“Not For Innocent Ears” is a humanistic portrait of the spiritual beliefs, healing strategies, oral traditions, customs and teachings of Desert Cahuilla people, the aboriginal hunters-gatherers-and-gardeners of Coachella Valley. Although these native Californians maintained their aboriginal lifestyle until the nineteenth century, very little is known about them. “Not For Innocent Ears” represents three years of research utilizing modern ethnographic techniques: personal interviews with Southern California Indians, library research, tape recordings, photographs and archaeological verification of data.
Reliance on the memory-culture of living Indian people is about the only means we have now to reconstruct the past and get at the “heart” of human history… the non-material aspects of culture regarding values, ways of using the mind, spiritual beliefs, feelings and attitudes. The cultural anthropologist/ethnographer digs for ideas and values, rather than bones and artifacts. Both are essential for a holistic anthropology of prehistory and native culture.
This service is a collection of selected excerpts from “Not For Innocent Ears: Spiritual Traditions of a Desert Cahuilla Medicine Woman” about Cahuilla spirituality.