Clear Lake, California,
is the homeland of the Lake Miwok
|Regions with significant populations|
Lake Miwok language
|Shamanism: Kuksu: |
|Related ethnic groups|
The Lake Miwok spoke their own Lake language in the Utian linguistic group. They lived by hunting and gathering, and lived in small bands without centralized political authority. They were skilled at basketry.
The original Lake Miwok people world view included Shamanism, one form this took was the Kuksu religion that was evident in Central and Northern California, which included elaborate acting and dancing ceremonies in traditional costume, an annual mourning ceremony, puberty rites of passage, shamanic intervention with the spirit world and an all-male society that met in subterranean dance rooms. Kuksu was shared with other indigenous ethnic groups of Central California, such as their neighbors the Lake Pomo, also Maidu, Ohlone, Esselen, and northernmost Yokuts. However Kroeber observed less "specialized cosmogony" in the Miwok, which he termed one of the "southern Kuksu-dancing groups", in comparison to the Maidu and other northern California tribes.
In their myths, legends, tales, and histories, the Lake Miwok participated in the general cultural pattern of Central California.
- Near present-day town of Lower Lake: Kado'(?)'-yomi-pukut (at Cookman Ranch), Tu'bud or Tu'bul (on Asbill property toward Lower Lake), Tule'-yomi (2–3 miles south town).
- Near present-day Middletown: Laka'h-yomi (on Weldon's ranch), La'lmak-pukut (north end).
- In Pope Valley: Kai-yomi-pukut, TsBk-yomi-pukut or ShOkomi (3 miles below the present-day store or town).
- In Coyote Valley:" Kala'u-yomi, Kilinyo-ke (at Eaton Ranch), Ki'tsin-pukut (at Gamble), Ole'-yomi (on the Berry place), Sha'lshal-pukut (at Ashbill), Shandk-yomi-pukut (at Asbill).
- In Jerusalem Valley: Wodi'daitepi.
- Northern Clear Lake Basin: Kawi-yomi, (perhaps originally Pomo), Tsitsa-pukut.
- Other villages: Tumi'stumis-pukut, 'Tsu'keliwa-pukut (At the 'new' Siegler swimming resort), Wi'lok-yomi (near the present rancheria or reservation but may have been Wappo), Yawl'-yomi-pukut (North of Siegler swimming resort in a canyon),
The Lake Miwok were neighbors with the Pomo, Coast Miwok and Wappo people. A percentage of the Lake Miwok were coaxed circa 1800-1840 into the Spanish Missions along with their neighbors the Coast Miwok, particularly to the Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma once it was built. "The mission records show 21 baptism records exist from "Tuyeome and Oleyome indicating definite (mission) penetration by 1835 as far as the shores of Clear Lake, but not indicating wholesome conversion in that region."
The natives of Clear Lake suffered tremendous loss of life and were virtually decimated during the regional smallpox epidemic of 1837 that came from Fort Ross.
Notable Lake Miwokans
Little documentation exists.
- Kroeber, 1907, Vol. 4 #6, sections titled "Shamanism", "Public Ceremonies", "Ceremonial Structures and Paraphernalia", and "Mythology and Beliefs".
- The Kuksu Cult paraphrased from Kroeber. Archived 2006-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
- Kroeber, 1925, page 445. "A less specialized type of cosmogony is therefore indicated for the southern Kuksu-dancing groups. [1. If, as seems probable, the southerly Kuksu tribes (the Miwok, Costanoans, Esselen, and northernmost Yokuts) had no real society in connection with their Kuksu ceremonies, the distinctness of their mythology appears less surprising.]".
- Clark 1910; Gifford 1917.
- Access Genealogy.
- Cook, 1976:175.
- Cook, 1976, pages 17-18.
- Cook 1976, pages 174-175, 239, says "Probably 400 is a liberal estimate", and quotes Kroeber "not in excess of 500."
- Cook, 1976, pages 236-245, 351; 1850-1880 was on L.L. Palmer, History of Napa and Lake Counties, 1881, p. 34-26, and "verbal communication by a Lakeport Indian."; 1920 based on Kroeber, Handbook of American Indians, page 275.
- Access Genealogy: Indian Tribal records, Miwok Indian Tribe. Retrieved on 2006-08-01. Main source of "authenticated village" names and locations.
- Callaghan, Catherine. Lake Miwok Dictionary. University of California Publications in Linguistics, Vol. 39.
- Callaghan, Catherine. 1978. "Lake Miwok", in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 8 (California). William C. Sturtevant, and Robert F. Heizer, eds. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978. ISBN 0-16-004578-9 / 0160045754, pages 264-273.
- Cook, Sherburne. The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1976. ISBN 0-520-03143-1.
- Kroeber, Alfred L. 1907. The Religion of the Indians of California, University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 4:6. Berkeley, sections titled "Shamanism", "Public Ceremonies", "Ceremonial Structures and Paraphernalia", and "Mythology and Beliefs"; available at Sacred Texts Online
- Kroeber, Alfred L. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Washington, D.C: Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 78. (Chapter 30, The Miwok); available at Yosemite Online Library
- Silliman, Stephen. Lost Laborers in Colonial California, Native Americans and the Archaeology of Rancho Petaluma. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8165-2381-9.