Friday, October 16, 2009

California Indian Tribes in pre-history.

Native Tribes, Groups, Language Families and Dialects of California in 1770
(after A.L. Kroeber 1925). Adapted from Heizer (1966: Map 4).
(See Key at bottom)

I have a blogger friend up north that is interested in local history. She has asked me to see if I can get some information for her.

Hi Ernie,
I know you have a lot of readers in SoHum and was wondering if you might be willing to do me a favor.
I have a friend with "Numsoose" listed as the tribe of an ancestor. Other records say wylacki (sp?).
Would you mind posting something asking folks if they've heard about the Numsoose, where their territory was, etc.?
Or maybe put me in touch with someone down there that might know--if you don't want to take up room on your blog...?

Thanks for considering it.
Regards, Lynette

I have indeed heard of "Numsoose", but I'm not familiar with their territory. They are listed as "Race Number 30" In the list of Federally Recognized California Tribes. (How utterly endearing) So, I thought that I could make this an exercise for all of us to find the Numsoose.

Many of my Indian friends dispute the names and the territories of California Tribes, so there is always room for much error. I would always give the benefit of the doubt to the Indian person directly involved. They should be in charge of their own history. I have a few Indian friends who consider themselves to be “Wailaki” and they have been told that there was a “Sinkyone” tribe in Bear Creek in the Sinkyone Wilderness. They say that according to their ancestors that there was no such tribe, and that it was “made up by the park people”.

Much of what we know is from the mid 1800’s on. As everybody already knows, 80% of the American Indians were wiped by the “discovery” of the New World by The Old world. Many of the California Indians must have been dying out from disease before the white man ever saw them. The Spaniards started the occupation of the New World as far back as the 1500’s. That is three hundred years of suffering Old World diseases before the Indians even saw the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Hoard from back east during the Gold Rush. I expect that many tribal territories changed during those early years of pure disease. Then, many tribal locations probably changed during the occupation of California.

It’s difficult to tell “who” was really from “where”. before 1870. The map of California Indian Tribes In 1770 had to have been a bunch of very good guesses at the best.

I know that somebody out there can give us a good guess as to where the “Numsoose tribe” was located.

(Note: some designations have changed since Kroeber's 1925 compilation)
Athabascan FamilyOregon Group 1a. Rogue RiverTolowa Group 1b. Tolowa.Hupa Group 1c. Hupa 1d. WhilkutMatole Group 1e. MatoleWailaki Group 1f. Nongatl 1g. Lassik 1h. Shelter Cove Sinkyone 1i. Lolangkok Sinkyone 1j. Eel River Wailaki 1k. Pitch Wailaki 1l. North Fork Wailaki 1m. KatoBear River Group 1n. Bear RiverAlgonkin FamilyYurok 2a. Yurok 2b. Coast Yurok 3. WiyotYukian Family 4a. Yuki 4b. Huchnom 4c. Coast Yuki 4d. Wappo
Hokan FamilyShastan 6a. Shasta 6b. New River Shasta 6c. Konomihu 6d. Okwanuchu 6e. Achomawi (Pit River) 6f. Atsugewi (Hat Creek)Yana 7a. Northern Yana 7b. Central Yana 7c. Southern Yana 7d. Yahi 8. Karok 9. ChimarikoPomo 10a. Northern 10b. Central 10c. Eastern 10d. Southeastern 10e. Northeastern 10f. Southern 10g. Southwestern 11. Washo 12. EsselenSalinan 13a. Antoniano 13b. Migueleño 13c. Playano (doubtful)Chumash 14a. Obispeño 14b. Purisimeño 14c. Ynezeño 14d. Barbareño 14e. Ventureño 14f. Emigdiano 14g. Cuyama 14h. IslandYuman 15a. Northern (Western) Diegueño 15b. Mountain Diegueño 15c. Southern (Eastern or Desert) Diegueño 15d. Kamia 15e. Yuma 15f. Halchidhoma & Kohuana (now Chemehuevi) 15g. Mohave
Penutian FamilyWintun Dialect Groups 16a. Northern (Wintu) 16b. Central (Nomlaki) 16c. Hill (Patwin) 16d. River (Patwin)Maidu Dialect Groups 17a. Northeastern 17b. Northwestern 17c. Southern (Nisenan)Miwok 18a. Coast 18b. Lake 18c. Bay (Saclan) 18d. Plains 18e. Northern Sierra 18f. Central Sierra 18g. Southern SierraCostanoan 19a. San Pablo (Karkin) 19b. San Francisco 19c. Santa Clara 19d. Santa Cruz 19e. San Juan Bautista (Mutsun) 19f. Rumsen (Monterey) 19g. SoledadYokuts Dialect Groups 20a. Northern Valley (Chulamni, Chauchila, etc.) 20b. Southern Valley (Tachi, Yauelmani, etc.) 20c. Northern Hill (Chukchansi, etc.) 20d. Kings River (Chionimni, etc.) 20e. Tule-Kaweah (Yaudanchi, etc.) 20f. Poso Creek (Paleuyamni) 20g. Buena Vista (Tulamni, etc.)Modoc 20h. Modoc
Uto-Aztekan (Shoshonean) FamilyPlateau Branch Mono-Bannock Group 21a. Northern Paiute (Paviotso) 21b. Owens Valley Paiute 21c. Mono Lake Paiute 21d. Monache (Western Mono) Shoshoni-Comanche Group 21e. Panamint Shoshone (Koso) Ute-Chemehuevi Group 21f, Chemehuevi (Southern Paiute) 21g. Kawaiisu (Tecachapi)Kern River Branch 21h. Tübatulabal (& Bankalachi)Southern California Branch Serrano Group 21i. Kitanemuk (Tajon) 21j. Alliklik 21k. Möhineyam (Vanyume) 21l. Serrano Gabrielino Group 21m. Fernandeño 21n. Gabrielino 21o. Nicholeño Luiseño-Cahuilla Group 21p. Juaneño 21q. Luiseño 21r. Cupeño 21s. Pass Cahuilla 21t. Mountain Cahuilla 21u. Desert Cahuilla

First map is Algic Language Groups, second map is Athabaskan Language groups.

Native tribes, Kroeber, 1925
Federally recognised California Tribes


Ben said...

Ernie... I'm clueless on "Numsoose". Num pali were the Coast Miwok in Marin and Sonoma County. The Mono spoke a Numic language and "nom or num " was a Wintu word. Nomlackee means West people as Wailacki means North people. Nom lackee is one of the tribes consolidated at rthe Round Valley Reservatio after looking in my precious n. The band originates around Paskenta and has recently won Federal status so some folks have left Round Valley and moved back to Paskenta.
None of this is probably relevant. I'm just jawing away after trying for Numsoose in my precious copy of Handbook of North American Indians Volume 8 *. Is that cheating?

Anonymous said...

a lotta good digger squirrel shooting,in the PASKENTA area!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Ben
I suspect that the Numsoose are part of the Athabaskan Language Speaking group of Indians. That's why the person was told they were possibly Wailaki. The Wailaki spoke Athabaskan.

The Athabaskan Language covers most of western Canada including most of Alaska. There is some strong evidence that the American Indian moved around a lot. The Language groupings alone gives reason to believe that. There are two small groups of Athabaskans on the west coast. The Wailakis and a few other tribes in small spots along the coast speak Athabaskan. The “Spots” are very isolated from each other, indicating great movements of groups of people.

The Apache and the Navajo also spoke Athabaskan. They lived along the Arizona and Texas border with Mexico. Very isolated from Canada. Also indicating great travel.

The Indians of the south coast of Alaska and the south west coast of Canada all spoke Tlingit. There are still 140 people that speak Tlingit. The young Tlingits are all English speaking by choice, and speak very little Tlingit. It will soon be a dead language. Unless...

The east coast Indians Spoke Algic. The Wiyot and the Yurok Also spoke Algic. Two small and isolated pockets of the same language. It looks like California has always been a popular place for newcomers to move.

I included some Language Maps in the main post.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well, I'm having trouble researching "Numsoose" all of my internet searches bring me back to "Ernie's Place", and I know that we don't know anything.

Maybe we should put a wanted AD out for "Numsoose. The only thing that I have found out is that it is listed as a California Tribe in history. It's not a current tribe, maybe we should try to find them.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I've gotten a few private emails from people that say that they have heard the name "Numsoose" but have little to add.

Maybe they are like Houdini, they will give us a sign on Holloween. Or, we could attend one of James arthur Ray's sweats for a vision.

Ben said...

One theory that I've heard is that the Hokan speaking people were the earliest in our area and that the Algic folks split off from their trek eastward. I have a great book called "The Red Road" at least that's my memory, about the journey of the Algic folks from Siberia to the East Coast recorded in petroglyphs along the way. The little group found the Klamath and migrated down to the coast. Finally the Athabascans came last and moved into this area from Oregon by way of the coast (Tolowa) then in to Hoopa and down into our area. I have a feeling "Numsoose" may not be Athabaskan, mainly that it doesn't "sound" Athabaskan to me and I sure could be wrong.
Here's an interesting language thing. The word for salmon is "Lok" or something similar in all three language groups in our area. Makes sense for something so important. Two words common to most Athabaskan languages are "To" (toe) for water and "Se" (say) for rock. At the 1935(?) Worlds Fair in Chicago, the Navahos met some Athabaskan Alaska Indians and were shocked to discover that they could understand each other. They could also probably understand Wailaki if anyone was still speaking it.

Ben said...

Casoose Creek is up the North Fork of the Eel in Pitch Wailaki Country. The name was the Indian version of the name of a Mexican resident, "Jesus". Now the Pitch people were over close to the Wintu and used many Wintu words according to something or other I read recently. newly hatched theory is that Numsoose refers to that area in which case Lynette's friend might be related to Coyote Fred Downey or Jack French, "Yellowjacket". On the other hand, he or she might not. Family names would help.

Ben said...

One more thing.... If you are interested in Northern California Indian spiritual life and medicine, run right out (Nothtown Books) and get Mavis McCovey and John Salter's "Medicine Trails". It, and Buckley's "Standing Ground" are certainly the two best books on the subject. Mavis' book is like one long fabulous interview. It is just terrific. Spellbinding.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Ben.

Like everybody else, I know that it was a California Indian tribe, and I know that someday some info will turn up. I guess that we will just have to be patient.

lynette707 said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for trying...
And Ernie's got a good point. Someday, maybe someone will find their way here and know all about the Numsoose.

It is interesting that Numsoose is listed on her 1928 BIA records... though the census during that period listed their tribe as "digger".

Regards to everyone !


Ben said...

OK, Erie... I found it... Num'soos Wintu is the tribal name for the Wintu group just to the east of us. Found the category in the Online Archive of California, C. Hart Merriam collection under Wintu, num'soos.
Nor el muk (Hayfork) is a different group as are the Northern Wintu.
So... Ono, Paskenta (Nom lackee), Grindstone and maybe Stony Ford would be num'soos. Grindstone is Wailaki/Wintu and Mary Major is listed as num'soos. She was Fred Downey's grandmother, I believe. Some photos are in the collection. I'll e-mail Lynette.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Ben, Again.

I just felt that you would figure it out. Now that you mention it, I have heard of the Numsoose Wintun.

I wish that I could count the times when I've said; "I don't know, but I know who would". I call it "knowing where the bodies are buried". If you walk amoungst the graveyards long enough, you are bound to figure something out.

If you have those photos in digital I would apreciate a copy. I have some Wintu friends. (Believe it or not)