Cahuilla creation story

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The Cahuilla Creation Story

The world began, we are told through our songs, with the creation of twin brothers, Mukat and Temayawet. In the creation, Mukat and Temayuwat were born from the union of twin balls of lightning, which were the manifestations of Amnaa (Power) and Tukmiut (Night).

Through the power of the Creator, the brothers made tobacco, the sacred pipe, the six directions, and the earth. From the earth’s colored clay they fashioned people – white, black, yellow, and red – and the animals, the rocks, and all aspects of the deserts and mountains.

Mukat and Temayawet argued over whose creations were best. When the people they had created began to leave, Mukat grasped the red people and kept them with him. They became the Cahuilla people. This is the story of the creation of our people and the land we have walked since the beginning of time.

Temayuwat was bested and fled with his ill-formed creations below the earth. Mukat taught his people the art of fighting with a bow and arrow, which incurred their displeasure. On account of this, they consorted with the Frog to bewitch him. Upon his death, he taught the people mourning ceremonies and a proper form of funerary ritual.

Today, the Cahuilla people span nine reservations across southern California, linked by a shared language and the hot mineral springs considered sacred by our ancestors, yet distinguished by tribal identities forged by geography, culture, and law. Our identity is rooted in Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz, and Chino Canyons.