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Palaihnihan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                    

  • Palaihnih, Hale in U.S. Expl. Expd., VI, 218, 569, 1846 (used in family sense).
  • Palaik, Hale in U.S. Expl. Expd., VI, 199, 218, 569, 1846 (southeast of Lutuami in Oregon), Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc., II, pt. 1, 18, 77, 1848. Latham, Nat. Hist. Man., 325, 1850 (southeast of Lutuami). Berghaus (1851), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1852. Latham in Proc. Philolog. Soc. Lond., VI, 82, 1854 (cites Hale’s vocab). Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 74, 1856 (has Shoshoni affinities). Latham, Opuscula, 310, 341, 1860. Latham, El. Comp. Phil., 407, 1862.
  • Palainih, Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc., II, pt. 1, c, 1848. (after Hale). Berghaus (1851), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1852.
  • Pulairih, Gallatin in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 402, 1853 (obvious typographical error; quotes Hale’s Palaiks).
  • Pit River, Powers in Overland Monthly, 412, May, 1874 (three principal tribes: Achomáwes, Hamefcuttelies, Astakaywas or Astakywich). Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 164, 1877 (gives habitat; quotes Hale for tribes). Gatschet in Beach, Ind. Misc., 439, 1877.
  • A-cho-mâ´-wi, Powell in Cont. N.A. Eth., III, 601, 1877 (vocabs. of A-cho-mâ´-wi and Lutuami). Powers in ibid., 267 (general account of tribes; A-cho-mâ´-wi, Hu-mâ´-whi, Es-ta-ke´-wach, Han-te´-wa, Chu-mâ´-wa, A-tu-a´-mih, Il-mâ´-wi).
  • Klamath, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So.Am.), 460, 475, 1878 (includes Palaiks).
  • Shasta, Bancroft, Nat. Races, III, 565, 1882 (contains Palaik of present family).

Derivation: From the Klamath word p´laikni, signifying “mountaineers” or “uplanders” (Gatschet).

In two places73 Hale uses the terms Palaihnih and Palaiks interchangeably, but inasmuch as on page 569, in his formal table of linguistic families and languages, he calls the family Palaihnih, this is given preference over the shorter form of the name.

Though here classed as a distinct family, the status of the Pit River dialects can not be considered to be finally settled. Powers speaks of the language as “hopelessly consonantal, harsh, and sesquipedalian,” * * * “utterly unlike the sweet and simple languages of the Sacramento.” He adds that the personal pronouns show it to be a true Digger Indian tongue. Recent investigations by Mr. Gatschet lead him, however, to believe that ultimately it will be found to be linguistically related to the Sastean languages.

Geographic Distribution
The family was located by Hale to the southeast of the Lutuami (Klamath). They chiefly occupied the area drained by the Pit River in extreme northeastern California. Some of the tribe were removed to Round Valley Reservation, California.

Principal Tribes
Powers, who has made a special study of the tribe, recognizes the following principal tribal divisions:74


Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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