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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS 

IN 

AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY 

Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 31-69 June 15, 1916 



CALIFORNIA PLACE NAMES OF 
INDIAN ORIGIN 



A. L. KROEBER 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS 
BERKELEY 



UNIVESSITY OF OALIFOBNIA PUBLICATIONS 
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Volume 1, $4.25; Volumes 2 to 10, inclusive, $3.50 each; Volume 11 and following, 
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Cited as Univ. Calif. Publ, Am. Arch. Ethn. Price 

Vol. 1. 1. Life and Culture of the Hupa, by Pliny Earle Goddard. Pp. 1-88; 

plates 1-SO. September, 1903 .„ *l-26 

2. Hupa Texts, by Pliny Earle Goddard. Pp. 89-368. March, 1904 _. 3.00 

Index, pp. 369-378. 
Vol 2 1. The Exploration of the Potter Creek Cave, by WlUiam J. Sinclair. 

Pp. 1-27; plates 1-14. April, 1904 *0 

2. The Languages of the Coast of California South of San Francisco, by 

A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 29-80, with a map. June, 1904 60 

3. Types of Indian Culture in California, by A. L. Bioeber. Pp. 81-103. 

June, 1904 ^ ■ - ■-■ - - -"• 

4. Basket Designs of the Indians of Northwestern California, by A. L. 

Kroeber. Pp. 105-164; plates 15-21. January, 1905 .— .76 

5. The Yokuts Language of South Central California, by A. L. Kroeber. 

Pp. 165-377. January, 1907 _ - 2.26 

Index, pp. 379-392. 
Vol. 8. The Morphology of the Hupa Language, by Pliny Earle Goddard. 

344 pp. June, 1905 .- - - 8JS0 

Vol. 4. 1. The Earliest Historical Eolations between Mexico and Japan, from 

original documents preserved in Spain and Japan, by Zelia Nuttall. 

Pp. 1-47. April, 1906 - - -•- ^^ 

2. Contribution to the Physical Anthropology of California, based on col- 

lections in the Department of Anthropology of the University of 
CaUfomia, and in the U. S. National Museum, by Ales Hrdlicka. 
Pp. 49-64, with 5 tables; plates 1-10, and map. June, 1906 — .76 

3. The Shoshonean Dialects of CaUfomia, by A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 65-166. 

February, 1907 --- -• -"■ ■^•°° 

4. Indian Myths from South Central California, by A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 

167-250. May, 1907 _-._.™ .70 

6. The Washo Language of East Central California and Nevada, by A. L. 

Kroeber. Pp. 251-318. September, 1907 - - 76 

6. The EeUgion of the Indians of California, by A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 319- 

356. September, 1907 - -"^ 

Index, pp. 357-374. .,_.^ , « a 

Vol 5. 1. The Phonology of the Hupa Language; Part I, The Individual Sounds, 

by Pliny Earle Goddard. Pp. 1-20, plates 1-8. March, 1907 S6 

2. Navaho Myths, Prayers and Songs, with Texts and Translations, by 

Washington Matthews, edited by Pliny Earle Goddard. Pp. 21-63. 

September. 1907 -- ■••-"■ — " — ""^ 

8. Kato Texts, by Pliny Earle Goddard. Pp. 65-238, plate 9. December, 

1909 '•"*' 

4. The Material Ouitore" of the Klamath Lake and Modoc Indians of 

Northeastern CaUfomia and Southern Oregon, by 8. A. Barrett. 
Pp. 239-292, plates 10-25. June, 1910 ™~~.. " "•" oq' 

5. The Chimarlko Indians and Language, by Eoland B. Dixon. Pp. 293- 

380. August, 1910 ■^•"" 

Index, pp. 381-384. ^ ^^ . _ 

Vol. 6. 1. The Ethno-Geography of the Pomo and Neighboring In^ans, by Sam- 

uel Alfred Barrett. Pp. 1-332, maps 1-2. February, 1908 .-.^. 8.2B 

2. The Geography and Dialects of the Miwok Indians, by Samuel Alfred 

Barrett. Pp. 333-368, map 8. , « _, v *v. -niri^^v 

8 On the Evidence of the Occupation of Certain Eegions by the MiwoK 

Indians, by A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 369-380. Nos. 2 and 3 in ome cover. 

Febmary, 1908 - 

Index, pp. 381-400. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS 

IN 

AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY 

Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 31-69 June 15, 1916 



CALIFORNIA PLACE NAMES OF 
INDIAN ORIGIN 

BY 
A. L. KEOEBER 



The origin of many place-names in California which are of Indian 
derivation is very imperfectly known, and has often been thoroughly 
misunderstood. There is no subject of information in which rumor 
and uncritical tradition hold fuller sway than in this field. The best 
literature dealing with the topic — and it is one of widespread interest 
— contains more errors than truths. The present compilation, in spite 
of probably embodying numerous misunderstandings and offering 
only doubt or ignorance on other points, is at least an attempt to 
approach the inquiry critically. It is based on fifteen years of 
acquaintance, from the anthropological side, with most of the Indian 
tribes of the state. In the course of the studies made in this period, 
geographical and linguistic data were accumulated, which, while not 
gathered for the present purpose, serve to illuminate, even though 
often only negatively, the origin and meaning of many place-names 
adopted or reputed to have been taken from the natives. Authorities 
have been cited where they were available and known. If they are not 
given in more cases, it is because unpublished notes of the writer are 
in all such instances the source of information. 

The present state of knowledge as to place-names derived from the 
Indians is illustrated by the following example. There are nine 
counties in California, Colusa, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Shasta, Tehama, 
Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba, whose names are demonstrably or almost 
demonstrably of Indian origin, and two others, Inyo and Siskiyou, 
that presumably are also Indian. Of these eleven, Maslin in his of- 
ficially authorized list, cited below, gives two. Mono and Yuba, as being 
Spanish ; he adds Solano and Marin, of which the first is certainly and 



32 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

the latter probably Spanish, as being Indian ; and the only etymologies 
which he mentions — those for Modoc, Napa, Shasta, Tuolumne, and 
Yolo — are all either positively erroneous or unverified. The lists by 
other authors, which include the names of less widely known locali- 
ties, are as a rule even more unreliable. The prevalent inclination has 
been to base explanations of place-names of Indian origin not on 
knowledge, or where certainty is unattainable on an effort at investi- 
gation, but on vague though positively stated conjectures of what such 
names might have meant, or on naive fancies of what would have been 
picturesque and romantic designations if the unromantic Indian had 
used them. It is therefore a genuine pleasure to mention one notable 
and recent exception, the Spanish and Indian Place Names of Cali- 
fornia of Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez, a really valuable work which 
unites honest endeavor and historical discriniination with taste and 
pleasing presentation.^ 

To avoid an array of foot-notes, most references have been cited 
in the text in a simplified form, which will be clear upon consultation 
of the following list. 

Maslin: Prentiss Maslin. I have not seen this work, printed for or by the 
State of California, in the original. It may be more accessible to most readers 
as reprinted as an appendix to John S. McGroarty's California, 1911, pages 311 
and following. As the names follow one another in alphabetical order, page 
references are unnecessary. 

Gannett: Henry Gannett, "The Origin of Certain Place-Names in the 
United States." U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 197, 1902. As this is also 
an alphabetic list, page references have again been omitted. 

Bailey: G. E. Bailey, "History and Origin of California Names and 
Places," in several instalments (the pages indicated in the table of contents 
for the volume are in part erroneous), in volume 44 of the Overland Monthly, 
San Francisco, July to December, 1904. The Indian section is arranged alpha- 
betically and begins on page 564. 

Powers: Stephen Powers, "Tribes of California," being Contributions to 
North American Ethnology, volume 3, Washington, 1877. 

Merriam: C. Hart Merriam, "Distribution and Classification of the Mewan 
Stock of California," American Anthropologist, new series, volume 9, pages 338- 
357, 1907. 

Barrett, Pomo: S. A. Barrett, "The Ethno-geography of the Porno and 
Neighboring Indians, ' ' being pages 1 to 332 of volume 6 of the present series 
of publications. Page citations follow the title, in references in the present 
text made to this and the following works. 

Barrett, Miwok: S. A. Barrett, "The Geography and Dialects of the Mi wok 
Indians, ' ' pages 333 to 368 of volume 6 of the same series of publications. 



1 San Francisco, A. M. Robertson, 1914. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 33 

Kroeber, Miwok: A. L. Kroeber, "On the Evidences of the Occupation of 
Certain Eegions by the Miwok Indians," pages 369 to 380 of the same volume 
as the last. 

Kroeber, Shoshonean: The same, "Shoshonean Dialects of California," 
volume 4, pages 65 to 165, also of the present series. 

Kroeber, Cahuilla: The same, "Ethnography of the Cahuilla Indians," 
pages 29 to 68 of volume 8 of the present series. 

Several important original sources, such as Hugo Keid in the Los 
Angeles Star of 1852, and Alexander Taylor in the California Farmer 
of 1860 following, are referred to or partly extracted, so far as Indian 
place-names are concerned, in the above works. 

The number of California place-names taken from the several Cali- 
fornia Indian languages varies greatly. In general, Spanish occupa- 
tion has been more favorable than American settlement to preservation 
of native designations of localities. The distribution of positively and 
probably identified names, according to their source from the various 
families of speech, is as follows : 



Shoshonean 


33 


Maidu 


7 


Chumash 


28 


Yuki 


6 


Miwok 


26 


Athabascan 


4 


Wintun 


25 


Salinan 


2 


Yurok 


16 


Shastan 


2 


Yuman 


15 


Washo 


1 


Pomo 


13 


Lutuami 


1 


Yokuts 


9 


Wiyot 


1 


Costanoan 


7 







Karok, Chimariko, Yana, and Esselen have furnished no terms to 
modern California geography. 

Such obviously imported names of Indian origin as Cherokee, 
Seneca, Mohawk, Oneida, Tioga, Sequoya, and Maricopa, have not 
been discussed in the present account. 

THE NAMES 

Acalanes, a land grant in Contra Costa County, in the vicinity of 
the present town of Lafayette, is probably named from a Costanoan 
Indian village of the vicinity, Akalan or something similar, which the 
Spaniards dignified into the Acalanes "tribe." The ending occurs on 
many Costanoan village names : Sacla-n, Olho-n, Bolbo-n, Mutsu-n, etc. 

Aguanga, in Riverside County, has no connection with Spanish 
agua, "water," but is a place or village name of the Shoshonean 



34 ' University of California Publicatio7is in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Luiseiio Indians. The meaning is not known, but the word is derived 
from the place-name proper, Awa, plus the Indian locative case end- 
ing -nga (Kroeber, Shoshonean, 147). 

Ahpah creek, entering the Klamath River from the south just above 
Blue Creek, in Humboldt County, is named from its Yurok designa- 
tion, O'po. 

Ahwahnee, in Madera County, is situated forty miles from the orig- 
inal Awani, which was the Southern Miwok name of the largest village 
in Yosemite Valley and therefore of the valley itself. The Indian 
name of American Ahwahnee was Wasama (Merriam, 346, and Bar- 
rett, Miwoh, 343). It is of interest, though perhaps of no bearing in 
the present connection, that a similar name, Awaniwi, appears among 
the far-distant but related Coast Miwok Indians of Marin County as 
the appelation of a former village in the northern part of the city of 
San Rafael. 

Algomah, in Siskiyou County, is of unknown origin, and suggests 
coinage, or borrowing from the Eastern place-name Algoma, also 
coined, given by Gannett. 

Algootoon, which does not appear on most maps, is given by Bailey 
as another name of Lakeview, Riverside County, and as derived from 
Algoot, the Saboba {i.e., Luiseiio) hero who killed "Taquitch" (see 
Tahquitz). The name Algut sounds Luisefio, but does not appear in 
the Sparkman Luiseno dictionary in possession of the University of 
California. It is probably a Spanish spelling of Alwut, ' ' raven, ' ' who 
is one of the most important traditional and religious heroes of the 
Luiseno, and into whom Tukupar, "Sky," turned himself when he 
went to visit Takwish on Mount San Jacinto preparatory to killing 
him.^ This etymology, however, does not account for the last syllable 
of "Algootoon." Were it not that guesses are already more numerous 
in these matters than knowledge, the writer would be tempted to 
hazard the suggestion of a possible American corruption from Spanish 
algodon, "cotton." 

Aloma mountain, in Ventura County, has an unidentified name. 

Anacapa, the name of the island off Ventura County, is absurdly 
given by Bailey, page 360, as Spanish for ' ' Cape Ann. ' ' The Chumash 
original is Anyapah, recorded by Vancouver as Enneeapah, misspelled 
Enecapah by the map engraver, and then Spanicized into Anacapa 
(Sanchez, 351, fide George Davidson), 



2 Journ. Am. Folk Lore, xix, 318, 1906 



1916] Eroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 35 

Anapamu, the name of a street in Santa Barbara city, is said locally 
to be of Indian origin^ and has a good Chumash ring. 

Aptos, in Santa Cruz County, is given by Bailey as the name 
of a "tribe." If this is a fact, the village was Costanoan; but the 
derivation from Spanish apto seems not impossible. 

Areata, in Humboldt County, is said by Gannett to mean "sunny 
spot" in Indian. Such a place-name would be very unusual in any 
California Indian language, nor does the sound suggest a word in the 
Wiyot language, which is the idiom spoken in the vicinity. 

Aukum, in Eldorado County, is, if Indian, which seems doubtful, 
of Northern Mi wok origin. 

Ausaymas, a land grant in Santa Clara and San Benito counties, 
is obviously named after the Ausaymas or Ansaymas Indians men- 
tioned in Arroyo de la Cuesta's Phrase Book of the Mutsun Language 
as speaking a dialect somewhat different from that of the Mutsunes. 
Evidently Ausayma and Mutsun were both Costanoan villages near 
Mission San Juan Bautista. v 

Avawatz mountains, north of Ludlow in San Bernardino County, 
have a name that sounds like good Shoshonean. Southern Paiute or 
Serrano tribes lived in the neighborhood. 

Azusa, or Asuza, in Los Angeles County, was a Gabrielino Sho- 
shonean village, Asuksa-gna in Gabrielino* or Ashuksha-vit in the 
neighboring Serrano^ dialect. According to a correspondent,® the 
word means ' ' skunk hill. ' ' 

Bally, or Bully, mountain, in Shasta County near the Trinity line, 
has its name from Wintun loli ( o like English " aw " ) , " spirit. ' ' See 
Bully Choop and Yallo Bally. There is also a Bully Hill in Shasta 
County between the Pit and McCloud rivers. 

Beegum and Beegum Butte, in Tehama County, are names of un- 
identified origin. 

Bohemotash mountain, in Shasta County, bears a northern "Wintun 
name. Bohem is "large," but the second part of the word is not 
known. 



3 J. P. Harrington, American Anthropologist, n. s. xiii, 725, 1911. 

4 Hugo Eeid, originally in the Los Angeles Star, quoted by A. Taylor, Cali- 
fornia Farmer, xiv, 1861, and by Hoffman, Bulletin Essex Institute, xvii, 1885. 

5 Present series, viii, 39, 1908. 

6 Mr. C. C. Baker of Azusa, quoting Mr. W. A. Dalton, whose godfather was 
Hugo Reid: Azuncsabit, "skunk hill," the skunks being of the small or polecat 
variety, and the name applied by the Indians to the hill, east of the present 
town, where the ranch house of the grant stood. As -bit is the regular locative 
ending in Serrano, the literal meaning was probably "skunk place" rather 
than ' ' hill. ' ' 



36 University of California Puhlications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Bolbones, or more fully Arroyo de las Nueces y Bolbones, a grant 
in Contra Costa County, probably derives its name from a village 
whose inhabitants were called Volvon, Bolbon, and Bulbones by the 
Spaniards. See Bancroft, Native Races, I, 453. 

Bolinas, in Marin County, is said by Sanchez, 228, 355, to be prob- 
ably an alteration of Los Baulines, a grant name, based in all likeli- 
hood on an Indian geographical designation. This seems reasonable. 
The division involved would be the Coast Miwok, and the native word 
probably Wauli-n. 

Bully Choop, or Bally Chup, mountain, between Shasta and Trinity 
counties, is apparently from Wintun holi, "spirit." The meaning of 
chup is not known. See Bally and Yallo Bally. 

Burihuri, a land grant in San Mateo County, is a name of unknown 
source. The grant is near San Bruno, so that the Costanoan Indians 
on it would have been attached to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. 
Urebure occurs as the name of one of the many rancherias formerly 
existing in the vicinity of Mission Dolores.^ 

Cahto, in Mendocino County, is in Athabascan territory and has 
come to be used, in the form Kato, for an Athabascan tribe or division, 
but is a Pomo word, meaning "lake."^ The Bailey definition of 
"quicksand," from cah, "water," and to, "mush," is unproved; al- 
though ha and to separately have this meaning in Pomo, and the ety- 
mology is repeated in the meaning cited in Barrett {Pomo, 262), for 
Bida-to, "mush-stream" (also, it is said, on account of the presence 
of quicksand), the Northern Pomo name of a Coast Yuki village at 
the mouth of Ten Mile River in the same part of Mendocino County. 
Cahto Creek in southeastern Humboldt County is probably the same 
name as Cahto in northern Mendocino. 

Cahuenga pass and peak, in Los Angeles County, are undoubtedly 
named from some Gabrielino Shoshonean word, as shown by the 
locative ending -nga. 

Cahuilla, often written Coahuila, but always pronounced "Kawia" 
and never "Kwawila," is the name of a Shoshonean tribe, or rather 
dialect group, located in San Gorgonio Pass, the Colorado desert, and 
the vicinity of the present Cahuilla reservation in Riverside County. 
The name, ever since Reid, an excellent authority, has been said to 
mean "master," but the author has never found an Indian to cor- 



7 Bancroft, Native Eaces, i, 453. 

8 Goddard, present series, v, 67, 1909; Powers, 150, 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 37 

roborate this interpretation, or to admit the word as being anything 
else than Spanish. There is no connection with Kaweah. 

Calleguas, in Ventura County, is derived from Chumash Kayiwiish, 
' ' my head, ' ' the name of a rancheria. 

Calpella, in Mendocino County, according to Barrett, Porno, 143, is 
named after Kalpela, the chief of the former Northern Pomo village 
of Chorachadila, situated "on the mesa just south of the town of 
Calpella. ' ' Kalpela 's name" ' ' was given to his people, and was applied 
by the whites in a general way to all of the Indians living in Redwood 
Valley. . . . The late Mr. A. E. Sherwood is authority for the state- 
ment that 'Cal-pa-lau' signifies 'mussel or shellfish bearer,' " — whence 
Bailey 's notice is apparently derived. ' ' Mussel ' ' is khal, hal, in North- 
ern Pomo. 

Camulos, in Ventura County, is named from an Indian village 
Kamulus or Kamulas.^" This territory has usually been considered 
Chumash, but was more likely Shoshonean; it is, however, probable 
that Kamulas was its Chumash name; at any rate, the etymology in 
Chumash is my-mulus, mulus being an edible fruit. 

Capay, a land grant in Glenn and Tehama counties, and another in 
Yolo County, the latter surviving in modern nomenclature as Capay 
Valley, are named from Southern Wintun (Patwin) kapai, ''stream." 

Carquinez straits, in San Francisco Bay, are named from a South- 
ern Wintun ' ' tribe ' ' or village, Carquin or Karkin. 

Caslamayomi, a land grant in Sonoma County, seems Indian, espe- 
cially on account of its ending, -yomi or -yome, which means ' ' place 
both in Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok. 

Castac Lake, in Tejon Pass in Kern County, and Castac Creek in 
Los Angeles County, are named from a Shoshonean village, situated 
near the mouth of the stream, and called by the neighboring Chumash 
Kashtiik (the ii unrounded), "my eyes" (dual), or "our eye." A 
frequented Indian trail led from the village up the stream to the lake 
and thence into the San Joaquin Valley — whence probably the appli- 
cation of the name to the two localities. The Shoshonean Kitanemuk 
or Serrano of the vicinity of the lake call this Auvapya, and the 
Yokuts of the San Joaquin Valley Sasau. Both words mean "at the 
eye." The Castac grant extended from Castac Lake north into the 
San Joaquin Valley. 



9 Recited in Kroeber, Shoshonean, 152. 

10 Handbook of American Indians, Bur. Am. Ethn. Bull. 30, part i, 649. 



38 University of California PuMications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Catacula, in Napa County, is a name of unknown origin. The 
grant lay in Wintun or Wappo territory. 

Caymus grant in Napa County is named for the Yukian Wappo 
village of Kaimus, derivation unknown, formerly on the site of what 
is now Yountville (Barrett, Porno, 268). 

Cayucos, in San Luis Obispo County, means "boats" or "skiffs" 
in South American Spanish, according to the dictionaries, while 
Cayuca, a form of the name that also appears, denotes "head" in 
Cuban Spanish. 

Chagoopa plateau and creek, southwest of Mount Whitney, are in 
Tulare County. The meaning is unknown, but the name is almost 
certainly a Mono word. A familiar Shoshonean noun ending -pa 
appears, as also in Ivanpah, Hanaupah, Nopah. 

Chanchelulla mountain, in Trinity County, also appearing on maps 
as Chauchetulla and Chenche LuUa, seems to derive its name from a 
Wintun source, but the etymology is unknown. 

Chemehuevi valley and mountains, in eastern San Bernardino 
County, are named after the Chemehuevi tribe, an offshoot of the 
Southern Paiute. The meaning of their name is unknown, and its 
source is also not certain, although the Mohave appear to use it not 
only of the Chemehuevi but of all Paiute divisions, and may have 
originated the term. 

Chimiles, a land grant in Napa County, between Vacaville and 
Napa city, bears a name of unidentified but possibly Indian origin. 

Choenimne mountain, in Fresno County, derives its name from the 
Yokuts tribe of the Choinimni, who lived on Kings River near the 
mountain. 

Cholame, in San Luis Obispo County, is a name of Salinan Indian 
derivation. Cholam, more exactly TcIola'M, — also given as Tco'alam- 
tram, "Cholam houses" or "Cholam village," — was a rancheria near 
Mission San Miguel," and therefore at the mouth of Estrella Creek, 
as the lower course of Cholame Creek is called. 

Choul mountain, in Santa Clara County, bears a name of unknown 
origin. 

Chowchilla River in the drainage of the San Joaquin was in its 
lower course the habitat of the Chauchila tribe of the Yokuts. This 
division bore a warlike reputation among neighboring groups, and its 



11 Mason, present series, x, 107, 1912. The settlement known as Cholame is, 
however, on the Cholame grant, which is on Cholame Creek, toward Cholame 
Pass, and some distance easterly of San Miguel, so that the site of the aborig- 
inal Cholam village cannot be regarded as certainly known. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 39 

name may be connected with the Yokuts verb taudja, "to kill," but 
this etymology is far from certain. Yokuts Indians have at times 
translated the tribal name as ' ' murderers, ' ' but this may be an incor- 
rect ex post facto etymology on their part. The Chauchila have been 
referred to as a Miwok division ; but as the Miwok, in distinction from 
the Yokuts, had no true tribes, it is likely that the Miwok Chauchilas 
were so named by the Americans, or by English-speaking Indians, after 
the name of the stream near whose upper course they live. There are 
also Chowchilla Mountains in Mariposa County. 

Chualar, in Monterey County, is Spanish "place of chual," or 
Chenopodium alhtim. 

Cisco, in Placer County, is given by Bailey as of Indian origin, and 
meaning a kind of trout. The word will be found in any modern Eng- 
lish dictionary as the name of a fresh-water fish. If originally Indian, 
it is not California Indian. It is also a family name. 

Cleone, in Mendocino County, is probably named from Kelio, the 
Northern Pomo name of one of their divisions or more probably a 
village.^- 

Coachella, in Riverside County, is in Cahuilla territory, but it has 
not been learned that the name has an Indian source, though it is 
sometimes so stated. 

Coahuila, see Cahuilla. 

Collayomi, a land grant in Lake County, is no doubt named after 
the Coyayomi or Joyayomi "tribe" mentioned by Engelhardt.^^ This 
is probably a Coast or Lake Miwok name, as shown by the ending 
-yome, "place," though the same element occurs with a similar mean- 
ing in Southern Pomo. Barrett (Pomo, 316) identifies it hesitatingly 
with Shoyome, a Lake Miwok village on the south side of Puta Creek 
three and a half miles below Guenoc. 

Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, in Eldorado 
County, is given by Powers, 315, as the name of a Nishinam (Southern 
Maidu) "tribe" or village. 

Colusa County is named from the Patwin, that is, Southern Win- 
tun, Koru, a village on the site of the present town of Colusa. The 
meaning of Koru is not known to the Indians, who declare it to be 
merely a place name. The r in this word is trilled, hence presents 
difficulty to Americans, which fact seems to account for its change 
into 1. The origin of the third syllable is not entirely clear. Colusa 



12 Handbook of American Indians, Bur. Am. Ethn. Bull. 30, part l, 672. 

13 Franciscans in California, 1897, p. 451. 



40 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

was originally spelled Colusi or Coluse, as it is still vulgarly pro- 
nounced. It is possible that the ending is from a Spanish plural of 
the place name used as a tribal name, as so often happened; or 
Korusi may have been an Indian variant of Koru. Indian informants 
mention a belief locally current among Americans that Koru was the 
name of a chief of the rancheria, but emphatically deny this. It will 
be seen that a similar statement has been made concerning Yolo, and 
that this statement is also contradicted by the available Indian in- 
formation. 

Comptche, in Mendocino County, is from an unknown source. 
There was a Pomo village Komacho in the region. Barrett, Porno, 
178. 

Concow, in Butte County, surviving also as the official and popular 
name of the Concow or Maidu Indians on Round Valley reservation, 
is from the Southwestern Maidu word Koyongkau. Powers, 283, gives 
the etymology from koyo, "plain" or "valley, and kau, "earth" or 
"place." 

Cortina Valley, in Colusa County, appears to be named for Kotina, 
a former Southern Wintun chief (Barrett, Pomo, 324), though 
whether his name was Indian, or an Indian corruption of Spanish 
Cortina, is not known. 

Cosmit reservation, in San Diego County, is called Kosmit also in 
the Diegueno language, but the meaning is not known. 

Coso, a range and place in Inyo County, appear to be named after 
a Shoshonean Indian division, allied to the Panamint or part of them. 
It is, however, possible that Coso is originally a place name, from 
which the range derived its name, after which the whites and then the 
Indians came to speak of the Coso Mountain Indians or the Koso tribe. 
The ethnology of this region is very little known. Bailey says that 
Coso means "broken coal." Words beginning with ku- mean char- 
coal in several Shoshonean dialects of the vicinity. A locality or vil- 
lage, but hardly a tribe, might be given such a name by Indians. 

Cosumnes River is evidently named from an Indian village or 
tribe, as shown by the ending -umne or -amni, discussed under Tuo- 
lumne. The location indicates a Plains Miwok origin. Kawso 
(=Koso) is mentioned by Merriam, 348, as the name given by the 
Pawenan (part of the Southern Maidu) to the Mokozumne Plains 
Miwok division. Cosumne thus appears to be Koso plus -umni plus 
the Spanish or English plural -s ; Mokozumne may be only a form of 
the same name; and the term denotes the people of a Plains Miwok 



1916] Kroeier: California Place Names of Indian Origin 41 

village or tribe. The derivation of Cosumnes from Miwok kosum, 
"salmon," given by Bailey and others, should also be mentioned, 
though unverified. 

Cotati, in Sonoma County, is named for Kotati, a Coast Miwok vil- 
lage just north of the present town (Barrett, Porno, 311). The mean- 
ing of the word is unknown. 

Coyote, and Coyote Creek, in Santa Clara County. Gannett says: 
"The word, in the dialect of the Cushina and other tribes inhabiting 
the upper portions of Sacramento Valley, means a species of dog." 
This is untrue. The origin of the word is Aztec coyotl, whence Mexi- 
can Spanish and ultimately English coyote. 

Cuati, the name of a land grant in Los Angeles County, not to be 
confused with Quati in Santa Barbara County, is of unknown origin. 

Cucamonga, in San Bernardino County, is a Shoshonean place 
name, Kukomo-nga or Kukamo-nga in Gabrielino, Kukumu-nga-bit or 
Kukamo-na-t in Serrano (Kroeber, Shoshonean, 134, 142, Cahuilla, 
34,39). 

Cuyama River, between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara coun- 
ties, derives its name from a Chumash place-name Kuyam, of un- 
known significance. 

Cuyamaca Mountains, in San Diego County, were so called by the 
Dieguefio Indians. Ekwi-amak is ' ' rain-above. ' ' 

Elim, in Tehama County. The origin is unknown. If Indian, the 
name is of Wintun source. 

Guajome, in San Diego County, is from Luiseiio Wakhaumai 
(Kroeber, Shoshonean, 147). 

Gualala River, in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, according to 
Barrett, Porno, 224, is probably from "Pomo wala'li or wa'lali, which 
in the Southern and Southwestern dialects is ... a generic term 
signifying the meeting-place of the waters of any in-fiowing stream 
with those of the stream into which it flows or with the ocean," in 
short, a river mouth. Any connection with Walhalla is imaginary. 

Guatay, a San Diego County reservation, is named from Diegueno 
kivatai, ' ' large. ' ' 

Guenoc, a land grant and town in Lake County, is a name of doubt- 
ful origin, according to Barrett, Porno, 317. 

Guejito, in San Diego County, is from an unknown source, prob- 
ably Spanish, as indicated by the ending. Guijo is "gravel" in 
Spanish. 



42 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Guesisosi, a land grant in Yolo County, on Cache Creek a few miles 
above Woodland, in territory originally belonging to the Patwin or 
Southern Wintun. The name is unidentified. 

Guilicos or Los Guilicos grant, in Sonoma County, is from Wilikos, 
the Coast Miwok name of a former Wappo village at the head of 
Sonoma Creek (Barrett, Porno, 269) . There was also a Southern Pomo 
village, named Wilok, about three miles northeast of Santa Rosa (Bar- 
rett, Pomo, 222). 

Guyapipe reservation, in San Diego County, is named ewi-apaip or 
awi-apaip, "rock lie on," in the Diegueiio dialect. 

Haiwee Creek, in Inyo County. Unidentified. 

Hanaupah Canyon, in the Panamint range, in Inyo County. Un- 
identified. The form of the name, however, including the suffix -pa, 
as well as the situation of the locality, make an ultimate Shoshonean 
source likely. 

Hemet, in Riverside County, appears not to have been identified, 
although the word sounds as if it might be Luiseno Shoshonean. 

Hetch Hetchy Valley, in the famous canyon on Tuolumne River, is 
named from a Central Miwok word denoting a kind of grass or plant 
with edible seeds abounding in the valley. Merriam, 345, gives Hetch- 
hetch-e as a Miwok village in the valley. 

Hettenchow, or Kettfynchow, or Kettenshaw, a peak and valley in 
Trinity County, are, according to Powers, 117, named from Wintun 
ketten or hetten, '"cammas," and chow, "valley," whereas Hetten 
Pum means ' ' cammas earth. ' ' Pom is Wintun for ' ' land, ' ' and there 
seems little reason to doubt that hetten denotes camas, or at least some 
kind of edible root. 

Homoa, near San Bernardino, is from Shoshonean Serrano Hom- 
hoa-bit (Kroeber, Shoshonean, 134). 

Honcut, in Butte County, and Honcut Creek between Butte and 
Yuba counties, probably named after a land grant in Yuba County, 
take their designation from a Maidu village near the mouth of the 
creek. Powers, 282. 

Hoopa, in Humboldt County, is the Yurok name of the valley as a 
whole, Hupa, or better Hupo, though the "o" is so open that its 
quality is well given by English "aw." It is not the name of the 
"tribe," for the Yurok called the Hoopa Indians Hupo-la after the 
locality. 

Hoppow Creek, an affluent of the Klamath, in Del Norte County, 
is named after the Yurok village Ho 'opeu. 



1916] Kroeier: California Place Names of Indian Origin 43 

Horse Linto Creek, in Humboldt County, is a settler's rendering 
of Haslinding,^* the Hupa name of the village at the mouth of the 
stream. 

Hosselkus valley, in Plumas County, has an unidentified name ; if 
Indian, it would be Maidu. 

Huasna, in San Luis Obispo County, is given as a Chumash village 
by Alexander Taylor.^^ 

Hueneme, in Ventura County, is originally a Chumashan place 
name, Wene'me or Wene'mu. 

Huichica, a land grant in Sonoma and Napa counties, is named 
from Huchi, a Coast Miwok village which stood near the plaza of the 
city of Sonoma. The etymology is unknown (Barrett, Porno, 312). 

Hunto, the name of a mountain in Yosemite National Park, is from 
an Indian word for eye, according to Sanchez, 379. Huntu is ''eye" 
in Southern Sierra Miwok, the native dialect of the vicinity. 

Hyampom, on the south fork of the Trinity River, in Trinity Coun- 
ty, is evidently Northern Wintun, in which pom is "land" or "place." 
Powers, 231, gives Haienpum as a place on the Hay Fork of Trinity 
River and as meaning "high hill," but pom clearly has the meaning 
of "down," "earth," or "land" rather than of "elevation" in 
Wintun. 

laqua Buttes, and laqua, in Humboldt County, seem to be named 
from Aiekwi or Aiekwe or Ayokwe, the form of native greeting, as 
well as of salutation at parting, common to several of the languages of 
Humboldt County, and still frequently used instead of "good day" 
between Indians and whites. 

Igo, in Shasta County, is of unknown origin. 

Inaja, more properly Ifiaja, an Indian reservation in San Diego 
County, is named from Diegueiio Indian Any-aha, ' ' my water. ' ' 

Inyo County is said to be named after an Indian tribe. No such 
division or village appears to have been recorded, and although the 
word sounds Shoshonean, and the derivation seems probable, it must 
be regarded as uncertain. 

Ivanpah, in San Bernardino County, is in Chemehuevi, that is. 
Southern Paiute, territory, and the name contains only sounds that 
occur in that language. Bailey says it is from ivan, "dove," and pah, 
' ' water, ' ' which the writer is unable either to admit or refute. 



1* Goddard, present series I, 12, 1903: Xaslindin. 
15 California Farmer, October 18, 1861. 



4-1 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Jalaraa, in Santa Barbara County, is named from a Chumash vil- 
lage Halam.^" 

Jamaclta or Jamacho, in San Diego County, is from Diegueno In- 
dian Hamacha, the place being named after a small wild squash plant. 

Jamul, in San Diego County, has its name from Diegueiio ha-mul 
(from aha, "water"), meaning "foam" or "lather." 

Jolon, in Monterey County, is an aboriginal site of the so-called 
Salinan Indians, and is still inhabited by them. The origin of the 
name, however, is uncertain, and the meaning undetermined.^^ 

Jonive, a grant in Sonoma County, has a name of unknown origin. 
The sound v is not Indian, in this vicinity; but might be Spanish 
orthography for b. 

Juristac, a land grant in San Benito County, is named from a 
Costanoan place-word, as indicated by the locative case -tak. See also 
TJlistac. 

Juriipa, in San Bernardino County, is Serrano or Gabrielino Sho- 
shonean Hurupa or Hurumpa, meaning unknown (Kroeber, Sho- 
shonean, 134, Cahuilla, 39). 

Kaweah River is named after a Yokuts tribe called Kawia, or prob- 
ably, more exactly, Ga'wia. They lived on or near the river where it 
emerges from the foothills into the plains. The name has no known 
connection with the almost identically pronounced Southern Cali- 
fornia term Cahuilla. 

Kai-ai-au-wa Peak, near Yosemite, in Mariposa County, is in South- 
trn Miwok territory, but the origin and meaning of the name are not 
known. 

Ke-ka-wa-ka, or Kekawa, creek, an affluent of Eel River, in South- 
western Trinity County, bears a name of unknown but presumably 
Indian origin. 

Kenoktai, Conockti, Kanaktai, the name of a prominent peak in 
Lake County also known as Uncle Sam Mountain, is derived from 
the Southeastern Pomo name Knoktai, from kno, "mountain," and 
hatai, "woman" (Barrett, Pomo, 183). 

KensJiaw Spritig, in Shasta County, between Chanchelulla and 
Beegum Mountains, is in Wintun territory. The word sounds Wintun. 
Compare Hettenchow or Kettenchow. 



16 Alexander Taylor, California Farmer, October 18, 1861, corroborates the ex- 
istence of the village, but his lalamma is only a misspelling of Spanish Jalama. 

17 See Mason, "The Ethnology of the Salinan Indians," in the present series, 
X, 106-108, 1912. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 45 

Kibesillah, in Mendocino County, suggests a derivation from Pomo 
kdbe, "rock," sila, ''flat." No such Pomo name is known in the 
vicinity of Kibesillah, but Barrett, Pomo, 230, mentions kahe-sila-wina, 
" rock-flat-upon, " as a former village of the Southwestern Pomo at 
Salt Point. 

Kimshew and Little Kimshew creeks, in Butte County, are near 
Nimshew, and their name, like the latter, is presumably also of Maidu 
Indian origin. 

Klamath. This well-known name of a large river, lakes, former 
California county, present post-office in the same state, and flourish- 
ing city in Oregon, is of obscure origin. The Klamath Indians of 
Oregon, a sister tribe of the more famous Modoc, still live on the upper 
drainage of the river. They call themselves Maklaks, ' ' people. ' ' The 
Chinook of the Columbia River called the tribe Tlamatl.^^ From this 
word the early American forms of the name, Tlameth and Clamet, 
seem to be derived, whence in turn the more recent Klamath. English 
speaking people regularly change aboriginal surd 1 or tl into kl at the 
beginning of words, because, although tl in little is as familiar as kl 
in pickle, tl does not occur initially in English, whereas kl is common 
(clear, clean, clever, click, close), and it is well known that the un- 
trained ear hears only what the tongue is accustomed to produce. The 
same phonetic law has produced Klickitat, and Klingit for Tlingit. 
It is, however, not certain that Chinook Tlamatl is a rendering of 
Maklaks. De Mofras," earlier than Hale, speaks of the Klamacs. This 
form is nearer both to original Maklaks and to modern Klamath than 
is Tlamatl. It is possible that Klamacs and Klamath are a corruption, 
by metathesis of consonants, directly from Maklaks. 

Klamathon, in Siskiyou County. This name is apparently coined 
from Klamath. 

Koip Peak, between Mono and Tuolumne counties, is probably, 
like near-by Kuna Peak, named from a Mono Indian word. Koipa is 
* ' mountain sheep ' ' in the closely related Northern Paiute dialect. 

Kosk, and Kosk Creek, in Shasta County, are in Achomawi or Pit 
River Indian territory, and the word sounds as if it might have been 
taken from that language. 

Kuna Peak, between Tuolumne and Mono counties, is probably 
named from the Shoshonean word kuna, usually meaning "fire," but 
appearing in the Mono dialect of the vicinity with the signification of 
"fire-wood." 



18 Hale, U. S. Expl. Exped., vi, 218. 
10 11, 335. 



46 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Lac, a grant in Sonoma County. Unidentified. 

LassecJc Peak, in Humboldt County, is said to be named after a 
chief Lasseck or Lassik. The Athabascan Indians of Van Duzen, Lar- 
rabee, and Dobbin creeks, and the head of Mad River, have also gen- 
erally been called Lassik after his name. 

Lehec, in Kern County, has an unidentified name. 

Locoallomi or Locallomi grant, in Pope Valley in Napa County, 
seems to be named from Lakahyome (Barrett, Porno, 273), the Lake 
Miwok name of a Wappo rancheria which these Indians themselves 
called Loknoma, and which stood three-fourths of a mile northeast of 
Middletown in Lake County. The Locollomillo (pronounce Loko- 
yomio) Indians were said by Alexander Taylor-" to be near the 
Guenocks' rancheria which in turn lay between Clear Lake and Napa. 
The meaning of Lakahyome is not known, except that -yome occurs as 
an ending on many Lake Miwok village names with the signification 
of "place." 

Loconoma Valley, in which Middletown, Lake County, is situated, 
is named from a former Wappo village, near Middletown, called Lok- 
noma, from lok, "wild goose," and noma, "village." See Locoallomi. 

Loleta, in Humboldt County, is given by Gannett as meaning "a 
pleasant place" in Indian. This meaning does not appear probable, 
and the word has not a Wiyot ring. It is more likely the Spanish 
woman's name Lolita. 

Lompoc, in Santa Barbara County, like Huasna, is mentioned by 
Alexander Taylor^^ as having been the name of a Chumash village. 

Lospe Mountain, near Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County, was in 
Chumash Indian territory, and the word, though unidentified, might 
with perfect propriety have been taken from one of the Chumash 
idioms. 

Malihu, one of the three names of the Topanga-Malibu-Sequit land 
grant in Los Angeles County, seems to go back for its source to the 
appelation of a Chumashan or Gabrielino Shoshonean village, called 
Maliwu in Chumash, which lay on the east side of the mouth of Malibu 
Creek. 

Mallacomes, two land grants also called Moristul (which see), one 
in Sonoma, the other in Napa and Sonoma counties, are named from 
Maiyakma, a former Yukian Wappo village a mile south of the pres- 
ent Calistoga. Barrett, Porno, 269. The meaning is not known. 



20 In the California Farmer of March 30, 1860. 

21 California Farmer, October 18, 1861. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 47 

Bailey's etymology of may-a-eamass, "camass eaters," is imaginary,' 
since caraas is a Northern and not a Californian Indian word, and 
"eat" is not mai in Wappo or any neighboring language. 

Marin County. The ''official" derivation is from chief Marin of 
the Lecatuit or Likatuit or Lekahtewutko "tribe," a division or more 
probably a village of the Coast Miwok. This is probably true, but it 
is unlikely that Marin was the Indian name of this man. In his native 
language the sound "r" does not occur. Maslin goes on to say that 
after being subdued, "Marin" was baptized Marinero, "mariner" and 
became a ferryman on San Francisco Bay. It is altogether more prob- 
able that he first followed this occupation, was then called ' ' Marinero, ' ' 
and that Marin is an abbreviation or corruption of this Spanish name. 

Matajuai, in San Diego County, is Dieguerio Amat-ahwai, "earth- 
white, ' ' so named from white earth or scum, used as paint, being found 
at the spot. The variant Matagual is only a misprint. 

Matilija, in Ventura County, is from Ma'tilha, or, according to H. 
W. Henshaw, Matilaha, a Chumash place name. 

Mattole River, in Humboldt County. The Wiyot of Humboldt Bay 
call the Athabascan Indians of this vicinity Medol, but it is not known 
if the name is original with them. 

Maturango Peak, in Inyo County. Uncertain, but more probably 
Spanish or corrupted Spanish than Indian. 

Mentone, in San Bernardino County, is given by Bailey as "In- 
dian" for "chin." Menton is Spanish for this part of the body; but 
it is more likely that the place is named after the one in the French 
Riviera. 

Mettah, a school district in Humboldt County, is named from the 
Yurok village of Meta on the south side of the Klamath River. 

Moco Canyon, in Eldorado County. This name is not Indian, but 
means muck, mucus, or slag in Spanish. 

Modoc County is named after the Modoc Indians, a tribe closely 
allied in speech to the Klamath or "Klamath Lakes" adjoining them 
on the north. Maslin gives the meaning of the word as "the head of 
the river," but in a note cites General 0. 0. Howard as stating that 
Modoc is a "corruption" of Maklaks and means "people." As the 
late veteran Indian linguist A. S. Gatschet more than twenty years 
ago compiled and published an elaborate and careful dictionary of 
the Klamath language,-- from which the Modoc differs scarcely even 
as a dialect, so that all the facts bearing on the question have long 



22 Contributions to North American Ethnology, n, Washington, 1890. 



48 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

"since been of authentic record, this word furnishes a memorable ex- 
ample of the free rein which it has been customary to give to current 
tradition, vulgar rumor, and unsubstantiated opinion, in the matter of 
Indian names. Modoc is the Klamath and Modoc word for "south" 
or "southern," written by Gatschet moatok, in another grammatical 
form moatokni, applied by the Klamath to their southern kinsmen the 
Modoc, though never, in such application, without the addition of a 
word like maklaks, "people" (see Klamath). In a word, "Modoc" 
means "south," and nothing more or less. 

Mohave, or Mojave, originally written Jamajab by the Spanish ex- 
plorer Garces, from Hamakhava (k and h separate sounds), the name 
for themselves of an important tribe, of Yuman lineage, in the bottom 
lands of the Colorado River in the region where California, Arizona, 
and Nevada now meet. Outside of their own territory, the name was 
first applied to the Mohave River to the west, from an erroneous im- 
pression that this drained into the Colorado in the habitat of the 
Mohave. From the river, the desert in which it is lost took its designa- 
tion, and from this the town in its western reaches. All the localities 
to which the name Mohave now adheres were in Shoshonean and not 
in Mohave territory. The meaning of the name Hamakhava is not 
known to the Mohave of today, and analysis of their language has so 
far failed to reveal an etymology. A. S. Gatschet appears to be re- 
sponsible for the explanation "three mountains," adopted by Bailey, 
Gannett, and others. This derivation is positively erroneous. ' ' Three ' ' 
is hamok in Mohave, and "mountain," avi, so that the vowels differ 
from those of Hamakhava ; moreover the rules of composition in the 
language demand the inverse order, Avi-hamok. This is a place name 
actually found in the Mohave dialect, but denotes a locality near 
Tehachapi Pass. 

Mokelumne River is named from Indian Mokelurani, "people of 
Mokel," a Plains Miwok village near Lockford on this stream, accord- 
ing to Barrett, Miwok, 340, and Merriam, 350. The ending -umni 
occurs also in Tuolumne and Cosumnes. 

Monache Peak, in Tulare County, is named from the Monachi 
Indians, usually called Mono, which word see. 

Mono County and Lake are named after a wide-spread division of 
Shoshonean Indians on both slopes of the Southern Sierra Nevada. 
In speech and presumably in origin they are closely allied to the 
Northern Paiute of Nevada and Oregon and the Bannock of Idaho. 
By their Yokuts neighbors they are called Monachi. The ending -chi 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 49 

occurs otherwise in Yokiits and Miwok as a suffix on names of tribes 
or divisions: Yaudanchi, Wimilchi, Heuchi, Pitkachi, Wakichi, Dalin- 
chi, Apiachi, Pohonichi, perhaps also Tachi, Wobonuch, and Endim- 
bich. The stem therefore appears to be Mona. To the Spaniards, who 
knew the Miwok and Yokuts earlier than they knew the Monachi, 
this stem might easily suggest mono, ' ' monkey. ' ' This is the interpre- 
tation usually given, as by Maslin, but it seems to be secondary. 
Bailey also says that Mono is a tribal name, but his explanation of 
"good-looking" is unfounded. The Yokuts themselves give a sec- 
ondary interpretation of Monachi, which is interesting as an example 
of folk etymology, but very improbable. Monai, monoi, or monoyi 
means "flies" in Yokuts speech. The Monos, as mountain dwellers in 
the higher Sierra, climbed skillfully about steep cliffs and rocks until 
from a distance they looked like flies on a vertical surface : hence their 
designation, the Indians say. But Indian tribal names of known origin 
do not follow such lines of thought. It appears that Monachi, like 
most of the names of the Yokuts for their own or other tribes, no 
longer possesses a determinable meaning. 

Moorek, a school district in Humboldt County, is named from 
Mureku or Murekw, a Yurok village on the north side of the Klamath 
River. 

Moosa, in San Diego County, is a name of unknown origin. 

Moristul, or Muristul, the name of two land grants in Sonoma and 
in Napa and Sonoma counties, also called Mallacomes (which see), is 
from Mutistul, a Wappo village formerly four and a half miles west 
of Calistoga in the mountains. The derivation is from muti, ' ' north, ' ' 
and tul, "large valley." Barrett, Porno, 271. 

Morongo, the name of a valley, a creek, and an Indian reservation 
near Banning, Riverside County, is Serrano Shoshonean for a native 
village in Morongo Valley or on Mission Creek. Kroeber, Cahuilla, 35 

Muah, a peak between Tulare and Inyo counties. Unidentified, but 
the location of the mountain and the sound of the word indicate a 
Shoshonean origin, probably Mono. 

Mugu, a point and lagoon in Ventura County, is Chumash Indian 
muwu, "beach," used as a specific village or place name. 

Musalacon, a land grant near Cloverdale, Sonoma County, is prob- 
ably of Pomo origin. Powers, 183, says of the Indians he calls the 
Misalla Magun: "This branch of the [Pomo] nation was named after 
a famous chief they once had. A Gallinomero [Southern Pomo] told 



60 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

me the name was a corruption of mi-sar-la-a'-ko, which denotes 'long 
snake.' Another form for the name is Mu-sal-la-ktin'." 

Muscupiabe, near San Bernardino, was in Serrano Shoshonean ter- 
ritory, and is the Serrano name of the place or vicinity, Muskupia 
being the stem, and -hit, appearing also as -pet and -vit, a locative 
suffix. Cited by Kroeber, Shoshonean, 134. 

Najalayegua, a land grant in Santa Barbara County, is evidently 
named after a Chumash village, called Majalayghua by Alexander 
Tajdor.^^ This is no doubt a misspelled form of Najalayegua, but was 
probably given to Taylor as an aboriginal site and name by Indian 
informants. 

Napa County and City are said by Maslin and others to be named 
from an Indian word meaning "fish." Bailey gives a derivation from 
an Indian "tribe," while Gannett says the word means "house" in 
Indian. No Indian village called Napa has ever been located in the' 
region. As regards the meaning "fish," "harpoon-point" is perhaps 
to be substituted, since Barrett, Porno, 293, says that no such word as 
Napa has been found in the Wintun, Wappo, or Miwok languages, 
which are the ones that would come in question, but that the word is 
used in several of the Pomo dialects, some of which were spoken not 
far away, as the name of the detachable points of the native fish har- 
poon, although there is no distinct evidence that this is the origin of the 
name Napa. 

Natoma, in Sacramento County, passes current as meaning "clear 
water," but this appears the creation of an American mind. The 
word seems derived from Maidu nato or noto, "north" (or, according 
to some translations, "east" — probably the true meaning is "up 
stream"), and was presumably a village name. See Powers, 317. 

Neenach, in Los Angeles County, is of unknown origin, but the 
place is in Shoshonean territory and the word sounds as if it might be 
from some Shoshonean dialect. 

Nimshew, in Butte County, is named from Maidu nem seu (or 
setvi), "large stream." Powers, 283. 

Nipomo, in San Luis Obispo County, is named from a Chumash 
village.^* 

Nojoqui, probably more correctly Nojogui, since Nojohui is also 
found, in Santa Barbara County, seems to go back to a Chumash 
Indian Onohwi. 



23 California Farmer, April 24, 1863. 

24 Schumacher in Smithsonian Report for 1874, 342, 1875. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 51 

Nomcult Farm, the first name applied to the reservation later desig- 
nated as Round Valley. This term is not in use now. The word is 
Wintun, although the reservation is on original Yuki territory. Nom- 
is ' ' west, " as in Nomlaki, ' ' west-tongue, west language ' ' ; -cult con- 
tains a combination of consonants not tolerated in Wintun but stand- 
ing for "Ih," as the surd or "Welsh" 1 of that language may be rep- 
resented. The second element would in that case be kolh, which, ac- 
cording to Powers, 230, represents kekhl, "tribe." Bailey gives 
Meshakai, ' ' tule valley, ' ' as the aboriginal name of Round Valley, but 
the v/riter has never met with this term. 

No'pah Range, in Inyo County. The name sounds Shoshonean, the 
locality suggests the same. 

Noyo River, in Mendocino County, is named after the former 
Northern Pomo village at the mouth of Pudding Creek. Barrett, 
Porno, 134, says that this creek was named after the village (which is 
general Indian custom), but that "after the coming of the whites the 
name was transferred" {i.e., by them) "to the larger stream south of 
Fort Bragg, which now bears the name of Noyo River. The Indian 
name of Noyo River is tce'mli-bida" {i.e., Chemli-hida) . The mean- 
ing of Noyo is unknown. 

Ojai, in Ventura County, is given by Bailey and Gannett as mean 
ing "nest." This signification would be characteristic of civilized 
fancy rather than of Indian geographical usage. The word is a 
Chumash place name, A 'hwai, and means ' ' moon. ' ' 

Olanche, in Inyo County, may be named from an Indian source, 
though its origin appears to be unknown. The word has a general 
Shoshonean ring, though neither the Mono-Paiute-Bannock, the Sho- 
shoni-Panamint-Coso, nor the Chemehuevi-Paiute-Kawaiisu dialect 
groups of this vicinity contain the sound " 1. " The nearest Shoshonean 
language in which "1" occurs is the Tiibatulabal of Kern River, across 
the main divide of the Sierra Nevada. It is not impossible that the 
word is taken from the name of a Yokuts tribe on Tule River on the 
opposite side of the Sierra Nevada, who call themselves Yaudanchi, 
and are called by their western neighbors Yaulanchi. This pronun- 
ciation, via the intermediate form Yolanchi, is not very different from 
' ' Olanche. ' ' There is also an Olancha Peak in the crest of the Sierra 
Nevada west of the settlement called Olanche, and therefore nearer to 
the habitat of the Yaudanchi. 

Olcma, in Marin County, according to Barrett, Pomo, 307, is prob- 
ably named from a former Coast Miwok village Olemaloke, "from 



52 University of California Fuhlications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

6'le, coyote, and lo'klo or lo'kla, valley, near the town of Olema at the 
southern extremity of Tomales Bay." It is probable that this name 
is also the source of the "tribal'' name Olamentke, frequently ap- 
plied, since the time of the Russian settlement in California, to the 
Coast Miwok Indians of Bodega Bay, and thence to those of Marin 
County as a group. 

Oleta, in Amador County, is in Miwok Indian territory. A stem 
ole appears in several Miwok dialects with the meaning "coyote" — 
compare Olema, — and -ta or -to means "at." There is, however, no 
evidence that this suggested derivation is the actual one. Merriam, 
344, gives Tamm-oolette-sa as a Miwok village near Oleta, but this 
name is more probably connected with tamalin, north. 

Olompali, in Marin County, is from Olompolli, a Coast Miwok vil- 
lage five miles south of the present Petaluma. Barrett, Porno, 310. 
Olom. signifies "south," but the meaning of polli is not known. 

Omagar Creek, a southerly affluent of the Klamath River, in Del 
Norte County, has a name that is derived from Omega', the Yurok 
designation of the stream. 

Omjumi Mountain, in Plumas County, is in Maidu Indian terri- 
tory, and the name sounds as if it might be Maidu, in which dialects 
om means "rock;" but the derivation is not recorded. 

Omo Ranch, in Eldorado County, is named for the Northern Sierra 
Miwok village Omo. Merriam, 344. 

Omochumnes, a land grant in Sacramento County, has an Indian 
name. It contains the ending -umni (or -amni, -imni), borne by many 
Yokuts, Miwok, and Maidu tribal or group names in the valley of the 
San Joaquin and Lower Sacramento. Oomoochah is given by Mer- 
riam, 349, as a Northwestern (Plains) Miwok village at Elk Grove 
The Umuchamni or Omochumne would therefore be the people of this 
village. According to several authors other than Merriam, but less 
definite in their statements. Elk Grove and the tracts north of the 
Cosumnes were Maidu, not Miwok. 

Ono, in Shasta County, is from an unknown source. In the Maidu 
language, and in the Southern Wintun dialect of the vicinity of 
Colusa, ono means "head." The settlement Ono is in Northern Win- 
tun territory, but this and all the other dialects of the family, except 
that of Colusa, have quite different words for "head," so that the 
derivation, although possible, must be considered entirely vincon- 
firmed. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 53 

Orestimba, a land grant on the west side of the San Joaquin River, 
in Stanislaus and Merced counties, at the mouth of Orestimba Creek, 
is a name of unknown origin. The first part of the word, ores, how- 
ever, denotes ' ' bear ' ' in the Costanoan dialects, and it is perhaps more 
than a coincidence that an affluent of Orestimba Creek is known as 
Oso, that is, "bear," creek. The Costanoan Indians ranged from the 
coast at least to the Mount Diablo Range, and perhaps beyond ; at 
any rate, whether Orestimba was in Yokuts or in Costanoan territory, 
the Spaniards would have reached it from the Costanoan Indians. 

Orick, in Humboldt County, is named after Arekw or Orekw (the 
first vowel nearly like English aw), a Yurok village on the south side 
of the mouth of Redwood Creek, a mile and a half below the present 
post-office and stage station of the same name. 

Osagon Creek, in Humboldt County. From Yurok Asegen, a place 
name of unknown meaning. 

Otay, in San Diego County, is named from a Diegueno Indian word, 
otai or otay a, ' ' brushy. ' ' 

Pachappa, near Riverside. Of unknown origin. 

Pacoima, in Los Angeles County. Probably of Gabrielino Sho- 
shonean origin, but unknown. 

Pahute Mountain, in Kern County, is named from the same tribe 
as Piute, which see. 

Paicines, or Pajines, in San Benito, is probably a tribal name, as 
stated by Sanchez, 160, 399. The region was occupied by Costanoan 
Indians, many of whose village or group names end in -n, to which 
the Spaniards frequently added the plural -es. Compare Mutsu-n, 
Rumse-n, Olho-n-es, Bolbo-n-es, Salso-n-es; also, in the territory of 
their immediate neighbors, Essele-n, Carqui-n-ez, Suisu-n, Ulpi-n-os. 

Pala, in San Diego County, may be named, as sometimes stated, 
from Spanish pala, ' ' shovel, ' ' but is much more probably from Luiseno 
Shoshonean pala, ' ' water. ' ' At least, the Luiseiio accept it as a native 
place name of this significance. Kroeber, Shoshonean, 147. 

Pamo, in San Diego County, was called Pamo by the Diegueno 
Indians, but the meaning is not known. 

Panamint Mountains and Valley, in Inyo County, are named from 
a Shoshonean tribe in the region of the range, who were close rela- 
tives of the Shoshoni proper of central and northeastern Nevada, and 
identical, or practically so, with the Shikaviyam or Koso. The Mohave 
apply the name, in their pronunciation ' ' Vanyume, ' ' to the Serrano of 



54 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

the Mohave River and adjacent regions. The origin of the word is 
unknown. 

Paoha Island, in Mono Lake, has a name which for all that is known 
to the contrary may be from a Mono or Northern Paiute source. It is 
of unknown origin, however, and in its present form looks more like 
a Hawaiian than an Indian word. The Faoho of some maps appears 
to be only a misspelling. 

Pasadena is often known as "the Crown City," and Bailey gives 
its derivation from Chippewa Weoquan Pasadena, "crown of the 
valley. ' ' The Chippewa may now have a descriptive word for crown, 
but such a conception is certainly not aboriginal. No unsophisticated 
and very few civilized Indians would think of calling any place the 
"crown of the valley." The phrase has all the appearance of having 
been coined by an American out of Indian or imaginary Indian terms. 

Paskenta, in Tehama County, is Central Wintun Paskenti, * ' bank- 
under, ' ' under the bank. 

Pauha, in Riverside County, was in Luiseiio territory, and the name 
sounds as if it had been taken from that language, but nothing appears 
to be known as to its source. 

Pauja, in San Diego County, is named from Diegueno Pauha, of 
unknown significance. 

Pauma, in San Diego County, is Paumo, a still inhabited Luiseno 
village. The meaning is unknown. Kroeber, Shoshonean, 147. 

Pecwan Creek, Humboldt County, has its designation from the 
Yurok village of Pekwan, at the entrance into the Klamath of the 
creek, which is named, according to Indian custom, after the spot at 
its mouth. 

Petaluma, in Sonoma County, is named from an aboriginal Peta- 
luma, which stood "on a low hill east of Petaluma Creek at a point 
probably about three and one-half miles, a little north of east, of the 
town of Petaluma. ' ' So Barrett, Porno, 310. The village belonged to 
the Coast Miwok, and its name in their dialect signifies ' ' flat-back, ' ' no 
doubt from the appearance of the elevation on which it was situated. 

Piru, in Ventura County, according to Alexander Taylor,-^ is 
named from a Chumash village Piiru ; according to the writer 's in- 
formation, the name of the village, which was Shoshonean, not Chu- 
mash, was Pi'idhuku in Shoshonean, and signified a kind of plant, 
perhaps a sedge or grass. 



25 California Farmer, July 24, 1863. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 55 

Pismo, in San Luis Obispo County, is of unknown origin. The 
place was in Chumash Indian territory, and the name sounds like good 
Chumash. 

Piute, places in Kern, also in San Bernardino County, and a spring 
in eastern San Bernardino County, take their name from a well- 
known, or rather two well-known, Shoshonean divisions, too wide- 
spread and too loosely organized to be truly designable as tribes, but 
each possessing a considerable uniformity of speech and customs. The 
Southern Paiute, who appear to have been first called by this name, 
lived in southwestern Utah, northernmost Arizona, southern Nevada, 
and southeastern California, and may be said to include the Cheme- 
huevi and Kawaiisu. Their language is similar to Ute. The Northern 
Paiute, who disclaim this name, although it is universally applied to 
them by Americans in their habitat, and who have also been called 
Paviotso in literature, speak a dialect virtually identical with Ban- 
nock. They live in eastern Oregon, northwestern Nevada, an eastern 
fringe of northern and central California, and apparently shade into 
the Mono. Thus the Indians of Owens River Valley, who appear to 
be substantially Monos, are commonly called Paiutes. The usual 
American pronunciation of Paiute is Paiyut, but the meaning of the 
word, which has been interpreted both as "water Ute" and "true 
Ute," cannot be considered as positively determined.^" Most of the 
places in California called Piute or Pahute are in or near the range of 
the Southern Paiute or their close kindred; but a Piute mountain 
and creek in Tuolumne County are apparently named after the Mono- 
speaking Indians of Mono County, who affiliate with the "false" or 
Northern Paiute. 

Pogolimi, a land grant in Sonoma County, bears an unidentified 
name which may be Indian. 

Pohono Falls, in Yosemite Valley, appears to be of Miwok Indian 
origin. These Indians, however, do not recognize the often quoted 
meaning "evil wind," and connect the word rather with Pohonichi, 
the Yokuts name of a Miwok group in the vicinity, in which -chi is an 
ending denoting "people." 

Porno, a post-oflfice in Potter Valley, Mendocino County, embodies 
the name Pomo or Poma — meaning "people" and much used as a suf- 
fix of village names — which in literature and popular usage has come 
to designate a large group or linguistic family of Indians in Mendo- 



26 See, however, W. L. Marsden, in American Anthropologist, n.s. xiii, 724-725, 
1911, who presents good evidence favoring the meaning "water Ute." 



56 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

cino, Lake, and Sonoma counties. It was, however, also the name of 
one particular village of the Northern Pomo, which stood at the present 
Potter Valley flour mill, south of the post-office, and is probably the 
source of the name of the town. Barrett, Pomo, 140. 

Poonkiny, in Mendocino County, is Yuki punkini (more exactly 
punk'ini), meaning "wormwood." 

Posolmi, a land grant in Santa Clara County, may be a name of 
Costanoan origin, but is not identifiable. 

Poway, in San Diego County, was in Diegueno territory. The 
neighboring Luiseiio today call the place Pawai (Kroeber, Shoshonemi, 
149 ) ; the Diegueno use the same term ; but whether this designation is 
native with either tribe, or borrowed by them from the whites, is not 
certain. 

Puta or Putah or Putos Creek, has sometimes been said to be of 
Indian origin, but appears to be from the Spanish puta, "harlot." 

Quati, a grant in Santa Barbara County, bears an unidentified 
name. 

Bequa, in Del Norte County, is said to have been named after a 
member of the Requa family prominent in California. It is more 
likely that the origin is from Rekwoi, an important Yurok village at 
the mouth of the Klamath, just below the present American town. 

Sahoha, in Riverside County, is Luiseno Sovovo (both "v's" 
bilabial), a place or village name, meaning unknown. Kroeber, Sho- 
shonean, 147. 

Samagatuma, near Cuyamaca in San Diego County. Unknown. 
If Indian, Diegueno. 

Sanel, in Mendocino County, is given by Bailey as named after a 
"tribe," which is correct in the sense of a village. According to Bar- 
rett, Pomo, 171, this rancheria was called Shanel (cane'l), from shane 
(cane'), "sweat-house," and was a populous place "on the south bank 
of McDowell Creek at a point just south of the town of Sanel or Old 
Hopland." From this village was named the Senel land grant. An- 
other Pomo village called Shanel, which, however, does not appear to 
have entered into American geographical nomenclature, was situated 
farther north, in Potter Valley. 

Sapaque Valley, on the line of San Luis Obispo and Monterey 
counties, has an unidentified name. If Indian, it is of Salinan origin. 

Saticoy, in Ventura County, goes back to a Chumash original 
Sati'koi, a village in the vicinity. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 57 

Scqiian or Sycuan or Cycuan reservation, also a peak, in San Diego 
County, has its name from a Dieguefio Indian word, sekwan, denotnig 
a kind of bush. 

Sequit, the third name of the Malibu or Topanga land grant in Los 
Angeles county, is unidentified, but, like these two other names, evi- 
dently of Indian origin. 

Sesma, in Tehama County, bears an unidentified name. 

Sespe, in Ventura County, is named from a Chumash village, 
Se-ek-pe, Shehpe, or Sekspe; the meaning of the word may be "fish." 

Shasta. The name of this county is involved in obscurity. The 

county is obviously named after the far-visible gigantic mountain. The 

suggested derivation from French chaste, "pure," as applicable to its 

perpetual snows, is unlikely. Dr. R. B. Dixon, who is the authority 

above all others on the Shasta group of Indians, says :-' 

"The earlier forms — such as Saste, Shaste, Sasty, Shasty, Chasty, Shastl, 
Shastika — have given place to the form Shasta. . . . The origin and meaning 
of this term . . . are both obscure. So far as my information goes, it is not a 
term used by the Shasta for themselves, either as a whole or in part, although 
there is some doubt as to whether or not the term may not have been used to 
designate a portion of the stock, i.e., that about the eastern portion of Shasta 
Valley. Its use, however, as such, is recent. It is not a term for the Indians 
of this stock in the languages of the surrounding stocks, whose names for the 
people are known, although in use by both Achoma'wi and Atsuge'wi. It is 
emphatically denied by the Shasta that it is a place-name for any section of 
the territory occupied by them, and indeed there is some question as to 
whether it is even a word proper to their language. After persistent inquiry, 
the only information secured which throws any light on the matter is to the 
effect that about forty or fifty years ago there was an old man living in Shasta 
Valley whose personal name was Shastika (Susti'ka). He is reported to have 
been a man of importance; and it is not impossible that the name Shasta came 
from this Indian, an old and well-known man in the days of my informant 's 
father, who was living at the time of the earliest settlement in this section, — 
in the '50 's. Inasmuch as the suffix fea is the regular subjective suffix, we 
should have susti as the real name of this individual, from which the earlier 
forms of Shasty, etc., could easily have been derived. The derivation from the 
Russian CHIST Y, meaning ' ' white [sic] , clean, ' ' — a term supposed to have been 
applied by the settlers at Fort Ross to Mount Shasta, — is obviously improbable. 
The matter is further complicated by the difficulty of clearing up the precise 
relationships of the so-called "Chasta" of Oregon, and of explaining the re- 
currence of the same term in the name of the Athabascan tribe of the Chasta- 
Costa28 of the Oregon coast. ' ' 

Dr. Dixon, however, also says that the Shasta are called Sasti'dji 
by the Achomawi and Susti'dji by the Atsugewi. These names would 



27 "The Shasta," in Bull. Am. Museum Natural History, xvii, 384, 1907. 

28 Pronounced ' ' Shasta-Costa. ' ' The spelling with " Ch " points to an original 
French use of the word in Oregon. 



58 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

point to an Indian origin for the tribal term and geographical designa- 
tion, were it not entirely possible that they have but recently been 
coined or derived, from the American name of the Shasta, by these 
other Indians who now know English in addition to their own dialects. 

The origin of the word must therefore be regarded as still unde- 
termined, although almost certainly Indian. 

The current derivation of the word, as given, for instance, by 
Maslin, is from a tribal name meaning "stone house or cave dwellers." 
This erroneous tradition seems to go back to a hasty misunderstanding 
of a statement by Steele on page 120 of the Report of the Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs for 1864, to the effect that "the Shasta In- 
dians, known in their language as Weohow — it meaning stone house, 
from the large cave in their country — occupy the land east of Shasta 
River," etc. It will be seen that the alleged meaning does not apply 
to "Shasta" at all, but to the native name "Weohow" for which the 
Americans use Shasta. Indiscriminateness of this sort is typical of 
most of the attempts to explain native names in California. 

Simi, in Ventura County, is Ventura dialect Chumash Shimiyi or 
Shimii, a place or village. Indian informants can give no etymology, 
and Bailey's signification of "source of water" appears unfounded. 

Sisar Canyon, in Ventura County, derives its name from a Chu- 
mash village site Sis 'a. 

Siskiyou, the name of the county, is a term the significance of 
which, according to Maslin, has "never been authentically deter- 
mined, ' ' although it has ' ' generally been assumed " to be the ' ' name of 
a tribe." He cites, however, a suggestion that it is a corruption of 
French "Six Caillj^ux," applied in 1832 to a ford on the Umpqua 
river in Oregon because of six stepping stones. This story looks too 
much like a typical case of subsequent folk-etymology to engender 
much confidence. The usual assumption of an Indian origin, though 
not necessarily from a tribal name, is more credible. The source, if 
aboriginal, is, however, at least as likely to have been Oregonian as 
Californian. 

Sisquoc, in Santa Barbara County, is unidentified. It looks to be 
Chumash Indian. 

SMikum Rock, a mountain in Siskiyou County, is apparently named 
from the Chinook jargon word skukum, "strong." This trade dialect 
barely penetrated to the northernmost parts of California, and the 
name was therefore almost certainly applied by white men. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 59 

Sohoyame, in San Diego County, may be Indian. It is unidenti- 
fied. 

Somis, in Ventura County, has a Chumash name, the appelation of 
a village variously rendered S 'ohmiis, Somus, Somes, and Somo.^" 

Sonoma County is named after the mission and city of Sonoma. 
The translation "valley of the moon" is fanciful. It has also been 
said, according to Barrett, Porno, 313, that the term is of Spanish 
origin and was given as a name to a chief at Sonoma by the Spaniards. 
The last part of this statement is no doubt correct, since Dr. Barrett 's 
Indian informants recalled a Coast Miwok chief, properly called Hoi- 
pustolopokse, who was commonly known as Sonoma. But there can 
be little doubt that as in the case of Solano the individual was so 
dubbed from the Mexican establishment. Dr. Barrett gives what must 
be regarded the most likely derivation when he says that there is, ' ' in 
the village names of the Yukian Wappo dialect, the territory of which 
extends to within a few miles of Sonoma, a constantly recurring end- 
ing -tso'noma, derived from tso, earth or ground, and no'ma, village, 
as micewal-tso'noma ; and it seems probable that this is the true source 
of the name Sonoma." 

Soquel, in Santa Cruz County, also written Shoquel in the name of 
the land grant, is a Costanoan village name. Alexander Taylor cites 
"Osocalis (Souquel) " as one of the rancherias from which the mission 
of Santa Cruz had neophytes.^" 

Sotoyome, a land grant in Sonoma County, is given by Bailey as 
from Spanish soto yo me, literally, "forest I me," which he makes by 
a peculiar idiom into "my ow^n forest." What is perhaps the same 
name in another spelling, Sotoyama, he interprets as a compound of 
Spanish soto, forest, and "Indian" yama, lake — which would be 
equally remarkable. Barrett, Pomo, 218, says that the chief of the 
Southern Pomo village of Wotokkaton (on the Luce Ranch a short 
distance upstream from Healdsburg and across the Russian River 
from the town), was known as Santiago; also as Manteca, literally 
"lard," evidently a Spanish nickname corresponding to English 
* ' Fat ; ' ' and also as Soto ; and that "it is from this latter name that 
Sotoyome is derived, the latter part of the name signifying 'the home 
of. ' ' ' Whether Soto is a third Spanish name of this conspicuous indi- 
vidual, or Indian, is not certain ; but it is clear that even if the word 
Sotoyome is good Pomo it is not an ancient name of a locality, for 



29 Handbook of American Indians, Bur. Am. Ethn. Bull. 30, part ii, 615. 

30 California Farmer, April 5, 1860. 



60 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

the California Indians, before contact with the whites, never based 
the permanent appelation of a village or locality on the name of a 
person. It seems therefore that Sotoyome is an Indian place-name 
formed by Indians from a personal name in Spanish times. 

Soulajule, a land grant in Marin County, appears to be named 
from an Indian word, but this has not been identified. 

Suey, a land grant in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara coun- 
ties, bears an unidentified name. The only suggestion, and it is a 
slender one, is afforded by Suiesia, mentioned by Taylor^^ as a Chu- 
mash village connected with Santa Ynez mission. 

Suisun Bay, and Suisun City, in Solano County, bear the name of 
a prominent * 'tribe," that is, probably a village, of the Patwin or 
Southern Wintun Indians of this region. This village is often men- 
tioned in Spanish sources, but has not been exactly located. 

Surper appears on some maps as a settlement on the Klamath 
River, in Humboldt County. It is occupied only by one or two Yurok 
Indian houses, representing the former native village of Serper. 

Suscol Creek, in Napa County, is the aboriginal Southern Wintun 
village of Suskol. 

Tahoose Pass, in the crest of the Sierra Nevada, and Taboose 
Creek, in Inyo County. Unidentified, but, judging from the sound, 
very likely of Mono Shoshonean origin. 

Tache, Laguna de, a land grant in Fresno County, is named for 
the Tachi tribe of Yokuts Indians, who lived in the slough-intersected 
region at the outlet of Tulare Lake, near by. 

Tahoe Lake is said to be named from Washo tah-hoo-he, "big 
water. ' ' This etymology is given by Bailey, and is also current. There 
is very little on record concerning the Washo language. Intrinsically 
the above derivation seems reasonable, but the accepted etymologies 
of California Indian names are so much more often wrong than right, 
that in view of the ordinary word in Washo for "water" being time 
and for "large," tiyeli, some doubt may not be hypercritical. Five 
minutes' unprejudiced inquiry of an intelligent elderly Washo would 
settle the point positively. 

Tahquitz, one of the peaks of the San Jacinto Mountains in River- 
side County, also a nearby creek, is named from Takwish (or Dak wish 
— one spelling is as correct as the other, since the initial sound is in- 
termediate between English "t" and "d"), a mythological character 
of the Luisefio and Cahuilla Indians, associated with meteors or per- 



31 California Farmer, October 18, 1861. 



1916] Eroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 61 

haps more exactly ball-lightning, usually pictured as a cannibal, and 
believed to have had his home, or still to have it, on or in Mount San 
Jacinto. 

Taijiguas, in Santa Barbara County, according to Alexander Tay- 
lor, is named from a Chumash village. ^- 

Tajauta, a land grant in Los Angeles County, is named from an 
unknown source. If Indian, it would be from the Gabrielino dialect ; 
and its sound makes such an origin possible. 

Tallac, in Eldorado County, was, like Lake Tahoe, in Washo ter- 
ritory, but there is apparently no information available to show 
whether or not the word is Indian. 

Tallowa Lake, a portion of Lake Earl in Del Norte County, is 
named from Tolo'okw, the Yurok name of an Athabascan village in 
the vicinity, the current ethnological designation of the tribe, Tolowa, 
deriving from the same source: ni-tolowo, "I speak Tolowa," i.e., the 
Athabascan dialect of Del Norte County. 

Tamalpais Mountain, in Marin County, does not contain Spanish 
pais, "country." It is Coast Miwok Tamal-pais, "bay mountain." 
Barrett, Porno, 308. 

Tapo or Tapu Canyon, near Simi in Ventura County, is named 
from a Chumash original Ta'apu, "yucca," an inhabited site. 

Tecopa, in Inyo County, is said by Bailey to have been the name 
of an Indian chief, which may or may not be the case. There is noth- 
ing in the sound of the word to prevent its having had a Shoshonean 
origin. 

Tecuya or Tacuya Creek, in Kern County, and Tecuya Mountain 
at the head of this stream, are named after Tokya, the name applied 
by the Yokuts tribes to the Chumash Indians, a division of whom oc- 
cupied the region in question. 

Tehachapi, also Tehichipi, the famous pass, and a town and moun- 
tain range, in Kern County. The name is of Indian origin. The pass 
was in the territory of the Shoshonean Kawaisu, but it has not been 
ascertained whether the word occurs in their speech. The Yokuts to 
the north, however, call the region, or some spot in it, Tahiehipi, or 
more usually Tahichpiu, -u being the regular locative case ending. 

Tehama, County is, as Maslin says, named from an Indian ' ' tribe, ' ' 
that is, Wintun village, which probably stood on the west side of the 
Sacramento River near or at the present town of Tehama. 



32 California Farmer, October 18, 1861. 



^ 



62 University of California Publications iyi Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Tehipite Valley and Dome, on upper Kings River in Fresno Coun- 
ty, appear to derive their name from an unidentified word of Mono 
origin. The location of the places and sound of the name indicate 
this, 

Tejunga or Tujunga River, in Los Angeles County, is evidently a 
Gabrielino Shoshonean place name, as evidenced by the locative case 
ending -nga. 

Temecula, in Riverside County, is Luiseno Tenieku, meaning un- 
known, a village of this Shoshonean division. Kroeber, Shoshonean, 
147. Teme-t is "sun" in Luiseno. 

Tenaya, a stream and lake draining into Yosemite Valley, are 
named after a Miwok chief, head of the Yosemite Indians at the time 
of discovery. 

Tepusquet, in Santa Barbara County, is a name that has the ring 
of a Chumash Indian word, but is of unknown origin. 

Tequepis, a land grant in Santa Barbara County, is named from a 
Chumash village near San Marcos.^^ 

Terwah Creek, a northerly affluent of the Klamath River, in Del 
Norte County, is named from Terwer, as the Yurok Indians call it. 

Tiee Valley, in Contra Costa County. Unidentified. 

Tiltill Mountain and Creek, in Tuolumne County. Unidentified, 

Tinaquaic, in Santa Barbara County, has a name presumably of 
Chumash Indian origin, but unidentified. 

Tinemaha, or Tinemakar, in Inyo County, may be of "Paiute" 
origin. 

Tish-Tang-a-Tang Creek, in Humboldt County, is not, as given by 
Gannett and repeated by Bailey, a fanciful name indicating the 
splashing of water, but the American rendering of Hupa Djishtanga- 
ding,^* the name of a village at the mouth of the creek. 

Tissaack, South Dome in Yosemite, is, fide Powers, 364, 367, South- 
ern Miwok Tisseyak, the name of a woman who according to tradition 
was transformed into the mountain. California Indian legendary 
names of persons, however, almost always have meanings; and the 
significance of this word is not yet known. 

Tocaloma, in Marin County, is given by Bailey as meaning "the 
hooded hill" in Spanish. This is improbable. Toca means a "hood" 
or "toque," but "hood-hill" would be Loma Toca rather than Toca- 
loma. The place is in Coast Miwok territory, and sounds like a Coast 



33 Alexander Taylor, California Farmer, October 18, 1861; April 24, 1863. 

34 Goddard, present series, i, 12, 1903 : Djietanadin. 



1916] Kroeher : California Place Names of Indian Origin 63 

Miwok word. The ending suggests -yome, meaning "place" in this 
language; especially as 1 and y interchange in some Miwok dialects. 
It may be added that in Central Sierra Miwok dialect tokoloma means 
' ' land salamander. ' ' 

Tolay Creek, in Sonoma County, appears to have an unidentified 
Indian name. There was a Coast Miwok rancheria Tuli near Sonoma 
City. Barrett, Porno, 313. 

Tolenas, or Tolenos, in Solano County, is apparently named from a 
South Wintun Indian village. Taylor, quoted in Bancroft, Native 
Races, i, 452. Sanchez, 268, 436, suggests a misspelling of Yolenos, 
perhaps Yolenos, as the Spaniards might have called the Yolo Indians. 

Toluca, "near Los Angeles, is probably derived from Tolujaa, or 
Tilijaes, a tribe among the original ones at San Juan Capistrano, al- 
though there is also a place named Toluca in Mexico." Sanchez, 439. 

Tomales Bay, in Marin County, is from Coast Miwok tamal, "bay." 
There is no connection with Spanish tamales. Barrett, Porno, 308. 

Toolwass, in Kern County, is of unknown origin, but suggests 
toloache, often vulgarly pronounced tuluach, the Spanish name of the 
jimson-weed, Datura meteloides. This derivation, however, is only a 
guess. 

Toowa Range, in Tulare County. Unknown, but a Shoshonean, 
probably Mono, origin is indicated. 

Topanga, one of the three names of the Topanga-Malibu-Sequit 
land grant in Los Angeles County, also applied specifically to a canyon 
four miles west of Santa Monica, is a place designation taken from 
the Gabrielino Shoshonean dialect, as shown by the locative ending 
-nga. 

Topa Topa or Topo Topo Mountain, in Ventura County, is a Chu- 
mash place name. Taylor gives Topotopow,^^ Henshaw 's^** and the 
writer's informants Si-toptopo; and Henshaw locates the rancheria 
at Nordhoff. The prefix -si in the Indian original means "his" or 
"its." 

Truckee City and River, in Nevada and Placer counties, are named 
after a Northern Paiute chief. See Gannett. The word appears con- 
siderably corrupted, but the exact original pronunciation does not 
seem to have been recorded. 

Tulucay, a grant in Napa County, is named from Tulukai or 
Tuluka, meaning "red," a Southern "Wintun or Patwin village near 
the State Hospital at Napa. Barrett, Porno, 293. 



35 California Farmer, May 4, 1860. 

36 Bur. Am. Ethn., Bull. 30, ii, 582 (a=ro). 



64 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Tunnahora Peak, in the crest of the Sierra Nevada, near Mount 
Whitney. Unknown. Possibly Shoshonean, Mono dialect. Compare 
Tunemah Peak and Pass not far to the north. 

Tuolumne County is evidently named after the river. According 
to Maslin, Tuolumne is a "corruption of the Indian word 'Talma- 
lamne' which signifies 'stone house or cave' " — and which was the 
name of a large tribe of Indians who lived on both sides of the river. ' ' 
There was a tribe (Kroeber, Miwok, 373; Merriam, 351) called Tawa- 
limni, Towolurane, or Tuolumne, possibly Miwok but more probably 
Yokuts, in the plains of the San Joaquin Valley in the vicinity of the 
lower Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers up as far as about Knights 
Ferry. The word Tawalimni, which perhaps was really Tawalamni 
or Tawalumni, would easily give rise, in either English or Spanish, to 
Tuolumne. The signification is unknown, but its ending, -imni, -amni, 
or -umni, occurs in many names of Yokuts tribes and Miwok and 
Maidu villages in the valley portion of the San Joaquin-Sacramento 
drainage. Usually the stems of such words cannot be assigned a mean- 
ing even by Indians. The interpretation "stone house or cave" is 
very unlikely, since the California Indians never built in stone, and 
the term would therefore be applicable only to dwellers in caves or 
rock shelters, which demand a mountain habitat, whereas both the 
location of the Tawalimni and the distribution of nearly all Indian 
place names ending in -imni seem to be confined to the plains. 

Turup Creek, in Del Norte County, is named from the Yurok vil- 
lage Turip, on the south side of the lower Klamath River. 

Tzabaco, a land grant in Sonoma County, may bear an Indian 
name, though it suggests Spanish tahaco. 

Uhe Hebe, appearing on some maps as northeast of Independence, 
Inyo County, is an unidentified name. 

Ukiah, the county seat of Mendocino County, is named after the 
Yokaya grant extending from about four miles north of Hopland to 
north of Calpella, and including, therefore, Ukiah Valley. The word, 
according to Barrett, Pomo, 168, is Central Pomo, yo, "south," and 
haia, "valley. ' ' Yokaia is today the Indian name of a rancheria south- 
southeast of the city of Ukiah. Dr. Barrett says that the inhabitants 
moved to the site only since the American occupation, after their re- 
turn from the former Mendocino reservation (on the coast between 
Noyo and Ten Mile rivers). The reservation was discontinued in 
1867. Before the coming of the whites, according to the same author- 
ity, the people of the present Yokaia rancheria lived "chiefly at c6'- 



1916] Eroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 65 

kadjal (Shokadjal), a short distance northwest." The designation 
Yokaia is, however, unquestionably older than the modern Indian 
village, as shoM'n by the grant name. "Whether it originally applied to 
the entire valley, to a part of it, or to some native settlement in it, is 
uncertain, but the interpretation "south-valley" must be considered 
the correct one. M. A. E. Sherwood, cited by Barrett, Porno, 169, is re- 
sponsible for the definition "deep valley," repeated by Bailey. Yo, 
it is true, is "down," "under," or "hole" in several Pomo dialects, 
but appears normally as a suffix, whereas yo, ' * south, ' ' like other terms 
of direction, is regularly first in compound words. 

Ulatus or Ulatis or Ualtis Creek, in Solano County, bears a name 
evidently connected with that of the South Wintun or Patwin Indian 
division called Olulato, Ululato, or Ullulata. Compare, Powers, 218, 
and Bancroft, Native Races, i, 452, 453. 

Ulistac, a land grant in Santa Clara County. The word is. obvious- 
ly of Costanoan origin, as evidenced by the regular Costanoan locative 
case ending -tak, frequent on village names ; but the name is not other- 
wise identifiable. It suggests Juristac, which see. L and r alternate 
in Costanoan dialects, and an initial h would be likely to be repre- 
sented by j by one Spanish writer, and omitted altogether by an- 
other. Ores, ' ' bear, ' ' and uri, uli, ' ' head, " " hair, " or " forehead, ' ' are 
the only Costanoan words known to the author which suggest the stem. 

Ulpinos — Rancho de los Ulpinos — a land grant in Solano County, 
is evidently named after the Chulpun or Khoulpouni Indians. The 
location of the grant, on the west side of the lower Sacramento river, 
would make these Indians of Wintun stock, according to all ethno- 
logical maps. Merriam, 348, however, declares the Hulpoomne (for 
the ending -umni, see Tuolumne) to have been a Northwestern 
(Plains) Mi wok tribe whose principal rancheria was near Freeport, 
nine miles south of Sacramento City, and on the east side of the 
river. 

Un Bully Mountain, between Siskiyou and Trinity counties, is in 
Wintun territory, and "Bully" is apparently Wintun holi, literally 
"spirit," but much used in mountain names: compare Yallo Bally. 
The meaning of Un is not known. 

Unumhum, or Umunhum Mountain, in Santa Clara County, is 
named from an unidentified source. 

Usal, in Mendocino County, pronounced Yusawl, was in Atha- 
bascan territory but appears to be the Pomo word Yoshol, containing 



66 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

the stem yo, "south." Sho is ''east," and -I- an ending of terms of 
direction in the same language ; but it is not known whether these 
elements enter into the word. 

Wahtoke, in Fresno County, appears to be Yokuts ivatak, "pine- 
nut." A "tribe" called Wattokes, living "high up on King's River" 
— and therefore presumably Monos — are mentioned in the Report of 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1857, p. 399,^^ and elsewhere. 
This tribe has, however, not been identified. 

Wanamina, in Shasta County, is unknown and may be Indian, 
coined, or borrowed. 

Wapanse Creek, in Plumas County. The origin of the name is un- 
known. 

Wasioja, in Santa Barbara County, is unidentified. The combina- 
tion of Spanish j with w that does not occur in that language, suggests 
coinage or at best corruption. 

Wassama Creek, in Madera County, is named from Was-sa'-ma, a 
Southern Sierra Miwok village on the stream, near Ahwahnee. Mer- 
riam, 346. 

Wauhah Ridge, southeast of Sunol, in Alameda County. The name 
suggests an Indian origin but is unknown. 

Waukell Creek, entering the Klamath River from the south in Del 
Norte County, has its name from the Yurok village "Wohkel, ' ' pepper- 
woods. ' ' 

Wawona, in Mariposa County, is of unknown origin. It does not 
appear to be Indian. 

Weeyot, in Humboldt County. From the current name of the 
Humboldt Bay Indians, Wiyot, which occurs in several neighboring 
native languages in this form or the variants "Weyat or Weyet. 

Weitchpec, in Humboldt County, from Yurok Weitspekw, a spring 
in the Indian village of Weitspus at the confluence of the Klamath and 
Trinity rivers, now called Weitchpec or Wichpec by the whites. The 
meaning of Weitspekw is not known; that of Weitspus seems to be 
"at the forks," since the Yurok give the same name to the former 
Hupa village situated at the junction of Trinity River with its south 
fork. 

Winum Bully Mountain, between Shasta and Trinity counties, is 
from a Wintun original. "Winum" suggests win, the Central Win- 
tun form corresponding to Northern Wintun wintun, "man," plus a 



3' Quoted in Bancroft, Native Eaees, i, 455. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 67 

case ending, or the stem win, wini, "to see;" and "Bully" is holi, 
"spirit," appearing otherwise in names of mountains in Wintun ter- 
ritory, as in Yallo Bally, which see. The meaning therefore is prob- 
ably either ' ' person 's spirit " or " sees spirits. ' ' 

Wynola, in San Diego County. Unknown. 

Yajome, a land grant in Napa County, is unidentified and there- 
fore probably Indian. The derivation from Yayome, from Spanish 
ya yo me, * ' already I me, ' ' supposed to mean ' ' now I have arrived, ' ' 
is of course nonsense. 

Yallo Bally Mountains, two peaks known as North and South, be- 
tween Trinity and Tehama counties, are named from "Wintun yola, 
"snow," and apparently holi, "spirit." (The "Wintun o is open, like 
English a in "all"). The belief that peaks were the abode of spirits 
was common among the Indians of California. The element holi reap- 
pears, in the forms Bally and Bully, in Bally, Bully Choop, Winum 
Bully, and Un Bully, all of them peaks in "Wintun territory. 

Ydalpom, pronounced "Wydalpom, in Shasta County, is from a 
Northern "Wintun place name, in which wai- is ' ' north, ' ' -dal- possibly 
means "lying," and -pom is "place." 

YokoJil, in Tulare County, is named from a Yokuts tribe called in 
some dialects of that speech Yokol and in others Yokod. They were 
neighbors of the Kawia where the Kaweah River emerges into the 
plain. The name Yokol is not explained by the Indians, but suggests 
a connection with Yokuts, more exactly Yokoch, meaning "person" 
in that language. 

Yolo County is named, as Maslin says, from Yo-loy, a tribal name. 
The "tribe" was of course a village, of the Patwin or Southern Win- 
tun, which stood at Knight's Landing and was called Yoloi, or more 
probably Yodoi. Maslin 's and Gannett 's definition, "a place thick 
with rushes, " is at best approximate ; if that is what the "Wintun 
meant, they would have said merely "rushes," or in California par- 
lance "tules. " This seems a reasonable name, but available "Wintun 
vocabularies show only forms like hlaka and hlop for "tule," and 
nothing resembling yodoi. Barrett, Pomo, 294, quotes Miss Kathryn 
Simmons as mentioning a chief Yodo at Knight's Landing. Analogy 
with other cases would lead to the conclusion that this chief's name 
had been applied by the whites to his people and his village ; but Dr. 
Barrett's Indian informants, and the author's, know of yodoi only 
as a place name, and one without meaning. 



68 University of California Puhlications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 12 

Yontockett School District, in Del Norte County, bears an unex- 
plained name, which seems, however, to go back to the appellation of 
an Athabascan Tolowa village. 

Yosemite is Southern Sierra Miwok for ' ' grizzly bear, ' ' as usually 
stated, though like English "bear" it signifies the species in general 
and denotes a "fully grown" animal only in distinction from words 
perhaps corresponding to "cub." The Indian pronunciation is Uzu- 
mati or Uzhumati, with the u spoken with unrounded lips. The 
word seems to have been applied to the valley by Americans either 
through a misunderstanding or from a desire to attach to the spot a 
name which would be at once Indian and appropriate. The statement 
that the tribe owning the valley were known as ' ' the Grizzly Bears ' ' 
cannot be authenticated and is probably incorrect. The native name 
of the principal village in the valley, and by implication of the valley 
itself, was Awani, surviving in Ahwahnee, which see. Barrett, Miwok, 
343. 

Yreka, in Shasta County, for either the spelling or the pronuncia- 
tion of which every literate Californian must blush — the word is 
spoken "Wyreka" — is said by Powers, 243, to be the word meaning 
mountain and the name of Mount Shasta in the Shasta language: 
wairika, properly waiika. The last syllable looks like the Shasta sub- 
jective case; compare Shastika and Shasta. Wai- means "north" 
among the neighboring Wintun; but the idiom of these Indians is 
totally different from that of the Shasta, and the resemblance there- 
fore probably fortuitous. Dixon, in Bulletin of the American Museum 
of Natural History, volume 17, page 389, 1907, confirms Powers. 

Yuha County is said by Maslin to be named from Yuba River, 
Spanish "Rio de las Uvas" or wild grapes. Uvas became Uva, then 
Uba, then, in American mouths, Yuba. This is almost certainly an 
imaginary derivation. Yupu, or Yuba, or with the nominative ending 
Yubam, also written in American spelling Yubum, was a Northwestern 
Maidu village near the mouth of the Yuba into the Feather River.^® 
The name would apply also to the river, as according to Indian cus- 
tom streams commonly bore no specific appelation, but were desig- 
nated, when necessary, by the names of the places at their mouths. 

Yucaipa, in San Bernardino County, takes its name from Serrano 
Shoshonean Yukaipa or Yukaipat, a place. Kroeber, Shoshonean, 134, 
Cahuilla, 34, 39. 



38 Handbook of American Indians, Bur. Am. Ethn. Bull. 30, part ii, 1012. 



1916] Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin 69 

Yulupa, in Sonoma County, near Santa Rosa. Unidentified. 

Yuma Reservation, in Imperial County, opposite the Arizonan city 
of Yuma, is named after the Yuma tribe, the occupants, throughout 
the historic period, of the vicinity. The origin of the name Yuma has 
never been satisfactorily ascertained. The Yuma themselves, and the 
allied Yuman tribes such as the Mohave and Maricopa, do not accept 
the word Yuma as native, but call the tribe Kwichyana. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS- (CONTINUED) 

Vol. 7. 1. The Emeryville Shellmound, by Max Uhle. Pp. 1-106, plates 1-12, with 

38 text figures. Jime, 1907 ..._ _ _ 1.26 

2. Becent Investigations bearing upon the Question of tlie Occurrence of 

Neocene Itfan in the Auriferous Gravels of California, by William 

J. Sinclair. Pp. 107-130, plates 13-14. February, 1908 ..._ _. .36 

3. Porno Indian Basketry, by S. A. Barrett. Pp. 133-306, plates 16-30, 

231 text figures. December, 1908 „ 1.78 

4. Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Eegion, by N. O. Nelson. 

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5. The Ellis Landing Shellmound, by N. 0. Nelson. Pp. 857-426, plates 

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Index, pp. 427-443. 

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6. The Religious Practices of the Dieguefio Indians, by T. T. Waterman. 

Pp. 271-358, plates 21-28. March, 1910 80 

Index, pp. 359-369, 

Vol. 9. 1. Yana Texts, by Edward Sapir, together with Yana Myths collected by 

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2. The Phonetic Elements of the Northern Palute Language, by T. T. 

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8. Phonetic Elements of the Mohave Language, by A. L. Kroeber. Pp. 

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4. The Ethnology of the Salinan Indians, by J. Alden Mason. Pp. 97- 

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Index, pp. 381-385. 

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February, 1915 10 

5. Dichotomous Social Organization in South Central California, by Ed- 

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6. The Delineation of the Day-Signs in the Aztec Manuscripts, by T. T. 

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7. The Mutsun Dialect of Costanoan Based on the Vocabulary of De la 

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1916 : 55