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Lassik Tribe

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In California,Native American | No Comments

Lassik (Las’-sik, the name of their last chief). A people of the Athapascan family formerly occupying a portion of main Eel River, Cal., and its east tributaries, Van Dozen, Larrabee, and Dobbin creeks, together with the headwaters of Mad River. They had for neighbors toward the north the Athapascan inhabitants of the valley of Mad River and Redwood Creek; toward the east the Wintun of Southfork of Trinity River; toward the south the Wailaki, from whom they were separated by Kekawaka Creek; toward the west the Sinkine on Southfork of Eel River. They occupied their regular village sites along the streams only in winter. Their houses were conical in form, made of the bark of Douglas spruce. They had neither sweat lodges nor dance houses. The basketry was twined, but differed considerably from that of the Hupa in its decoration. Beside the methods employed elsewhere for securing deer and elk, the Lassik used to follow a fresh track until the animal, unable to feed or rest, was overtaken. They intermarried with the Wintun, to whom they were assimilated in mourning customs, etc. Powers1 gives the impression that the Lassik belong with the Wintun in language, but this is a mistake. Their dialect resembles the Hupa in its morphology and the Wailaki in its phonology. The majority of them perished during the first few years of the occupancy of their country by white people, a bounty being placed on their heads and the traffic in children for slaves being profitable and unrestrained. A few families of them are still living in the neighborhood of their former homes.

Footnotes

  1. Powers, Cont. N. A. Ethnol., 111, 121, 1877 


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