SRScorp EXCEPTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH MATERIALS
SALTON SEA ETHNOGRAPHY AND FIG TREE JOHN
In addition to several cultural resource surveys in Needles and Blythe of the Colorado Desert,
framework for ethnographic and extensive work at both Banning and Jacumba at the ‘gateways’ to the desert, SRScorp conducted the Ocotillo Wells SVR Ethnographic Study for California Dept. of Parks and Recreation covering a 4,000+ acre area adjacent to Anza Borrego State Park. Sister corporation, SRSinc, had established a conceptual
research in the early 1990s to use as a basis for collecting all existent ethnographic information for seven tribal groups in Southern California [Fernandeño, Gabrielino, Serrano, Juaneño, Luiseño, Diegueño (including Kamia) and Cupeño] and previously unknown materials on the Cahuilla. In order to accomplish this daunting task, SRSinc formed The Ethnographic Consortium
that included SRScorp Ethnographic Director, Dr. Wiley and Juaneno Ethnographer Joyce Perry, as well as two additional Native American ethnographers and six Native advisors. The Ethnographic Consortium
spent nearly 15 years compiling archaeological, ethnographic, ethnological, and historic data. The data gathering began with university and college library research across the country for books and articles related to all Southern California tribal groups. Among many categories of research items, these archives also include Mission Census Records for California and Arizona, as well as Spanish Archives and translations which were useful in the Ocotillo Wells study. Data from these extensive archives was used to prepare the Salton Sea Ethnography with special emphasis on colorful local Native Cahuilla, Fig Tree John
. The document arranges gathered material in categories in order to address the following organizing principles:
- Conceptualizing territory,
Defining sacred sites within those territories [e.g. shrines, pilgrimage locales],
Documenting movement in space [e.g. to the shrines and pilgrimage locales; to hunting and gathering spots; relocation based on marriage patterns, etc.],
Examining the relationship between the spatial natural elements and the people,
Defining special people [e.g. star persona exemplified in old stories], and
Using those definitions to re-examine the initial concept of territory.
This conceptual framework is being used on SRScorp Ethnographic projects throughout Southern California.