Wiyot Indians

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

  • Dilwishne, Sinkyone name.
  • Humboldt Bay Indians, popular term.
  • Sulatelik, used by the Wiyot to designate their language, and approaching a tribal designation in its usage.
  • Wishosk, probably a misapplication of the Wiyot name for their Athapascan neighbors.

Wiyot Connections. In the Powellian classification the Wiyot were given an independent position as the Wishoskan stock. Later California investigators combined them with the Yurok under the name Ritwan but still later believed that they had established a relationship between them and the great Algonquian family of the east. This allocation is, however, questioned by other ethnologists.

Wiyot Location. On lower Mad River, Humboldt Bay, and lower Eel River.

Wiyot Subdivisions:

  • Batawat, on lower Mad River.
  • Wiki, on Humboldt Bay.
  • Wiyot, on lower Eel River.

Wiyot Villages

  • Bimire, on the lower part of Humboldt Bay.
  • Dakduwaka, or Hiluwitl(?), on the southern point at the entrance to Humboldt Bay.
  • Dakwagerawakw, on Eel River.
  • Dulawat, on an island in Humboldt Bay.
  • Hakitege (?), at the junction of Eel and Van Duzen Rivers.
  • Ho’ket CO, near the mouth of Eel River.
  • Kachewinach (7), on Mad River.
  • Kotsir (7), at the northern end of Humboldt Bay.
  • Kumaidada, on Freshwater Creek.
  • Legetku (?), at the southern end of Humboldt Bay.
  • Ma’awor, Yurok name; at the mouth of Mad River.
  • Osok, Yurok name; on Mad River,
  • Potitlik, Cherokigechk, of Pletswak (?), opposite the entrance of Humboldt Bay.
  • Tabagaukwa (?), at the mouth of Mad River.
  • Tabayat or Witki (7), on Humboldt Bay.
  • Tokelomigimitl (7), north of Humboldt Bay.
  • Watsayeriditl (?), on Eel River.
  • We’tso (?), on the south side of Mad River.
  • Wuktlakw (?), on the north side of Eel River.
  • Yachwanawach, at the end of Humboldt Bay.

Wiyot Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates 1,000 Wiyot in 1770 and 100 in 1910. The census of 1930 gives 236 but probably includes Indians of other connections.


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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