The Shasta tribe wore skirts made out of grass or willow bark. Men sometimes wore buckskin hats, breech cloths, and leggings. In cold weather, men and women wore deer skins and bearskins so they would not get cold. They would even wear fur from big bears.
Because of the mild climate, California peoples wore little clothing. Women typically wore a short skirt made of animal skin or plant fibers, especially those of bark. Men wore a breechcloth or nothing at all. For protection from wind and rain, both men and women used skin robes.
Ropes, cordage and manufactured goods such as mats, nets and clothing were largely derived from Indian hemp. During the winter snowshoes were often necessary to traverse their homeland. These were made primarily from deer hide with the fur left on. Dentalium shells were an important possession for the Shasta.
Shasta men wore short wraparound kilts, buckskin shirts, and, in colder weather, leather leggings. Shasta women wore sleeveless blouses and long skirts made of deerskin and grasses decorated with beads. The Shastas wore moccasins while hunting or traveling, though they usually went barefoot in their own villages.
Deer meat and acorns were the main foods of the Shasta people. They also ate bear, several small animals and birds, salmon, trout, eels, crawfish, turtles, mussels, grasshoppers and crickets. While the men hunted and fished, the women gathered acorns, other nuts, seeds, roots, bulbs, and insects.
Yurok men did not really wear clothes but sometimes they wore short skirts. Women wore long skirts made out of grass, shells, and beads. They did not wear shirts in hot weather but they wore deerskin ponchos when it was cold. Yuroks enjoyed basket weaving, canoe making, storytelling, singing, and dancing.
Maidu people didn’t wear much clothing. Maidu men usually went naked, and Maidu women wore grass skirts. In cold weather, Maidu people would sometimes wear rabbit-fur robes. The Maidus usually went barefoot, but when they were hunting or traveling, they wore deerskin moccasins on their feet.
Today, this group is federally recognized. However, the Shasta, as a separate tribe are not. Some Shasta descendants still reside at the Grande Ronde and Siletz Reservations in Oregon. In 1984, the Shasta nation applied for federal recognition.
The Shasta tribe spoke in the Shastan dialect, part of the Hokan language.
Shastan villages, dwellings, and communal sweat houses were similar to those of other tribes in the region, though Shastan men were inclined to put up their own individual sweat houses in addition to the communal structure. Shastan religion centred on guardian spirits and shamanism.
Shasta Indians had a monetary system that used dentalia shells as currency. Other goods that had trade value were woodpecker scalps, deer skins, and beads. It was often up to the headman to determine payment amounts and to settle any village disputes, which could also be done with these forms of currency.
The name Shasta is primarily a gender-neutral name of Indian origin that means Praised, Commended.
Peter Skene Ogden, a chief trader with the Hudson’s Bay Company, is given credit for naming Mount Shasta on February 14, 1827, after the Native Americans who lived in the area.
In 1877, the United States government split their territory into reservations. Today, the Cahuilla people live on nine reservations in Southern California. These can be found in the counties of Imperial, Riverside, and San Diego.
The Yokuts were reduced by around 93% between 1850 and 1900, with many of the survivors being forced into indentured servitude sanctioned by the California State Act for the Government and Protection of Indians. A few Valley Yokuts remain, the most prominent tribe among them being the Tachi.
The Chumash population was between roughly 10,000 and 18,000 in the late 18th century.