Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert Native American Culture
Historic Desert Indian Territories Map

Mojave Desert Indians


Eastern Mojave/Colorado River: Their life centered around the river. They relied on annual overflow to irrigate their crops of ...


Eastern & Southern Mojave: The Chemehuevi territory lay off the lower Colorado River north and west toward Death Valley and ...


Southern Mojave & Northern Colorado: The Cahuillas hunted with throwing sticks, clubs, nets, traps, dead falls with seed triggers, ...


Southern & Western Mojave: Each clan was composed of lineage sub-units, each of which had its own territorial base ...


    Western & Southern Mojave: The Vanyume were the desert Serrano. They ranged along the ...


Western Mojave and San Gariel Mountains: The Tatavium lived in the vicinity of Vasquez Rocks ...


Western Mojave: The Kitanemuk were dependant on acorns from the abundant oak in the western ...


Northern Mojave: Being hunter-gatherers, the Kawaiisu roamed their territory in search of ...


Northern Mojave: The degree to which the Tubatulabal language diverges from ...

Western Mono

Northern Mojave: Like other remotely located tribes in California, their population has ...


Northern Mojave: The Koso lived in the area east of the crest of the Sierra, south of ...

Southern Paiute

Historically, the largest population concentrations of Paiutes were along the ...

    Owens Valley Paiute

    Owens Valley: Within these tribal territories were a number of villages. In winter the people ...


North Mojave: Western Shoshoni occupied what is today northern and western Nevada. ...

    Timbisha Shoshone

    Death Valley: Mesquite trees were always a focal point of Timbisha culture. Tribal members would ...


They are subdivided into tribes, each numbering two to three hundred persons, and ...



A scout for the U.S. Railroad Survey in 1853 reported that “A mountain range extends from San Bernardino Mountain in a southeasterly direction nearly, if not quite, to the Colorado. Between these mountains and the mountains of the Mohave nothing is known of the country. I have never heard of a white man who had penetrated it. I am inclined to the belief that it is barren, mountainous desert composed of a system of basins and mountain ranges. It would be an exceedingly difficult country to explore on account of the absence of water and there is no rainy season of any consequence.”

"Lo! The poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind/Sees God in the clouds, or hears him in the wind...". -- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man.

Mojave Desert Archaeology

click the map to go to the interactive map


Prehistoric Cultures of Death Valley

During the Pleistocene Era, a period that witnessed a cool, moist climate south of the continental ice sheets, these ...

Historic Arizona

The Paleo-Indian Clovis people, the earliest known settlers of Arizona, arrived in the State at least 12,000 years ago near the end of ...

Indians of the Eastern Mojave

In general, these tribal peoples occupied the lands as small, mobile social units of related families who traveled in regular patterns and established summer or winter camps in customary places ...

Paleo-Indians, Pinto Culture

As the Pleistocene Epoch drew to a close ten thousand years ago, and the rivers of glacial ice melted, people lived in an environment dramatically different from ...

E.F. Curtis photo - Indian potter, 1921

Historic Desert Indians

Desert Indians

Several tribal groups have lived in the Mojave Desert within the past 2,000 years. The northern and eastern portions, for example, were occupied by the ...

Tribes of the 35th Parallel

Let us accompany Messrs. Whipple and Ives, for the sake of some new and curious acquaintance-for which we shall be ...

Paiute & Shoshone Cultures of Death Valley

For millennia, American Indian peoples lived within the area, using the resources and lands to sustain their lives and cultures. These lands have ...

Native American History in the Mojave Preserve

About 11,000 years ago, the region's ecological zones were one thousand feet lower in elevation than today due to the cooler and wetter weather ...

How Indians Used Plants

In the desert, Indians found native plants and other natural objects that not only ensured their survival but also ...


It has always amazed me…the first person that walked into the forest, and come out with a basket.

Indian use of Pinyon-juniper Woodlands

(Role of Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands in Aboriginal Societies of the Desert West) Archaeological data and ethnographic accounts testify of the importance of resources available in the ...

Historical Sketch of the California Indians

This sketch covers five major time periods in California history. They are the following natural divisions: the time prior to European contact, the period ...


Ethnohistory is a field of study that blends archaeology, ethnology, and history, using ...

Desert Indian Languages

The languages of the Indians in the Mojave Desert are rooted in two basic groups, that of ...

Indian Slave Trade

The Indian slave trade in the desert was brutal and often deadly.

Petroglyph Site Photos
Pictures of petroglyphs at sites throughout the Mojave Desert

The rock art of the Mojave Desert Native Americans

Coyote Tails
Tales of Brother Coyote
??? Clever Trickster - Bungler ???
ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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