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Washoan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                    

  • Washo, Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 255, April, 1882.
  • Shoshone, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 477, 1878 (contains Washoes).
  • Snake, Keane, ibid. (Same as Shoshone, above.)

This family is represented by a single well known tribe, whose range extended from Reno, on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad, to the lower end of the Carson Valley.

On the basis of vocabularies obtained by Stephen Powers and other investigators, Mr. Gatschet was the first to formally separate the language. The neighborhood of Carson is now the chief seat of the tribe, and here and in the neighboring valleys there are about 200 living a parasitic life about the ranches and towns.

Weitspekan Family

  • Weits-pek, Gibbs in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 422, 1853 (a band and language on Klamath at junction of Trinity). Latham, El. Comp. Phil., 410, 1862 (junction of Klamath and Trinity Rivers). Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 163, 1877 (affirmed to be distinct from any neighboring tongue). Gatschet in Beach, Ind. Misc., 438, 1877.
  • Weitspek, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 77, 1856 (junction of Klamath and Trinity Rivers; Weyot and Wishosk dialects). Latham, Opuscula, 343, 1860.
  • Eurocs, Powers in Overland Monthly, VII, 530, June, 1872 (of the Lower Klamath and coastwise; Weitspek, a village of).
  • Eurok, Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 163, 1877. Gatschet in Beach, Ind. Misc., 437, 1877.
  • Yu´-rok, Powers in Cont. N.A. Eth., III, 45, 1877 (from junction of Trinity to mouth and coastwise). Powell, ibid., 460 (vocabs. of Al-i-kwa, Klamath, Yu´-rok.)
  • Klamath, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 475, 1878 (Eurocs belong here).

Derivation: Weitspek is the name of a tribe or village of the family situated on Klamath River. The etymology is unknown.

Gibbs was the first to employ this name, which he did in 1853, as 132 above cited. He states that it is “the name of the principal band on the Klamath, at the junction of the Trinity,” adding that “this language prevails from a few miles above that point to the coast, but does not extend far from the river on either side.” It would thus seem clear that in this case, as in several others, he selected the name of a band to apply to the language spoken by it. The language thus defined has been accepted as distinct by later authorities except Latham, who included as dialects under the Weitspek language, the locality of which he gives as the junction of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers, the Weyot and Wishosk, both of which are now classed under the Wishoskan family.

By the Karok these tribes are called Yurok, “down” or “below,” by which name the family has recently been known.

Geographic Distribution
For our knowledge of the range of the tribes of this family we are chiefly indebted to Stephen Powers.109 The tribes occupy the lower Klamath River, Oregon, from the mouth of the Trinity down. Upon the coast, Weitspekan territory extends from Gold Bluff to about 6 miles above the mouth of the Klamath. The Chillúla are an offshoot of the Weitspek, living to the south of them, along Redwood Creek to a point about 20 miles inland, and from Gold Bluff to a point about midway between Little and Mad Rivers.

Principal Tribes
Chillúla, Redwood Creek.
Mita, Klamath River.
Pekwan, Klamath River.
Rikwa, Regua, fishing village at outlet of Klamath River.
Sugon, Shragoin, Klamath River.
Weitspek, Klamath River (above Big Bend).

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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