Like many other Native groups, the Pomo Indians of Northern California relied upon fishing, hunting, and gathering for their daily food supply. They ate salmon, wild greens, gnats, mushrooms, berries, grasshoppers, rabbits, rats, and squirrels. Acorns were the most important staple in their diet.
The Pomos were hunter-gatherers. Pomo men hunted deer and small game, and depending on the band, sometimes caught fish. Pomo women gathered acorns and ground them into meal, as well as collecting berries, nuts, and other plants. Here is a website with more information about Native American foods.
The Southeastern Pomo actually lived on islands in the lake. They used basket traps and spears for their fishing. For hunting large animals the Pomo used the bow and arrow, heavy spears and clubs. For smaller animals they used nets and traps.
Potter Valley Pomo grow fields of pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and a variety of squash, providing hundreds of pounds of produce for their people.
Pomo Indians are world-famous for their baskets. Most of their baskets were produced by women from the tribe, though men made some for hunting and sale. Since Pomo Indians survived on the food they gathered, the great majority of baskets were used for storing seeds and other dried foods.
Traditional Pomo religion involved the Kuksu cult, a set of beliefs and practices involving private ceremonies, esoteric dances and rituals, and impersonations of spirits. There were also ceremonies for such things as ghosts, coyotes, and thunder.
1958: The state of California terminates the status of many Native American tribes, including the Pomo rancherias.
According to the 2010 United States Census, there are 10,308 Pomo people in the United States. Of these, 8,578 reside in California.
The Pomo Indians traditionally lived in what is now northwestern California around the Clear Lake area north of San Francisco, and along the Russian River, in Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties. Today, there are about 5,000 Pomo living in several rancherias and reservations on or near the places of their origin.
Sho-Ka-Wah or “east of the river” is the name of the people for themselves in the Central Pomo language. Their main village was named Shanel meaning “of the roundhouse” which had five assembly houses and many leaders or “captains” with a population estimated at 1500 before European contact.
Northern Pomo language. Northern Pomo is a critically endangered Pomoan language, spoken by the indigenous Pomo people in what is now called California. The speakers of Northern Pomo were traditionally those who lived in the northern and largest area of the Pomoan territory.
The Pomo are famous for their fine baskets. Trade. Items traded included salt from the Salt Pomo, and from the coastal groups came shells, magnesite, finished beads, obsidian, tools, basketry materials, skins, and food that one group might have in excess and another need.
The Kwakiutl people are indigenous (native) North Americans who live mostly along the coasts of British Columbia, which is located in the northwest corner of Canada. Today, there are about 5,500 Kwakiutls living here on the tribe’s own reserve, which is land specially designated for Native American tribes.
In the Pomo tribes both males and females are basket makers, although the styles and uses are slightly different. In general, the baskets made by the women are coiled, twined or feathered, and used for cooking and storing food. The women also make the baskets used for religious ceremonies.