Yokuts Indians

Yokuts – The name for “person,” or “people,” in many of the dialects of the group. Also called:

  • Mariposan, a name derived from Mariposa County, and applied to the stock to which these people were originally assigned by Powell.
  • Noche, a name used by Games in 1775–76 (1900).

Yokuts Connections. —The Yokuts were originally considered a distinct linguistic family but have now been made a part of the large Penutian stock.

Yokuts Location.— – On the entire floor of San Joaquin Valley from the mouth of San Joaquin River to the foot of Tehachapi, and the adjacent lower slopes or foothills of the Sierra Nevada, up to an altitude of a few thousand feet, from Fresno River south.

Yokuts Subdivisions and Villages

These were as follows:

  • Buena Vista Group:
    • Tulamni (on Buena Vista Lake), including the villages of Tulamniu (on the west or northwest shore of the lake), and Wogitiu (at McKittrick).
    • Hometwoli or Humetwadi (on Kern Lake), including the villages of Halau (near the entrance of Kern River into the channel connecting Kern and Buena Vista lakes).
    • Loasau (somewhere on the north side of Kern Lake), and Sihetal Daal or Pohalin Tinliu (on the south shore).
    • Tuhohi, Tohohai, or Tuohayi (among the channels and tule-lined sloughs of lower Kern River, perhaps ranging as far as Grass Lake), including the village of Tahayu (location unknown).
  • Poso Creek Group:
    • Paleuyami, Padeuyami, Peleuyi, or Paluyam (on Poso Creek and neighboring parts of Kern River), including the villages of Altau (just south of Poso Creek), Bekiu (in Poso Flat), Shikidapau (in Poso Flat), Holmiu (in Linn’s Valley) and Kumachisi, Komechesi, Kometsicsi, or Kumachesi (centered about Hoschiu on White River), including the villages of Hoschiu (on White River), and Kelsiu (just south of White River).
  • Tule-Kaweah Group:
    • Yaudanchi, Yaulanchi, or Nutaa (Tule River in the foothills especially the North and Middle Forks), including the villages of Shawahtau (above Springville), and Ukun’ui (above Daunt), and perhaps Uchiyingetau (at the painted rocks).
    • Bokninuwad, or Bokninwal (on Deer Creek in the foothills), including K’eyau (near the valley), and perhaps Hoin Tinliu (not far from Deer Creek Hot Springs, though this may have been Bankalachi), and Uchiyingetau (see above).
    • Wuchamni, Wikchamni, or Wikchomni (on Kaweah River and the adjacent hills).
    • Yokod or Yokol (west of the latter and south of Kaweah River), their principal village being on a flat near Kaweah Railroad Station, and on the south side of Kaweah River, north of Exeter.
    • Gawia or Kawia (on the north side of Kaweah River), including a settlement on the north side of Kaweah River and Chidepuish (at Calvin Hill on Big Dry or Rattlesnake Creek).
  • Kings River Group:
    • Choinimni (on Kings River), including the village of Tishechu (on the south side of Kings River at the mouth of Mill Creek).
    • Michahai (on Mill Creek), including the village of Hehshinau (on the north side of the stream on a flat at the foot of the pine covered ridge).
    • Chukaimina (in Squaw Valley on a small southern affluent of Mill Creek), including the villages of Dochiu (at the north side of the valley), and Mashtinau
    • (on the east side of the valley).
    • Toihicha (below the Choinimni on the north side of Kings River), including the villages of Tanaiu (at Hughes Creek), and Bochiptau (location uncertain).
    • Aiticha (farther down Kings River on the south side), including the village of K’ipayu (somewhat nearer Centerville than to Tishechu).
    • Kocheyali (location and even existence uncertain as the name is given as a synonym for the last).
    • Gashowu (on Big Dry Creek and Little Dry Creek), including the villages of Pohoniu (below Letcher on Big Dry Creek), Yokau (on Auberry Valley on Little Dry Creek), and Ochopou (possibly belonging to the Kechayi).
  • Northern Group of the Foothill Division:
    • Toltichi (the Yokuts tribe farthest up the San Joaquin, possibly Mono), including the village of Tsopotipau (at the electric power site on the large bend of the river below the entrance of the North Fork).
    • Kechayi (holding the south bank of the San Joaquin for some miles above Millerton), including Kochoyu and Kowichkowicho (farther up).
    • Dumna (on the north side of the San Joaquin about opposite the Kechayi), including the village of Dinishneu (at Belleville).
    • Dalinchi (on Fine Gold Creek), including the villages of Moloneu (on this creek), and Dalinau (over the divide in the Coarse Gold Creek drainage).
    • Chukchansi, Shukshansi, or Shukshanchi (on Coarse Gold Creek and the head of Cottonwood Creek), including the villages of Hapasau (near Fresno Flats), Chukchanau or Suksanau (well up on Fresno River), Tsuloniu (near the headwaters of Coarse Gold Creek), Kowoniu or Kohoniu _(on Picayune
    • Creek), Kataniu (the present Picayune rancheria), and Ch’eyau (on Cotton-wood Creek near Bates).
  • Southern Group of the Valley Division:
    • Yauelmani (a strip of territory between Tejon Ranch on Paso Creek and Poso Creek), including the villages of Tinliu (below the Tejon Ranch House), Woilo (at Bakersfield), K’ono-ilkin (on Kern River), Shoko (on Kern River), but Shoko and K’ono-ilkin were shared, however, with the Paleuyami, so that it is not known which claimed ownership.
    • Tsineuhiu (a short distance above Bakersfield on Kern River), and Kuyo (on a channel draining toward Kern Lake), and the people of this subdivision also lived at times at Hoschiu on White River and at Chididiknawasi (in the Deer Creek country).
    • Koyeti (on lower Tule River from Porterville down), including the village of Chokowisho (Porterville).
    • Choinok (probably on Deep and Outside Channels of Kaweah River), including the village of Ch’iuta (somewhere south of Tulare).
    • Wo’lasi or Wo’ladji (at and below Farmersville, perhaps on Cameron channel).
    • Telamni (at Visalia and Goshen), including the village of Waitatshulul (about 7 miles north of Tulare City).
    • Wechihit (about Sanger on lower Kings River), including the village of Musahau (in the low bottoms opposite Sanger), and perhaps Wewayo (on Wahtoke Creek) although this latter was rather a kind of no-man’s-land.
    • Nutunutu (south of lower Kings River), including the villages of Chiau (a little south of Kingston), and Hibek’ia (location uncertain).
    • Wimilchi (on the north side of lower Kings River), including the town of Ugona (southwest of Kingston).
    • Wowol (on the southeastern shores of Tulare Lake), including the village of Sukuwutnu or Dulau (on an island off the eastern shore of the lake).
    • Chunut (the Tulare Lake shore in the Kaweah Delta region), including the villages of Miketsiu and Chuntau which cannot be definitely located.
    • Tachi (the tract from northern Tulare Lake and its inlet or outlet Fish Slough west to the Mount Diablo chain of the Coast Range), including the villages of Udjiu (downstream from Coalinga), Walna (where the western hills approach the lake), Colon (Huron), Chi (west of Heinlen), and Waiu (on Mussel Slough).
    • Apiachi (north of Kings River and east of its outlet slough), including the village of Wohui (beyond Telweyit or Summit Lake, in the direction of Elkhorn).
  • Northern Group of the Valley Division:
    • Pitkachi or Pitkati (on the south side of the San Joaquin), including the villages of Kohuou (near Herndon or Sycamore), Weshiu (on a slough), and Gawachiu (still farther downstream).
    • Wakichi (on the south side of San Joaquin River above the last), including the village of Holowichniu (near Millerton).
    • Hoyima (on the north side of the San Joaquin opposite the Pitkachi), including the villages of K’eliutanau (on a creek entering the San Joaquin from the north), and Moyoliu (above the mouth of Little Dry Creek).
    • Heuchi (on Fresno River at least on its north side), including the village of Ch’ekayu (on Fresno River 4 miles below Madera).
    • Chauchila or Chaushila, or Toholo (on the several channels of Chauchilla River), including a village at Shehamniu (on Chowchilla River apparently at the edge of the plains some miles below Buchanan), and perhaps Halau (near Berenda), although this may have been Heuchi.
    • Nupchinche or Noptinte (not located).
    • Tawalimnu (probably on Tuolumne River).
    • Lakisamni (perhaps about Takin rancheria at Dents of Knights Ferry on the Stanislaus River).
    • Siakumne (location uncertain).
    • Hannesuk (location uncertain).
    • Coconoon (on Merced River).
    • Chulamni (about Stockton, their territory extending at least some miles down the San Joaquin and up the Calaveras, and possibly as far west as Mount Diablo), including the villages of Yachik and Wana (both near Stockton).

Yokuts Population.— Kroeber (1932) estimates 18,000 Yokuts in 1770 and 600 in 1910, based on the census report of 533. The census of 1930 returned 1,145.


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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