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Welcome to the land of the Morongo Indians, a sovereign nation rich with history, traditions and tribal culture.   

Set at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, the Morongo Indian Reservation spans more than 32,000 acres and overlooks the desert vistas of the Banning Pass.  Wild buckwheat, mesquite and chaparral still thrive here, and the ever-present breeze ensures that the air is always fresh and clear. 

One of the native names of the Morongo Reservation was Malki, and it was located in what was once called the Wanikik territory.  In the mid-19th century, the Serrano people to the north began migrating to the Malki settlement.  They brought with them the Morongo mane derived from the Serrano name for their people – Maringayam.  Since the late 19th century, the Morongo Reservation has been inhabited by a mix of Cahuilla, Serrano, Luiseno and Cupeno people. 

Resilient and resourceful, the Morongo tribe has overcome many adversities.  The Morong9o Reservation was one of nine small reservations set aside by President Grant by Executive Order in 1865.  The lands taken into trust by the federal government did not include land with access to surface water.  Consequently, tribal members had to travel miles each day just to obtain water and to forage for food. 

Through their industriousness and ability to survive in an unstable physical and political environment, the Morongo tribe began a small bingo venture in 1983. 

Today, the Morongo tribe operates one of the oldest Indian gaming facilities in California.  What started as a modest bingo hall is now Casino Morongo – one of California’s most popular gaming destinations hosting patrons from all over Southern California. 

The legacy and history of the Morongo Indians has made Casino Morongo a unique and very special place. We are please to be your host and extend to you our tradition of hospitality and our wishes for good fortune.

We found the excerpt above in a menu that was used in the Casino Morongo restaurant.  It well-summarizes the Morongo reservation which is the topic of focus of this web site.  

Visiting the Morongo Reservation was an eye-opening journey through the past and future of Native Americans. Our group, consisting of Donna Lopez, Elton Chang and myself, chose to research this site because of an interest in the casino and the Malki Museum's fiesta and barbeque. We wanted to find out how the casino and gaming business had affected this reservation and its people. At the barbeque we wanted to not only eat but also learn more about what aspects of Indian culture and heritage were still celebrated. We made two trips to the reservation and also surfed the Internet to gather information. Thanks to this project I have been able to think a little differently about the Native American people. 

The menu on the left should help with navigating through the site.  Enjoy, and we hope this you learn from this site as much as we did in creating it.

 [ Elton Chang, Paula Araos, Donna Lopez | Sociology 65 - Spring Quarter 2000 ]


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Elton Chang, Paula Araos, Donna Lopez.

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