Friday, April 26, 2013

Agave Roast at Morongo: Desert Delacacies

We had the honor of attending this year's traditional pit roast of wild harvested agave at the Malki Museum on the reservation of the Morongo band of the Cahuilla tribe. The desert landscape was so beautiful and spring was evident in the fruiting of many desert species. Nicholas Santos and I set up early and helped excavate the pit to get at the sweet gems below. Once uncovered, David the archaeologist who leads the gathering and pit roasting of agave and yucca hear each year, began removing the traditional food from the earth oven one by one.

The feast was truly delicious, with traditional foods such as cactus, rabbit stew, acorn and salt bush also being served. Nicholas and I were delighted to try the acorn, which contrary to what we've been told was absolutely fantastic! 

We led flintknapping demonstrations and offered hands-on opportunities with stone tool production throughout the day while listening to traditional singing.

All in all the event had a great turnout. It was a true honor for us to be there and share in this feast and gathering. We thank our very generous Morongo hosts and the Malki Museum for their support and their dedication in keeping the old ways alive! _words by Kevin Smith, images by Richard G., Bill K. and Kevin S.

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