In early 2013, while out hiking in the El Paso Mountains outside of Ridgecrest, I found a small Native American camp. I have never gotten around to posting it, because I forgot about it; and recently rediscovered the photographs on my hard drive. Unfortunately that also means that I don’t remember the location of the camp, but I assume that it was in the north-west portion of the range.
Based on the territory of the camp, it was most likely inhabited by the Desert Kawaiisu; previously known as just the Kawaiisu. Recent research has introduced the idea that there was Kawaiisu that inhabited the desert year round, and the Kawaiisu of the Tehachapi Mountains only occasionally ventured into the desert landscape. While the two shared a culture, they didn’t so much share in territory.
What little I do remember with the help of the rediscovered photographs, is that the camp site was very small; it likely supported only a handful of people. This would suggest that the camp was not used full-time, but rather used when hunting or traveling in the area, away from the main village site. There are no petroglyphs present; yet there are several metates, a mortar, stone circles (used in the construction of wickiups), and several boulders with scratches.