About Us

History of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

Original Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Interior Exhibit Circa 2007

Opening of the "Song of the Basket" exhibition at the former Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum was founded in 1991 and was initially located at 219 South Palm Canyon Drive in the Village Green Heritage Center in downtown Palm Springs, California. Originally, ACCM was governed by a board of directors comprised of ACBCI Tribal members. In late 2017, the Museum became a department of the ACBCI Tribal Government and is now governed by the ACBCI Tribal Council.

Master planning for the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza that encompasses the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and the Spa at Séc-he began in 2015. In 2017, JCJ Architecture was recruited to design both buildings and the surrounding outdoor spaces. The inspiration for the Museum’s curved shape comes from traditional Cahuilla basketmaking. The footprint of the building represents a basket start, the first few coils of a new basket. Construction of the Cultural Plaza commenced in 2018 and was completed in 2023.

Master planning for the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza that encompasses the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and the Spa at Séc-he began in 2015. In 2017, JCJ Architecture was recruited to design both buildings and the surrounding outdoor spaces. The inspiration for the Museum’s curved shape comes from traditional Cahuilla basketmaking. The footprint of the building represents a basket start, the first few coils of a new basket. Construction of the Cultural Plaza commenced in 2018 and was completed in 2023.

About the Tribe

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a federally recognized Native American Tribe with 31,500 acres of Reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. The Tribe currently owns and operates the Indian Canyons Golf Resort; the Agua Caliente casinos in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City; the Indian Canyons, including Tahquitz Canyon and Tahquitz Visitor Center; the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum; and the Spa at Séc-he. For more information about the Tribe, visit https://www.aguacaliente.org.

Collections

A Cahuilla basket featuring a rattlesnake design.

A Cahuilla basket featuring a rattlesnake design.

Gourd rattle with wooden handle, found in Palm Canyon.

Gourd rattle with wooden handle, found in Palm Canyon.

Traditional Cahuilla sandals, made of yucca fiber with leather ties.

Traditional Cahuilla sandals, made of yucca fiber with leather ties.

A traditional Cahuilla pottery vessel, called an olla, featuring a black triangular design.

A traditional Cahuilla pottery vessel, called an olla, featuring a black triangular design.


The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (ACCM) Collections are mostly comprised of objects that represent the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (ACBCI) and, more broadly, Cahuilla culture and history. Collection items are divided into three major areas: Objects and Artifacts, Archives, and the Library.

Our Objects and Artifacts Collection contains a wide range of formats, including baskets, pottery, textiles, beaded items, fine art, archaeological materials, and memorabilia. Our extensive collection of Southern California Indian baskets contains examples attributed to Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Serrano, Luiseño, Cupeño, and Kumeyaay makers. Pottery items in the collection consist of both historic and contemporary vessels from Southern California and the Southwest.

The Archives Collection contains primary and secondary source items, including printed materials, rare books, newsletters, photographs, government documents, newspapers, postcards, oral histories, and audiovisual materials.

Our Library Collection largely consists of reference books and reports that discuss American Indian and international Indigenous cultures. The Library also contains many standard titles on Cahuilla culture and history.

Please contact the ACCM Collections staff at collections@accmuseum.org for more information about accessing or donating to our collections.

Press

Contact:
Kate Anderson
Director of Public Relations
760-574-9018
kanderson@aguacaliente-nsn.gov

Contact Us

Phone Number

(760) 778-1079

Email

info@accmuseum.org
(General email inquiries. Please allow 48 hours for a response.)

Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 10am to 5pm

Departments

Visitor Services

tickets@accmuseum.org

Museum Store

store@accmuseum.org

Annual Passes

tickets@accmuseum.org

Programs and Events

programs@accmuseum.org

Schools and Group Visits

education@accmuseum.org

Venue Rentals

rentals@accmuseum.org

All Other Inquiries

info@accmuseum.org

Employment

Join our dynamic team in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

Facilities Coordinator - F/T

View Position

Venue Rental

ACCM venue rentals will start in 2024. If you have an interest in hosting an event at the museum please send an email to rentals@accmuseum.org.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay in touch

Join our email list and be the first to know about special events and more!

Thank You for Subscribing!

We appreciate your interest in our newsletter.

You will receive updates and exciting news in your inbox soon.

Copyright | ACBCI Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians | Privacy Policy