This community-spirited museum preserves the history of Palm Springs’ native people, the Cahuilla, while celebrating their contemporary arts and society.
There’s no better place in Palm Springs to learn about its Native American past and present than at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Since 1991, it’s been a center of learning and culture, sharing its extensive collections and educational programs with both locals and visitors from all over the globe.
The museum’s centerpiece is the Tahquitz Canyon Archaeological Collection, containing more than 50,000 artifacts discovered during one of California’s biggest excavation projects. Admire the elegant simplicity of the cooking pots, pendants, bone tools and pipes. These items and more tell the historic story of tribal life in the sun-drenched Coachella Valley.
Explore the collection of over 400 baskets, woven by the Cahuilla people and their neighboring tribes. These baskets are held in high regard by craftspeople and designers due to the intricate weaving and patterns. Temporary exhibitions showcase the Cahuilla tribe and cultures of Native American Nations from all over the country.
Collections are added to continuously, and not just limited to archeological finds. The contemporary works of art and craft are plentiful. It’s often possible to talk with present day Cahuilla people working as artists in residence, an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.
The museum is a lively place that values discussion and interactivity. Join one of many lectures, canyon hikes, and hands-on workshops. There is also an annual film festival which presents the latest and best of Native American and World Indigenous cinema. Visit the museum website to view the calendar.
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is situated in downtown Palm Springs on Palm Canyon Drive, close to cafés and restaurants. Check the museum’s website for seasonal hours of operation.