California Native Americans

California Native Indians - Louis Choris 1822

California Native Indians by Louis Choris 1822

The California Native Americans lived in the Californian Central Valley area, between the Pacific coast and the Sierra Nevada.

Learn about the life of the people of the California Native Americans. Discover facts and information about the natural resources available, the languages, culture, clothing, their religion, beliefs and ceremonies. Pictures and images illustrating the California Native Americans culture.

Native American Indians Groups
Native Indian Tribes Index

Culture of the California Native Americans
The climate, land and natural resources that were available to the Indian tribes resulted in the adoption of the culture shared by the California Native Americans. This section on the California Native Americans group provides facts and information about their languages, the temperate Geography and Environment.

The hospitable, mild climate of California was home to over 100 different tribes including the Shasta, Maidu, Miwok, Mohave, Pomo, Chumash and Serrano people whose languages included the Athapaskan, Penutian and Uto-Aztecan dialects. The animals and the Plants, Trees and Crops provided their food, clothing, shelter and decorations. Their Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on their location, the materials available to them and whether the home was permanent or temporary. Many groups of related families formed villages.

There are also facts and info about the Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the California Native Americans group.

Map showing Native American Indians Cultural Groups

Map showing location of
California Native Americans Cultural Group

 

California Native Americans - Lifestyle (Way of Living)
The climate, land and natural resources that were available to the Indian tribes resulted in the adoption of the California Native Americans culture.

  • Name of Group: California Native Americans
  • Languages: Athapaskan, Penutian and Uto-Aztecan
  • Geography of the State of California Native Americans: Mild temperate climate. Sea coastal regions, rivers and lakes
  • Animals: Deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, quail, chipmunks, mountain sheep and bear
  • Sea Mammals: Seals, sea lions and sea otters
  • Fish: Salmon, trout, eels, clams, crabs
  • Insects: Crickets, grasshoppers, dried locusts and caterpillars were all eaten to supplement the diet
  • Natural Resources: Oak Trees, buckeye, mushrooms, roots, acorns, nuts and grasses, seaweed.
  • Culture and Lifestyle adopted: Hunter fishers
  • Art: Basketry
  • Clothing: Chumash 'treasure basket' which was worn by chiefs
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Grass Mat houses, Cedar Bark Lodges, Redwood Plank Houses, semi-subterranean pit houses or earthlodges

  • Famous Tribes of California Native Americans: Chumash, Shasta, Maidu, Miwok, Mojave, Wappo, Pomo, and Serrano. The Native Indians who lived on the borders of lands often reflected two different types of lifestyles. 
 

 

California Native Americans - Animals, Fish and Insects
The Natural Resources available to the California Native Americans included animals such as deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, quail, chipmunks, mountain sheep and bear. Sea Mammals included seals, sea lions and sea otters. Fish included salmon, trout, eels, clams, crabs. Insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, dried locusts and caterpillars were all eaten to supplement the diet. Other natural resources included oak trees, buckeye (shrub related to the horse chestnut), mushrooms, roots, acorns, nuts and grasses, seaweed. Salt was a valuable trading commodity that was gathered from seaweed and saline water.

California Indians - Physical Characteristics
The physical characteristics of California Indians are dark brown eyes, dark skin color, prominent cheek bones, straight black hair, and scantiness of beard.

California Indians

Picture of California Native Indians by Louis Chloris

California Native Americans - Plants, Trees and Crops
The Natural Resources of California include Redwood forests, Cedar and Oak Trees, buckeye, mushrooms, roots, acorns, nuts and grasses, seaweed. Salt was a valuable trading commodity which was gathered from mineral deposits, seaweed, grass and saline water. Acorns were a staple part of the diet of the California Native Americans and were harvested and made into cakes or gruel called 'weewish'.

California Native Americans - Houses, Shelters and Homes
The different types of Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on the materials available to the California Native Americans and whether the home was permanent or temporary. Grass Mat Houses were built near the ocean areas, Cedar Bark Lodges in forest areas. Tribes that inhabited the Northwest forest areas such as the Yurok, Karok and Hupa lived in cedar or redwood plank houses. Central Californian tribes such as the Maidu and Miwok lived in semi-subterranean pit houses or earthlodges. The homes of the California Indians included

California Native Americans - Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs
The Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the California Native Americans were based on
Animism. Animism was a commonly shared doctrine, or belief, of the indigenous people of North America and Canada including the California Indian tribes. Animism is based on the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects have souls or spirits. In this religion it is believed that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, trees, rocks etc. This belief is also extended to natural phenomena such as thunder storms and rain and geographic features such as mountains, caves or rivers also possess souls or spirits. The celebrated acorn harvest and the arrival of the first salmon. Ceremonies included those for initiations and mourning. Tricksters feature in the legends and mythology of the Californian peoples as do heroic figures or "transformers" who transform, or change, the world into its present state. The people also have their own creation myths.

California Native Americans - Tribes
Tribes included the Chumash, Maidu, Mojave, Miwok, Pomo, Serrano, Shasta, Wappo, Wintun, Yana, Yuma. Chilula, Cocopah, Hoopa (aka Hupa), Juaneno, Karok, Kato, Wintu and Wiyot and Yurok. Discover facts about each of the following Californian Indian Tribes.

California Native Americans - Languages
The languages of the California Native Americans included Athapaskan, Penutian and Uto-Aztecan.

California Native Americans - Geography and Environment
The Geography and Environment can be generally described as a mild temperate climate.

 

California Native Americans

  • Interesting Facts and information about California Native Americans
  • Way of Life, Housing and homes
  • California Native Americans tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts and info about Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs
  • Animals, Plants, Trees and Crops
  • Homework resource for kids on California Native Americans

 

Pictures and Videos of California Native Americans
The California Native Americans! Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of California Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various California Native Americans that can be used as a really useful educational resource for kids and children of all ages. Our series of videos enable fast access to the images, pics, paintings and pictures together with information and many facts. We hope that this article on California Native Americans will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the California Native Americans. A great educational resource for kids on the subject of California Native Americans.

 

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