Tribal Offices.
Cabezon Indian Reservation.
They were shown the drainage basins being considered on the
Manuscript Maps.
YUMAN- SPEAKING PEOPLES
Quechan Indian Reservation
The Quechan indicated that they wished to be consulted about the
An appointment for Vane and Young to meet with the
LLRWD Project.
Tribal Council on Monday, November 24, was made. Because the
agenda was very full, the Council referred them to the Personnel
Director for the Quechan Indian Nation.
After the project was described, and the contour maps and Manu-
script Maps shown to him, the Personnel Director made his own
comments, and then promised to pass the information along to the Tribal
Council and to let CSRI know if any concerns were expressed.
92
Mohave.
On November 2, 1986, Stoffle, Evans and Research
Associate Bulletts met with the Mohave Research Associate and the CRIT
Museum director in the morning. Interviews were also held with three
Mohave elders.
On November 3, 1986, Stoffle, Evans, and the Paiute and Mohave
Research Associates traveled to the Ft. Mohave reservation where they
met with the Vice - Chairman and three elders; the meeting lasted all
day.
On November 4, Evans and Bulletts arrived at the CRIT tribal
museum for a meeting with CRIT Mohave elders. Five elders and the
Ft. Mohave and OTCR were present when the meeting began. By the
time lunch was served there were an additional five other Mojaves in
attendance. During the meeting, the Mohave would often discuss the
project with each other in Mohave, and then express their concerns
publicly in English.
On November 7, 1986, Evans and Bulletts met with the Mohave Re-
search Associate and the director of the CRIT Museum, along with
another member of the CRIT museum staff. The progress of the project
was discussed and scheduling completed.
NUMIC - SPEAKING PEOPLES
Western (Panamint) Shoshone
Walter consulted with two representatives of the Lone Pine
Reservation and the Owens Valley Paiute- Shoshone Board of Trustees; a
representative of the Timbi -Sha Western Shoshone Band; and a
Shoshone landowner in Panamint Valley.
When she met again with the group in Lone Pine and Ridgecrest,
one of the men from Lone Pine Reservation was unable to be present.
93
He had relayed his concerns to the other Lone Pine member, who is a
neighbor and a relative.
Chemehuevi
Chemehuevi Indian Reservation.
On November 4, 1986, Stoffle,
Evans and the Paiute Research Associate met with three Chemehuevi
elders and three members of the Chemehuevi Tribe, at the Chemehuevi
Indian Reservation.
The meeting lasted all day.
On November 6, Evans placed a call to the Indian research
associate about the Chemehuevi elders meeting. Then Evans placed a
call to the OTCR at Chemehuevi Valley. Later that afternoon at the
CRIT museum, Evans and the Paiute Research Associate interviewed a
Chemehuevi elder who lives on the CRIT reservation. Also present
were the ethnographic research associate and a museum staff member.
Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians. This band has not had
members resident on the Twentynine Palms Reservation for a number of
years. Although its members are listed as being of "Luiseno" descent
by the BIA directory, they are largely of Chemehuevi descent.
Mailings the person listed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as
Chairperson of the Band, were returned unclaimed. The telephone
the April, 1986 TRIBAL INFORMATION AND
DIRECTORY (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Sacramento) was not a correct
number.
number
given
in
Having located the woman listed as chairperson, Vane and Young
called on her on November 25, 1986. She reported herself no longer
Band Chairperson. Another person has succeeded her. Vane and
Young weré referred to Don Mckay, the band attorney, for information
about how to reach the group. When McKay was finally reached by
telephone, he said new tribal elections were about to take place, and
94
suggested that materials on the project be sent to his office.
A packet
containing maps and other information was accordingly sent to him.
In late December, Darryl Mike called Vane to tell her that he was
chairperson of the Twentynine Palms
Reservation band, and gave her directions for reaching him.
the
newly
elected
Indian
Southern Paiute
Las Vegas, Moapa, and Pahrump groups had been asked to appoint
Official Tribal Council Representatives to consult with the ethnographic
team. A Las Vegas tribal member served as research associate with the
team from November 1 through November 7.
On November 5, 1986, Stoffle placed a call to the Pahrump Chair
for information on the future meetings with the Pahrump and Las Vegas
elders.
On November 6, 1986, Evans made two attempts to contact the
Moapa community planner early on the morning of the 6th.
On November 7, Evans and the Paiute Research Associate traveled
north to the Kaibab Paiute Reservation, stopping at the Las Vegas
Indian Colony where they talked with a member of the Las Vegas tribal
council.
On November 9, 1986, Evans met with the Pahrump OTCR and two
Pahrump elders for interviews.
On November 10, 1986, Evans met the acting tribal Chairwoman at
the Las Vegas Indian Center, where he met briefly with the Pahrump
OTCR as well. Evans also talked briefly to the acting Tribal
Chairwoman and one council member while waiting at the tribal office
building.
95
On November 11, 1986, Evans arranged to meet with the Pahrump
OTCR. Evans and the OTCR, accompanied by two Pahrump elders,
went to the Pahrump cemetery to meet elders who attended the Veterans
Day services. At the cemetery, they met two Pahrump Paiutes who live
on the Moapa reservation, and their daughter who is registered at the
Las Vegas Indian Colony, all of whom were interviewed. After this
meeting, Evans phoned the Las Vegas OTCR and discussed the project
and told her what had been done so far.
BARSTOW URBAN INDIAN COMMUNITY
CSRI included the Barstow Indian Center, Inc. of Barstow,
California on the mailing list of Indian groups to whom mailings were to
be sent by US Ecology. This center serves a community that is largely
of Navajo, Laguna Pueblo, and Acorna Pueblo derivation, but includes
some members of other Native American groups. Most of the community
has come to southeastern California to work on the railroads, and has
gravitated to Barstow. The traditional territories of most members
served by this Center do not lie within the study areas, but these are
the Indians who have most recently made their homes near some of the
study areas.
The Chairperson of the Center attended one of the public meetings
held by US Ecology. CSRI made contact with the Chairperson by letter
and telephone, and an appointment for Vane and Young to talk to a
staff member was made for November 7.
The appointed staff member
was unable to be present, but a presentation was made to three other
staff members. A set of the Manuscript Maps was left for the group.
96
B.
PHASE III METHODS
An oral report on Phase II research was given by Vane and Bean
at a December 17, 1986 meeting in San Francisco, at which Paige
Talley, Assistant to the Executive Director of the California Native
American Heritage Commission, was present to give a report on a search
of the Heritage Commission's Sacred Land's file for areas to be ruled
out of consideration as sites for LLRW disposal. Talley reported that
no sacred sites in the file lay within the drainage basins being considered.
Early in January, maps of Candidate Siting Areas (CSAs) were
received and work on Phase III was authorized. US Ecology invited
interested Native Americans in the groups being consulted to visit their
Beatty facility, where LLRW has been disposed of since 1962. They
agreed to pay subsistence and travel costs for those who wished to
visit there.
In the ethnographic field work that followed, Stoffle and Evans,
with the help of Johnson and Bullett, consulted with Mojaves, Navajos,
and Chemehuevi at Fort Mohave Indian Reservation, Chemehuevi Indian
Reservation, and Colorado River Indian Reservation; they also consulted
with Southern Paiutes from the Pahrump, Las Vegas, and Moapa bands.
Vane, Walter, and Young consulted with the Western (Panamint)
Shoshone, the Kawaiisu, the Cahuilla, the Serrano,
Chemehuevis from Twentynine Palms Indian Reservation.
and
the
CHRONOLOGY OF FIELD WORK
On January 6, Stoffle, Evans, and Weldon Johnson consulted with
a Mohave elder, taking him to the Cadiz and Danby Siting areas in the
course of the consultation. The next day, January 7, was spent arranging for a trip to the Beatty site by Mohave, Chemehuevi, and Southern
Paiutes, and consulting with a Mohave elder for three hours.
97
Stoffle, Evans, Johnson, a Chemehuevi elder from CRIT, and
another from the Chemehuevi reservation visited the Ward and Fenner
Valley CSAs on January 8, accompanied by videographer Amelia Lafoon.
Preceeding the trip, Stoffle consulted with the acting Chemehuevi
Chairperson, and Johnson talked with the Chemehuevi Wildlife Officers.
On January 9, Stoffle and Evans consulted for three hours with
three Navajos from CRIT, a consultation videotaped by Amelia Lafoon.
The next day, Stoffle, Evans, Johnson, Lafoon, and Mohave Elder Burt
Zwick went to Fort Mohave for a meeting with Elda Butler and two Fort
Mohave elders. Afterward, the group visited the Ward, Fenner, and
Bristol CSAs.
On January 11, having driven to Pahrump, Stoffle and Evans met
About
with the Pahrump Chairperson and a Pahrump elder.
mid - morning, Stoffle and Evans with two Pahrump elders visited the
Pahrump CSA, as well as a Moapa Paiute and his wife, who lived
adjacent to the CSA. Returning late, Stoffle and Evans met with
Richard Arnold, Chairperson of the Pahrump Paiutes.
On January 12, Stoffle and Evans drove from Pahrump to Beatty,
Nevada, where they met the CRIT, Fort Mohave, and Chemehuevi
visiting group of elders. A tour of the US Ecology facility was
conducted by Facility Manager Tom Hayes.
Stoffle and Evans returned to Pahrump, where they met with a
Pahrump elder and took him to the Pahrump CSA.
On January 13, Stoffle and Evans visited the Las Vegas Indian
Center to discuss the project with the Pahrump Tribal Chairperson.
While there, they learned that they could be placed on the agenda of
the Moapa Tribal Council that afternoon. Accordingly, they drove to
Moapa, and met with four members of the Moapa Tribal Council and the
tribe's planner at Moapa. They described US Ecology's LLRW disposal
project and answered the questions that were raised.
98
On January 14, Stoffle met with Gloria Hernandez, Las Vegas
OCR, and another Indian person living in Las Vegas.
On January 15, Stoffle, Evans, Hernandez, and a Las Vegas Paiute
elder visited the Pahrump CSA. Only minimal walk -overs were possible
because it had was so cold, but extensive local history was collected
while on -site in the truck. Part of the afternoon was spent at the
home of a Paiute elder in Pahrump, Nevada.
Vane, Young, and Walter began to make contact with tribal
chairmen of the Western (Panamint) Shoshone, the Kawaiisu, the
Cahuilla, the Serrano, and the Chemehuevis from Twentynine Palms
Indian Reservation on January 7. Vane sent each tribal chairman a
copy of the Manuscript Maps on which the Candidate Siting Areas
chosen in December were shown, a copy of the CSRI report on CSRI's
November consultation with that chairman or his or her representative,
and a letter explaining the January phase of the study.
On January 15, Vane and Walter met with the Bishop Tribal Office,
Eric Levy at the Bishop office of the Bureau of Land Management, and
Attorney Larry Stidham of the California Indian Legal Service. Several
members of the Bishop Paiute community (Northern Paiutes) were also
visited. There was a consensus that Pauline Esteves, Silas Ness, and
Melvin Checo were the best Shoshone experts with whom to consult.
On Friday, January 16, Walter and Vane drove to Ridgecrest,
California, stopping en route to visit Raymond Stone, the Owens Valley
Paiute elder who leads sweats, and teaches others to lead sweats, at
various places in central and southern California.
At Fort
Independence Indian Reservation, near the town of Independence,
California, 'they interviewed Tribal Chairman Vernon Miller, and in
Independence they visited the Eastern California Museum, and talked
with Bill Michaels, its director.
On Saturday morning, January 17, Vane and Walter, with Dugan
Hanson, a Panamint Shoshone descendant of George Hanson (of Indian
99
Ranch in Panamint Valley) drove to Panamint Valley. Already waiting
at the junction of Highway 178 and the road north to Panamint Springs,
when Vane, Walter, and Hanson arrived, were Jackson Young, who had
picked up Andrew Greene, representing the Kawaiisu Indian Band;
Ronald Wermuth, Secretary of the Kern Valley Indian Community
(accompanied by his wife, Carol Wermuth) ; Pauline Esteves,
representing the Timbi -sha Western Shoshone Band; and Melvin Checo,
representing the Lone Pine Reservation. Silas Ness, the other Lone
Pine Shoshone who had been scheduled to come, was ill. This group
spent somewhat over an hour at this Candidate Siting Area. They
drove westward into it, and then walked over a portion of the site on
foot.
After lunch, the group drove to Searles Central Candidate Siting
Area. They parked on the Navy Road to the southwest of the area to
examine the area. While the area was being studied, a Navy patrolman
stopped, took names of all members of the group, and asked its
purpose. He explained that although there was no sign to that effect
(the sign had been shot up) , the Navy Road was off limits except to
those who had permission to drive on it, and that although it was his
duty to make a report on the presence of the group, no adverse action
was to be expected.
Young, Greene, and Esteves then visited Searles South Candidate
Siting Area. Other members of the party missed a turn, and failed to
find the area.
On Sunday, January 18, Young and Greene visited Coyote - Alvord,
Soda North, Silver Valley, and Silurian CSAs on the way to Las Vegas.
Richard Milanovich, Agua Caliente Tribal Chairman, and new
member of US Ecology's Advisory Council, met with Bean, Vane, Walter,
Young, Greene, and the Wermuths Sunday evening, and was apprised
of its Monday tour of Beatty.
100
Arrangements had been made for any Shoshone or Kawaiisu who
wished to visit the Beatty Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal facility
to do so on Monday, January 19. Shoshone who wished to come had
been asked to drive there directly. Esteves and Grace Goad from the
Timbi -sha group attended. Greene and the Wermuths came from Las
Vegas, along with Bean, Vane, Walter, and Young.
During the next two days, Vane and Young asked Cahuillas
Katherine
Saubel
and
Tortes
Saturnino
act
to
as
consultants
representing the Takic- speaking peoples of the Coachella Valley on a
trip to visit the remaining CSAs. Tribal chairmen of the San Manuel,
Morongo, Cabazon, Torres- Martinez, Agua Caliente, and Twentynine
Palms
Indian
Reservations
were
not
able
to
suggest
additional
consultants, but wished to be kept informed of further developments.
The Chairman of the Quechan Nation also expressed interest, but was
not able to send anyone on this phase of the study. No one in any of
these groups expressed a desire to visit the Beatty disposal facility.
Pauline Esteves and Grace Goad of the Timbi -sha Shoshone had
expressed a desire to see the rest of the sites, and were invited to do
so.
Vane, Young, Saubel, and Tortes drove to Baker on January 22,
visiting Coyote - Alvord and Soda North CSAs on the way. At Baker
they met Esteves and Goad. This group visited Silver Lake and
Silurian CSAs, and then drove west on Interstate Highway 15 toward
toward Barstow, stopping so that Esteves and Goad could view the Soda
North CSA. They then continued west to a road that led south to
Newberry Springs. From there they took Interstate Highway 40 to just
beyond Ludlow, where they stopped to study Broadwell CSA from a
spot near the freeway. They returned to Ludlow to take the Old
National Highway to Bristol and Fenner Valley South CSAs. After
spending the night in Needles, the members of the party returned
westward on Interstate Highway 40 to visit Fenner Valley North and
Ward Valley CSAs. They then drove south to Vidal Junction, and west
on Highway 62 to visit Danby and Cadiz CSAs. In order to get to the
101
Cadiz CSA, they took a dirt road northward to the eastern edge of the
area. The trip was completed with a visit to Chuckwalla CSA via
Highway 177 and Interstate Highway 10. Within the Chuckwalla site
they drove on the old highway south of Interstate Highway 10 in order
to make stops for closer investigation.
Bean and Vane attended a meeting in San Francisco on Monday,
January 26, with US Ecology, other project coordinators, Paige Talley
of the California Native American Heritage Commission.
a summary of field visit results.
102
Vane presented
CHAPTER VI.
RESULTS OF RESEARCH
RESULTS OF OFF -SITE CONSULTATIONS (PRIMARILY PHASE II)
INTRODUCTION
In this section CSRI reports primarily on the results of consultations with Native Americans in November, in Phase II of this study.
The results of on -site visits are described in Part B of this chapter,
and are arranged alphabetically by Candidate Siting Area.
This chapter places CSRI's results in Phase II of the ethnographic
study in terms of US Ecology's outline of tasks. The various tasks are
underlined in what follows.
Identification of specific locations within the mapped potential
siting areas which have a particular and identifiable value, (e.g., rock
1.
art sites, collection areas, ritual sites, etc.
Described below for each drainage basin.
Identification of any general areas considered to have value for
reasons that may not lend themselves to mapping of site specific
features.
2.
The Mohave Desert
All water sources
Migration routes of animals and birds, especially large migrating
mammals and raptor birds
Stands of plants: Among others, squawberries, pinyon, yucca,
mesquite and screw bean, wild spinach, hoopberries,
greasewood, sage, Indian tea, basketry plants
Habitats of Desert Tortoise, Mountain Sheep, Chuckwallas. Also wild
103
horses, burros, desert foxes, desert squirrels, rabbits.
A recommended framework for identifying impact criteria and
related geographic locations which should be considered highly constrained for site development, and hence might most appropriately be
excluded from further siting consideration.
3.
4.
Related to #3. above, a recommended framework for identifying
criteria and /or locations for which the impacts of disposal site development might be mitigated through approaches found acceptable in the
past or likely to be considered acceptable by tribal groups with an
interest in such areas. It is understood that actual site specific
mitigation measures would be evaluated at a future time. The purpose
of this evaluation is to differentiate mitigable impacts from exclusionary
impacts to the extent practicable at this stage of the project.
Consultations with Native Americans made it clear that the criteria
presented by CSRI in Phase I of this ethnographic study provided an
acceptable framework for identifying impact criteria and related geographic locations that should be considered either highly constrained
for site development, or mitigable through approaches found applicable
in the past or likely to be considered acceptable by tribal groups with
an interest in such areas.
Native American consultants listed some specific locations and some
classes of locations that they thought should not be impacted. They
had copies of "Criteria" and confirmed the principles presented therein.
The distinction between sites that are and are not mitigable must be
made by considering the force of Native American objections to
impacting a site and the practical possibilities involved in mitigation.
Such natural features as hot springs that are held to be sacred
cannot be removed from the landscape, and thus would not appear to be
mitigable. Places of origin, or "homelands," and places used ceremo-
nially may not be mitigable. Migration trails of birds and animals,
especially those with sacred connotations (such as eagles, mountain
104
sheep, desert tortoises, and chuckwallas) may not be mitigable, and will
be difficult to identify. Stands of certain kinds of plants may not be
mitigable.
An assessment of perceived Native American reactions to the
weighting approaches described in the Phase I preliminary impact
assessment criteria, (e.g., regular occupation vs. occasional use,
recency of use, etc.) , and to the criteria as a whole, including
identification of possible areas of controversy. It is understood that
the consultation interviews will lead to refined criteria.
5.
Native American responses essentially confirmed the preliminary
impact assessment criteria (I A, B, C). Respondents did not criticize
the relative importance given various alternative kinds of sites under
"II," but the degrees of concern shown for different kinds of sites
suggests that some changes in order of mention are in order.
CSRI herewith presents criteria developed in Phase I of the ethnographic study, revised to reflect information gathered in consultation:
Criteria
In order to decide the relative impact of alternative site use,
I.
weight should be given to information from the following sources:
A.
Current testimony from the tribal group in whose traditional
territory a site lies. Where a site lies in territory held by
one or more tribal groups, and the information varies, special
weight is given to those who have most recently lived in or
used the area. Regular occupation is given more weight than
occasional use. In cases of disagreement that cannot otherwise
be resolved, it is judged that the most negative evaluation of
impact should be given special consideration.
B.
Information gathered in the course of recent cultural resource
105
management studies with respect to the expected impact of
cultural resources on such facilities as transmission lines,
generating stations, pipe lines, and so on, and based on
consultation with tribal groups whose traditional lands are
affected. The remarks about variations in Paragraph 1 would
hold in this case as well.
C.
H.
Information from ethnographic, linguistic, historic,
archaeological, and other literature -- published and
unpublished. Especially valuable are the records of tribal
groups' oral literature when it is possible to identify places
whose Native American names can be equated with present -day
names on maps. This kind of literature was usually collected
from knowledgeable tribal elders who are now deceased.
The relative impacts of alternative sites use with respect to Native
American values should be evaluated on the basis of whether the
following conditions are present, and the location and density thereof.
A site is judged very sensitive to impact if it is sacred. Among the
kinds of places deemed sacred are:
1.
Sources of residual sacred power, creation sites and
homelands, and other sites named after or closely identified
with powerful sacred persons or happenings. In southern
California, these are usually mountain -tops, but may be caves,
rockshelters, springs (especially hot or mineral) , or rock art
sites.
A site is also judged very sensitive to impact if it has ritual associations.
2.
The following kinds of sites are associated with ritual:
Ritual sites (may often be the same as above) , burial and
cremations sites; places used for prayer and meditation, for
healing (as in sweats) , and for training shamans; places where
106
materials (plants, animals, or minerals) for sacred use are
gathered.
The presence of ritual objects such as quartz crystals,
shamans' bundles, or ground figures indicates that a place is
sacred.
Also very sensitive:
3.
Rock art sites are assumed to have had ritual connotations
when made, and are considered sacred by most Native
Americans. These are particularly vulnerable to impact when
anything makes them more accessible.
4.
Sites from which basketry materials, expecially those that are
rare, can be collected are particularly important because
basketmaking has become an ethnicity marker - -a symbolic
representation of the past for California Native Americans.
Sites sensitive to Native Americans because of association with their
traditional life:
5.
Native American trails, and places where they are known to
have passed in pursuing religious, social, or economic goals,
very often all of these at once.
6.
The sites of villages, with the most recent ones most sacred
and sensitive because they have a direct historical connection
with living people. Modern reservations and other places
where today's Native Americans live are also very sensitive.
7.
Collection areas - -or micro ecosystems:
Stands of plants, such
as pinyon trees, mesquite, palm oases, cacti, and plants
providing food, or other materials important to Native
Americans. Species that are endangered or whose ecosystems
are endangered are of special concern to Native Americans.
107
8.
Sites frequented by desert tortoises, desert bighorn sheep,
etc., important to Native Americans. Species that are
endangered or whose ecosystems are endangered are of special
concern to Native Americans.
9.
Springs and other sources of water. As mentioned above, hot
springs or springs where healing rites are performed are
especially sensitive, having sacred connotations. It is
considered that hot springs, if incorrectly approached, can be
dangerous, but also can be tapped for the acquisition of
sacred power and healing purposes.
10.
Sites named in traditional songs and other literature.
11.
Sites to which people came to trade, visit, recreate, or
process foods.
Significant clues to sensitivity include the presence of bedrock
mortars and slicks, other groundstone artifacts, scatters of stone
flakes, stone circles, stone effigies, pottery. Rockshelters and caves
may have deep deposits of artifactual materials, including burials,
shamans' bundles, quartz crystals, etc. All other things being equal,
areas with a high density of artifactual materials are more sensitive
than those with low density.
Contemporary Native American concerns are apt to be highest in
areas which they presently use, or of which they have a direct historical memory.
108
KAWAIISU
CSRI ethnographers Sylvia Vane and Jackson Young consulted with
a well- informed Kawaiisu in Bakersfield on November 6, 1986. At the
consultant's suggestion, the consultation took place at the offices of the
American Indian Council of Central California (AICCC), some of whose
members are also Kawaiisu. An AICCC member who had been appointed
by the Council to speak for its members was present, and the AICCC
executive director was present part of the time.
The Kawaiisu elder's most pressing concern was for the old Mohave
Trail, which was used by his ancestors, some of whom are probably
buried along it. His ancestors are known to have taken the trail all
the way to the Colorado River -at a time before the advent of vehicles.
Some of his grandmother's relatives still live at Needles. They came
one time to see his grandmother, but his mother and his brother told
him she was gone, that they had waited too long.
The AICCC . director pointed out that archaeological sites and
sacred ruins known to the anthropological community are only about one
third of those that exist, that location of major sites is never revealed
to outsiders because Native Americans don't want them disturbed by
surveys or anything else until absolutely necessary. Only when an
immediate impact to such a site is imminent will its significance be
revealed. There have been example after example of graves being
looted once their locations were revealed.
_
He added that the AICCC, when negotiating with oil companies in
the past, has insisted that they sign an agreement that if at any time
during construction they run across anything indicating an Indian site,
they guarantee that the Council will be contacted immediately so that it
can supply an observer who can recognize the significance of such
discoveries. The AICCC would insist on the same provision were a
basin within the Kawaiisu area of interest be chosen by US Ecology for
storage of low level radioactive waste. He said it would be nice to have
109
an overlay of a state map to see where tribal boundaries lie, because
that would determine which group should be consulted, and asked if the
Native American Heritage Commission had been consulted. He was
assured that it had.
The Kawaiisu elder brought up the subject of Pahrump Valley:
You see, in that valley there, there's water there. That
water goes clear to Bishop, underneath that mountain, I
guess, to Pahrump Valley. You know [how you can tell]?
There's little fish in there. They [have] no eyes. And it's
the same way above Bishop. And it goes right across
underneath there, I guess. There's a big stream of water
that comes out at one ranch in Pahrump Valley there. And
those fish that come out of there - -they [have] no eyes,
either -just like up at Bishop.
The AICCC director added that there have been studies made of
these fish, which are called pup fish. Then he commented that the
existence of the fish was a secret that "we're not supposed to give
out." The Kawaiisu elder said he didn't know whether any Indians still
live in Pahrump Valley, but that there used to be a family named Reed
who lived there.
Asked whether his ancestors got as far east as Pahrump Valley,
the elder said one of his grandfathers was a Shoshone, who came from
grandfather's sister
overheard their uncle and aunt (who had been killing prospectors and
Panamint
Valley.
The
grandfather and his
hiding the money they stole from them in rock crevasses) threaten to
kill them because they knew too much. The boy and girl (his
grandfather and great aunt) packed up and left, coming across the
desert through Red Rock Canyon. The girl died on the way and was
buried somewhere out in that desert, but his grandfather made it to
Sage Canyon, where he was taken in by Indians and raised. Later he
came to Tehachapi and met the Kawaiisu woman who became his wife.
He spoke of the area near Searles Valley now in the Naval Weapons
Center. He said there are rock paintings within the Center that are
now fenced off so that no one can go near them. He pointed out that
110
rock paintings are religious areas. "They just didn't go over there to
be going to these paintings." The consultants emphasized that the low
level radioactive waste facility should not be placed near rock painting
sites.
When the three consultants were asked what other things should
be avoided, the AICCC member said,
There are so many things -- migration paths, migrating
trails for wild life that a lot of them depend on when they
migrate up north, when they travel up that way. Birds migrate, deer. Quite a few. And you don't know where they're
going to be or where they're going to stop off at. To us
humans it wouldn't hurt very much, but four legs - -to have to
walk around an area, they're not going clear around and say,
'this is where I'm supposed to continue on, see? That's where
it's awful hard.
Asked whether animal trails could be determined, he said, "Yes,
but if you are anywhere near them, with all that racket and
everything, they won't use them anymore."
Big horn sheep, desert foxes, desert squirrels- -the larger, migrating animals- -are of special concern. Certain birds are also of concern.
He explained Indian concern for these animals:
Sometimes they migrate for many reasons, and sometimes
somebody with a lot of religion in Indian culture sees
this - -it's either an omen or a sign of some type. You're
getting away from the culture if you just think we're sitting
here just saying [the trails are important] just because they
have to move back and forth. Like, if [a person] Is driving
home from here to Tehachapi, and all of a sudden an eagle
comes out of nowhere, to him it's a religious sign. Do you
see what I'm trying to say? If somebody wanted to build a
factory there, why sure, there's nothing coming back and forth
on the ground- -it's overhead. You see what I'm trying to say?
It's hard to protect everything, but, I mean, to realize the
importance of the matter is the first thing to consider.
The Kawaiisu elder said that a bighorn sheep had been seen at
Tehachapi, and another by those who were surveying for the Pacific
111
Crest Trail, though he had not been seen there since. He had seen
burrowing owls and hawks in the desert. One area is posted for them.
He was not sure whether his ancestors used Searles valley. He
thinks they may have gone there for berries- -very small berries that
used to be gathered in the spring.
Looking at Superior Valley on the contour map, the consultants
asked if there were rock paintings known in that area. They were
shown the petroglyph sites on the topographic map, as well as stone
circle sites. The AICCC director commented that if anybody started
digging there, they might find a "whole nation of dead Indians." The
Kawaiisu elder pointed out that there are lots of petroglyphs on Mule
Flat Mountain west of Superior Valley.
The AICCC director emphasized the fact that in traditional times
there was trade between coastal areas and the inland desert. He said
that east of the Tehatchapis are workshops and turquoise mines, and
evidence of exchange of seashells and salt and other things for the
jewelry and other things the inland Indians had. It was not unusual
for people to travel a long distance.
He pointed out that it's important that whenever any cultural
resource is found, an Indian observer be brought in. The observer
should be paid for both his time and his expenses.
The Kawaiisu elder said there have been Kawaiisu at San Manuel
Indian Reservation, but he doesn't know their names, and is not sure
they are still there. There was a Kawaiisu who made beads in San
Bernardino, and another of the tribe in Pasadena. He doesn't know
their names.
The
criteria that CSRI drafted last spring were read and
evaluated. It was agreed that they covered the concerns of these
consultants.
112
The Kawaiisu elder pointed out that it would be inadvisable to
publish the locations of rock art and other archaeological sites. He also
said that the disposal site should not be placed where mesquite is
growing because it is gathered by the Indians. The AICCC member expressed concern that so much mesquite is being cut for firewood. He
then said:
By the way, before I forget, when they drill down in the
ground where this site is going to be, how often will they
check the water dawn in there? If any radiation is escaping,
I see where they're going to put same wells down or something.
they going to check the water to see if any radiation is
getting away from the storage place? How often will they
check it? Along the surface?
Are
Vane said US Ecology would be asked to answer these questions.
On November 7, 1986, Vane and Young met with a Kawailsu who is
secretary of the Kern Valley Indian Community. This is a group that
is currently seeking Federal Recognition as Indian. This consultant
had told Young on the telephone that a sweat was being held on
and that his group's comments on the Low Level
Radioactive Waste Site Project would be given after that event. He had
agreed to meet with Vane and Young, however, when it was pointed out
November
17 ,
that the maps and other information they were bringing might be of use
in reaching conclusions about the Project.
The consultant was shown the maps.
He said that Panamint Valley
is still used by the Indians, who hold sweats there.
There are still
structures standing there. Asked whether the whole valley should be
avoided, he said that it was especially the perimeter that should be
avoided, that no one goes into the basin.
As to Searles Valley, he said that Indian Joe Canyon and Great
Falls Canyon should be avoided. At Great Falls Canyon there's a
waterfall when it rains. The water falls onto a lower ledge there and it
goes underground. It is sacred, plus it is the watersupply for the city
of Trona.
113
He was asked who occupied Searles
Valley traditionally,
and
replied that the Kawaiisu didn't go up that far (his grandmother, whose
name was Butterbread, was raised at Butterbread Springs. She was
born at Cantrel.
They would go out and get salt at Saltdale) .
He
thinks perhaps the Panamint and Koso occupied Searles. Indians would
go to Searles Valley to get salt. "With the potash plant being there,
the level of the lake since they've been there has really dropped. A
hundred years ago, before they put in this soda /ash processing
facility, the Indians would come all around the perimeter of Searles
Lake and gather salt." He pointed out that the salt was traded to
people at the coast or to the north. Indian groups often fought wars
over salt.
The consultant noted that the desert dry lakes link together
subterraneanly, that they all communicate together.
The consultant spoke briefly of the current sweats being held at
various places in California, including Ahwahnee and Yosemite. He
pointed out that sweats are a world -wide phenomenon. "If you look
around the world -- European people, Mongol people - -I have a friend
who's a Mongol, and he's gone to sweats with me. And it's almost the
same, he says."
The consultant is getting some land from the Bureau of Land
Management to build a sweat house. He will pay about $5.00 a year
rent. It will be a "roundhouse," but will be rectangular in form.
Three or four years ago, his group had a struggle over pinyon.
Commercial harvesters came down and pilfered the Chimney Peak area in
Kern County where his people had been gathering pinyon nuts. His
group got in touch with the Bureau of Land Management district
manager, archaeologist, and public relations person, and "called them
on the carpet." Practically the whole community showed up. The
Southfork school auditorium was filled, and there were people standing.
So since 1982 there haven't been any commercial contracts going out.
114
The consultant believes that there were many more Kawaiisu in
traditional times than the anthropological literature suggests. He points
out that A. L. Kroeber, who was responsible for the estimates, carne to
Kawaiisu country with a Pomo Indian, whose presence caused many of
the Kawaiisu to hide, because the Pomos had a reputation for violence,
whereas the Kawaiisu were not violent.
The consultant despite his disagreement with Kroeber's figures,
does not think the Kawaiisu were a large populace. He points out that
they traded with the Chumash and other neighboring peoples. He
thinks there may now be about 25 left, living at Butterbread, Williams,
and elsewhere.
The consultant did not think his group were interested in Coyote
or Superior drainage basins, which he said would be beyond this
group's area of interest.
The consultant's statement of December 12, given after holding
sweats and consultation with sweat leaders, is as follows:
Basically, what we'd like
to do is keep it out of Saline,
and Searles Valleys, because these are religious
It's pretty difficult to be specific regarding the
areas.
method of disposal. What [are the plans for] bedding or
containment? What type of lining? Because of the ecosystem's
being mostly groundwater, because most of the springs are
religious sites, [these areas should be avoided]. Springs are
fed by subterranean tributaries.
Panamint,
Searles is a traditional salt- gathering area. After
ceremonies such as the one we had, people usually eat salt,
because our meals are salt -free for all the people who follow
our religion.
115
TAKIC- SPEAKING PEOPLES:
THE CAHUILLAS AND SERRANOS
The prospect of having a LLRW disposal site in a drainage basin in
southeastern California raises concerns about water purity, air purity,
highway safety, and generalized rather than specific concerns about
plants, animals, and sacred sites among the Serranos and Cahuillas who
were consulted for this study. At the same time, there is a recognition
that such a site must be placed somewhere.
At one reservation,
consultants said that Native Americans might reach some compromise
with respect to sites of "psychological" importance, as distinct from
"sacred." That is, they might be fenced off, or the artifacts might be
moved. They noted that this kind of problem has arisen on the
reservation as land has been developed. They have sometimes moved
things in order to assure that people still had access to features of
importance and suggested that this might be possible if something of
cultural significance were within the one -mile square area fenced off
around a LLRWD site.
Two reservations had carefully thought through some of the issues
involved in finding a disposal site because they had been approached
by a company that wished to place a toxic waste disposal site on an
Indian Reservation where the rules and regulations might be less strict
than elsewhere. People were opposed to this proposal because they
reasoned that after that the land would be useless. Both reservations
had turned the company down.
A major concern is that water supplies not be polluted by radiation. Those living near the Salton Sea area are especially concerned
that its waters not be affected. Memories of the Salton Sea being
accidentally filled by an engineering mistake early in this century make
them skeptical of assurances that (1) it will be possible to prevent
leakage from the waste site, or that (2) none of the drainage basins
being considered drain into the Salton Sea. They want to know
whether research is being done on water run -off potentials.
116
One person expressed concern about the facility being put near
the Colorado River, "Wouldn't it be dangerous to put it near a river?
Where water flows ?"
Told that water experts were looking into this, this person said,
Yes, but they've said it before, and experts are always
wrong. There is always error, you know. That always
happens . That's why there's so many contaminations . The
kids are dying with all these big barrels coming up out of the
ground. Where are the people that put them there? They're
gone -- goodbye - -we don't see them any more. It's just the
same thing. This is going to happen -- thirty years and that
company is going to be gone. They don't care who's going to
be watching it, and we don't know who's responsible. You
two - -maybe none of us will be alive, and we won't know
anything.
They point out that if any of the southernmost drainage basins are
chosen for a LLRW disposal site, wastes will probably transported to
the site on the Highway 10, which runs through the Coachella Valley,
"the only freeway we've got . " They would therefore prefer that the
site not be in one of these southernmost valleys. One person wanted to
know whether the materials to be stored would be incinerated first.
Consultants wouldn't want to see any archaeological sites or burial
sites in these basins destroyed, but cannot identify such sites. They
are likewise concerned about stands of plants important to them, and
the habitats of animals.
One consultant asked whether the band would be getting future
reports from US Ecology on such things as seismology, etc. He was
told that the reports would probably be available if the band asked for
them.
He asked that the message be conveyed to US Ecology that:
When they send out archaeologists or something like that
to look over the land, they should consult with these people
... because there are medicine areas that we haven't even
talked about tonight, you know -- sacred areas that are in the
valleys and places like that.
117
A Cahuilla elder who was consulted about the study area and its
use by Cahuillas in traditional times noted that the Cahuillas went long
distances into the desert during traditional times. For one thing they
had forty to fifty mile foot races. They also hunted such animals as
Desert Bighorn Sheep in the desert. They traded with people as far
away as Catalina Island on the coast and had relationships equally far
away to the east and northeast. For example, her father's great aunt
was married to a Chemehuevi in the mid - eighteenth century. This
marriage was particularly notable to the family because the Chemehuevi
husband, when the Chemehuevi - Mojave war broke out in the 1860s, sent
his wife back to her Cahuilla family to keep her safe.
The father of her late husband was married to a Chemehuevi
woman before he married the deceased's mother. She mentioned several
other Cahuilla families who intermarried with Chemehuevi.
A Kawaiisu consultant had heard that "people from Agua Caliente,"
i.e., Cahuilla, had ranged as far north as Searles Valley in traditional
times, far beyond Cahuilla boundaries as described in the anthropological literature. The Cahuilla elder confirmed that the Cahuilla may
have travelled this far north for their foot races, hunting, and trading.
118
QUECHAN
The Quechan having indicated that they wished to be consulted
about the LLRWD Project, Vane and Young met with the Personnel
Director for the Quechan Indian Nation.
After the project was described, and the contour maps and Manuscript Maps shown to him, the Director said:
...as far as I can see,
it doesn't look like it would
And then again, I might be mistaken,
because I don't really know everything. Somebody might go
and find something up in this area or something. But, as far
as I can see at this point, it looks fairly well out of our
hands. The intaglios and all those rock paintings and
stuff - -I'm sure that the Tribe as a whole, and maybe the
affect us at
all.
other tribes, would not not want that [impacted] .
Told that an alluvial plain where ground water was at least 300
feet underground was wanted, he commented that the area near the
Quechan reservation would certainly not qualify, that the problems
there is that the groundwater is nowhere more than 12 feet down, and
some places comes right to the surface. Seepage from flood waters and
from the All- American canal are blamed.
He promised to pass the information along to the Tribal Council
and to let CSRI know any concerns that might be expressed.
119
PANAMINT -DEATH VALLEY SHOSHONE
In years past, the Indian people of both Lone Pine and Death
Valley have discussed going to areas such as Hunter Mountain near
Saline Valley to hunt deer or gather pine nuts. This was mentioned
again in talks with the consultants from the Death Valley Timbi -sha
Band and the Lone Pine Reservation.
In talking with the consultants, one point that was stressed is that
Panamint Valley, both the valley floor and the adjoining canyons, is
considered a "homeland" or place of origin. While the valley floor is
not necessarily looked upon as a place for current habitation, the
canyons and spring areas are considered as places of occupation. One
of the consultants owns land in Panamint Valley and said that the land
has been considered as part of his family's land for as long as can be
remembered. The same consultant also feels that the northern portion
of Searles Valley is important because some of his relatives gathered
plants and lived there.
One problem frequently mentioned was the fact that Panamint
Valley is on a flight pattern for military planes from nearby bases and
the noise from these flights has "disturbed" the earth, a problem
because of the spiritual nature of the area. There is a feeling that
"quiet" needs to return to this area as well as Saline Valley. There
was been discussion about Saline Valley in this context for several
years as the six to nine month, or longer, non -Indian camping has
Both Saline and Panamint Valleys are favored by seasonal
campers for the closeness to hot springs, the isolation, the mild climate
in the winter, and minimal interference from outsiders. The Indians
have stopped using the hot springs for traditional healing and cleansing
increased.
as they feel outsiders have polluted the areas. Many of the hot
springs throughout the eastern Sierra are said to be inhabited by
"water babies" and other spirits of ritual significance and these hot
springs fall into that category.
120
Information recorded by the early visitors to this area is vague,
and the anthropological record is spotty, but the Indians who are
descendants of the Shoshone speakers do feel a close tie with Panamint
Valley, and in one case with Searles Valley. The land is looked upon
with reverence and in discussion the emotion that they feel is noticeable.
The
Native
Americans
from
Lone
Pine
Reservation and the
Timbi -sha Band agreed that Panamint Valley should be eliminated from
the areas being considered for LLRW disposal on the grounds that it is
a "homeland." Searles Valley needs more investigation. They were less
definite about Searles Valley.
Northern Paiutes of Bishop, Big Pine, and Fort Independence
reservations consulted informally during Phase III in January, 1987
asked some questions about the possible use of Panamint Valley as a low
level waste site, but felt that the Shoshone representatives who were
most familiar with the area in question would be able to address any
necessary Indian concerns.
There was consensus that Pauline Esteves, Melvin Checo, and Silas
Ness were the best possible people to talk about the areas, as they are
all from that area. Only a few knew Dugan Hanson, who has few ties
with the Paiute community.
Raymond Stone, the leader of the sweat ceremonies in which the
Kawaiisu leader Ronald Wermuth participates as an apprentice, both
before and after the sweat in December and during Walter's and Vane's
visit to him in January, expressed a concern about the treatment of
Mother Earth in general, and by a LLRW disposal site in particular.
He
pointed out that people have been trying to alter the earth for a long
time, and that the Spirits will have their say at some point. He was
also concerned about the possibility of spillage from trucks going to
sites in either Panamint or Searles valleys. If such spillage occurred,
he said, contaminated waste would be blown over the Indian communities
of Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine, Fort Independence, Fish Lake Valley
121
(Nevada), and Benton.
He said he did not need to visit the LLRW dis-
posal facility at Beatty, Nevada, as everything is in the hands of his
[heavenly] Father.
Consultants at Lone Pine said the topic of the LLRW disposal site
had been discussed at length during a Lone Pine Tribal meeting, which
was not a regularly scheduled meeting. Although a number of Shoshone
spoke of coming to see the Panamint site with the C S RI group, only
Melvin Checo came. The chairpersons of the Lone Pine band and of the
Owens Valley Board of Trustees said that Melvin's report (of his
November consultation) and materials from US Ecology had been so
informative that they felt no need for a site visit.
On the visit to Beatty, the Shoshone expressed concern for the
desert animals that may wander onto the current site area.
122
NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS: COLORADO RIVER AND PAHRUMP
The following sections present the general and specific concerns of
the Southern Paiutes (now living in Nevada) , the related Chemehuevi at
the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation and the Colorado River Indian
Reservation, and the Mohave at the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation and
the Colorado River Indian Reservation) . In this report the concerns
have been categorized according to how abstract or specific they area
and whether they are associated with a tribal administrative unit or an
ethnic group.
Concerns:
General and Specific
Concerns are either general statements about a type of cultural
resource or about a cultural resource that is located somewhere specific. The specific concerns can be further divided according to the
degree of specificity of the concerns. This produces the four categories that are used to discuss concerns: (1) general, (2) basin -wide
specific, (3) semi - specific, and (4) site - specific.
General concerns apply to large areas, like the whole Mohave
Desert; types of places, like springs; types of things, like
food plants; and types of human responses, like the response
of future generations to the actions of elders today.
Basin -wide concerns refer to the meaning of the basin as
a place where Indian people lived; for example, certain
Chemehuevi families resided for generations in Ward Valley,
utilizing all of its resources and developing a special
emotional attachment to the area.
Semi- specific concerns focus on cultural resources that
can be found over a wide portion of a basin; for example, food
plants are often spread over a portion of a valley along the
flank of a mountain.
Site- specific concerns refer to physically discrete
places where cultural resources are located; for example a
burial, a unique mineral outcrop, a trail, or a spring that
only exist at one place.
It is generally recognized in the Social Impact Assessment literature that the more specifically a concern is defined, the more likely it
will have an effect on the selection of a project site. So if providing
123
more information is a plus for the resource, it is important to understand what factors can and do influence how abstract or how specific
Indian people express their concerns. In other words, "If Indian
people know about something, why don't they tell all the facts so that
the resource can be protected ?"
One factor that affects the specificity of concerns is the degree to
which the ethnographer can fully communicate about the design and
location of the project. Because the first set of ethnographic inter-
views in this study were conducted on the reservations, using only
maps of the study area for reference, very few site - specific concerns
emerged. One reason was that even with raised topographic maps,
many elders had difficulty translating the knowledge of a specific
location into the abstraction of a map.
A second factor that affected the specificity of concerns was that
some elders did not wish to reveal too much information while the study
areas were so extensive. Their thinking reflects a cultural proscription
against revealing culturally significant knowledge to non - Indian people
unless the perceived benefits clearly outweigh the risk of damage to the
cultural resources.
Other factors include (1) the level of trust existing between the
Indian person and the ethnographer, (2) the degree to which the
Indian person perceives that the information will be used in project
decision making, (3) the degree to which the information will be kept
confidential, and (4) the degree to which he Indian knows the area and
and what kind of knowledge he or she has. This fourth factor
warrants fuller discussion because Indian people are often expected to
be able to list from memory the full set of cultural resources that exist
at some distant study area.
While some specific information about
cultural resources is available through this procedure - -as evidenced by
the detail in the following responses- -past studies indicate that most of
the cultural resources located at a site will only be revealed by an
on -site visit with an Indian person.
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A great quantity of specific knowledge', however, is present among
the elders and many other tribal members involved in this study. The
extent of the specific knowledge is suggested by the detail provided by
the brief on -site visits made with selected elders during the second
ethnographic field session.
part of this
section.
These findings are presented In the second
Even greater variety and depth of specific
knowledge will become available, according to a number of elders, if
these Native American concerns are requested as part of the next phase
of the siting process.
Ethnic and Tribal Group Concerns: Introduction
A second important issue is whether to organize the expressed
concerns by ethnic group or by tribal administrative unit. The two do
not covary. The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) reservation, for
example,
contains members of four Indian ethnic groups:
Mohave,
Chemehuevi Paiute, Navajo, and Hopi. In general, the Mohave area was
initially occupied by Mohave people and then Chemehuevi Paiutes.
Navajo and Hopi peoples were moved onto the CRIT reservation during
Since then, members of the four Indian ethnic groups
have lived together and had a common tribal government. Each ethnic
group continues to maintain ties with members of its ethnic group who
are represented by other tribal governments. This means that ethnic
concerns can involve more than one tribal government as well as be
the mid- 1950s.
considered less than a tribal -wide concern.
The fact that ethnic group membership does not correspond with
tribal membership necessitates a solution to the problem of how best to
organize the expressed concerns. In the coordination of the research
process and for the review of the final results for accuracy, tribal
governments are treated as sovereign administrative units in this study.
Because cultural concerns are primarily the responsibility of an ethnic
group, the following presentation combines concerns regardless of where
the Indian person lives as a tribal member.
The remainder of this section contains the expressed concerns of
the Indian people contacted during this study, listed as being either
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Mohave, Navajo, Chemehuevi, or Southern Paiute, and as being either
general or specific.
In the following portion of this section, concerns have been
presented beginning with the general and ending with the specific.
Mohave Expressed Concerns
General Concerns: Health Risks. Like many people, Mohave
members of the CRIT reservation do not have a full "western science"
understanding of what radiation is and the procedures used to work
with and handle radioactive material. Regardless of how much they
know about radioactivity, all of the Mojaves we contacted are concerned
about the safety of radioactive waste disposal sites. In addition to the
concern about the safety of radioactivity, the Mojaves have concerns
that are more specific to the location of their ancestral and current
tribal lands.
The Desert as a Sacred Place. The Mojaves
have a widespread feeling for the overall sacredness of the Mohave
Desert. This came out very strongly in the conversation with the
General Concerns:
elders, and was present in all of the conversations with Mohave people.
The Mojaves have traditionally claimed the entire desert area from the
Colorado River to the coast of California, and their feelings for this
area are not swayed by the
fact
they typically have lived on a
relatively small strip of land next to the Colorado River. Because they
have long - standing cultural traditions concerning the southern
California desert region, the Mojaves feel they have a valid right to say
what should happen in the Mohave Desert:
Well, us Mojaves, our Indian rights and the
lands that we claim and that we own [are] all along the
river, going through Cibola on the coast - -all along the
river. It's not exactly straight along the river, it's all
the way or across that way, alike that all along to the coast.
It's all Mohave land going through there. But nowadays they
name it all this and that and the government's in there and
Mohave elder:
126
somebody else is in there and where's the Mohave? So,
rightfully, we've got a right to be hard on some of these places
that we still know and can hold." (Interview notes, Nov. 5,
1986)
Along with the feeling of sacredness of the desert lands, the
Mojaves have a strong feeling of stewardship for those same lands,
especially with regard to their own people.
Several elders expressed
the concern that they should preserve and protect the land for the
use, enjoyment and experience of the future generations of the Tribe,
and may, in fact, be required to do so by the traditional cultural
definition of the role of tribal leader.
These two feelings, the overall sacredness of the land, and the
stewardship role requiring the elders to be vigilant as to how it is
used, affect all aspects of conversation with the Mohave elders, and fit
into the category of general tribal concerns.
A second strong general concern of the Mojaves is with water.
Over the last several hundred years the Mojaves have become intimately
familiar with all available water sources in the desert. They know
where both permanent and intermittent (rock tank) sources are, and
the behavior of these sources under a variety of conditions. Many
Indian people pointed out to us that the behavior of water on the
surface often does not have any correlation with the behavior of water
below the surface. Those Mojaves who have experience with surveying
and well- drilling explained that many times they do not have a definite
way to tell if water below the surface is moving in the same direction as
surface water. Everyone has the feeling, however, that no matter
where the water is located, all above ground sources and underground
sources eventually flow into the Colorado River. The Mojaves have a
very strong concern that not only will the low -level radioactive waste
site possibly leak and contaminate water sources around the immediate
vicinity of the site, but that the leaking material may also contaminate
the underground water sources, make its way into the Colorado River,
127
and thereby threaten the agriculture and lives of the Mojaves living at
the CRIT reservation.
General Concerns :
Plants and Animals .
A third general concern
is how the site will affect plants and animals that live in the area.
Many people alive today were born and raised at different locations in
the Mohave Desert and have exact knowledge of the plants and animals
that live there. During the interviews, several questions were raised
as to what could happen to plants growing next to the site, and what
could happen to animals, such as birds and rabbits, that enter the
actual site. Would these animals become contaminated? Would people
who ate those animals become contaminated? In a society where
subsistence activities are culturally important, answers to these types
of questions are perceived as being vital to the decision - making
process.
General concerns about sacred sites were not strongly expressed
during this round of study. This is consistent with the Mohave cultural
system, expressed through the interviews with non - Mojaves, and should
not be construed as a feeling of "no concern" for sacred sites.
Introduction
Despite Mohave unwillingness to divulge culturally sensitive knowledge, some basin -wide and semi - specific concerns did emerge from the
interviews. All of these concerns were connected in some way with
Mohave Specific Concerns:
Ward Valley.
Ward Valley Water.
Every Mohave interviewed feels that the
underground water in Ward Valley eventually makes it way to the
Colorado River. Therefore, the concern about contamination of the
Colorado River, and the resultant damage to agricultural land, drinking
water, etc., is heightened when the area under discussion is located in
Ward Valley because of its proximity to the Colorado River.
Ward Valley Plants and Animals. Likewise, the feelings for the
plants and animals are heightened when applied to Ward Valley. Mohave
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basketry, and
medicine- -from Ward Valley. Hunting activities are also occurring,
centering around rabbits and mountain sheep.
people collect all three categories of plants - -food,
The only semi - specific concerns expressed by the Mohave people
during this phase of the project had to do with plants. There are
medicine plants growing along the eastern edge of Ward Valley, and
squawberries throughout the valley. Other plants are undoubtedly
present in the study areas. Site visits will later be used to elicit their
location and the degree of concern felt for them by the Mojaves.
Summary of Mohave Concerns
In summary, Mohave members of the CRIT reservation stated they
are opposed to the project because they do not really understand what
is occurring with radioactivity, and they believe no one else really
understands the nature of radioactive material either. The Mojaves
believe all of the land in the Mohave Desert was given specifically to
them by the Creator, and therefore, all feel that they were chosen as
stewards over the land and what happens on it, thus having a valid
right to dictate what may occur there. The decision by the Mohave
elders to oppose the development of a radioactive waste disposal site is
a decision not only for the present generations living on the CRIT
reservation, but the future generations as well. The Mojaves have
basin -wide concerns about Ward Valley and do not want anything
developed in the valley that they believe would cause possible damage
to plants, animals and trails that are present there.
Navajo Expressed Concerns
General Concerns: Introduction. Navajos were relocated to the
Colorado River Indian Reservation after World War II. Since that time
they have adjusted to their new neighbors and have adapted many of
their ways of life to reflect the resources available to them in this new
area. According to one tribal elder consulted during the second field
session, "Navajo people who could not adjust went home."
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The three Navajos who were consulted expressed only a few
concerns, but the consultation was sufficient to document widespread
plant use and concern for places where Navajos have lived since being
relocated in this area.
Plant Use. Navajos have a well documented
list of plants that they utilize in a wide variety of religious and secular
General Concerns:
ceremonies .
These plants are tied to all associated with the higher
elevations where Navajos traditionally lived. In order to continue these
ceremonies, the Navajos who relocated to CRIR have (1) brought plants
from the higher elevations and transplanted them near their homes at
CRIR, (2) imported plants from their homelands, and (3) found
replacement plants for the plants that are no longer available. In this
study it has been possible to document these new patterns of Navajo
plant use, and the evidence is strong that the patterns are widespread
among the Navajos who have remained in and adjusted to the CRIR
area.
For this study, the most important of these patterns is the substitution of Mohave Desert plants for those traditionally used in the higher
elevations. One example of this is in weaving. There is a commonly
known chart of plants used in Navajo weaving. One of these charts
was available in the CRIT museum. During the consultation, one of the
elders took out the chart to demonstrate the plants she uses to make
various dyes in her rug weaving. When she started to use the chart
as a visual aid, she noted that all of her primary colors are now drawn
from new plants.
Medicinal plants are also found in this desert area, according to
the elders. The medicine plants are gathered by either men or women.
The plants are only gathered fresh for a specific ceremony. For this
reason and because such a high volume of the plants are used, Navajos
shifted to using locally available plants instead of trying to import
plants from traditional homelands.
130
Navajo Specific Concerns:
Southern Ward Valley and Cadiz Valley.
According to one elder, "I gather plants all the way from Parker on
the Colorado River to Vidal Junction in Vidal Valley and beyond to Rice
in southern Ward Valley." That is as far to the west as she gathers,
but she has other areas to the north and into Arizona that were not
discussed. In one area near Vidal Valley, she gathers as much as a
"gunny sack" full of a yellow flowered plant that is collected whole in
the spring and dried for medicinal use throughout the year. Because
her plant collecting is tied also to her rug weaving, a portion of her
economic income depends upon the plants she uses for dying wool.
Danby Camp:
Indian Homes.
Numerous Native Americans worked
for the railroad and lived for more than a generation in various railroad
section camps. One of these camps was at Danby. Although many of
the homes have been torn down, the area may contain features of
cultural importance to the Navajos. This follows from a commonly
expressed concern for all places where the Navajo people have lived and
left items of cultural significance. Drover (1985) provides a discussion
of sacred features like hogans and sweat houses left in association with
Mohave Desert railroad section camps where Navajos lived.
Chemehuevi Expressed Concerns
General Concerns: Introduction.
Before European encroachment
into the southwest the Chemehuevi were extensive travelers. They
covered vast stretches of territory in their yearly round of movement
from one resource spot to another. In the summer they would live
along the Colorado River, growing crops, collection plants, and hunting
the animals that live there. Later in the year they might travel north
to gather pine nuts, an important food source for all southwest native
people. At other times they might travel west to visit and trade with
relatives and friends.
As a consequence of this traveling, and diverse transhumant land
use strategies, the Chemehuevi became intimately familiar with valleys
and mountain ranges located quite far from the Colorado River. They
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also learned where the water was, and which water sources could be
depended on, such as permanent springs, and those that were more
intermittent, like rock tanks.
The general concern with water is still present today and
is uppermost in the Chemehuevis minds when the topic of development
is discussed. Much like the Mojaves, the Chemehuevis feel that, eventually, all of the water located west of the Colorado River will make its
way east and become part of the Colorado River water supply. Even
Water.
more important than any possible contamination of the Colorado River is
possible contamination of West Well, a functional, as well as sacred,
water source in Chemehuevi Valley. Anything that they believe would
threaten the water sources west of the Colorado River, and thereby
threaten West Well or the river itself, is looked upon with a great deal
of displeasure.
Plants and Animals.
The Chemehuevis interviewed also have
general concerns about the plants and animals found in the Mohave
Desert region, and particularly those those that had special significance
for their ancestors. More important to Chemehuevi people, however,
are those plants and animals still used today. Often these cultural
resources are scattered throughout a valley or mountain range, and
people often have to do extensive searching for them, even if they
know, in general, that a certain plant, or a certain animal is in the
area. Some plants, such as devil's claw, used for making baskets,
have become difficult to find without an intensive search, making known
stands of plant that much more valuable.
Chemehuevi Specific Concerns:
Sacred Trails.
Some of the
strongest basin -side concerns felt by the Chemehuevis are with
traditional trails and the area immediately surrounding them. These
trails are real and exist today. Occasionally the trails will be tied to
specific traditional and ceremonial songs that are sacred, and which
serve to describe the territory encompassed by the song.
Several
Chemehuevi elders described trails and songs that were important for
the cultural meaning attached to them and they expressed strong
132
concerns that these trails, and the territory encompassed by the songs,
be protected. Concerns about the area covered or crossed by a trail
or song are classified as basin -wide concerns, while the trail itself, and
any specific spots along its route are classified as semi - specific
concerns.
One of these songs is known as the Salt Song, described by
Chemehuevis living at CRIR and at Chemehuevi Valley.
The Salt Song
begins and ends northeast ,of the study areas, but part of its route
takes it through several of the valleys being considered for the
radioactive waste disposal facility.
The Salt Song runs south between the southern edge of the New
York Mountains and the northern end of the Providence Mountains.
The song continues south along the eastern edge of the Providence
Mountains and through Clipper Valley. It then turns toward Fenner
passing between the Clipper Mountains and the Marble
Mountains, and crosses Fenner Valley north of Danby. At the eastern
Valley,
side of Fenner Valley the song turns south once again, running along
the western side of the Old Woman Mountains, cutting across a corner
of Ward Valley, and passes along the western edge of the Iron
Mountains in Cadiz Valley. The song continues south, going through
Palen Valley, past the Palen Mountains and into Chuckwalla Valley.
After the song crosses Chuckwalla Valley it leaves the study areas to
return north along the Colorado River to its origin.
The Salt Song is one of the longest song trails of the Chemehuevi.
Because it runs from the area north of Las Vegas to an area south of
Blythe, California, in a general north -south direction, it is located in a
number of the study area valleys. Any proposed site in these valleys
would have to be checked to see if there were any remnants of the Salt
Song trail located nearby.
A second trail for which the Chemehuevi have concerns is not
associated with any particular song. This trail starts at West Well in
the Chemehuevi Valley and heads west to the Mopah Peaks where there
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is a major spring known to both the Chemehuevi and the Mohave. The
trail turns northwest crossing Ward Valley, passing the northern edge
of the Old Woman Mountains and then crosses the Fenner Valley to a
spring on the southern edge of the Clipper Mountains. From this
spring the trail crosses the Clipper Valley to Arrowweed Spring in the
From this point it continues west to Twentynine
Palms and the Pacific coast. It is entirely probable that remnants of
this trail will be found in the Ward Valley and Fenner Valley areas,
especially since there are Chemehuevis living today who have some
knowledge of the trail and its route.
Granite Mountains.
There is a third probable trail that runs from Parker, Arizona,
west across Ward Valley to the Iron Mountains. The trail was described
as being a route between Parker and the Pacific coast; presumably it
continues from the Iron Mountains across Chuckwalla Valley to the west.
It
is known that Mohave trails run in this area as well, and that
frequently, there would be both Chemehuevi trails and Mohave trails
going to the same places because the two Tribes did not use the same
trail.
Ward and Palen Valley Plants and Animals. Basin -wide concerns
were expressed for plants growing in Ward Valley and Palen Valley.
These plants include basketry plants and food plants, some of which
have multiple uses. Concerns were also expressed for animals that live
in or near these two valleys, especially mountain sheep and deer that
may still remain in the mountains. The Chemehuevi people who had
lived in Ward Valley in the past expressed strong basin -wide concerns
about the presence of anything perceived as remotely dangerous or
destructive in Ward Valley.
Mountain Cave. Just as with the Mohave members of the CRIT
reservation, site - specific information was difficult for people to
articulate without actually visiting the areas in question. The only
other semi specific location identified, besides trails, Is a known
archaeology site (a cave) located in the Old Woman Mountains. This site
was identified as a place where Chemehuevis stored food and water for
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their travels to and from the Ward Valley area. It also served as a
camp site for hunters pursuing mountain sheep and deer in the
mountains and the valley.
In summary, the Chemehuevis
have strong concerns about the water in the area, especially any
Summary of Chemehuevi Concerns.
potential contamination of the Colorado River and West Well. The
strongest basin -wide concerns are with the areas encompassed by trails
and songs. The actual stopping points along a trail, almost always
springs, fall under the category of semi - specific concerns until actual
site visits can be made. Concerns about plants and animals in the
study areas have a significance for the Chemehuevis given their history
of being travelers over a large section of the southern California and
southern Nevada region, and their cultural traditions of using resources
found throughout the region.
135
Southern Paiute Expressed Concerns
Southern Paiute General Concerns:
Water.
The Southern Paiutes
consulted for this study (all of whom now live in Nevada - -at either
Pahrump, Las Vegas, or Moapa) have a strong attachment to the land
where their ancestors were created and where they were given a special
responsibility to manage the natural resources - -an area extending
westward into the Mohave Desert. One of the most important attributes
of this land is the water. The Southern Paiutes are concerned with the
water sources in the area, although not in the same way as the
The Paiutes understand the relation between surface water
and underground water and do not want something in the Pahrump
Valley that will contaminate either type of water source. Unlike the
Mohaves, they do not feel that water sources are all interconnected with
other water sources throughout the Mohave Desert, eventually flowing
to the Colorado River. They do feel that water sources located in the
study area are very significant for that particular area because they
are being used by both people and animals, as well as being important
for plants growing near the springs and dry lakes. According to the
tribal elders, anything that threatens the water sources of their
traditional lands threatens the inherent cultural values they hold about
the region.
Mohaves.
Attachment to Place. The Southern Paiutes obviously feel strong
basin -wide concerns for the Pahrump Valley. Many people alive today
lived in the valley outlined by the study area, used its resources in
the past, and are familiar with those items that are still present. Also,
many of the Southern Paiutes who live in or near Pahrump, Nevada,
can actually see this part of the study area from their homes. Because
of their individual and cultural feeling for sites to the Pahrump Valley
study area, and their physical proximity, the Southern Paiutes do not
want anything they consider dangerous or destructive to be placed
there.
Plants and Animals.
Along with a concern with water, these Southern Paiutes have concerns about the plants and animals of the desert.
They have a special attraction to plants, not usually shared by non136
Indians.
A strong cultural belief arising from this affinity is that you
must talk to a plant before collecting parts of it for use, explaining
why you need it and reassuring the plant that the collecting is not an
arbitrary or destructive act. Although this feeling for plants is not
easy for Paiutes to articulate verbally, they have it nonetheless, those
Paiutes consulted during this study said the destruction of plants by
various development (and other) activities causes them to suffer general
distress.
The strongest basin -wide concerns felt by the Southern Paiutes
deal with those plants and animals that live within the study area boundaries.
Many Paiutes still gather traditional food, medicine, and
basketry plants from the Pahrump Valley area and consider them
important for their everyday life. The opportunity to hunt is equally
important. These Paiutes traditionally traveled throughout the southern
Nevada area, frequently making trips into southern California, Arizona,
and Utah. They kept track of the plants and animals in the areas they
visited, and returned each year to harvest pine nuts, grasses, berries,
and roots, as well as to hunt both large and small game in the
mountains and valleys. Their concern that nothing adverse happen to
the plants and animals in the Pahrump Valley arises from this cultural
heritage.
In addition to these basin -wide concerns about
plants, animals, and water are concerns expressed about the transportation corridor that would be used for moving the radioactive waste to
the disposal site. Because of the frequent flash floods that occur both
within the Pahrump Valley study area and in the region surrounding it,
the Southern Paiutes wanted to know what roads would be used to move
the waste to the disposal facility. All of the roads in the area were
Transportation.
identified is being subject to flash floods during most of the year,
including Highway 160 between Pahrump and Las Vegas, Highway 16
(which connects Highway 160 with Tecopa) , and the road from Baker to
Shoshone, California, which was identified as being flooded almost every
year.
137
Introduction. Because the
Pahrump Valley was an important area traditionally, and is still
accessible today, many Southern Paiutes expressed semi - specific
concerns for items located within the study area boundaries.
Southern Paiutes Specific Concerns:
Many Southern Paiutes collect plants from the study area for use
Of these, wild spinach (Indian spinach),
in day -to -day life.
squawberries, mesquite, greasewood, sage, and Indian tea are the most
common. Indian spinach, in particular, is important, and Pahrump
people said that it grows all over the Pahrump Valley study area,
especially along both sides of the road to Tecopa, California. Some
Paiutes collect enough spinach to freeze In order to have "greens"
thoughout the year. Mesquite (screwbean) is common wherever there is
water, and greasewood, hoopberries, sage and Indian tea are found
throughout the valley.
Willows were identified as being important for both basket making
and as a medicinal plant. The number of willows located In the study
area has dropped off considerably because of increased home building
and settlement, but they may still be found near water sources.
Several different species of animals were identified by
the Southern Paiutes as living within the boundaries of the study area.
These are desert tortoise, rabbits, mountain sheep, chuckwallas, wild
horses, burros, desert foxes, and possibly badgers. In addition, there
are some cattle, owner unknown, living in the dry lake portion of the
study area.
Animals.
The most important of these animals is the desert tortoise, identified as living throughout the Pahrump Valley study area, especially in
sandy areas where they lay their eggs . The desert tortoise is sacred
to the Paiutes and is well known throughout the southern Nevada and
southern California area. Paiutes from Arizona and southern Utah also
consider the desert tortoise sacred, even though it is usually too cold
for the tortoise to live at these higher elevations and consequently is
not found in their territory.
138
Traditionally, the desert tortoise was occasionally consumed for
ceremonial purposes in line with the Paiute belief that if a person ate
desert tortoise he or she would not die of thirst, they would "live like
a turtle." Desert tortoise is no longer eaten, even ceremonially, but
the sacredness of the tortoise and the intense feelings felt by Paiutes
for the tortoise remain undiminished.
being important for medicinal
purposes, both traditionally and during the present day. Chuckwallas
are primarily found in rocky areas near the edges of the study area.
Chuckwallas were identified as
Many Southern Paiutes hunt rabbits within the study
area, and mountain sheep in the mountains surrounding the Pahrump
Valley. Other animals were not identified as being important for
hunting, although it is known that burros are occasionally taken by
Hunting.
Euro- Americans as well as Native Americans as a food resource.
Site specific concerns are always difficult to elicit
without actually visiting the area with knowledgeable people. Despite
this, some people did express site - specific concerns, all having to do
with burials located in or near the study are. At least two Indian
burials were identified as being within the study area near the road to
Tecopa, California, and a cemetery was identified near Hidden Hills,
Nevada, about five miles from the study area. Both spots were
identified by the Southern Paiutes as being completely off - limits to
Sacred Sites .
development of any kind.
Another site - specific concern expressed by
the Southern Paiutes was that there are people living within the study
Proximity to Homes.
area at the present time, including a member of the Southern Paiute
Tribe who has lived in the Pahrump Valley study area for most of his
life, along with family members. In addition, concern was expressed
for the welfare of a group of Euro- Americans (10 or 15 families) who
have built homes near the dry lake in the Pahrump Valley study area.
139
Summary of Southern Paiute Concerns. In summary, the Southern
Paiutes feel they already have too many radioactive facilities near them
(Beatty, Nevada -70 miles away; and the Nuclear Test Site -30 miles
away) and they do not want another, especially one so close that they
can see the proposed area from their homes. They are still actively
using the area for plant gathering and hunting, and there are even
Paiutes living in the Pahrump Valley study area at the present time.
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SUMMARY OF TRIBAL CONCERNS: COLORADO RIVER GROUPS
Native Americans in the southwest have a special relationship with
the land they live in, brought about by extensive cultural traditions
and hundreds of years of intensive use. Because of their history, and
because many of the people we contacted in the course of this Phase 2
study live in the area and actively use the water, plant, animal and
mineral resources found there, the Mojaves, Navajos, Chemehuevis and
Paiutes consulted had strong concerns regarding the placement of a
low -level radioactive waste disposal facility in the Mohave Desert.
These concerns covered the entire range of possible concerns
anyone might have, with specific emphasis on water sources, plants,
animals, people living in the area, and transportation routes.
Concerns about water were particularly intense with regard to the
Colorado River, West Well in Chemehuevi Valley, and springs located in
the Old Woman Mountains, Turtle Mountains, and Nopah Range.
Concerns about plants centered on those plants still being used
today for making baskets, food plants and medicine plants. The
quantity and quality of specific types of plants vary, making it possible
that a specific type of plant would be more important in one valley than
the same plant would be in another valley. This is true for yucca
plants and food plants, although basketry and medicine plants are
considered important no matter where they grow or in what numbers
they may be found.
The animals about which concerns were expressed include rabbits,
mountain sheep, chuckwallas and desert tortoise. The desert tortoise is
sacred to the Native American groups living in or near the Mohave
Desert. Mountain sheep are very important culturally, although they
are no longer a primary food source. Rabbits, however, are a food
source , especially for the Southern Paiutes who hunt in the Pahrump
Valley. Chuckwallas are important in the Pahrump Valley area as a
source of traditional medicine.
141
All of the Native American groups contacted expressed concerns
about the safety of the disposal facility and the possible effects of
impacts on future generations. In the case of Pahrump Valley, there
are Southern Paiutes and Anglos living in the study area; their safety
and well -being were a concern to the Southern Paiutes.
These
concerns for the safety of the disposal facility caused all of the groups
we contacted to say they did not want the proposed site anywhere near
the area in which they currently lived or in any of the areas they used
for various activities. This is a common reaction to radioactive waste
projects.
A significant concern expressed by the Southern Paiutes was the
transportation route proposed for any site located in the Pahrump
Valley. They pointed out that all of the roads in the Pahrump Valley
area, including the roads through the study area, are subject to flash
flooding. The Southern Paiutes are concerned that if a road is closed
due to flooding, the only possible choices for routes to the proposed
disposal site will be through Las Vegas or their own community of
Pahrump. Any transportation route that passes through the community
of Pahrump would meet with strong opposition from the Southern
Paiutes.
142
RESULTS OF TRIPS TO CANDIDATE SITING AREAS
(Alphabetical Arrangement)
The following evaluations derive from visits to Candidate Siting
Areas in January, 1987.
BRISTOL
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Six Mohave
Cahuilla consultants thought this Candidate Siting Area too beautiful and too near the Cahuilla territory for LLRW disposal. It was
noted that the railroad would provide convenient transportation for
radioactive wastes. Shoshone consultants made no recorded comments.
Both Cahuilla and Shoshone consultants viewed the basin from a parking
place along Highway 66.
The Mohave consultants, who drove through the central and northeastern parts of basin, but only to the eastern edge along old Highway
66, considered a strip running northwest to southeast in the central
part of the basin to have high sensitivity because of a major wash
system, an archaeological site area, and large gathering plants. An
area to the east of the area of high sensitivity was considered to be of
moderate sensitivity because of quartz crystals and chalcedony with
religious significance found on the surface there. The area southwest
of the high sensitivity area, and running along old Highway 66, was
not visited by the Mohave.
Discussion of Mohave Concerns
The high sensitivity area is defined by a large dry wash that must
carry great volumes of water from time to time. Near the surface,
groundwater provides an econiche for numerous larger than usual
143
Indian food plants, such as mesquite. At places along this wash, it
has cut deeply into the volcanic covered gravel soils around it, leaving
twenty feet high banks. On one of these banks, one of the Mohaves
found a flint blade and numerous chipping materials. The artifacts
were photographed and left in place. The consultants expressed
concern for the protection of the artifacts.
The Bristol basin is relatively arid compared to other basins being
considered in this study. The surface of the area of moderate sensitivity and apparently the southwestern portion of this CSA is covered
with a great variety of volcanic materials. These areas are not particularly good for plants today. At spots, usually where Desert
Pavement predominates, quartz crystals and chalcedony appear
frequently on the surface. These minerals are perceived by Native
Americans as having religious importance.
BROADWELL
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Having been informed by a local gas station owner in Ludlow that
the dirt roads in this area were soft (following a recent rain) , the
consultant party drove eastward from Ludlow on I-40, crossed over to
the west -bound lanes, and stopped at the southern edge of the
Broadwell CSA.
Because of its location and the nature of its plant cover, consultants voiced fewer objections to this Candidate Siting Area than to the
sites to the north (Coyote- Alvord, Soda North, Silurian, and Silver
Lake). One Cahuilla consultant said, "This is the best [site for the
LLRWD] of the ones we've seen (Coyote - Alvord, Soda North, Silurian,
Silver,. and Broadwell had been seen).
144
CADIZ
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Shoshone
Two Mohaves
The Cahuilla and Shoshone, who were taken to the western edge of
this Candidate Siting Area via a road leading north from Highway 62,
considered this Candidate Siting Area the best site for LLRW disposal
they had visited for the location of a LLRWD Candidate Siting Area,
because of its isolation and the low level of its plant cover.
The Mohaves rated the part of it they visited, i.e., the central
part near the road, as having a low level of sensitivity because of few
plants, and historic occupation. Consultants noted evidence of the
area's military use during World War II. The Mohave elder who visited
the Candidate Siting Area pointed out that the Candidate Siting Area
would have been occupied primarily by Chemehuevi and that a
Chemehuevi consultant would have a better understanding of the
Candidate Siting Area.
CHUCKWALLA
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Shoshone
The Cahuilla and Shoshone consultants observed this basin from
the old road to the south of Freeway 10. Stops were made at places
some distance from the eastern and western ends of the road so that
consultants could examine the flora.
Consultants agreed that the part of the Candidate Siting Area
crossed
by
the prehistoric
trail between the
145
Blythe
Candidate
Siting Area and the West Coast should be avoided.
They consider both
the physical imprint of the trail itself and the geographical features
that function as trail markers preserved in trail songs to be of religious
importance.
Cahuilla and Shoshone thought the western part of this drainage
basin, where the plants grow luxuriously and would support a rich
fauna, should not be used for the LLRWD Candidate Siting Area, and
that springs should be avoided. The eastern end, where plants grow
less luxuriantly, would be acceptable to them.
COYOTE- ALVORD
Consultants:
One Kawaiisu
Two Cahuilla
The Cahuilla consultants noted that the Serrano and Vanyume
territories came together in this Candidate Siting Area.
Cahuilla consultants noted the presence of creosote bushes and
sage and said they were important as sources of medicine. They
pointed out that there would- have been a considerable population of
small animals- -brush rabbits, lizards, and desert squirrels- -that would
have been useful for food. Consultants felt this was consistent with
the presence of a number of archaeological sites in this basin, and that
the presence of these sites made the basin less acceptable as a location
for a LLRWD site.
The Kawaiisu consultant saw no reason not to put the LLRWD site
in this basin.
Cahuilla consultants, for the reasons given above, did not think
this a good place for the LLRWD site.
146
DANBY
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Two Mohave
The
Cahuilla
and
Shoshone
consultants,
who
observed this
Candidate Siting Area from stopping places near Highway 62, at its
southern end, considered this basin acceptable as a location for a
LLRWD site from the point of view of their own people. They observed
that the railroad could provide transport for the LLRW.
The Mohave elder, who visited the southern part of the Candidate
Siting Area, considered the northern part that he visited had moderate
sensitivity because of plant resources and a historic occupation site.
The Mohave elder identified three plants used for food or
One of these was "Indian wheat," which he described as
good feed for cattle as well as a human food source. He said the
Mohaves traditionally gathered desert tortoises, and an insect, similar
medicine.
These insects and desert
tortoises are especially prominent after a rain. More plants would be
identifiable in the spring, especially after rains.
to a caterpillar, from the Ward -Danby valley.
FENNER NORTH
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Three Chemehuevi, two Mohave
Consultants agreed that the part of this valley north of I -40 near
Goff's Butte is very sensitive. The Cahuilla and Shoshone, knowing
147
little of its specific history, were struck by its beauty and thought it
should be left as it was. They noted the presence of a number of
useful plants, such as the Spanish Bayonet, whose fruit is baked and
eaten, and whose fiber is used for the manufacture of various things.
In traditional times it was the Chemehuevi and Southern Paiutes
that occupied the Candidate Siting Area. Mohave consultants pointed
out that the Candidate Siting Area near Goff's Butte is especially
sensitive because of the presence of a historic religious trail just north
of the area. A male Mohave elder said that there is a religious song
associated with the trail, and that Goff's Butte is mentioned in this
song.
Time permitted the Mohave and Chemehuevi to have only a drive
through the part of this basin north of the freeway, not long enough to
identify plants, animals or other cultural resources.
Cahuilla and Shoshone thought the area south of the highway
would be a good place for the LLRWVD site as long as the mountains are
avoided. One reason is that the area is already impacted. The Mohave
and Chemehuevi did not visit this part of the basin.
Discussion of Concerns
Historically the Goffs area was consistently occupied by Indian
people.
They
worked
as
cowboys
and
lived
in
and
around
Euro- American ranches in the area. There are Southern Paiutes (now
living in Nevada) who were born and raised in this area. Time did not
permit bringing these people to the Candidate Siting Area to identify
cultural resources in the area.
148
FENNER SOUTH
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Three Chemehuevi, two Mohave
Cahuilla and Shoshone consultants thought this entire basin acceptable for the LLRWD site.
Mohaves and Chemehuevi considered the eastern strip of the area
to be very sensitive because it contains abundant plant cover, and was
used extensively for temporary camps. This was one of the richest
food plant zones observed by the Chemehuevis and Mohaves on their
field trips. One Mohave elder found two turtle shells, both of adult
size in the eastern strip.
Mohaves and Chemehuevis found a flint flake chipping area while
in the area, and know it as a habitat of the desert tortoise.
They
believe it probably contains important trails and burials- -one of the
Mohave elders told of a trail along the base of the mountain. Time did
not permit locating it. Plants they observed in this zone included
barrel cactus and mesquite.
A central zone, lying southwest to northeast, was considered to
have low sensitivity.
An area near Danby is considered to have potentially high sensitivity because the section camp at Danby had a historic Indian community, made up of Mohaves and Navajos working for the railroad.
It may contain the sites of their Navajo sweat houses.
149
PAHRUMP
Consultants:
Five Southern Paiutes (1 resident)
This Candidate Siting Area is of moderate to high sensitivity.
Southern Paiute consultants said that a central part of the
Pahrump Candidate Siting Area, running from northwest to southeast,
is highly sensitive because of its abundant plants, the presence of
desert tortoises, a historic wagon trail, and its use for wood gathering.
This zone is relatively low in elevation and is a drainage area for
the wash systems in the area. It is a place where Southern Paiutes
currently gather plants. Many plants in this zone are used, including
mesquite, Indian spinach, Indian tea, greasewood, squawberries, and
an unnamed plant identified by several Paiute elders from Nevada as
"turtle food." The zone also contains desert tortoise, jackrabbits,
coyotes, and, during certain times of the year, cattle. What appears to
be a historic wagon trail runs lengthwise through the middle of this
zone.
The remaining portion of this CSA, situated west of the area of
high sensitivity, was pronounced moderately sensitive. Consultant's
said that it was a hunting area, a traditional camping area, and
contains plants of use to Paiutes.
The sloping terrain on either side of the main wash running northwest- southeast, according to Paiute consultants, was used traditionally
as camping areas by Southern Paiutes, and are currently used for hunting. They indicated that some food and medicinal plants in these two
zones, largely Indian tea, Indian spinach, squawberries, and
greasewood, are used.
150
Discussion of Concerns
The Pahrump Valley contains a large wash system leading
to a dry lake. Although the Pahrump CSA is located in the headwaters
Water.
of this wash, all of the elders contacted during the November and
January field work periods were very concerned about potential water
contamination. This concern was further reinforced by the conditions
in the valley during the site visits. The ground was noticeably wet,
with large areas of mud, and all of the ground was wet enough that
people left one -half inch to inch deep footprints while walking in the
area. One Paiute elder who lives within two miles of the CSA said that
the water table under his house was struck at a depth of 90 feet when
his domestic water well was dug.
Concerns about ground water contamination were expressed by
Paiutes who currently live 20 miles away from the CSA in the town of
Pahrump. They perceive that any leakage from the waste site would
flow underground and contaminate their domestic water wells.
Wind.
Winds blow strongly at all times of the year up and down
the Pahrump valley, according to local Indian people. These winds pick
up dust from open areas, like agricultural fields and dirt air strips and
bring the dust to peoples' homes. Indian people expressed a fear that
dust from the radioactive waste landfill would be brought to their homes
and harm the plants and animals of the area.
Desert Tortoise. Desert Tortoises stay in their burrows during
the winter, so none were seen during the on -site visits. Nevertheless,
the Pahrump Valley is recognized by the Southern Paiutes contacted in
the November and January field work periods as prime tortoise
territory. Plants were identified during an on -site visit by a Pahrump
elder as being good "turtle food," The desert tortoise is a sacred
animal to all Southern Paiutes.
Parallel to these data from the Nevada Paiutes contacted during the
course of this study is the information provided by a Moapa Paiute
elder who lives in Charleston Heights - -a community of about 60 people
151
He said that
a moratorium had been placed on building new housing and roads in
located approximately 2 to 4 miles from the Pahrump CSA.
Charleston Heights because of environmental concerns for the desert
tortoise and its habitat. He though the State of California had placed
the construction moratorium on the Charleston Heights development.
Sacred Sites. Pahrump Valley is sacred to Southern Paiute people
because it is the center of their holy lands and a place where they
have lived for hundreds of years. The north side of the Pahrump
Valley is formed by the Spring Mountains, which are dominated by
Charleston Peak Nuvagantu. This mountain is identified in Southern
Paiute religion as the place where all Southern Paiutes were created by
the supernatural (Stoffle and Dobyns 1983). It is the location where
the supernatural gave them their holy lands and made them responsible
for of its natural resources. Nuvagantu is symbolically the most
important location in Southern Paiute territory.
Southern Paiutes have lived in the Pahrump Valley for hundreds of
years. Like other traditional living areas in Arizona, Utah, Nevada,
and California, those Southern Paiutes who made the Pahrump Valley
their home managed food resources in a transhumant adaptive strategy
(Stoffle and Evans 1976; Evans 1985). In Pahrump Valley, this
adaptive strategy involved not only gathering plants and hunting, but
also growing crops such as maize, squashes, pumpkins, sunflowers, and
native grapes (Stoffle and Dobyns 1983:49 -73) at desert oases
Horticultural systems, involving periodic
surrounding springs.
maintenance and long -term residence, were used extensively throughout
Southern Paiute lands until Euro- American settlers usurped the fields
(Stoffle and Evans 1976) .
From the ethnographic literature and from the oral traditions of
Indian people interviewed during this project, we know that Southern
Paiutes have for the last one hundred years continously occupied
Pahrump Valley, including Stump Springs and Hidden Hills in Nevada
(Stoffle and Dobyns 1983; Stoffle F.N.; Evans F. N.) . All available
ethnographic and ethnohistorical information concerning Pahrump Valley
152
indicates that the area was used for permanent year -round residence by
Southern Paiute people.
Whenever a valley was used as a permanent residence by a group
of people there is a potential for finding burials and Pahrump Valley
should be considered in this regard. Most Southern Paiutes probably
resided at Pahrump Springs, where the present town of Pahrump is located. Smaller, but nonetheless permanent settlements were located at
Hidden Hills and Stump Springs. All of these areas as well as the CSA
should be regarded as potential areas for burials.
For example, a Las Vegas Paiute elder who made an on -site visit in
January said her mother was buried near the CSA area In an
unspecified place. During the first field work period in November,
burials were identified along Highway 16, and at Hidden Hills.
153
PANAMINT
Consultants:
Two Kawaiisu
Two Panamint Shoshone
One Timbi -sha Shoshone
Consultants walked over the southeast corner of the proposed
Candidate Siting Area area.
Although this part of Panamint Valley is not used for sweats,
there being no water source in it, this group did not want the Low
Level Radioactive Waste Deposit (LLRWD) site located here, saying that
it is the homeland of their ancestors and is too close to where they
presently live. They also emphasized that it is not a wasteland.
Creosote was the principal plant in the Candidate Siting Area for
which concern was expressed. Consultants pointed out that various
parts of the plant were used by their peoples as medicine- -its leaves,
for example, made a tea used to treat rheumatism, cancer, and other
They also pointed out that an insect deposit on creosote
plants was used for glue; that twigs of appropriate size were heated
with iron oxide, and then sharpened into awls used in basketry and
arrow points for hunting small animals; and that dead branches were
used as fuel to make a hot fire that burns blue. They said some of
these uses continue, and that the bush also provides homes for rabbits
diseases.
and other small animals . The Timbi -sha Shoshone consultant who had
recently demonstrated against the Mercury Test Site in Nevada pointed
out that before the demonstrators went, they blessed creosote.
Consultants said that although creosote is found abundantly in some
parts of the desert, it needs to be protected because it's range is
limited to places that have the appropriate amount of water. They
noted that it has roots that spread laterally, making maximum use of
available water, and determining the maximum density of the plant.
154
A small plant, later identified as Corinzanthe sp., was also noted.
Consultants remembered being told as children to chew it to induce
vomiting.
Consultants found tracks indicating the use of the Candidate Siting
Area for rabbit migration, and of the presence of kangaroo rats. They
also pointed out fairly large holes on the desert floor, which they said
were like those used by badgers and bobcats. The Kawaiisu consultant
said Bighorn sheep come down to the foothills to lamb. He also feared
putting the LLRW disposal site here would contaminate water used at
Indian Ranch and at Trona.
Consultants found two jasper flake tools, interpreted as confirming
the traditional use of the Candidate Siting Area.
Consultants also pointed out that Panamint would present transportation problems.
The Timbi -sha consultant said that her group, being federally
recognized, but landless, is planning to sue the federal government for
land in an area encompassing Panamint Valley. The Western Shoshone
have not signed a treaty giving up their land. She will provide CSRI
with maps and documents.
At the edge of Panamint Valley is the land owned by Dugan
Hanson, who gave graphic descriptions of land use patterns while he
was growing up. It became evident that the Shoshone Indians have
been using large areas of the valley through time.
SEARLES CENTRAL
Consultants:
Two Kawaiisu
Two Panamint Shoshone
One Timbi -sha Shoshone
155
The two Panamint Shoshone consultants noted, upon arrival at this
Candidate Siting Area, that this was an appropriate site for the LLRWD
site. After a Kawaiisu consultant pointed out that it was near a place
protected for desert tortoise breeding, and hence a locale where desert
tortoises are to be found, the two Panamint Shoshone remembered
seeing tortoises in the vicinity. Tortoises have a symbolic importance
to both Shoshone and Kawaiisu: Consultant Wermuth discussed the
importance of tortoises in ritual, and drew designs in the sand which
were said to represent the back of the tortoise. These designs are
significant in the arrangement of the sweathouse. They are similar to
rock art designs found in the Coso Range on the Naval Weapons
Center. All consultants agreed tortoise ranges should be protected. It
was agreed, however, that if the LLRWD site were located here, the
danger to tortoises was a problem that, in consultation with Native
Americans, could be mitigated.
The Kawaiisu consultant pointed out that there were earthquake
faults at both Searles sites.
The Timbi -sha Shoshone consultant pointed out that this Candidate
Siting Area was within the area being claimed by the Western Shoshone.
Consultants noted that this Candidate Siting Area, being near a
railroad, does not have the transportation problems that Panamint does.
SEARLES SOUTH
Consultants:
One Kawaiisu
One Timbi -sha Shoshone
Consultants agreed that this Candidate Siting Area has far too
much plant and animal life to be an acceptable location for a LLRWD
site. Among flora they noted were large greasewood bushes, some
cholla, and scattered Joshua trees, including small seedlings. Faunal
156
findings
included
many
rabbit
droppings
and
coyote
tracks.
Consultants felt it would not be a good place for the LLRWD site
because of its abundant flora and fauna, and its location not far from
the desert tortoise breeding ground.
The Kawaiisu consultant noted that Joshua tree roots are used for
basketmaking, and that pitch from creosote bushes at certain times of
the year is used on awls to protect the fingers.
SILURIAN
Consultants:
One Kawaiisu
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
The Kawaiisu consultant who saw this site thought this probably
an acceptable location for the LLRWD site because of its isolation, the
potential for transportation access, and its distance from culturally
important sites. He thought that because of the thin cover of vegetation, there would be few animals here.
They thought the solitude of
the Candidate Siting Area was a rare condition and that it would be a
shame to intrude on it with an LLRWD site. They also thought it too
close to Highway 127, to Tecopa and other parts of the Shoshone homeland. They reasoned that strong winds could bring radioactive dust up
the valley to where they live. One of them asked, "What if there's an
accident ?" The Cahuilla agreed that the Candidate Siting Area is too
close to the Shoshone.
The Shoshone consultants disagreed.
157
'SILVER
Consultants:
One Kawaiisu
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Consultants considered this Candidate Siting Area too close to
Silver Dry Lake. They pointed out that there are stories in their oral
literature about dry lakes, and about mirages on dry lake. The
Timbi -sha consultants remembered seeing Silver Lake filled with water.
They were afraid the LLRWD site, if placed here, might contaminate
Baker's water supply.
SODA NORTH
Consultants:
One Kawaiisu
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
The Kawaiisu consultant commented that this Candidate Siting Area
was too close to the freeway for a LLRWD site. After being shown the
extent of the
Candidate Siting Area,
he added that the extreme
northernmost portion might be acceptable.
Cahuilla consultants were concerned that this basin might drain
into the Mohave sink, and that it is so close to the freeway. They
opposed its use because it contained more plants and animals than other
sites they had thus far seen (Silver and Silurian) , but suggested that
the extreme northern part of the basin might be acceptable if there are
no archaeological sites there.
158
WARD VALLEY
Consultants:
Two Cahuilla
Two Timbi -sha Shoshone
Chemehuevis
Chemehuevi and Mohave elders discussing this drainage basin
pointed out that the upper portion of the valley was jointly utilized by
Chemehuevi Paiute and Mohave peoples. They said the Mohave people
would have had their permanent residence on the Colorado River, but
would have come into the valley to gather plants, hunt, and acquire
stone for artifacts. According to a male Mohave elder, the "old people"
told of a band of "desert Mohave" who resided primarily in this valley.
The Candidate Siting Area is relatively well watered. This is
reflected in the many Indian plants observed during the on -site visit.
The Chemehuevi elders that visited the site identified almost a dozen
plants and said that more would be identifiable in the spring. Plants
and animals were concentrated in the higher portions of the valley and
at the bottom of the valley in the washes .
Chemehuevi elders who visited this basin considered most of it to
have moderate sensitivity as an area for gathering plant products , and
for trail crossings . They considered a small area in the southeast
corner to have high sensitivity because of plants , camping sites , a
chipping source, and potential trails. This area contains numerous
plants , including barrel cactus , used for food and other purposes , and
medicinal plants used for anemia and treating snakebite. The presence
of so many useful plants suggested to the consultants that the area
would have been frequently used for camping.
The chipping source noted in this zone is a rocky ridge containing
a large deposit of quartz commonly used for stone tool making. The
ridge also contains a number of low rock walls that could either have
been Indian hunting - observation blinds or more modern features created
159
To the north of the ridge
is a large cairn, similar in style to those often used by Indian peoples
to mark trails. The male Chemehuevi elder who observed it served for
30 years in the military forces of the U.S., and has used many military
records to gain a better understanding of local history. He said that
Patton's forces and the Indian people often utilized the same locations
by General Patton's forces in World War II.
for similar purposes.
The elders pointed out that the presence of the quartz deposit in
the ridge suggested that there may be trails near. The ridge is near
the place where trails pass from the Colorado River to Twentynine
Palms and Death Valley.
The Chemehuevi elders considered that the westernmost part of the
Candidate Siting Area also had high sensitivity, because of the number
and variety of plants it supports, and the probable camping areas, and
trails it contains.
No visits were made to the northernmost part of this drainage
basin by the Chemehuevi consultants.
Cahuilla and Shoshone consultants, who visited the northern part
of this drainage basin from stops made along Freeway 40, were struck
by the luxuriant plant growth, including a number of plants known to
be useful. The track of an unidentified large bird was found.
Concern was expressed that the southern part of Ward Valley might
drain into the Colorado River.
160
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APPENDIX
Tribal Addresses
Coachella Valley Bands (Primarily Takic - speaking):
Palm Springs Band of Cahuilla Indians
Agua Caliente Reservation
Attention: Richard Milanovich, Chairman
960 E. Tahquitz Way, #106
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(619) 325 -5673 or 7685
Telephone:
Cabezon Band of Mission Indians of California
Attention: Art Welmas
84 -245 Indio Springs Dr.
Indio, CA 92201
(619) 342 -2593
Telephone:
Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Robert Martin
Attention:
11581 Potrero Road
Banning, CA 92220
(714) 849 -4697
Telephone:
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Attention: Henry Duro
5771 North Victoria Ave.
Highland, CA 92346
(714) 862 -2439
Telephone:
(714) 862 -8509 (Residence of Ch.)
Telephone:
Torres - Martines Baad of Mission Indians
Attention: Harvey J. Duro
66 -725 Martinez Rd.
Thermal, CA 92274
(619) 397 -4484 (Tribal office)
Telephone:
(714) 849 -0346 (Residence of Ch.)
Don McKay
Attorney, Twenty -nine Palma Band of Mission Indians
82634 Hwy. 111
Indio, CA 92201
(619)342 -2100
Telephone:
APPENDIX
Kawaiisu:
Andrew Green
Kawaiisu Indian Band
713 Brentwood Drive
Tehatchapi, CA 93561
805- 822 -3166 (Residence)
Ronald Wermuth
Secretary, Kern Valley Indian Community
P.O. Box 168
Kernville, CA 93238
(619) 376 -4240 (Home)
Telephone: Telephone:
Charles Hernandez, Acting Chairman
American Indian Council of Central California
2441 J Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
(805) 327 -2207; (805) 831 -4858 (Residence)
Telephone:
Panamint Shoshone:
Big Pine Band of Owens Valley Paiute - Shoshone Indians
Big Pine Reservation
Velma Jones, Chairperson
Attention:
P.O. Box 384
Big Pine, CA 93513
Paiute - Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community
Bishop Reservation
Joann Poncho, Chairman
Attention:
P.O. Box 548
Bishop, CA 93514
Timbi -Sha Western Shoshone Band
Attention: Dollie Jones, Acting Chairperson
P. 0. Box 335
Death Valley, CA 92328
Fort Independence Reservation
Attention: Vernon Miller, Chairman
P.O. Box 67
Independence, CA 93526
Paiute - Shoshone Indians of the Lone Pine Community
Attention: Neddeen Naylor, Chairperson
Star Route 1, 1101 S. Main St.
Lone Pine, CA 93545
Telephone:
(619) 876 -5414
Owens Valley Board of Trustees
Attention: Irene Button, Chairperson
1134 Zucco Rd.
Lone Pine, CA 93545
APPENDIX
Southern Paiutes:
Las Vegas Colony Council
Attention: Lawana Ramos, Chairperson
#1 Paiute Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 386 -3926
Telephone:
Moapa Paiute Tribal Council
Attention: Eugene Tom, Chairman
P.O. Box 56
Moapa, NV 89025
(702) 865 -2787
Telephone:
Pahrump Indian Band
Attention: Richard Arnold
P.O. Box 73
Pahrump, NV 89041
Telephone: 702- 385 -0211
Chemehuevi:
Chemehuevi Tribal Council
Attention: Richard Alvarez, Chairperson
P.O. Box 1976
Chemehuevi Valley, CA 92363
(619) 058 -4531
Telephone:
Mojave and Other:
Colorado River Indian Tribes
Attention: Anthony Drennan, Chairman
Rt. 1, Box 23 -B
Parker, AZ 85344
(602) 669 -6121
Telephone:
Fort Mojave Tribal Council
Attention: Nora Garcia, Tribal Chairperson
500 Merriman Avenue, Needles, CA 92363
(619) 326 -4591
Telephone:
Quechan:
Quechan Indian Nation
Chairperson: Lorraine White
P.O. Box 1352
Yuma, AZ 85364
Telephone:
(619) 572 -0213
3
APPENDIX
Barstow Urban:
Barstow Indian Center, Inc.
[An urban Indian group, not native to CA]
Attention: Robert Flores, Chairperson
705 B. Virginia Way, Suite "F"
Barstow, CA 92311
Telephone:
(619) 256 -5621
4
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