Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Kawaiisu Healing Cave


During a field trip to the Nettle Spring area in 1994, Andy Greene, a Kawaiisu elder, pointed out a small cave to one of us (MQS) that was located on the side of a hill southeast of Nettle Spring. He said that this cave was where the Kawaiisu people living at the Nettle Spring village site would go when they were ill. There was, however, more to this cave than just a place to go when one was sick. Andy said that the large, bushy plant growing just below the cave had medicinal healing powers; when someone from the village became sick, they would go to the cave, take a piece of the plant, grind it up m the mortars (or cupules) at the site, and use the mixture for healing. Andy noted that the village at Nettle Spring could be seen from the operung of the cave, so that an afflicted individual would not be cut off entirely from the everyday happenings of the village. The following is a brief report on this small cave and on the medicinal plant that Andy identified there. The site is now within Tomo Kahni State Historic Park, and is known as the "Wizard Cave" or supply the "Healing Cave."

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View