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Impearls: HIC 5.02: Settlements

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Earthdate 2005-11-12

Settlements

Knowledge of the Karok settlements is still involved in confusion.  It is clear that there were three principal clusters of towns: at the mouths of Camp Creek, Salmon River, and Clear Creek.  Other stretches of the river held smaller villages, and in parts even these appear to have been few.

The farthest Yurok settlement upstream was near the mouth of Bluff Creek, the lowest downstream of the Karok was Wopum, Yurok Opegoi, Hupa Haiwochitding, opposite Red Cap Creek, a considerable village.  Between these two towns a steep peak stands on the south or east bank of the Klamath.  This cone may be regarded as the boundary between the two peoples, although the Indians, always thinking in terms of individuals or collections of individuals and their personal rights, and rarely in terms of groups as such, almost certainly did not so regard the mountain.  Then, until the vicinity of Camp Creek was reached, followed several minor settlements of which for the most part only the Yurok names are recorded:  Aranimokw, Tu'i, Oler, Segoashkwu.  Above Tu'i was a village called Shavuram or Sahwuram by the Karok, and Operger by the Yurok.  Chiniki and Sanipa were also in this region.

In the Orleans district there were, in order upstream, Chamikininich, Yurok Oketur, on the south or east bank; Tachanak, Yurok Olege'l, Hupa Dachachitding, on the opposite side at the mouth of Camp Creek; Panamenik, Yurok Ko'omen, Hupa Nilchwingakading, on the flat at Orleans; and, once more on the east bank, Katipiara, Yurok Tsano, Hupa Killaikyading.  Then followed Chinits, at Sims Ferry, and Tsofkaram or Tasofkaram at Pearch.  The Yurok mention Wetsitsiko or Witsigo in this region.

About a mile below the mouth of the Salmon the Klamath tumbles down a low fall, which was a famous fishing station (Pl. 6).  Directly at the fall, on the east side, was Ashanamkarak, Yurok Ikwanek.  Opposite, a few hundred yards below, was the sacred town of Amaikiara, Hupa Djeloding.  The Yurok called this Enek, but distinguished the upstream portion of the settlement as Tumitl.  (Pl. 7.)  Directly at the mouth of the Salmon, on its lower side, and well known as the spot on which the sacred Jumping dance of Amaikiara concluded, was a little flat, uninhabited in the historic period, called Ashapipman by the Karok and Kworatem by the Yurok.  The latter name seems to the the source of the designation “Quoratean,” which an artificial system of priority and synonymy in nomenclature for a time affixed to the Karok nation.

Just above the mouth of the Salmon rises an isolated little peak, cut out between the Klamath and an old channel, which can not fail to impress every imagination: A'uich.  Adjoining it, on a bluff that overlooks a shallow rapids in which the river ceaselessly roars among its rocks, lay the most sacred spot of the Karok, the center of their world, isivsanen ach, Katimin.  Strictly, there was Yutimin, “the lower dam,” as well as Katimin, “the upper,” and the Yurok distinguished Segwu' and Apyu.  Opposite lay Ishipishi, Yurok Kepar, of which Yutuirup was a neighbor or suburb.  (Pl. 22.)

Tishrawa, Unharik, Kaus, Inoftak, Iwatak, and Akoteli are villages or parts of villages that can not be exactly located, but which seem to have stood in the vicinity of the mouth of the Salmon.

From this district up villages and information become scanter.  A few miles above Katimin was Ashipak, “in the basket,” Yurok Hohkutsor; 10 or 12 miles farther, Ahoeptini and Ti.  Aftaram, mentioned as rich, may have been in the same vicinity.  For 20 or more miles, nothing is known, except Ayis, Yurok Rayoik, and a village called Kumawer by the Yurok.  Then, at the mouth of Clear Creek, Inam is reached: a large town, as shown by its boasting a Deerskin dance, and famous even to the Yurok as Okonile'l.  Some 8 miles above, at the mouth of Indian Creek, at Happy Camp, was Asisufunuk, the last large Karok village, at which a fish weir was sometimes thrown across the river.  The Shasta mention in this region Nupatsu, below Happy Camp, Aukni above it, and Ussini at the mouth of China Creek, beyond which, at Thompson Creek, their own villages commenced.  The three words are probably Shasta equivalents of Karok names.  [Footnote:  Recent unpublished statements obtained from several Karok put their boundary against the Shasta much farther upstream, nearly at Hamburg Bar, and claim Shamai, Seiad Valley, as Karok.  If this is correct, the map (pl. 1) must be considerably altered.]
 

The land of the Karok is substantially defined by this array of villages along the Klamath.  There were few permanent settlements on any affluents.  All of these were owned by the Karok, and more or less used as hunting and food gathering territories to their heads; so that technically their national boundary followed the watersheds bordering the Klamath.  The only exception was in the case of the largest tributary, the Salmon, about whose forks, a dozen miles up ,were the Shastan Konomihu.  The Karok seem to have had rights along this stream about halfway up to the forks.

Since the American settlement, the Karok have emigrated in some numbers, until now they form the sole Indian population on Salmon River, and are rather numerously mixed among the Shasta.

The dialect of the uppermost Karok was somewhat differentiated, but speech was substantially uniform.

Of the wars and feuds of the Karok, little is known, except that the Tolowa sometimes crossed the high southern spur of the Siskiyous to attack villages in the Clear Creek and Salmon River districts, and that the Karok probably reciprocated.  Toward the Hupa and Yurok friendly feelings generally prevailed.  There no doubt were feuds between individual villages, but there is no record of these ever involving the nations as a whole.



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