Mount Shasta straddles the territories of the Shasta, Wintu, Achumawi, Atsugewi and Modoc tribes. Not surprisingly, the imposing mountain shows up in a lot of tribal myths and stories. It’s especially important to the Wintu tribe, who trace their people’s origin back to a sacred spring on the mountain.
Historically, the Wintu lived primarily on the western side of the northern part of the Sacramento Valley, from the Sacramento River to the Coast Range.
The Wintus were hunter-gatherers. Wintu men hunted deer, rabbits, and small game, and caught fish in the rivers and lakes. Wintu women ground acorns into meal, as well as gathering berries, nuts, and other plants. Here is a website with more information about Native American foods.
WHAT IS THE RUN4SALMON? Salmon, known to the Winnemem Wintu as Nur, bring essential nutrients to the waterways, forests, and lands and are considered as a relative. However, since the Shasta Dam was built 75 years ago, the salmon have been unable to return to their home waters in our ancestral watershed near Mt.
Wintun, any of a number of groups of Penutian-speaking North American Indians originally inhabiting the west side of the Sacramento Valley in what is today California.
Between 1830 and 1833, many Wintu died from a malaria epidemic that killed an estimated 75% of the indigenous population in the upper and central Sacramento Valley.
Redding Rancheria is a combination of the Pit River, Wintu and Yana tribes. The story of the clash between tribes and white settlers is brutal and tragic. In the 1900’s, many tribes who had staked claim to NorCal land for many, many years were pushed from their homes.
Wintu is a Penutian language of California. Originally there were at least two other dialects of this language, known as Nomlaki (or Nomalaki) and Patwin, but today only the Wintu dialect is still spoken, and by only a few elders.
Various groups of Wintu also traded with each other, as their resources differed depending on where they lived. Things considered valuable by the Wintu included bows and arrows; elkskin armor; bear, deer, elk, and otter skins; woodpecker scalps; obsidian knives and spears with obsidian tips.
The Winnemem Wintu tribe long survived on salmon runs up the McCloud River in Northern California. But the salmon — and the tribe’s original home — were wiped out with the building in 1945 of Shasta Dam.
For the Cabazon and Morongo tribes of Southern California, the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case, the wealth they have achieved through gambling casinos was unimaginable twenty years ago.
The demise of the Yana tribe is attributed to the diseases brought by white gold rush settlers who took over their tribal regions devastating the Yana lifestyle by felling the oak trees and with them the acorns that were an important food source of the tribe.
The Patwin (also Patween, Southern Wintu) are a band of Wintun people native to the area of Northern California. The Patwin comprise the southern branch of the Wintun group, native inhabitants of California since approximately 500 AD.
Patwin (Patween) is a critically endangered Wintuan language of Northern California. As of 2003, there was “at least one first language speaker of Patwin.” As of 2010, Patwin language classes were taught at the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (formerly Rumsey Rancheria) tribal school (Dubin 2010).
Shastan, also called Sastise, North American Indian peoples that spoke related languages of Hokan stock and lived in the highlands of what is now interior northern California, in the basins of the Upper Klamath, the Scott, and the Shasta rivers.