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Yurok Indians

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Yurok – Signifying “downstream” in the language of the neighboring Karok. Also called:

  • Kiruhikwak, by the Shasta of Salmon River.
  • Weitchpec, a name sometimes locally used, especially in Hupa and Karok territory, to which Weichpec is at present the nearest Yurok village.

Yurok Connections. The Yurok were originally regarded as an independent stock, later combined with the Wiyot into the Ritwan family, and still later identified by Kroeber and Sapir as a part of the great Algonquian family of the east. This last identification has not, however, met with entire acceptance.

Yurok Location. On the lower Klamath River and along the coast to the north and south of it.

Yurok Subdivisions. Two dialects differing but little from each other may be distinguished; one spoken in the southernmost coast section, the districts of the Big Lagoon and Trinidad; the other, in the remainder of Yurok territory.

Yurok Villages

  • Ayotl, above the mouth of Blue Creek.
  • Erner, at the mouth of Blue Creek.
  • Ertlerger, at the mouth of Trinity River on the west side.
  • Espau, on the coast north of Redwood Creek.
  • Hergwer, on Stone Lagoon.
  • Himetl, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Ho’pau, on Klamath River a few miles from the coast.
  • Keihkem, 2 towns: (1) on Big Lagoon; (2) on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Kenek, on the south side of Klamath River.
  • Kenek. Kepel, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Kenekpul, on the south side of Klamath River, a short distance below
  • Ko’otep, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Lo’olego on the north side of Klamath River above the mouth of the Trinity.
  • Ma’ats, on Big Lagoon.
  • Merip, on the north bank of Klamath River.
  • Meta, on the south or west bank of Klamath River.
  • Metskwo, at the mouth of Little River.
  • Murekw, on the north bank of Klamath River.
  • Nagetl, on the south or west side of Klamath River opposite the mouth of Blue Creek.
  • Nohtskum, on the south bank of Klamath River.
  • Omen, on the coast north of Klamath River.
  • Omenhipur, on the coast north of Klamath River.
  • Opyuweg, between Big Lagoon and the coast.
  • Orau, on Redwood Creek.
  • Orekw, on the south side of Redwood Creek at its mouth.
  • Osegen, on the coast south of Klamath River.
  • Oslokw, on the east side of Big Lagoon.
  • Otmekwor, on the north side of the mouth of Redwood Creek.
  • Otsepor, on the south side of Klamath River below the mouth of Bluff Creek.
  • Otwego, on the south side of Klamath River near its mouth.
  • Pa’ar, near the north end of Big Lagoon.
  • Pekwan, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Pekwututl, on the south side of Klamath River at the mouth of the Trinity.
  • Rekwoi, on the north side of the mouth of Klamath River.
  • Sa’a, on the south side of Klamath River.
  • Sa’aitl, on the north side of Klamath River some miles above its mouth.
  • Serper, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Sregon, on the north or east side of Klamath River.
  • Tlemekwetl, on the north side of Klamath River below Blue Creek.
  • Tmeri, just below Requa.
  • Tsahpekw, on the west side of Stone Lagoon.
  • Tsetskwi, on the north or east side of Klamath River.
  • Tsotskwi, near the south end of Stone Lagoon.
  • Tsurau, near Trinidad.
  • Turip, on the south side of Klamath River a few miles from the coast.
  • Wa’asel, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Wahsekw, on the north or east side of Klamath River below Weitchpeg.
  • Weitspus, opposite the mouth of Trinity River.
  • Wetlkwau, on the south side of the mouth of Klamath River.
  • Wohkel, on the south side of Klamath River a short distance above its mouth.
  • Wohkero, on the north side of Klamath River.
  • Wohtek, close to the preceding.
  • Yohter, on the south or west side of Klamath River.

Yurok Population. Kroeber (1932) estimates 2,500 Yurok in 1770; the census of 1910 returned 668, and that of 1930, 471.


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