Pomo, Hokan-speaking North American Indians of the west coast of the United States. Their territory was centred in the Russian River valley some 50 to 100 miles (80 to 160 km) north of what is now San Francisco. Pomo territory also included the adjacent coastlands and the interior highlands near Clear Lake.
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.
The Pomo tribe is a California-based Native American tribe that existed free from colonization before the 1800s. The Pomo culture is unique from other American tribes with their own religion and tribal structures that vary between each Pomo subtribe.
According to the 2010 United States Census, there are 10,308 Pomo people in the United States. Of these, 8,578 reside in California.
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.
Currently, many of the Pomo Tribes have small farms and agriculture projects on their lands that could be expanded to provide food security and income for their Tribe. Potter Valley Pomo grow fields of pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and a variety of squash, providing hundreds of pounds of produce for their people.
1958: The state of California terminates the status of many Native American tribes, including the Pomo rancherias.
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.
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.
Tribes included the Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mojave, Yokuts, Pomo, Paiute, and Modoc. On the other hand, the mountains that divided the groups made extensive warfare impractical, and the California tribes and clans enjoyed a comparatively peaceful life.
The Pomos lived in reed houses. These houses were made from a cone-shaped frame of wooden poles, sometimes placed over a basement-like hole dug into the ground. Then the frame would be covered with long rushes or with mats woven from tule reeds. Today, most Pomos live in modern houses and apartments, just like you.
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.
The Pomo hunted deer (venison), elk, antelope, fowl, and small game such as rabbits and quail. The hunter-gathers collected other foods including buckeye nuts, pepperwood nuts, various greens, roots, bulbs, and berries. Most foods were dried and stored for use during the winter months.
The Pomo Indians of Northern California have traditionally sung lullabies, as well as hunting and religious songs. For the Cahuilla people of Palm Springs, bird songs tell stories of their origin, journey and return home.
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.