Desert Peoples / Native Peoples



Francisco Patencio

Cahuilla: húyal
Mojave: ipa
Chemehuevi: ‘huu, pagampühuu

Native American communities in the Mojave and Sonoran and Colorado Deserts have used bows and arrows for millennia. Skilled craftsmen designed weapons with pieces that could be replaced for continued use. The Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Mojave, and Serrano traditionally used the naturally straight shafts from arrowweed. The arrow maker fashioned tips by carving the wood and attaching flaked stone projectile points, or as Mr. Patencio did, creating replaceable fore-shafts that could be inserted into the hollow cane arrow. Knowledge of how to craft essential hunting objects such as arrows was passed down from one generation to the next.

Arrowweed cane, Western Red Tail Hawk feathers, sinew. L 93, Dia 1 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 6902, 11076, 11077