Katherine Siva Saubel

Katherine Siva Saubel

Katherine Saubel
Facts in Brief
Birth: March 7,1920
Parents: Don’t know
Education: Palm Springs High School
Died: Still alive
Awards: 1993 inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and 1994 Woman of Achievement Award, Riverside YWCA.

Katherine Siva Saubel was a Native American scholar and educator committed to preserving her Cahuilla culture and language and to promoting their fuller understanding by the larger public. Reared on the Palm Springs Reservation in California, Katherine Siva was taught by her parents from an early age to honor the traditions of her people, the Cahuilla. After graduating from Palm Springs High School, she worked as a teacher's assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles (1959-60), and at the University of Cologne, Germany (1964-74). In the process Saubel became a scholar of the history, literature, and culture of the Cahuilla. Together with her husband, historian Mariano Saubel, and others, she confounded the Malki Museum on the Morongo Indian Reservation in Banning, California, which not only displays artifacts dating from prehistoric to recent times but also sponsors the publication of scholarly works on Native Americans from the region.

Saubel's own scholarship had two very different focuses: ethnobotany and the Cahuilla language. In the late 1970s Seiler and Saubel collaborated on both a grammar and a dictionary for Cahuilla, a language which had never before been preserved in writing. She also published a dictionary, I'Isniyatam (Designs): A Cahuilla Word Book (1977). An authority also on the unique Cahuilla uses of plants, Saubel was the coauthor, with anthropologist John Lowell Bean, of Temalpakh (From the Earth): Cahuilla Indian Knowledge and Usage of Plants (1972) and of two books of ethnobotanical notes. In addition to teaching Cahuilla history, literature, and culture on various campuses in California and at the University of Cologne, Saubel also served on the California Native American Heritage Commission, where her intervention helped preserve locations sacred to Native Americans throughout the state. She was named 1987 Elder of the Year by the California State Indian Museum and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.


1. Buck And Pulleyn Great Women. Apr 3. 2001 http://www.greatwomen.org/

2.Britannica. Apr 4. 2001 http://www.britannica.com/

3.Nativeamculture.About. Apr 4. 2001 http://nativeamculture.about.com/

Created by: Kristine
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