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Miwok Indians

Miwok Indians. Miwok is the native word signifying “people.”

Miwok Connections.— Originally a distinct stock in the classificatory system of Powell, Miwok has now been made a subdivision of the Penutian linguistic family.

Miwok Location.— The Miwok lived in three detached groups as follows: (1) The main body on the long western slope of the Sierra Nevada between Fresno and Cosumnes Rivers and in that part of the valley which is intersected by the winding arms of the deltas of the San Joaquin and the Sacramento; (2) the Coast Miwok from the Golden Gate north to Duncan’s Point and eastward to Sonoma Creek; and (3) the Lake Miwok in the basin of Clear Lake, including the drainage of two small streams flowing into the lowest mile or two of Clear Lake, and the southern bank of Cache Creek, the lake outlet, for a short distance beyond.

Miwok Subdivisions

Apart from the natural groups indicated above, the following dialectic subdivisions may be made out:

The Lake Miwok were furthermore subdivided into two, or possibly three, district or tribal groups:

  1. about the present Lower Lake,
  2. on the head-waters of Putah Creek, and perhaps
  3. in Pope Valley.

Miwok Villages

Lake Miwok:

Coast Miwok:

Valley Miwok:

Plains Division:

Northern Division:

Central Division:

Southern Division:

Many other village names have been recorded, but the above list contains all those which are well authenticated independent settlements.

Miwok Population.— Kroeber (1925) estimates that in 1770 there were about 500 Lake Miwok, 1,500 Coast Miwok, and 9,000 Plains and Sierra Miwok, bringing the total to 11,000. The census of 1910 returned 670, but Kroeber estimates about 700 of the Plains and Sierra Miwok alone. The census of 1930 returned 491.