The traditional Yurok economy focused on salmon and acorns. The people also produced excellent basketry and made canoes from redwood trees, selling them to inland tribes. Wealth was counted in strings of dentalium shells, obsidian blades, woodpecker scalps, and albino deerskins.
Acorns were the main food for the Yurok. Fish (mostly salmon) was also important to them. There were plenty of deer caught with snares.
What were Karuk weapons and tools like in the past? Karuk hunters used bows and arrows or snares. Karuk fishermen used nets and spears.
The Yurok houses were made out of redwood planks. The houses were also made with a slanted roof to help drain the rainwater off the roof. The houses were made from split redwood logs which supported the houses ‘ frame. To hold the house up they used square poles and grape vines.
The Incas were agriculturally the most advanced. Through highly sophisticated crop selection techniques, they developed corn, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes into the crops they are today. Crops developed by the Incas currently provide a significant percentage of worldwide food consumption.
Yurok Tribe Language Program Aiy-yue-kwee’ Nee-kee-chue! ( Hello Everyone!)
Culturally, our people are known as great fishermen, eelers, basket weavers, canoe makers, storytellers, singers, dancers, healers and strong medicine people. Before we were given the name ” Yurok ” we referred to ourselves and others in our area using our Indian language.
Following encounters with white settlers moving into their aboriginal lands during a gold rush in 1850, the Yurok were faced with disease and massacres that reduced their population by 75%. In 1855, following the Klamath and Salmon River War, the Lower Klamath River Indian Reservation was created by executive order.
From the Yurok tribe they got canoes, dried seaweed, salt, and salt water fish. To get those they traded acorns, obsidian, and some inland foods, to trade with their coastal neighbor. Some things were purchased with dentalium shells which served as money of the northern California people.
The name ” Karuk,” also spelled ” Karok,” means “upriver people”, or “upstream” people, and are called Chum-ne in Tolowa.
The Karuk Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of Karuk people. They are an indigenous people of California, located in the northwestern corner of the state, in Humboldt and Siskiyou Counties.
The Karuk Tribe is a historic tribe, and still lives in its ancestral homelands along the middle part of the Klamath River channel – roughly between Weitchpec and Seiad, California.
Changes to river hydrology, rising sea levels, increased frequency of storm events, and a loss of culturally significant species have all altered the manner in which Yurok people are able to maintain cultural, economic, and spiritual ties to their sacred lands.
Hockey or shinney. Varieties of this were played on both sides of the Sierra, the Yokuts using a ball (see illustration in Culin, fig. 811.) the Paiute using a rag or ball, and both peoples using a kind of primitive shinney or lacrosse stick.