Spanish missions in California
The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts or missions established between 1769 and 1833 in today's U. S. State of California. Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America. Following long-term secular and religious policy of Spain in Spanish America, the missionaries forced the native Californians to live in settlements called reductions, disrupting their traditional way of life; the missionaries introduced European fruits, cattle, horses and technology. The missions have been accused by critics and now, of various abuses and oppression. In the end, the missions had mixed results in their objectives: to convert and transform the natives into Spanish colonial citizens. By 1810, Spain's king had been imprisoned by the French, financing for military payroll and missions in California ceased.
In 1821, Mexico achieved independence from Spain, although Mexico did not send a governor to California until 1824, only a portion of payroll was reinstated. The 21,000 Mission Indians produced hide and tallow and wool and textiles at this time, the leather products were exported to Boston, South America, Asia which sustained the colonial economy from 1810 until 1830, but tended to give British or New England merchant captains importance; the missions began to lose control over land in the 1820s, as unpaid military men unofficially encroached, but missions maintained authority over native neophytes and control of land holdings until the 1830s. At the peak of its development in 1832, the coastal mission system controlled an area equal to one-sixth of Alta California; the Alta California government secularized the missions after the passage of the Mexican secularization act of 1833. This divided the mission lands into land grants, in effect legitimizing and completing the transfer of Indian congregation lands to military commanders and their most loyal men.
The surviving mission buildings are the state's oldest structures and its most-visited historic monuments. They have become a symbol of California, appearing in many movies and television shows, are an inspiration for Mission Revival architecture; the oldest cities of California formed around or near Spanish missions, including the four largest: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco. Prior to 1754, grants of mission lands were made directly by the Spanish Crown. But, given the remote locations and the inherent difficulties in communicating with the territorial governments, power was transferred to the viceroys of New Spain to grant lands and establish missions in North America. Plans for the Alta California missions were laid out under the reign of King Charles III, came at least in part as a response to recent sightings of Russian fur traders along the California coast in the mid 1700s; the missions were to be interconnected by an overland route which became known as the Camino Real.
The detailed planning and direction of the missions was to be carried out by Friar Junípero Serra, O. F. M.. The Rev. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén took up Serra's work and established nine more mission sites, from 1786 through 1798. Work on the coastal mission chain was concluded in 1823, completed after Serra's death in 1784. Plans to build a twenty-second mission in Santa Rosa in 1827 were canceled; the Rev. Pedro Estévan Tápis proposed establishing a mission on one of the Channel Islands in the Pacific Ocean off San Pedro Harbor in 1784, with either Santa Catalina or Santa Cruz being the most locations, the reasoning being that an offshore mission might have attracted potential people to convert who were not living on the mainland, could have been an effective measure to restrict smuggling operations. Governor José Joaquín de Arrillaga approved the plan the following year, however an outbreak of sarampion killing some 200 Tongva people coupled with a scarcity of land for agriculture and potable water left the success of such a venture in doubt, so no effort to found an island mission was made.
In September 1821,the Rev. Mariano Payeras, "Comisario Prefecto" of the California missions, visited Cañada de Santa Ysabel east of Mission San Diego de Alcalá as part of a plan to establish an entire chain of inland missions; the Santa Ysabel Asistencia had been founded in 1818 as a "mother" mission, the plan's expanding beyond never came to fruition. In addition to the presidio and pueblo, the misión was one of the three major agencies employed by the Spanish sovereign to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial territories. Asistencias were small-scale missions that conducted Mass on days of obligation but lacked a resident priest; the Spanish Californians had never strayed from the coast. Each frontier station was forced to be self-supporting, as existing means of supply were inadequate to maintain a
The Maidu are a Native American people of northern California. They reside in the watershed area of the Feather and American rivers, they reside in Humbug Valley. In Maiduan languages, Maidu means "man." The Maidu people are geographically dispersed into many subgroups or bands, who live and identify with separate valleys and mountains in Northeastern Central California. There are three subcategories of Maidu: The Nisenan or Southern Maidu occupied the whole of the American and Yuba River drainages, they live in lands that were home to the Martis. The Northeastern or Mountain Maidu known as Yamani Maidu, lived on the upper North and Middle forks of the Feather River; the Konkow came out of a valley between Cherokee, Pulga, along the north fork of the Feather River and its tributaries. The Mechupda live in the area of California. Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber estimated the 1770 population of the Maidu as 9,000.
Sherburne F. Cook raised this figure to 9,500. Kroeber reported the population of the Maidu in 1910 as 1,100; the 1930 census counted 93, following decimation by social disruption. As of 1995, the Maidu population had recovered to an estimated 3,500; the Maidu were gatherers. The Maidu women were exemplary basket weavers, weaving detailed and useful baskets in sizes ranging from thimble-sized to huge ones ten or more feet in diameter; the weaving on some of these baskets is so fine that a magnifying glass is needed to see the strands. In addition to making woven, watertight baskets for cooking, they made large storage baskets, shallow trays, cradles and seed beaters. To make these baskets, they used dozens of different kinds of wild plant stems, barks and leaves; some of the more common were fern roots, red bark of the redbud, white willow twigs and tule roots, hazel twigs, yucca leaves, brown marsh grass roots and sedge roots. By combining these different kinds of plants, the women made geometric designs on their baskets in red, white, brown or tan.
Maidu elder Marie Potts explains, "The coiled and twining systems were both used, the products were sometimes handsomely decorated according to the inventiveness and skill of the weaver and the materials available, such as feathers of brightly plumaged birds, quills, seeds or beads- anything that could be attached." Like many other California tribes, the Maidu were hunters and gatherers and did not farm. They practiced grooming of their gathering grounds, with fire as a primary tool for this purpose, they tended local groves of oak trees to maximize production of acorns, which were their principal dietary staple after being processed and prepared. According to Maidu elder Marie Potts: Preparing acorns as food was a long and tedious process, undertaken by the women and children; the acorns had to be shelled and ground into meal. This was done by pounding them with a pestle on a hard surface a hollowed-out stone; the tannic acid in the acorns was leached out by spreading the meal smoothly on a bed of pine needles laid over sand.
Cedar or fir boughs were placed across the meal and warm water was poured all over, a process which took several hours, with the boughs distributing the water evenly and flavoring the meal. The Maidu used the abundance of acorns to store large quantities for harder times. Above-ground acorn granaries were created by the weavers. Besides acorns, which provided dietary starch and fat, the Maidu supplemented their acorn diet with edible roots or tubers, other plants and tubers; the women and children collected seeds from the many flowering plants, corms from wild flowers were gathered and processed as part of their diet. The men hunted deer, elk and smaller game, within a spiritual system that respected the animals; the men captured fish from rivers, as they were a prime source of protein. Salmon were collected. Higher in the hills and the mountains, the Maidu built their dwellings semi-underground, to gain protection from the cold; these houses were sizable, circular structures twelve to 18 feet in diameter, with floors dug as much as three feet below ground level.
Once the floor of the house was dug, a pole framework was built. It was covered by pine bark slabs. A sturdy layer of earth was placed along the base of the structure. A central fire was prepared in the house at ground level, it had a stone-lined bedrock mortar to hold heat for food preparation. For summer dwelling, a different structure was built from cut branches tied together and fastened to sapling posts covered with brush and dirt; the summer shelters were built with the principal opening facing east to catch the rising sun, to avoid the heat of afternoon sun. Maidu lived in small bands with no centralized political organization. Leaders were selected from the pool of men who headed the local Kuksu cult, they did not exercise day-to-day authority, but were responsible for settling internal disputes, negotiating over matters arising between villages. The primary religious tradition was known as the Kuksu cult; this central California religious system was based on a male secret society. It was characterized by "big head" dances.
Maidu elder Marie Potts says that the Maidu are traditionally a monotheistic people: "they greeted the sunrise with a prayer of thankfulness.
The Quechan are a Native American tribe who live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation on the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California just north of the Mexican border. Members are enrolled into the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation; the federally recognized Quechan tribe's main office is located in Arizona. Its operations and the majority of its reservation land are located in United States; the historic Yuman-speaking people in this region were skilled warriors and active traders, maintaining exchange networks with the Pima in southern Arizona and with peoples of the Pacific coast. The first significant contact of the Quechan with Europeans was with the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and his party in the winter of 1774. Relations were friendly. On Anza's return from his second trip to Alta California in 1776, the chief of the tribe and three of his men journeyed to Mexico City to petition the Viceroy of New Spain for the establishment of a mission; the chief Palma and his three companions were baptized in Mexico City on February 13, 1777.
Palma was given the Spanish baptismal name Salvador Carlos Antonio. Spanish settlement among the Quechan did not go smoothly, they attacked and damaged the Spanish mission settlements of San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer and Puerto de Purísima Concepción, killing many. The following year, the Spanish retaliated with military action against the tribe. After the United States annexed the territories after winning the Mexican–American War, it engaged in the Yuma War from 1850 to 1853. During which, the historic Fort Yuma was built across the Colorado River from the present day Yuma, Arizona. Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber put the 1770 population of the Quechan at 2,500. Jack D. Forbes compiled historical estimates and suggested that before they were first contacted, the Quechan had numbered 4,000 or a few more. Kroeber estimated the population of the Quechan in 1910 as 750. By 1950, there were reported to be just under 1,000 Quechan living on the reservation and more than 1,100 off it.
The 2000 census reported a resident population of 2,376 persons on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, only 56.8 percent of whom said they were of Native American heritage. More than 27 percent of these persons identified as white; the Quechan language is part of the Yuman language family. The Fort Yuma Indian Reservation is a part of the Quechan's traditional lands. Established in 1884, the reservation, at 32°47′N 114°39′W, has a land area of 178.197 km2 in southeastern Imperial County and western Yuma County, near the city of Yuma, Arizona. Both the county and city are named for the tribe. Quechan traditional narratives Quechan language Fort Yuma Blythe geoglyphs Indigenous peoples of the Americas Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas Native Americans in the United States Forbes, Jack D.. Warriors of the Colorado: The Yumas of the Quechan Nation and Their Neighbors. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Kroeber, A. L.. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin.
78. Washington, DC. Pritzker, Barry M.. A Native American Encyclopedia: History and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1. Zappia, Natale A.. Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540-1859. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. "Yuma Reservation, California/Arizona". United States Census Bureau. Quechan Tribal Council, official website Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
The Shastan peoples are a group of linguistically related indigenous from the Klamath Mountains. They traditionally inhabited portions of several regional waterways, including the Klamath, Sacramento and McCloud rivers. Shastan lands presently form portions of the Siskiyou and Jackson counties. Scholars have divided the Shastan peoples into four languages, although arguments in favor of more or less existing have been made. Speakers of Shasta proper, Konomihu and New River Shasta resided in settlements near a water source, their villages had only either one or two families. Larger villages had additional buildings utilised by the community; the California Gold Rush drew in an influx of outsiders into California in the late 1840s eager to gain mineral wealth. For the Shasta, this was a devastating process as their lands soon had thousands of miners operating along various waterways. Conflicts arose as the outsiders didn't respect their homeland. Introduction to new diseases and fighting against invading Americans reduced the number of Shasta.
The Shasta residents of Bear Creek were active in Rogue River Wars and assisted the Takelma until they were forcibly removed to the Grande Ronde and Siletz Reservations in Oregon. In the late 1850s the Shastan peoples of California were forcibly removed from their territories and sent to the same two distant reservations. By the early years of the 20th century only 100 Shasta individual existed; some Shasta descendants still reside at the Grand Ronde and Siletz Reservations, while others are in Siskiyou county at the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation or Yreka. Many former members of the Shasta tribe have been inducted into the Karuk and Alturas tribes. Prior to contact with European descendants the term Shasta wasn't used by the Shastan peoples themselves. Among the Shasta proper they called themselves "Kahosadi" or "plain speakers". Variations of Shasta used by whites include Chasta, Tsashtl and Saste. Dixon noted that the Shastan peoples didn't use "Shasta" as a place name and wasn't a word at all in their languages.
In interviews with Shasta informants Dixon was informed of a prominent man of Scott Valley that lived up until the 1850s with the name of Susti or Sustika. This was the probable origin of the term according to Dixon, an interpretation that Kroeber agreed with. Merriam reviewed information from Albert Samuel Gatschet and fur trader Peter Skene Ogden, concluding that while the Shastan peoples didn't refer to themselves as Shasta traditionally. Scholars have accepted Dixon's etymology for Shasta. Renfro questions its validity however as Ogden used a variation of the term before Sustika was prominent. In 1814, near the Willamette Trading Post a meeting occurred between North West Company officer Alexander Henry and an assembled Sahaptin congregation of Cayuse and Walla Walla, in addition to a third group of people, named Shatasla. Maloney argued. Something Garth conjectured as well; this interpretation has been contested by other scholars based on linguistic and historical evidence. Previous to Maloney's assertion, Frederick Hodge in 1910 noted the word Shatalsa as being related to word Sahaptin.
This older etymology was defended by Stern against Maloney's interpretation, in addition to being accepted by Clark as well. The Shasta were the numerically largest of the Shastan speakers, their territories spread from around modern Ashland in the north, Jenny Creek and Mt. Shasta to the east, southward to the Scott Mountains, westward to modern Seiad Valley and the Salmon and Marble Mountains; this area had four important waterways. These were the Klamath River and two of its tributaries, the Shasta River and Scott River, along with the Bear Creek in the Rogue Valley. Four bands of Shasta existed with variations in custom and differing dialects; each band had names derived from nearby waterways. In this way people from Shasta River or Ahotidae were the "Ahotireitsu", those from the Upper Rogue Valley or Ikiruk were the "Ikirukatsu", inhabitants of Scott River or Iraui were the "Irauitsu". Shasta families located directly along the Klamath River were referred to by the Ikirukatsu as "Wasudigwatsu" after their particular words for the Klamath River and gulch.
The Irauistu knew them as "Wiruwhikwatsu" and the Ahotireitsu called them "Wiruwhitsu", terms derived from "down river" and "up river" respectively. Shasta settlements only contained a single family. In larger villages headmen held sway; the responsibilities of this position were varied. They were expected "to exhort the people to live in peace, do good, have kind hearts, be industrious." A common requirement to hold the position was. This came from the expectation for them to use their property in negotiations to settles disputes between members of their village or with other settlements. In raids on enemies the headman did not participate but negotiated with enemy headmen to establish peaceable relations; each of the four Shasta bands had individual headmen as well. While only the Ikirukatsu were reported to have had hereditary succession to the position it is thought the other three bands had some form hereditarian succession as well. While each of the four band headmen were considered equal, in trying disputes the Ikirukatsu headman would negotiate an end to the issue.
Three related groups of Shastan speakers resided adjacent to the Shasta proper. These were the Okwanuchu of the upper Sacramento and McCloud rivers, the Salmon River based Konomihu and New River Shasta. There is little recorded informat
The Esselen are a Native American people belonging to a linguistic group in the hypothetical Hokan language family, who are indigenous to the Santa Lucia Mountains of the region now known as Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Prior to Spanish colonization, they lived seasonally on the coast and inland, surviving off the plentiful seafood during the summer and acorns and wildlife during the rest of the year. Experts estimate there were from 500 to 1200 individuals living in the steep, rocky region at the time of the arrival of the Spanish. During the mission period of California history, Esselen children were baptized by the priests and at a certain age forcibly removed from their village and parents. Adult members of the Esselen tribe were forcibly conscripted and made to labor at the three nearby missions, Mission San Carlos, Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, Mission San Antonio de Padua. Like many Native American populations, their members were decimated by disease, over work, torture.
They were one of the smallest Native American populations in California and due to their proximity to three Spanish missions, they were one of the first whose culture was repressed as a result of European contact and domination. They were assumed to have been exterminated but some tribal members avoided the mission life and emerged from the forest to work in nearby ranches in the early and late 1800s. Descendants of the Esselen are scattered, but many still live in the Monterey Peninsula area and nearby regions. Archaeological and linguistic evidence indicates that the original people's territory once extended much farther north, into the San Francisco Bay Area, until they were displaced by the entrance of Ohlone people. Based on linguistic evidence, Richard Levy places the displacement at around AD 500. Breschini and Haversat place the entry of Ohlone speakers into the Monterey area prior to 200 B. C. based on multiple lines of evidence. Carbon dating of excavated sites places the Esselen in the Big Sur since circa 2630 BCE.
However, researchers have obtained a radiocarbon date from coastal Esselen territory in the Big Sur River drainage dated prior to 6,500 years ago. The name Esselen derived from the name of a major native village from the village known as Exse'ein, or the place called Eslenes; the village name is derived from a tribal location known as Ex'selen, "the rock,", in turn derived from the phrase Xue elo xonia eune, "I come from the rock." "The Rock" may refer to the 361 feet tall promontory, visible for miles both up and down the coast, on which the Point Sur Lighthouse is situated. It may have referred to Pico Blanco, the mountain they believed that all life came from; the Spanish extended the term to mean the entire linguistic group. Variant spellings exist in old records, including Aschatliens, Eslen, Eslenes and Escelen. "Aschatliens" may refer in and around the village of Achasta. Achasta was a Rumsen Ohlone village, unrelated to the Esselen. Achasta was founded only after the establishment of Mission San Carlos.
It was the closest village to Mission San Carlos, was 10+ miles from Esselen territory. "Eslenes" was nowhere near Mission San Carlos. The Esselen language is a language, it is hypothetically part of the Hokan family. The language was spoken in the northern Santa Lucia Range. Prior to contact with European culture, there were between 1000 speakers. La Pérouse, a French explorer, recorded 22 words in 1786, he wrote in his journal during the expedition: The country of the Ecclemachs extends above 20 leagues to the eastward of Monterey. Their language is different from all those of their neighbors, has more resemblance to the languages of Europe than to those of the Americas; this grammatical phenomenon, the most curious in this respect observed on the continent, will be interesting to those of the learned, who seek, in the analogy of languages, the history and genealogy of transplanted nations. In 1792, Galiano, a Spanish ship's captain recorded 107 phrases. In 1832, Father Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta recorded 14 phrases at Soledad.
The speakers were the Arroyo Seco area 15 miles to the east. The neighboring Rumsen people were fluent in Esselen and they provided de la Cuesta some language. A total of about 300 words along with some short phrases have been identified. Examples include mamamanej; the last known fluent speaker was Isabel Meadows who died in 1939. The Esselen resided along the upper Carmel and Arroyo Seco Rivers, along the Big Sur coast from near present-day Hurricane Point to the vicinity of Vicente Creek in the south; the Central California coast in this region is marked by high, steep cliffs and rocky shores, interrupted by small coastal creeks with occasional, small beaches. The mountains are rugged with narrow canyons; the terrain makes the area inaccessible, long-term habitation a challenge, limited the size of the native population. The Esselen's territory extended inland through the Santa Lucia Mountains as far as the Salinas Valley. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, they were hunter-gatherers who resided in small groups with no centralized political authority.
Modern researchers believe there were five distinct Esselen districts: Excelen, Imunahan and Aspasniahan. Each are believed to have had a stable resident population. Within each district the people occupied several villages depending on the season and availability of food and shelter. Carbon dating tes
The Coast Miwok are an indigenous people, the second largest group of Miwok people. The Coast Miwok inhabited the general area of modern Marin County and southern Sonoma County in Northern California, from the Golden Gate north to Duncans Point and eastward to Sonoma Creek; the Coast Miwok included the Bodega Bay Miwok, from authenticated Miwok villages around Bodega Bay, the Marin Miwok. The Coast Miwok spoke their own Coast Miwok language in the Utian linguistic group, they lived by hunting and gathering, lived in small bands without centralized political authority. In the springtime they would head to the coasts including seaweed. Otherwise their staple foods were acorns—particularly from black and tan oak–nuts and wild game, such as deer and cottontail rabbits and black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, a coastal subspecies of the California mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus; when hunting deer, Miwok hunters traditionally used Brewer's angelica, Angelica breweri to eliminate their own scent.
Miwok did not hunt bears. Yerba buena tea leaf were used medicinally. Tattooing was a traditional practice among Coast Miwok, they burned poison oak for a pigment, their traditional houses, called "kotcha" were constructed with slabs of tule grass or redwood bark in a cone-shaped form. Miwok people are skilled at basketry. A recreated Coast Miwok village called; the Coast Miwok language is no longer natively spoken, but the Bodega dialect is documented in Callaghan. The original Coast Miwok people world view included animism, one form of this took was the Kuksu religion, evident in Central and Northern California; this included elaborate acting and dancing ceremonies in traditional costume, an annual mourning ceremony, puberty rites of passage, shamanic intervention with the spirit world and an all-male society that met in subterranean dance rooms. Kuksu was shared with other indigenous ethnic groups of Central California, such as their neighbors the Pomo Maidu, Ohlone and northernmost Yokuts; however Kroeber observed less "specialized cosmogony" in the Miwok, which he termed one of the "southern Kuksu-dancing groups", in comparison to the Maidu and other northern California tribes.
Coast Miwok mythology and narratives were similar to those of other natives of Central and Northern California. The Coast Miwok believed in animal and human spirits, saw the animal spirits as their ancestors. Coyote was seen as their creator god. In their case the earth began with land formed out of the Pacific Ocean. In their myths, legends and histories, the Coast Miwok participated in the general cultural pattern of Central California; the authenticated Coast Miwok villages are: On Bodega Bay: Helapattai, Hime-takala, Ho-takala, Tiwut-huya, Tokau. In this vicinity: Awachi, Kennekono. On Tomales Bay: Echa-kolum, Shotommo-wi, Utumia At the present-day City of Petaluma: Etem, Petaluma. In this vicinity: Tuchayelin, Meleya, Tulme, Wotoki. At the present-day City of San Rafael: Awani-wi. At the present-day City of Sonoma: Huchi. In this vicinity: Temblek, Wugilwa. At the present-day City of Cotati: Kotati, Lumen-takala. In this vicinity: Payinecha. At the present-day town of Nicasio: Echa-tamal. At the present-day town of Olema: Olema-loke.
At the present-day City of Sausalito: Liwanelowa. Near the present-day town of Bolinas: Bauli-n Near the present-day town of Freestone: Oye-yomi, Patawa-yomi. Near the present-day town of Ignacio: Ewu, Shotokmo-cha. Near the present-day City of Novato: Chokeche, Olompolli. Near the present-day town of Valley Ford: Ewapalt, Uli-yomi. Near the present-day town of Salmon Creek: Pulya-lakum. Documentation of Miwok peoples dates back as early as 1579 by a priest on a ship under the command of Sir Francis Drake. Other verification of occupancy exists from Spanish and Russian voyagers between 1595 and 1808. Over 1000 prehistoric charmstones and numerous arrowheads have been unearthed at Tolay Lake in Southern Sonoma County - some dating back 4000 years; the lake was thought to be a sacred site and ceremonial gathering and healing place for the Miwok and others in the region. Coast Miwok would camp on the coast and bays at peak fishing seasons. After the Europeans arrived in California, the population declined from diseases introduced by the Europeans.
Beginning in 1783, mission ecclesiastical records show that Coast Miwok individuals began to join Mission San Francisco de Asis, now known as Mission Dolores. They started joining that mission in large numbers in 1803, when the marriages of 49 couples from their Huimen and Guaulen local tribes appeared in the Mission San Francisco Book of Marriages. Local tribes from farther and farther north along the shore of San Pablo Bay moved to Mission San Francisco through the year 1812. In 1814 the Spanish authorities began to split the northern groups—Alagualis, Chocoimes and Petalumas—sending a portion of each group to Mission San Francisco and another portion to Mission San Jose in the southeast portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. By the end of
Hupa are a Native American people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group in northwestern California. Their endonym is Natinixwe spelled Natinook-wa, meaning "People of the Place Where the Trails Return"; the majority of the tribe is enrolled in the Federally recognized Hoopa Valley Tribe. The Hupa people migrated from the north into northern California around 1000 CE and settled in Hoopa Valley, California, their heritage language is Hupa, a member of the Athabaskan language family. Their land stretched from the South Fork of the Trinity River to Hoopa Valley, to the Klamath River in California, their red cedar-planked houses, dugout canoes, basket hats, many elements of their oral literature identify them with their northern origin. Hupa people had limited contact with non-native peoples until the 1849 Gold Rush brought an influx of miners onto their lands. In 1864, the United States government signed a treaty that recognized the Hupa tribe's sovereignty to their land; the United States called the reservation the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, where the Hupa now reside, one of few California tribes not forced from their homeland.
The reservation is next to the territory of the Yurok at the connection of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in northeastern Humboldt County. The reservation has a land area of 141.087 square miles. Hupa people have traditionally excelled at basketry, elk horn carving, since the 17th century, petroglyphs; the Hupa use the acorns of Notholithocarpus densiflorus to make meal, from which they would make mush, biscuits and cakes. They roast the acorns and eat them, they use the dyed fronds of Woodwardia radicans for basketry. They use Xerophyllum tenax to create a border pattern in baskets; the Hupa, like many tribes in the area, fish for salmon in the Trinity rivers. One of the methods they once used to capture fish was the fish weir, which tribal members would maintain; the Hupa share many of their fishing practices with the neighboring Yurok Tribe. Hupa tribal fishers and their families rely on the Fall Chinook Salmon runs. Acorns, once abundant, were a main staple; because the Hupa were not located as close to the sea as their neighboring Yurok Tribe, they traded supplies with them, such as salt in exchange for baskets, or acorns for canoes.
The Hupa are involved in the talks to remove hydroelectric dams along the Klamath and Trinity rivers, were a party to a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service. On February 8, 2017 the federal district court judge ruled in favor of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the three other Klamath River fishing tribes, other stakeholders; the judge agreed to plans designed by the Tribes' scientists to reduce outbreaks of a deadly fish disease that had infected 90% of juvenile salmon in 2014 and 2015. Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber thought that the 1770 population of the Hupa was 1,000 and that the Chilula and Whilkut accounted for another 1,000. Kroeber estimated the population of the Hupa in 1910 as 500. In 1943, Sherburne F. Cook proposed an aboriginal population of 1,000 for the Hupa and 600 for the Chilula, he subsequently suggested a population for the Hupa alone of 2,900.
William J. Wallace felt that the latter estimate was "much too high", allowed 1,000 for the Hupa, 500–600 for the Chilula, 500 for the Whilkut; the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation has a resident population of 2,633 persons according to the 2000 census. Hoopa, California—the name for the town in the Hupa Valley; the name was changed at various times related to the post office. Cook, Sherburne F.. The Aboriginal Population of the North Coast of California. Anthropological Records. 16. Berkeley, California: University of California, Berkeley. Pp. 81–130. Cook, Sherburne F.. The Conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization. Berkeley: University of California Press. Goddard, Pliny Earle. Life and Culture of the Hupa. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology. 1. The University Press. Pp. 1–88. Retrieved 24 August 2012. Kroeber, A. L.. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin. Washington, D. C. Merriam, C. Hart. Ethnographic Notes on California Indian Tribes.
Berkeley, California: University of California Archaeological Research Facility. P. 200. Murphey, Edith Van Allen. Indian Uses of Native Plants. Glenwood, Illinois: Meyerbooks. Pritzker, Barry M.. A Native American Encyclopedia: History and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1. Wallace, William J.. Heizer, Robert F.. Hupa and Whilkut. In California. Handbook of North American Indians. 8. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 91–98. Hupa Bibliography, from California Indian Library Collections Project Hoopa Valley Tribe, official website San Francisco State University - Hupa