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Wishoskan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                   

  • Wish-osk, Gibbs in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 422, 1853 (given as the name of a dialect on Mad River and Humboldt Bay).
  • Wish-osk, Powell in Cont. N.A. Eth., III, 478, 1877 (vocabularies of Wish-osk, Wi-yot, and Ko-wilth). Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 162, 1877 (indicates area occupied by family). Gatschet in Beach, Ind. Misc., 437, 1877.
  • Wee-yot, Gibbs in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 422, 1853 (given as the name of a dialect on Eel River and Humboldt Bay).
  • Weitspek, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 77, 1856 (includes Weyot and Wishosk). Latham, Opuscula, 343, 1860.
  • Klamath, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 475, 1878 (cited as including Patawats, Weeyots, Wishosks).

Derivation: Wish-osk is the name given to the Bay and Mad River Indians by those of Eel River.

This is a small and obscure linguistic family and little is known concerning the dialects composing it or of the tribes which speak it.

Gibbs110 mentions Wee-yot and Wish-osk as dialects of a general language extending “from Cape Mendocino to Mad River and as far back into the interior as the foot of the first range of mountains,” but does not distinguish the language by a family name.

Latham considered Weyot and Wishosk to be mere dialects of the same language, i.e., the Weitspek, from which, however, they appeared to him to differ much more than they do from each other. Both Powell and Gatschet have treated the language represented by these dialects as quite distinct from any other, and both have employed the same name.

Geographic Distribution
The area occupied by the tribes speaking dialects of this language was the coast from a little below the mouth of Eel River to a little north of Mad River, including particularly the country about Humboldt Bay. They also extended up the above-named rivers into the mountain passes.

Patawat, Lower Mad River and Humboldt Bay as far south as Arcata.

Weeyot, mouth of Eel River.

Wishosk, near mouth of Mad River and north part of Humboldt Bay.

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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