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Chemehuevi Indians

Traditional Territory

In the Claims Case, in which, it should be noted, anthropologists such as A. L. Kroeber and Ralph Beals served as expert witnesses on their behalf, the Chemehuevi claimed the following as theirs before the arrival of the Spanish:

Beginning at a point in southern Nevada six miles west of a place on the Colorado River where said river encloses a small island in the latitude of Mount Davis (this starting point being east northeast from Searchlight and slightly east of south from Nelson); thence southerly to the summit of the mountain called Avi-Kwame by the Mohave and Yuman tribes, and Agai by the Chemehuevi Indians; thence southerly along the crest of the Dead Mountain-Manchester Mountain range in California, generally paralleling the Colorado River; thence southerly along the ridge of the Sacramento Mountains to the middle of Township 23E, 7N; thence southeast to the middle of Township 24E, 6N, along a line dividing the Chemehuevi Mountains; thence east across the Colorado River at a place known as Blankenship Bend; thence north of east in the State of Arizona to the Mohave Mountains; thence south southeast over a peak known as Akoka-Numi, for approximately 12 miles; then west southwest across the Colorado River to the southwestern corner of Township 26E, 4N, in the State of California; thence southwest along a line paralleling the Colorado River to the summit of the Whipple Mountains; thence southwest to the summit of the West Riverside Mountains; thence southerly to the beginning of a gap in the Big Maria Mountains separating the main eastern mass of these mountains from a spur projecting westward toward the Little Maria Mountains; thence northwest to the crest of the Iron Mountains; thence northwest on a line between the Bristol Mountains and the Cady Mountains; thence north, northeast, east, and again north, on a curving line passing north of the Bristol Mountains and first south and then east of Soda Lake to a point about the middle of Devil's Playground at the western edge of township 10W, 13N; thence east northeasterly through Townships 10 to 14E, 13N, to Cima; thence northeast to a place on the California-Nevada State Line about three miles east of Nipton; thence easterly to the point and place of beginning (U.S. Court of Claims 1950-1960: Docket No. 351).

The Chemehuevi have for a long time lived in close conjunction with the Mohave, usually, but not always, on friendly terms. They ranged from the river to the San Bernardino Mountains, which were, according to Laird (1976:7) a "familiar hunting ground, well-sprinkled with Chemehuevi place names."

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