Culturally, our people are known as great fishermen, eelers, basket weavers, canoe makers, storytellers, singers, dancers, healers and strong medicine people. Before we were given the name ” Yurok ” we referred to ourselves and others in our area using our Indian language.
Acorns were the main food for the Yurok. Fish (mostly salmon) was also important to them. There were plenty of deer caught with snares.
From the Yurok tribe they got canoes, dried seaweed, salt, and salt water fish. To get those they traded acorns, obsidian, and some inland foods, to trade with their coastal neighbor. Some things were purchased with dentalium shells which served as money of the northern California people.
Yurok, North American Indians who lived in what is now California along the lower Klamath River and the Pacific coast. They spoke a Macro-Algonquian language and were culturally and linguistically related to the Wiyot.
Yurok Tribe Language Program Aiy-yue-kwee’ Nee-kee-chue! ( Hello Everyone!)
The Incas were agriculturally the most advanced. Through highly sophisticated crop selection techniques, they developed corn, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes into the crops they are today. Crops developed by the Incas currently provide a significant percentage of worldwide food consumption.
Following encounters with white settlers moving into their aboriginal lands during a gold rush in 1850, the Yurok were faced with disease and massacres that reduced their population by 75%. In 1855, following the Klamath and Salmon River War, the Lower Klamath River Indian Reservation was created by executive order.
The Yurok houses were made out of redwood planks. The houses were also made with a slanted roof to help drain the rainwater off the roof. The houses were made from split redwood logs which supported the houses’ frame. To hold the house up they used square poles and grape vines.
Changes to river hydrology, rising sea levels, increased frequency of storm events, and a loss of culturally significant species have all altered the manner in which Yurok people are able to maintain cultural, economic, and spiritual ties to their sacred lands.
Hockey or shinney. Varieties of this were played on both sides of the Sierra, the Yokuts using a ball (see illustration in Culin, fig. 811.) the Paiute using a rag or ball, and both peoples using a kind of primitive shinney or lacrosse stick.
Weapons. The bow among the Yokuts took two forms, the self bow and the sinew-backed bow, both made of mountain cedar. Houses. Apparently several types of shelters were built by the hill Yokuts adjoining Sequoia Park. Clothing. Yokuts men wrapped a deer skin around their loins or went naked.
The Yurok tribe used canoes to travel up and down the Klamath River and the coast of California for trading, fishing and hunting. Today, of course, Yurok people also use cars and non-native people also use canoes.
Traditional ceremonies involving dance were plentiful among the Yurok. They held a Boat Dance, Deerskin Dance, Kick Dance, Flower Dance, Doctor Dance, Jump Dance, and Brush Dance. Some dances, in which only the men could dance, lasted as long as ten days.
Kumeyaay ( Kumiai ), also known as Central Diegueño, Kamia, and Campo, is the Native American language spoken by the Kumeyaay people of southern San Diego and Imperial counties in California. Hinton (1994:28) suggested a conservative estimate of 50 native speakers of Kumeyaay.
Within the U.S., there are 562 Native American tribes. The largest are Navajo, Cherokee and Sioux. More than 3 million people in the U.S. are Native people.