Shastan Indians

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Shastan Family, Pit River Indians (adapted from, Shasta, the name of one of its divisions). A linguistic stock comprising two principal groups, the Sastean and the Palaihnihan of Powell, which until recently1 were regarded as distinct families. The area occupied by the Shasta division was the Klamath valley in north California and south Oregon, extending, in the northern part, up the valleys of Jenny and Cottonwood creeks and over the entire valley of Stewart river to its mouth; from here they controlled the area along Rogue river, above the mouth of the Stewart, to Little Butte creek, as well as the basin of the latter stream, which heads near the base of Mt Pit. Another tribe, the Konomihu, determined by Dixon to be related to the Shasta group, occupied the region about the Forks of Salmon in California, extending for 7 miles up the south fork and 5 miles up the north fork, while above them, on the upper courses of the two forks and extending over the divide into the head of New river, resided the related New River tribe. Still another Shasta tribe, known as Okwanuchu, formerly occupied the head of Sacramento river down as far as Salt river and the upper part of the McCloud as far down as Squaw creek, together with the valley of the latter stream.

The other division of the family hitherto known as the Palaihnihan or Pit River Indians, consisting of the Achomawi, Astakiwi, Atsugewi, Atuami, Chumawi, Hantiwi, Humawhi, Hmawi, and Pakaulali, occupied chiefly the area drained by Pit river in extreme north California.


  1. Dixon in Am. Anthr., vii, 213, 1905, and in Internat. Cong. Amer., 1906, Quebec, 1907 

MLA Source Citation: Web. 27 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 16th, 2014

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