Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians


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Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians of the Los Coyotes Reservation is a federally recognized tribe of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians, who are Mission Indians located in California.

Official Tribal Name: Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians of the Los Coyotes Reservation

Address: P.O. Box 189, Warner Springs, CA 92086
Phone:  (760) 782-0711
Fax:  (760) 782-2701

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Iviatim is their name in their language for themselves,  and the name of their language is Ivia. Cahuilla is a name applied to the group by outsiders after mission secularization in the Ranchos of California.

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Cahuilla Indians – The word Cahuilla is probably from the Ivia word kawi’a, meaning “master.”

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Misspellings:

Formerly known as the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla & Cupeno Indians of the Los Coyotes Reservation
Los Coyotes Band of Mission Indians
Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians

Name in other languages:

Region: California

State(s) Today: California

Traditional Territory:

The Cahuilla are considered indigenous to the area known today as Riverside and San Diego counties in Southern California. The archaeological history of the Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians traces back at least 125 generations (2,500 years) in Southern California. The delineation of the Cahuilla was a result of the Spanish missionization of the California indigenous tribes which separated them from the so called Cupeño. The Cahuilla villages historically ranged over the entire San Bernardino basin, the San Jacinto Mountains, and the Coachella Valley.

While the Cupeños lived along what came to be known as Warner’s Hot Springs, the Cahuillas resided in the hills to the immediate east. The latter location represents the present site of the Los Coyotes Reservation.

Confederacy: Cahuilla


Reservation: Los Coyotes Reservation

Los Coyotes Reservation was founded in 1889 by Executive Order, and is located in San Diego County, California between Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Cleveland National Forest. The reservation includes San Diego County’s highest lookout point, Hot Springs Mountain. At approximately 6,535 feet, Hot Springs Mountain peak is about 11 feet taller than its more famous neighbor, the Cuyamaca Peak.

On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean (about 50 miles west) from the spectacular Hot Springs Mountain peak viewpoint. The Salton Sea (30 miles east) can also be seen from the Los Coyotes reservation when atmospheric conditions are right.

Unfortunately, the remoteness and difficult accessibility of this environmentally sensitive reservation has made development of modern enterprises difficult. There is virtually no development on this reservation. Electricity wasn’t connected to the Los Coyotes reservation until 1998, and today electricity is still only wired to the edge of the large reservation.

Land Area: With about 25,000 acres, the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation is the largest native american Indian reservation in San Diego County. It is some of the most beautiful, unspoiled, remote and inaccessible high mountain wilderness areas in Southern California.
Tribal Headquarters: Warner Springs, California
Time Zone: Pacific

First European Contact:

Population at Contact:

Prior to European contact, when they occupied the better part of Riverside County and the northern portion of San Diego County, the collective Cahuilla bands numbered from 6,000 to 10,000 people. Some people estimate the population as high as 15,000 Cahuilla people, collectiively. There were once 22 bands of Cahuilla.

Registered Population Today:

The total Cahuilla population is about 2500. Of those 328 (as of 2011) are members of the Los Coyotes Band, with 82 of those living on the reservation.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


The Los Coyotes Reservation is governed by a general council, consisting of all members at least 21 years old; the tribe is organized by customs and traditions.

Charter: The tribal government is not organized under the Indian Reorganization Ace of 1934. The tribe is a PL-638 tribe.
Name of Governing Body: Tribal Council
Number of Council members: Tribal officers include a spokesperson and five committee members.
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers:


Tribal officers are elected for one-year terms.

Language Classification: Hokan => Takic

Members of the Los Coyotes Band of Indians are descendants of the Cahuilla and Cupeño tribes. Ancestors of these groups originally occupied two village sites in the vicinity of the area’s hot springs.

Language Dialects:

The Cahuilla and Cupeño languages are closely related and are both part of the Takic language family.

Number of fluent Speakers:

Cupeño and Cahuilla are both endangered languages. Alvino Siva, an enrolled tribal member and one of the last fluent Cahuilla language speakers, died on June 26, 2009. He preserved the tribe’s traditional bird songs, sung in the Cahuilla language, by teaching them to younger generations of Cahuilla people.



Bands, Gens, and Clans

The Cahuilla can be generally divided into three groups based on the geographical region in which they lived: Desert Cahuilla, Mountain Cahuilla and Western (San Gorgonio Pass) Cahuilla. All three spoke the Cahuilla language, had similar lifestyles and practiced the same traditions. The Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians are Desert Cahuilla, and are one of a total of nine Cahuilla Indian nations living on ten indian reservations.

The Cahuilla People were divided into two moieties: Wildcat and Coyote.

Related Tribes:

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians, Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians, Santa Rosa Band of Mission Indians and Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians. There are also some Los Coyotes in the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians.

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:


Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Los Coyotes Campground & Los Coyotes Horse Camp

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:

Cahuilla Indian artists are famous for their singing and beautiful basket weaving.






Economy Today:

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs


Famous Cahuilla Chiefs & Leaders

Famous Cupeno Chiefs and Leaders 

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

In the News:

Further Reading: