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California's Cahuilla natives try to keep traditions alive

In the middle of the dusty California desert, a group of Cahuilla Native Americans gather, as they have for generations, for the annual agave festivalIn the middle of the dusty California desert, a group of Cahuilla Native Americans gather, as they have for generations, for the annual agave festival. “Be careful, they’re fibrous!” he warns the crowd gathered at the Morongo reservation near the city of Banning for the annual agave roast, a pillar of Cahuilla culture. The agave plant is passed around at the festival, as attendees suck the flesh from the slightly bitter leaves. “It’s an acquired taste,” said Sharon Mattern, a return visitor to the Malki museum on Cahuilla culture, which is located on the reservation 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Los Angeles.

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