Facts about the Wappo Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Wappo Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Wappo tribe live, what clothes did they wear and what food did they eat? Discover what happened to the Wappo tribe with facts about their wars and history.
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Wappo tribe?
The name 'Wappo' is an Americanized form of the Spanish word 'guapo' which means "'brave." The Wappo were a strong people who fought against the encroachment of the lands. Wappo warriors painted themselves with black, red, and white paint, and wore large bird wings in their hair. The encroachment of the Mexicans and American settlers resulted in massive changes to the Wappo lifestyle. The numbers of the Wappo tribe diminished due to the reduced supply of game and wild vegetable foods especially the acorn, disease, massacres by the whites, slavery and warfare against a better equipped enemy.
Where did the Wappo tribe live?
The Wappo are people of the California Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map in the Napa Valley region in Northern California. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Wappo tribe.
Land: Sea, coastal regions, rivers and lakes
Climate: Mild temperate climate
Natural Resources: Oak trees, acorns, buckeye nuts, mushrooms, hazel nuts, bulbs, roots and grasses
Types of housing or shelters: Types of housing or shelters: Wickiups and pit houses
Land animals: The animals included deer, elk, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, quail, mountain sheep and bear
Sea Mammals: Seals, sea lions and sea otters
- Insects: Crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars and dried locusts were all eaten to supplement the diet
What did the Wappo tribe live in?
The Wappo tribe lived in several different types of shelters dependent on the natural resources that were available in their location. Their homes included Grass Mat Houses where there was access to reeds and rushes to make make mats. Wappo people with easy access to forest areas built shelters known as Cedar Bark Tepees. Other Wappo Native Indians built Winter Pit Houses that consisted of villages of semi-subterranean winter homes that were built up to 15 feet into the ground. The Wappo pit house was constructed with a wooden frame that was completely covered in earth.
What food did the Wappo tribe eat?
Food eaten by the Wappo was usually either roasted or stone-boiled and meals were eaten at eight or nine in the morning and again at sundown. The food that the Wappo tribe ate included their staple diet of acorns which they ground into acorn meal. The abundant species of oak trees on their lands produced seven different kinds of acorns. The acorns gathered by the Wappo tribe were stored up to one year, ground into acorn meal and leached to make soup, cakes and bread. The Wappo hunted deer (venison), elk, fowl, and small game such as rabbits and quail. Fish was also another important food source, particularly salmon. The Wappo hunter-gathers collected other foods including buckeye nuts, pepperwood nuts, various greens, roots, bulbs, and berries. Wild fruits and berries included Thimbleberry, Elderberry, California Wild Grape, Thimbleberry and Chokecherry. The bulbs of the Yellow Mariposa Lily were used for food, eaten like potatoes. Most foods were dried and stored for use during the winter months. Coastal groups of Wappo people hunted for sea mammals and considered dried seaweed a delicacy.
What clothes did the Wappo men wear?
The clothes worn by the Wappo men varied according to the season. During the summer months the men wore a breech cloth or just went naked. In the winter months warm clothing was required and their winter clothing was made from the skins of animals such as deer (buckskin), elk, squirrel, rabbit and wildcats. The Wappo winter clothes included fur robes and cloaks, shirts, wrap-around kilts, mitts and leggings that were often decorated with fringes. They wore one-piece moccasins with a front seam whilst hunting or traveling, but went barefoot in the warmer weather.
What clothes did the Wappo women wear?
The clothes worn by the Wappo women included blouses and aprons that covered the front and back made of shredded willow bark. Their dresses or skirts fell to knee or calf length and were belted and fringed. Special clothes were strung with ornaments, tassels and porcupine quills. Twined tule sandals, or moccasins, covered the feet of the Wappo women in the winter and they wore fur robes to keep warm.
What was the religion and beliefs of the Wappo tribe?
The religion and beliefs of the Wappo tribe was based on Animism that encompassed the spiritual idea that the universe and all natural objects animals, plants, trees, rivers, mountains and rocks have souls or spirits. The Kuksu cult was a secret religious society, in which members impersonated a god (kuksu) or gods in order to obtain supernatural power. The Kuksu religion practised by the Wappo featured dance cycles aimed at bountiful harvest and hunt and good weather In the 1870's the Earth Lodge Religion and the Bole-Maru that grew out of the Ghost Dance movement revitalized the tribes in north-central California