Karok Tribe

Karok Indians (Karok karuk, ‘upstream’; they have no name for themselves other than that for ‘men’ or ‘people’, arar, whence Arra-arra, Ara-ara, etc.). The name by which the Indians of the Quoratean family have, as a tribe, been generally called. They lived on Klamath River from Redcap Creek to Indian Creek, north west California. Below them on the river were the Yurok, above them the Shasta, to their east were other Shasta tribes, while on the west they were separated by a spur of the Siskiyou Mountains from the Yurok and the Athapascan Tolowa. Salmon River, a tributary of the Klamath, was not Karok territory except for about 5 miles from its mouth, – but was held mainly by Shastan tribes. While the Karok language is fundamentally different front the languages of the adjacent Hupa and Yurok, the Karok people closely resemble these two tribes in mode of life and culture, and any description given of the latter will apply to the Karok. They differ from the Yurok principally in two points: One, that owing to the absence of redwood they do not make canoes but buy them from the Yurok; the other, that they celebrate a series of annual ceremonies called “making the world,” which are held at Panamenik, Katimin, and Inam, with a similar observance at Amaikiara, while the Yurok possess no strictly analogous performances. The Karok had no divisions other than villages, and while these extended along the entire extent of their territory, three important clusters are recognizable, in each of which there was one village at which certain ceremonies were held that were observed nowhere else. Panamenik, on the site of Orleans Bar, and several other settlements formed the first group; the second was about the mouth of Salmon river and comprised Amaikiara, Ashipak, Ishipishi, Katimin, Shanamkarak, and others; in the third and northernmost group the most important villages were Inam, at the mouth of Clear creek, and Asisufuunuk at Happy Camp.

In the first two groups a single dialect was spoken; in the last, the farthest upstream, a divergent dialect called Karakuka was employed.

Following is a list of the Karok villages:

  • Amaikiara
  • Aperger
  • Apyu
  • Aranimokw
  • Ashipak
  • Asisufuunuk
  • Chainiki
  • Chawakoni
  • Chinits
  • Couth
  • Homnipa
  • Homuarup
  • Ift
  • Inam
  • Inotuks
  • Ishipishi
  • Ishwidip
  • Katimin
  • Katipiara
  • Kokaman
  • Kworatem
  • lyis
  • Ohetur
  • Olegel
  • Oler
  • Opegoi
  • Panamenik
  • Pasara
  • Sawuara
  • Shanamkarak
  • Shegoashkwu
  • Sumaun
  • Sunum
  • Supasip
  • Tishrawa
  • Tsano
  • Tsofkara
  • Tui
  • Uchapa
  • Unharik
  • Wetsitsiko
  • Wopum
  • Yutoyara



Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

1 thought on “Karok Tribe”

  1. The Karok nation seems to have emigrated from the south according to DNA testing. They were from Peru (Inca), Caribbean Islands (Taino), Guatemala Taino) and Mexico (possibly Aztec). I will be happy to comment more if asked specific questions.

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