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Klamath Tribe

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Klamath Indians (possibly from máklaks, the Lutuami term for `Indians,’ `people,’ ‘community'; lit. ‘the encamped’). A Lutuamian tribe in south west Oregon. They call themselves Eukshikni or Auksni,’ people of the lake,’ referring to the fact that their principal seats were on Upper Klamath lake. There were also important settlements on Williamson and Sprague Rivers. The Klamath are a hardy people and, unlike the other branch of the family, the Modoc, have always lived at peace with the whites. In 1864 they joined the Modoc in ceding the greater part of their territory to the United States and settled on Klamath Reservation, where they numbered 755 in 1905, including, however, many former slaves and members of other tribes who have become more or less assimilated with the Klamath since the establishment of the reservation. Slavery was a notable institution among the Klamath, and previous to the treaty of 1864 they accompanied the Modoc every year on a raid against the Achomawi of Pit River, California, for the capture of women and children whom they retained as slaves or bartered with the Chinook at The Dalles. The Klamath took no part in the Modoc War of 1872-73, and it is said that their contemptuous treatment of the Modoc was a main cause of the dissatisfaction of the latter with their homes on the reservation which led to their return to Lost river and thus to the war. The following are the Klamath settlements and divisions so far as known:

  • Awalokaksaksi
  • Kohashti
  • Kulshtgeush
  • Kuyamskaiks
  • Nilakshi
  • Shuyakeksh
  • Yaaga
  • Yulalona

For Further Study

The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Klamath as both an ethnological study, and as a people.


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