The Heart Is Fire: The World Of The Cahuilla Indians Of Southern California
Publish Date: 1996-10-01
Author: Deborah Dozier
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Located near present day Riverside and San Bernadino in a rapidly developing region of Southern California, the world of the Cahuilla Indians has experienced change: age-old traditions, religious beliefs, and the skills and habits of everyday life are all shifting to meet the demands of the modern world.
In this beautifully produced and evocative book, five Cahuilla elders Katherine Saubel, Alvino Siva, Dolores Alvarez, Anthony Andreas, and JoMay Modestocome together to converse. They tell their own stories, share memories of the old days, and express their thoughts about the future of their much beloved Cahuilla culture. _The Heart is Fire_ records their conversations, giving us a glimpse into the varied and complex world of the Cahuilla: the importance of identity and family life; the connections to the land and respect for the food that comes from it; the development and practice of art forms such as basketry, pottery, and rock art; what it is like to sing the bird songs, great epic accounts of the divinities at the formation of the world. We also hear truthful accounts of how people live today. With voices full of passion, knowledge, sadness, and laughter, the elders open up a beautiful world for the rest of us to admire and wonder at.
Richly illustrated with 78 photographs, this book is a commentary by Cahuilla people on their own culture and tradition; a chance for the reader to hear a story of modern Indian life in the words of those who know it best.