Wappo Indians

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

  • Ash-o-chl-mi, a name given by Powers (1877).
  • Soteomellos or Sotomieyos, names given by Taylor (1860-63).

Wappo Connections. The Wappo language constituted a very divergent form of speech of the Yukian linguistic family.

Wappo Location. On the headwaters of Napa River and Pope and Putah Creeks, and a stretch of Russian River.

Wappo Subdivisions and Villages

Following are their dialectic divisions and the villages in each, the names in italic being principal towns in as many village communities:

  • Southern Wappo:
    • Anakota-noma, at St. Helena.
    • Kaimus, at Yountville.
    • Tsemanoma, northeast of St. Helena.
    • Wilikos, near the head of Sonoma Creek.
  • Central Wappo:
    • Maiyakama, south of Calistoga.
    • Melka’wa-hotsa-noma, at site of Middletown, Driver.
    • Mutistul, between the Napa River and Russian River drainage.
    • Nihlektsonoma, north of Calistoga.
    • Tselmenan, north of Calistoga.
  • Northern Wappo:
    • Lok-noma, northeast of Middletown.
    • Petinoma, north of Middletown.
    • Uyuhanoma, east of Middletown.
  • Western Wappo:
    • Ashaben, near Lytton.
    • Gayechin, near Lytton.
    • Hol-tcu’kolo, location unknown.
    • Koloko, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Malalachahl, at Lytton.
    • Nets-tul, northeast of Tsimitu-tsonoma.
    • Oso’ynk-eju, west of Russian River and southeast of Geyserville.
    • Owotel-peti, east of Tsimitutsonoma.
    • Pipoholma, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Shei-kana, location unknown.
    • Shimela, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Tsi’mitu-tso-noma, on the east bank of Russian River some miles below Geyserville.
    • Tekenan-tso-noma, near Geysers in Sulphur Creek drainage.
    • Unutsa’wa-holma-noma, north of Tsi’mitu-tso-noma.
  • Lile’ek Wappo:
    • Daladan, on Cole Creek.
    • Kabetsawam, on Cole Creek.

Driver (1939) adds the following names of camp sites, presumably in the country of the Western Wappo: Halfsh-wah1 k-holma, Ho’lko-mota, Hut-mitul, Nuya-hotsa, Tcano-nayuk, Ts’awo-tul, Tikomota, Walma-pesite.

Wappo Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 1,000 Wappo in 1770 as a maximum; the census of 1910 returned 73. (See Yuki.)


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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