California Indian Tribes

The territory of the present State of California was discovered in 1542 by a Portuguese navigator in the Spanish service, J. R. Cabrillo. In 1578 Sir Francis Drake landed at Drake’s Bay, opened communication with the natives, and took possession of the country in the name of England, calling it New Albion. It was explored by the Spaniard S. Viscayno in 1602, but no attempt was made at colonization until the Franciscan Fathers established a mission at San Diego in 1769. Within the next 50 years they founded 21 missions and gathered 20,000 Indians about them, but the number of neophytes continually fell off and the power of the missions declined with them, especially after Mexican government had succeeded to Spanish. Transfer of the country to the United States and the rush of immigrants following upon the discovery of gold in 1848 was still more disastrous to the Indians and this disaster extended to parts of the State which the Spaniards had not reached. From this time on the history of the Indians of this area is one long story of debauchery and extermination. Reservations were set aside for most of the tribes, but the greater part of the survivors live scattered through the country as squatters or on land purchased by themselves.

In dealing with the tribes of California, I have adopted the names given by Dr. Kroeber in his Handbook of the Indians of California (1925). An inspection of these shows us at once. however, that the tribal concept in most parts of the State is one imposed upon the Indians as a result of ethnological investigation rather than something recognized by themselves. It has a dialectic rather than a governmental or ceremonial base, but it is the best that can be done unless we adopt the impracticable alternative of treating each village group as a tribe. It is to be understood that, from the ordinary point of view as to what constitutes a tribe, this expedient is largely artificial. Under these circumstances it has seemed best not to follow a strictly alphabetic system throughout, or rather, to enter those tribes defined by their names as parts of larger groups under the more common group names, the qualifying word following, as: Paiute, Northern, and Yuki, Coast, instead of Northern Paiute and Coast Yuki.

Connections in which they have become noted. That few names of California tribes have found permanent lodgment in the geography of the region is not surprising when we consider the small number of names of this kind at all prominent. This is in keeping with the fact that tribal organizations as they were known in eastern North America were wanting over much of the State, and that where they existed they were generally small and insignificant. It also happens that a few real tribal names, or names that have been used to cover tribal groups, include peoples which extended into neighboring States and have been treated elsewhere. Under this head come the names of Modoc County, Klamath River, Mohave River, Mono County and Lake, and Piute Peak. Still other names are derived from villages and small tribes, mere subdivisions of the main bodies. Among these may be mentioned Tuolumne County, Mokelumne Peak and River, Cosumnes River, Kaweah River. While the designation of the Shasta is a conspicuous one it is rather the mountain which has given name to the tribe than the tribe to the mountain, though in fact both are derived from a chief of the Shasta people. Following from the use of the term for Mount Shasta we have Shasta River, Shasta, Shasta Retreat, Shasta Springs. The history of the name Hupa has been somewhat similar. It has remained attached to the valley to which it was originally applied and to the tribe secondarily. Nevertheless, the valley name now serves to preserve in memory that of the people who occupied it.

Achomawi Indians. From adzúma or achóma, “river.”
Kō’m-maidüm, Maidu name, meaning “snow people.”
Shawash, Yuki name for the Achomawi taken to Round Valley Reservation.

Connections. The Achomawi were originally classed with the Atsugewi as one stock under the name Palaihnihan, the Achomawan stock of Merriam (1926), and this in turn constitutes the eastern branch of the Shastan stock, which in turn is now placed under the widely spread Hokan family.

Location. In the drainage area of Pit River from near Montgomery Creek in Shasta County to Goose Lake on the Oregon line, with the exception of the territory watered by Burney, Hat, and Horse or Dixie Valley Creeks.

Kroeber (1925) gives the following:

Achomawi, on Fall River.
Astakiwi, in upper Hot Springs Valley.
Atuami, in Big Valley.
Hamawi, on the South Fork of Pit River.
Hantiwi, in lower Hot Springs Valley.
Ilmawi, on the south side of Pit River opposite Fort Crook.
Madehsi, the lowest on Pit River along the big bend.

C. H. Merriam (1926) says that Achomawi is the Madehsi name for the Astakiwi which occupied all of Hot Springs Valley, and he adds the names of two other tribes between the last mentioned and Goose Lake, the Ko-se-al-lak’-te, and, higher up, at the lower end of the lake, the Hā’-we-si’-doc.

Population. Together with the Atsugewi, the Achomawi are estimated by Kroeber (1925) to have numbered 3,000 in 1770; in 1910 there were 985. According to the census of 1930, the entire Shastan stock numbered 844, and in 1937, 418 “Pit River” Indians were enumerated, only a portion of the stock apparently.

Alliklik Indians. Designation bestowed by the Ventura() Chumash; meaning unknown.

Connections. The Alliklik belonged to the Californian group of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, their closest relatives probably being the Serrano.

Location. On the upper Santa Clara River.

Villages. Akavavi Kashtu, Etseng, Huyang, Küvung, and Pi’idhuku (on Piru Creek, the last mentioned at Piru); Kamulus (on Castac Creek); Kashtük Tsawayung (on a branch of Castac Creek).

Population. The Alliklik together with the Serrano, Vanyume, and Kitanemuk, numbered 3,500 in 1770 and 150 in 1910. The census of 1930 returned 361 southern California Shoshoneans.

Atsugewi Indians. Their own name or that which the Achomawi applied to them; significance unknown.
Adwanuqdji, Ilmawi name.
Hat Creek Indians, popular English name.
Tcunoíyana, Yana name.

Connections. With the Achomawi, the Atsugewi constituted the Palaihnihan or eastern group of the Shastan stock, more recently placed by Dixon and Kroeber (1919) in the Hokan family.

Location. On Burney, Hat, and Dixie Valley or Horse Creeks.

Subdivisions.  Kroeber (1925) gives: Apwarukei (Dixie Valley people), Hat Creek people (native name unknown), and Wamari’i (Burney Valley people).
C. G. Merriam (1926) calls the Hat Creek people collectively At-soo-kā’-e (Atsugewi) and treats most of the Burney Valley Indians as part of the Atsugewi proper.

Population. Kroeber estimates that in 1770 there were 3,000 of the Atsugewi and the Achomawi together. The Shastan Indians numbered 844 in 1930.

Bear River Indians. A body of Indians living along Bear River in the present Humboldt County for whom no suitable native name has been preserved. Also called:
Nī’ekeni’, name they applied to themselves and to the Mattole.

Connections. The Bear River Indians belonged to the Athapascan linguistic family, and were most closely connected with the Mattole, Sinkyone, and Nongatl tribes to the south and east.

Location. As given above. (See North Carolina for a tribe similarly named.)


From the mouth of Bear River inland as given by Nomland (1938):

Tcalko’, at the mouth of Bear River.
Chilshĕck, on the site of the present Capetown.
Chilenchĕ, near the present Morrison Ranch.
Selsche’ech, on a site marked by a large red rock 3–4 miles above the last. Tlanko, above the preceding.
Estakana, at Gear’s place, on the largest flat in the upper valley above Tlanko. Sehtla, about 7 miles above Capetown.
Me’sseah, name for a natural amphitheater, the training place for shamans, about which lived a few families.

Population. Included with the Nongatl (q. v.). 1,129 were returned in the census of 1930. The United States Office of Indian Affairs reported 23 “Bear River” Indians in 1937.

Cahuilla. A name perhaps of Spanish origin, but its significance is unknown. Also spelled Kawia.

Connections. The Cahuilla belonged to the southern California group of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan stock.

Location. Mainly in the inland basin between the San Bernardino Range and the range extending southward from Mount San Jacinto.


Desert Cahuilla, at northern end of the Colorado Desert.
Mountain Cahuilla, in the mountains south of San Jacinto Peak.
Western or Pass Cahuilla, centering in Palms Springs Canyon.


Duasno, on or near the Cahuilla Reservation.
Juan Bautista, in San Bernardino County.
Ekwawinet, at La Mesa, 2 miles south of Coachella.
Kavinish, at Indian Wells.
Cahuilla, on the Cahuilla Reservation.
Kwaleki, in the San Jacinto Mountains.
Lawilvan or Sivel, at Alamo.
Malki, on the Potrero Reservation in Cahuilla Valley east of Banning.
Pachawal, at San Ygnacio. Palseta, at Cabezon.
Paltewat, at Indio in Cahuilla Valley.
Panachsa, in the San Jacinto Mountains.
Sechi, in Cahuilla Valley.
Sokut Menyil, at Martinez.
Sapela, at San Ygnacio.
Temalwahish, at La Mesa. Torres, on Torres Reservation.
Tova, at Agua Dulce.
Wewutnowhu, at Santa Rosa.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 2,500 Cahuilla in 1770; in 1910 there were about 800. (See Alliklik.)

Connection in which their name has become noted. The name Cahuilla is preserved in that of a village called Kaweah in Tulare County.

Chemehuevi Indians. The Yuman name for this tribe and for the Paiute; significance unknown. Also called:
Ah’alakåt, Pima name, meaning “small bows.”
Mat-hat-e-vátch, Yuma name, meaning “northerners.”
Tä’n-ta’wats, own name, meaning “southern men.”

Connections. The Chemehuevi were a part of the true Paiute and were associated with them and the Ute in one linguistic subdivision of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock.

Location. Anciently in the eastern half of the Mohave Desert. At a later date the Chemehuevi settled on Cottonwood Island, in Chemehuevi Valley, and at other points on Colorado River.

(So far as known)

Hokwaits, in Ivanpah Valley.
Kauyaichits, location unknown.
Mokwats, at the Kingston Mountains.
Moviats, on Cottonwood Island.
Shivawach or Shivawats, in the Chernehucvi Valley, perhaps only the name of a locality.
Tumpisagavatsits or Timpashauwagotsits, in the Providence Mountains.
Yagats, at Afnargosa.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates between 500 and 800 Chemehuevi in ancient times. In 1910, 355 were returned of whom 260 were in California.
Chetco. The Chetco extended slightly across into northern California from its home in Oregon.

Chilula Indians. An American rendering of Yurok Tsulu-la, “people of Tsulu,” the Bald Hills.

Connections. With the Hupa and Whilkut, the Chilula formed one group of the Athapascan linguistic stock.

Location. On or near lower Redwood Creek from near the inland edge of the heavy redwood belt to a few miles above Minor Creek.

Villages. The following are known and are given in order beginning with the one farthest down Redwood Creek: Howunakut, Noleding, Tlochime, Kingkyolai, Kingyukyomunga, Yisining’aikut, Tsinsilading, Tondinunding, Yinukanomitseding, Hontetlme, Tlocheke, Hlichuhwinauhwding, Kailuhwtanding, Kailuhwchengetlding, Sikingchwungmitanding, Kinahontanding, Misme, Kahustanding.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 500 to 600 Chilula before White contact. Now reduced to two or three families and a few persons incorporated with the Hupa. (See Bear River Indians.)

Chimariko Indians. From the native word chimar, “person.” Also called:
Kwoshonipu, name probably given them by the Shasta of Salmon River.
Meyemma, given by Gibbs (1853).

Connections. Originally considered a distinct stock, the Chimariko are now classed in the Hokan linguistic family.

Location. On the canyon of Trinity River from about the mouth of New River to Canyon Creek.

Chalitasum, at the junction of New and Trinity Rivers.
Chichanma, at Taylor Flat.
Himeakudji, at Big Creek.
Hodinakchohoda, at Cedar Flat.
Maidjasore, at Thomas.
Paktunadji, at Patterson.
Tsudamdadji, at Burnt Ranch.

Population. The Chimariko were estimated by Kroeber (1925) at 250 in 1849; only a few mixed-bloods are now living.

Chumash Indians

Costanoan Indians

Cupeño Indians. From Kupa, the name of one of their towns.

Connections. The Cupeno spoke a dialect belonging to the Luiseno-Cahuilla branch of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock.

Location. A mountainous district on the headwaters of San Luis Rey River, not over 10 by 5 miles in extent.

Kupa, near the famous hot springs of Warner’s Ranch.
Wilakal, at San Ysidro.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates not over 500 in 1770, and in 1910, 150. (See Alliklik.)

Dakubetede Indians. An Athapascan tribe of Oregon which extended slightly beyond the northern border of California.

Diegueño Indians

Esselen. Probably the name of a village; significance unknown.

Connections. Originally given the status of a distinct stock, the Esselen are now placed in the Ilokan linguistic family, their affinities being rather with the Yuman division, to the south, and with the Porno, Yana, and other groups to the north than with their closer neighbors of this stock, the Salinan and Chumash tribes.

Location. On the upper course of Carmel River, Sur River, and the coast from Point Lopez almost to Point Sur.

Echilat, 12 miles southeast of Mission Carmelo.
Ekheya, in the mountains.
Ensen, at Buena Esperanza.
Ichenta, at San Jose.
Pachhepes, near the next.
Xaseum, in the sierra.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 500 Esselen in 1770; they are now extinct.

Fernandeno. So-called from San Fernando, the name of one of the
two Franciscan missions in Los Angeles County.

Connections. The nearest relatives of the Fernandeno were the Gabrielino and both belonged to the California section of the Shoshonean Division of the Uto Aztecan linguistic stock.

Location. In that part of the valley of Los Angeles River above Los Angeles.

Hahamo, north of Los Angeles.
Kawe, northwest of Los Angeles. Mau, north of Los Angeles.
Pasek, at San Francisco Mission.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that, with the Gabrielino and Nicoleno, the Fernandeno numbered 5,000 in 1770; they are now practically extinct.

Gabrielino Indians

Halchidhoma Indians. On the middle Colorado. (See Arizona Indian Tribes.)

Huchnom Indians. The name applied to this tribe by the Yuki and apparently by themselves; said to signify”mountain people.” Also called:
Redwoods, a popular name.
Ta’-tu, by the Porno of Potter Valley.

Connection. The Huchnom belonged to the Yukian linguistic stock, though resembling the Porno somewhat more closely in culture.

Location. In the valley of South Eel River from Hullville nearly to its mouth, together with the valley of its affluent, Tornki Creek, and the lower course of the stream known as Deep or Outlet Creek.


Ba’awel, name in Porno; on South Eel River a couple of miles from Ukumna. Hatupoka, on Tomki Creek below the village of Pukemul.
Komohmemut-kuyuk, on South Eel River between Lilko’ol and Mumemel. Lilko’ol, on South Eel River between Ba’awel and the preceding.
Mot, on South Eel River between Yek and Mupan.
Mot-kuyuk, on South Eel River at the mouth of Tomki Creek.
Mumemel, on South Eel River just below the forks at Hullville.
Mupan, on South Eel River between Mot and Mot-kuyuk.
Nonhohou, on South Eel River between Shipomul and Yek.
Pukemul, on Tomki Creek above the village of Hatupoka.
Shipomul, on South Eel River at the mouth of Outlet Creek.
Ukumna, near the head of the eastern source of Russian River.
Yek, on South Eel River between Nonhohou and Mot.

There is one village of uncertain name and possibly Yuki on the headwaters of the South Fork of Eel River.

Population. The Huchnom were estimated at 500 in 1770 by Kroeber (1925); the census of 1910 returned 7 full-bloods and 8 half-breeds. (See Yuki.)

Hupa Indians

Juaneño Indians. Derived from the mission of San Juan Capistrano. Also called:
Gaitchim, given by Gatschet (1876).
Netela, given by Hale (1846), meaning “my language.”

Connections. The Juaneño belonged to the Shoshonean branch of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, their speech being a variant of Luiseno.

Location. From the Pacific Ocean to the crest of the southern continuation of the Sierra Santa Ana. Southward, toward the Luiseno, the boundary ran between the San Onofre and Las Pulgas; on the north, toward the Gabrielino, it is said to have followed Alisos Creek.


Ahachmai, on the lower course of San Juan Creek below the mission of San
Juan Capistrano.
Alona, north of the Mission of San Juan Capistrano.
Hechmai, near the coast south of Arroyo San Onofre.
Humai, on the middle course of San Juan Creek.
Palasakeuna, at the head of Arroyo San Mateo.
Panhe, near the mouth of Arroyo San Mateo.
Piwiva, on San Juan Creek above San Juan Capistrano.
Pu-tuid-em, near the coast between San Juan and Aliso Creeks.

Population. The Juaneflo were estimated by Kroeber (1925) at 1,000 in 1770; the census of 1910 returned 16. (See Alliklik.)

Kamia Indians. From their own term Kamiyai or Kamiyahi, which they applied also to the Diegueno. Also called:

Comeya, common synonym used by Bartlett in 1854 and adopted in Handbook
of American Indians (Hodge, 1907, 1910).
I’-um 0′-otam, Pima name for Kamia and Diegueno.
New River Indians, from their location.
Quemaya, so called by Garces in 1775-76.
Tipai, own name, also meaning “person.”
Yum, same as I’-um.

Connections. They belonged to the Yuman stock of Powell now considered a subdivision of the Hokan family, their closest affinities being with the eastern Diegueno who were sometimes considered one tribe with themselves.

Location. In Imperial Valley, and on the banks of the sloughs connecting it with Colorado River. (See also Mexico.)

Villages. There were no true villages.

Population. Gifford (1931) says there could not have been more than a few hundred Kamia in aboriginal times. Heintzelman (1857) gives 254 under the chief Fernando in 1849. (See Diegueno.)

Connection in which they have become noted. Whatever notoriety the Kamia, an inconspicuous tribe, has attained is due entirely to the fame of their valley home.

Karok Indians

Kato Indians. A Porno place name meaning “lake.” Also called:
Batem-da-kai-ee, given by Gibbs (1853).
Kai Po-mo, given by Powers (1877). Laleshiknom, Yuki name.
Tlokeang, own name.

Connections. The Kato belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock, and spoke a dialect peculiar to themselves.

Location. On the uppermost course of the South Fork of Eel River.

Villages. There are said to have been nearly 50 of these, probably an overestimate, but none of their names are known.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 500 Kato in 1770; about 50 persons, mostly full-bloods are still reckoned as Kato. (See Bear River Indians.)

Kawaiisu Indians. So-called by the Yokuts; the signification of the word is unknown.

Connections. The Kawaiisu belonged to the Shoshonean branch of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family, and were a more immediate off-shoot, apparently, of the Chemehuevi.

Location. In the Tehachapi Mountains.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates an aboriginal Kawaiisu population of perhaps 500 and a present (1925) population of nearly 150. (See Alliklik.)

Kitanemuk Indians. Perhaps from the stem ki, “house,”; other synonyms are Kikitanum, and Kikitamkar.

Connections. The Kitanemuk belonged to the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock and to a subgroup which included also the Alliklik, Vanyume and Serrano.

Location. On upper Tejon and Paso Creeks, the streams on the rear side of the Tehachapi Mountains in the same vicinity and the small creeks draining the northern slope of the Liebre and Sawmill Range, with Antelope Valley and the westernmost end of the Mohave Desert.

Villages. The present principal Kitanemuk village is called Nakwalki-ve, and is situated where Tejon Creek breaks out of the hills. (Other names given do not seem unquestionably those of villages).

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that in 1770 there were 3,500 Serrano, Vanyume, Kitanemuk, and Alliklik, and that these were represented by about 150 in 1910. (See Alliklik.)

Konomihu Indians. Their own name, significance unknown.

Connections. The Konomihu was the most divergent of the Shastan group of tribes of the Hokan linguistic family.

Location. Territory centering about the forks of Salmon River.

Villages. The principal Konomihu village, called, apparently by the Karok, Shamnam, was between the forks of Salmon River in Siskiyou County, on the right aide of the south branch just above the junction.

Population. Together with the Chimariko, New River Shasta, and Okwanuchu, the Konomihu are estimated by Kroeber (1925) to have numbered about 1,000 in 1770; they are not now enumerated separately from the Shasta, of whom 844 were returned in 1930.

Koso Indians. Significance unknown.
Ke-at, given by Gatschet (Wheeler Survey, p. 411, 1879).
Panamint, name more often used.

Connections. The Koso formed the westernmost extension of the Shoshoni-Comanche branch of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock.

Location. On a barren tract of land in the southeastern part of the State between the Sierra and the State of Nevada, and including Owens Lake, the Coso, Argus, Panamint, and Funeral Mountains and the intervening valleys.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates an aboriginal Koso population of not over 500; since 1880 they have been placed at about 100 to 150.

Lassik Indians. The name derived from that of a chief.

Connections. The Lassik belonged to the Athapascan linguistic family and were connected very closely with the Nongatl, who lay just to the north.

Location. On a stretch of Eel River, from a few miles above the mouth of the South Fork not quite to Kekawaka Creek; also Dobbins Creek, an eastern affluent of the main stream, and Soldier Basin at the head of the North Fork; to the east they extended to the head of Mad River.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that in 1770, along with the Nongatl and Sinkyone, the Lassik numbered 2,000, and in 1910, 100. (See Alliklik.)

Luisefio Indians. From the name of the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia. Also called:
Ghecham or Khecham, from the native name of San Luis Rey Mission.

Maidu Indians

Mattole Indians. Perhaps from the name of a village. Also called:
Tul’bush, Wailaki name, meaning “foreigners.”

Connections. The Mattole constitute one of the primary divisions of those Indians of the Athapascan stock living in California.

Location. On Bear River and Mattole River drainages; also on a few miles of Eel River and its Van Dusen Fork immediately above the Wiyot.

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that there were 500 Mattole in 1770; the census of 1910 returned 34, including 10 full-bloods. (See Bear River Indians.)

Miwok Indians

Modoc Indians. This tribe extended into the northern part of the State.

Mohave Indians. The Mohave occupied some territory in the neighborhood of the Colorado River. (See Arizona Indian Tribes)

Nicoleño Indians. From San Nicolas, the most eastward of the Santa Barbara Islands.

Connections. They belonged to the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, but their more immediate affiliations are uncertain.

Location. On the island above mentioned.

Population. Kroeber (1925) gives an estimate of their population in conjunction with the Gabrielino and Fernandeno. (See also Alliklik.)

Nongatl Indians. Significance unknown. Also called:
Saia, by the Hupa, along with other Athapascans to the south; meaning “far

Connections. The Nongatl belonged to the Athapascan linguistic family and were closely connected with the Lassik.

Location. In the territory drained by three right-hand affluents of Eel River, Yager Creek, Van Dusen Fork, and Larrabee Creek and on the upper waters of Mad River.

Population. The Nongatl were estimated by Kroeber (1925) to number in 1770, along with the Sinkyone and Lassik, 2,000, and 100 in 1910. (See Bear River Indians.)

Okwanuchu Indians. Significance unknown.

Connections. The Okwanuchu belonged to the Shastan Division of the Hokan linguistic stock.

Location. On the upper Sacramento from about the vicinity of Salt and Boulder Creeks to its headwaters; also on the McCloud River and Squaw Creek from about their junction up.

Population. See Chimariko and Shasta.

Northern Paiute Indians. The Northern Paiute occupied part of the Sierra in the southeastern part of the State and the desert country east of it and also a strip of land in the extreme northeast. (See Nevada.)

Patwin Indians

Pomo Indians

Salinan Indians.

Serrano Indians.

Shasta Indians. Probably from a chief called Sasti. Also called:
Ekpimi, Ilmawi name.
Mashukhara, Karok name.
Wulx, Takelma name, meaning “enemies.”

Connections. The Shasta constituted part of the Shastan division
of the Hokan linguistic stock.

Location. On Klamath River from a point between Indian and
Thompson Creeks to a spot a few miles above the mouth of Fall Creek; also the drainage areas of two tributaries of the Klamath. Scott River and Shasta River, and a tract on the north side of the Siskiyous in Oregon on the affluents of Rogue River known as Stewart River and Little Butte Creek.


Ahotireitsu, in Shasta Valley.
Cecilville Indians, about Cecilville; they spoke a distinct dialect; the Indians
called by Merriam (1926) Haldokehewuk.
Iruaitsu, in Scott Valley.
Kahosadi, on the affluents of Rogue River.
Kammatwa or Wiruhikwairuk’a, on Klamath River.

The term New River Shasta is incorrectly used since there were no Shasta on
New River.


Ahotiretsu Division:
Ahawaiwig, Asta, Ihiweah, Ikahig, Kusta.
Iruaitsu Division:
Itayah and Crowichaira the only ones known.
Kammatwa Division (in order up stream):

Chitatowoki (north side), Ututsu (N.), Asouru (N.), Sumai (N.), Arahi (S.), Harokwi (N.), Kwasuk (S.), Aika (N.), Umtahawa (N.), Itiwukha (N.), Ishui (N.), Awa (N.), Waukaiwa (N.), Opshiruk (N.), Ishumpi (N.), Okwayig (N.), Eras (S.), Asurahawa (S.), Kutsastsus (N.).

Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that there were about 2,000 Shasta in 1770; in 1910 there were only about 100. The entire Shastan stock numbered 844 according to the returns of the 1930 census, and in 1937, 418 “Pit River” Indians were enumerated, a portion of this stock.

Connections in which they have become noted. Mount Shasta, Shasta County, and a place in the county preserve the name of the Shasta Indians.

Sinkyone Indians. From Sinkyo, the name of the South Fork of Eel River.

Connections. The Sinkyone were one of the tribes of the southern California group of the Athapascan family.

Location. On the South Fork of Eel River and its branches and the adjacent coast from near Four Mile Creek to Usal Lagoon.

Land Areas. (Given by native informants to Nomland (1935) instead of villages)

Anse’ntakuk, the land south of Briceland.
Chashinguk, the ridge north of Briceland.
Senke’kuk, to the South Fork from Garberville.
Shusashish’ha, the region north of Garberville.
Totro’be, the land around Briceland.
Yenekuk, an area southeast of Briceland.
Yese’, coast area to the Mattole boundary at Four Mile Creek.
Yese’kuk, the Mattole River area.

Population. (See Lassik and Bear River Indians).

Tolowa. So-called by the Yurok. Also called:
Aqusta, by Dorsey (MS.), meaning “southern language,” Naltunnetunne name.
Lagoons, by Heintzleman (in Ind. Aff. Rep., 1857, p. 392; 1858).
Lopas, by Heintzleman (op. cit.).

Connections. The Tolowa constituted one of the divisions into which the California peoples of the Athapascan linguistic stock are divided, but they were closely connected with the Athapascan tribes of Oregon immediately to the north.

Location. On Crescent Bay, Lake Earl, and Smith River.

Villages. (According to Drucker, 1937)

Etcūlet, at end of point in Lake Earl.
Ha’tsahothwut, long abandoned site.
Kehoslī’hwut, on east bank, lower course of Smith River.
Mestlte’tltun, on Crescent Bay.
Mi’litcuntun, on middle course of Smith River.
Mu’nsontun, on east bank, on lower course of Smith River.
Munshrī’na taso’, long abandoned site.
Muslye’, on North Fork of Smith River.
Na’kutat, a suburb of Tatitun,
Numore’tun, long abandoned site.
Sitragī’tum, on the west bank of Smith River below Mill Creek.
Ta’gestlsatun, on coast at mouth of Wilson Creek, mixed with Yurok.
Ta’tatun, on Crescent Bay.
Tati’tun, on shore of Crescent Bay near north end.
Tcestu’mtun, on South Fork of Smith River.
Tcunsu’tltun, on east bank of Smith River at mouth of Mill Creek.
Te’nitcuntun, between North and South Forks of Smith River at junction.
Tltru’ome, on Crescent Bay toward south end.
Tro’let, a small suburb of Yotokut near mouth of Smith River.
Tunme’tun, on a small branch of the North Fork of Smith River.
Tushroshku’shtun, on peninsula between two arms of Lake Earl.
Yoto’kut, on coast south of mouth of Smith River.

Population. Kroeber estimates “well under” 1,000 Tolowa in 1770 and indicates a possible modification to 450; the census of 1910 returned 121. In 1930 the “Oregon Athapascans,” including the Totowa, were reported to number 504.

Tübatulabal Indians. A Shoshonean word meaning “pine-nut eaters.” Also called :

Vanyume Indians. Name applied by the Mohave; significance unknown, though it is probably related to the term Panamint given to the Koso.

Connections. The Vanyume belonged to the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, their closest connections being probably with the Kitanemuk, and secondly with the Serrano.

Location. On Mohave River.

Population. (See Alliklik.) They are now extinct as a tribe.

Wailaki Indians. A Wintun word meaning “north language,” applied to other Wintun groups and to some foreign groups. Also called:
Kak’-wits, Yuki name, meaning “northern people.”

Connections. The Waitaki belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock and to the southern California group.

Location. On Eel River from the Lassik territory to the Big Bend, several affluents on the west side, Kekawaka Creek on the east side, and the whole of the North Fork except the head.

Subdivisions and Village Communities

On main Eel River:

Sehlchikyo-kaiya, on the east side, Big Bend Creek to McDonald Creek. Ninkannich-kaiya, opposite Sehlchikyo-kaiya.
Nehlchikyo-kaiya, on the east side downstream to the mouth of North Fork. Sehlchikyo-kaiya, on the east side downstream. Tatisho-kaiya, on the west side
opposite the mouth of North Fork.
Bas-kaiya, on the east side below Sehlchikyo-kaiya.
Sla-kaiya, on the east side below Bas-kaiya.
Chisko-kaiya, on the east side below Sla-kaiya.
Seta-kaiya, on the west side below Tatisho-kaiya.
Kaikiche-kaiya, on the west side below Seta-kaiya.
Dahlso-kaiya, Set’ahlchicho-kaiya, K’andang-kaiya, in order downstream on
the west side.
Ihikodang-kaiya, on the west side below Chisko-kaiya.
Kasnaikot-kaiya, on the east side at the mouth of Kakawaka Creek.

On the lower part of North Fork:

Setandong-kiyahang, Secho-kiyahang, Kaiye-kiyahang—in order upstream.
Higher up North Fork:
T’odannang-kiyahang, on the North Fork below Hull Creek.
T’okyah-kiyahang, upstream on North Fork.
Chokot-kiyahang, on and above Red Mountain Creek.
Ch’i’ankot-kiyahang, on Jesus Creek.

Population. The Wailaki were estimated by Kroeber (1925) as 1,000 about 1770; they were given as 227 in the census of 1910. (See Bear River Indians.)

Wappo Indians. An Americanization of Spanish Guapo. “brave,” given them on account of their stubborn resistance to Spanish military aggression.

Washo Indians. The range of this tribe extended over considerable Californian territory about the angle in the eastern boundary line of the State.

Whilkut Indians. From Hupa Hoilkut-hoi. Also called: Redwood Indians, the popular name for them.

Connections. The Whilkut belonged to the Hupa dialectic group of the Athapascan linguistic family.

Location. On the upper part of Redwood Creek above the Chilula Indians and Mad River, except in its lowest course, up to the vicinity of Iaqua Butte.

Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates about 500 Whilkut in aboriginal times; the census of 1910 returned 50 full-bloods and some mixed-bloods.

Wintu Indians. The native word meaning “people.” For synonyms see Wintun.

Connections. The Wintu were the northernmost division of the Copehan stock of Powell, later called Wintun by Kroeber (1932) and now regarded as part of the Penutian family.

Location. In the valleys of the upper Sacramento and upper Trinity Rivers north of Cottonwood Creek and extending from Cow Creek on the east to the South Fork of the Trinity on the west.

(As given by Du Bois (1935) but placing the native name first)

Dau-nom, “in-front-of-west” (Bald Hills), a flat valley area at the foot of the hills
south of Reading and east of the coastal range.
Dau-pom, “in-front-of-place” (Stillwater), comprising the plateau to the north of
Elpom, “shore place” (Keswick), extending from a point somewhat south of
Kennett on the Sacramento chiefly along the west bank southward almost to Reading, and including the former Indian settlements around the mining town of Old Shasta.
Hayfork Wintu, on the Hayfork branch of Trinity River and on Trinity River
about Junction City, extending also from about Middletown westward to the South Fork of the Trinity.
Klabalpom (French Gulch), on the upper reaches of Clear Creek.
Nomsus, “west-dwelling” (Upper Trinity), on the East Fork of Trinity River and
Trinity River proper as far south as Lewiston.
Nomtipom, “west-hillside-place” (Upper Sacramento), along the precipitous
reaches of the upper Sacramento above Kennett.
Waimuk, “north inhabitant(?),” in the narrow valley of the upper McCloud
Winimen, “middle-water” (McCloud), in the McCloud and lower Pit Valleys.

Du Bois (1935) mentions Nomkentcau and Nomkali as two villages in Watson Gulch.

Population. (See Wintun.)

Wintun Indians. The word for “people” in the northern Wintun dialects. Also called:
Wawa h, Mono name for all Sacramento River tribes, meaning “strangers.”
Xdtukwiwa, Shasta name for a Wintun Indian.

Connections. The Wintun were formerly considered a part of Powell’s Copehan stock and the Wintun of Kroeber (1932) but are now placed in the Penutian family.

Location. On the west side of the Sacramento Valley from the river up to the coast range, but falling short of this in spots and ex-tending beyond it in others, and from Cottonwood Creek on the north to about the latitude of Afton and Stonyford on the south.

Wintun Tribelets
(Generally south to north)

Dahchi’mchini-sel, in a village called Dahchi’mchini (upstream of Brisco Creek
and 4 miles above Elk Creek).
Toba, reported by Barrett (1919) as a town at the mouth of Brisco Creek.
A tribelet probably located at Tolokai or Doloke (at the mouth of Elk Creek).
Pomtididi-sel, at the village of Pomtididi (where Grindstone Creek enters Stony
A tribelet at a village called Kalaiel (on the North Fork of Stony Creek).
Soninmak (at a “butte” named Son-porn down Stony Creek).
Pelti-kewel (reported north of preceding by one informant).
A tribelet at the villages of Sohu’s-labe (3 or 4 miles south of Fruto) and
Nome’I-mim-labe (2 or 3 miles farther south still).
Nom-kewel or Nom-laka, with their village, Lo-pom (south of Thomas Creek).
Walti-kewel, with villages called Noitikel, Kenkopol, and Saipanti (close
together on the north side of Thomas Creek below Nom-kewel).
Olwenem-wintun, at O’lwenem (near the mouth of Thomas Creek on the
A tribelet at Mi’tenek (at Squaw Hill Ferry).
Pelmem-we, at Pelmem (near Vina and the mouth of Deer Creek).
Tehêmet, (at Tehama).
Da-mak (where Redbank Creek comes in below Red Bluff).
Wai-kewel (on Elder Creek).
A tribelet at Chuidau (on the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek).

Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates 12,000 Wintun in 1770 and about 1,000 in 1910. The census of 1930 returned 512 Wintun, Wintu, and Wappo.

Wiyot Indians. Properly the name of one of the three Wiyot districts but extended by most of their neighbors over the whole people.

Yahi Indians. Meaning “person” in their own language.

Connections. The Yahi constituted the southernmost group of the Yanan division of the Hokan linguistic stock.

Location. On Mill and Deer Creeks.

Villages. Bushkuina, Tolochuaweyu, and Tuliyani were on or near Mill Creek; Bopmayhuwi, Gahma, K’andjauha, Puhiya, and Yisch’inna on or near Deer Creek.

Population. Included in the Yana.

Yana Indians. Meaning “person” in their own language. Also called:
Kom’-bo, Maidu name.
Nó-si or Nó-zi, a name given by Powers (1877).
Tisaiqdji, Ilmawi name.

Connections. The Yana were originally considered an independent linguistic stock but are now placed in the larger Hokan family.

Location. Including the Yahi, the Yana extended from Pit River to Rock Creek, and from the edge of the upper Sacramento Valley to the headwaters of the eastern tributaries of Sacramento River.


Aside from the Yahi, they embraced three dialectic subdivisions, a northern (on the drainage of Montgomery Creek into Pit River and that of Cedar Creek, an affluent of Little Crow Creek), a central (the entire Cow Creek drainage and Bear Creek), and a southern (on Battle, Payne, and Antelope Creeks and one or two smaller streams).


Northern Division:

Djewintaurik’u, south of Montgomery.
Djitpamauwid’u, on Cedar Creek.
K’asip’u, south of Round Mountain.
Central Division:
Badjiyu, on Clover Creek.
Ban’ha, inland between the two forks of Cow Creek.
Djichitpemauna, on Bear Creek.
Hamedamen, at Millville.
Haudulimauna, near the South Fork of Cow Creek.
Hodjinimauna, on the North Fork of Bear Creek.
Luwaiha, on Old Cow Creek.
Pawi, on Clover Creek.
Pulsu’aina, near the North Fork of Cow Creek.
Ship’a, between Little Cow Creek and Oak Run.
Unchunaha, between the North Fork of Cow Creek and Clover Creek.
Wamarawi, west of Shingletown.
Wichuman’na, on the South Fork of Cow Creek.

Southern Division:

K’uwiha, on Battle Creek.

Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates 1,500 Yana in 1770 including the Yahi, and states that there are less than 40 full and mixed-bloods today, all of the Northern and Central Divisions. Only 9 appear under the head of Yanan in the census of 1930.

Yokuts Indians

Yuki Indians. Derived from the Wintun language and meaning “stranger,” or “foe.”

Yuki, Coast; or Ukhotno’m. (See Yuki.) The second name is applied to them by the interior Yuki, signifying “ocean people.”

Connections. The Coast Yuki believe themselves to be an offshoot from the Huchnom but linguistic examination seems to place them near the Yuki.

Location. The Pacific coast from Cleone to a point halfway between Rockport and Usal and inland to the divide between the coast streams and Eel River.


These have not been recorded but the following places were probably inhabited: On the coast from north to south:

On-chil-ka or On-chil-em, beyond Rockport.
Es’im, at Rockport or Hardy Creek.
Melhom-i’iken (Warren Creek).
Hisimel-auhkem (the next creek).
Lil-p’in-kem (De Haven).
Shipep or Shipoi (Westport).
K’etim, Chetman Gulch.
Lilim, Mussel Rock.
Ok’omet or Shipoi; Kabesilah.
Methuyak-olselem (the creek north of Ten Mile River)
Metkuyaki or Metkuyakem (the mouth of Ten Mile River and also the river).
Mil-hot-em (Cleone).
Sus-mel-im, at the mouth of Pudding Creek.
Ol-hepech-kem (Novo River).
Nehkinmelem (Casper).
Onp’otilkei (in Sherwood Valley).
Ukemim (near Willits).

Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates that in 1770 and 1850 there were 500 Coast Yuki; the census of 1910 reported 15. (See Yuki.)

Yuma Indians. This tribe extended into the extreme southeastern corner of the State along the Colorado River. (See Arizona Indian Tribes)

Yurok Indians. Signifying “downstream” in the language of the neighboring Karok.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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