California Indian Languages: Penutian Tribes
In 1750 AD speakers of Penutian tongues occupied nearly half of California and were a solid block of about 30 groups in the California Heartland. Penutian roots are old in California and expanded after Hokan languages were established in the state. To the extent that language and culture may be related, Penutian was the most typically “Californian” of any linguistic root language. (Moratto, California Archaeology *)
Native Location: Area along the California central coast
Identified Shelters: Domed structures thatched with tule, grass, and fern
Food: Acorn, seeds, nuts, berries, grapes, honey, fish, deer, bear, mountain lion, and small game
Native Location: Eastern drainage area of the Sacramento river near Chico, and in large areas on the east and south side of Lassen Peak.
Identified Shelters: Unhewn timber-framed structure, cone-shaped, covered with grass, brush, tules, and earth
Food: Acorn, wild plants, fish, game
Cultural Notes: They were once nomadic, hunter-gatherers.
Honey Lake Maidu Tribe
Native Location: San Francisco Bay Area to Monterey; there was a tribe of Ahwaneechee Miwoks who lived in the Yosemite area for nearly 4,000 years before a fatal illness caused them to flee the valley.
Identified Shelters: Semi-subterranean, cone-shaped structures with pole frames, covered with bark, brush, grass, or tule; a fire-pit stood in the center and a hole was left on the top of the dome for air circulation.
Food: Acorn, pine nuts, buckeyes, berries, seeds, roots fish, deer, elk, bear, small game, waterfowl
California Valley Miwok Tribe
Native Location: Area south of Redding to the slopes of Mt. Shasta
Language: Wintun dialect of Penutian
Identified Shelters: In the north, semi-subterranean, cone-shaped structures with a connecting timber framework, covered with bark; in the south, a central post with radiating rafters resting on the surrounding edges of an earth pit, covered by various material.
Food: Deer, small game, bear, salmon, trout, acorns, seeds, nuts, berries
Native Location: Western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the San Joaquin Valley foothills
Identified Shelters: Semi-subterranean, cone-shaped structures with a connecting pole framework, covered with tule, tarweed, and pine needles.
Food: Pinenuts, manzanita berries, acorns, salmon, deer, rabbit, geese
Cultural Notes: They were once a nomadic hunter/gatherer tribe which used tools made of bedrock, spears, bows & arrows, and knives. They pierced their ears and nose for decoration and the women often wore tattoos.
Tachi Yokut Tribe (Santa Rosa Rancheria)
Other Penutian Tribes: Konkow - Modoc - Nisenan - Nomiaki - Patwin
* Moratto, Michael, California Archaeology, Academic Press, Inc., 1984