Tolowa

Smith River Rancheria, Smith River, CA 95567, USA

First Contact:

40
20
40
gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

1/0

Click this Slide deck Gallery to see high quality images of the tribe, daily life, diet, hunting and gathering or recipes

About the Tribe

Their homeland, Taa-laa-waa-dvn (“Tolowa ancestral-land”) lies along the Pacific Coast between the watersheds of Wilson Creek and Smith River (Tolowa-Chetco: Xaa-wun-taa-ghii~-li, Xaa-wvn’-taa-ghii~-li~, or Nii~-li~) basin and vicinity in northwestern California Del Norte. The area was bounded by the California/Oregon to the north and Wilson Creek, north of the Klamath River (Tolowa-Chetco: Tʽáˑtʃʽɪᵗˑʼdɜn) in California, to the south. They lived in approximately eight permanent villages including on Crescent Bay and Lake Earl (Tolowa-Chetco: Ee-chuu-le' or Ch'uu-let - "large body of water").[5]The most important Tolowa village is Yontocket, California (Tolowa-Chetco: Yan’-daa-k’vt). Their tribal neighbors were the Chetco (Tolowa-Chetco: Chit Dee-ni’ or Chit-dv-ne' , also: Chit-dee-ni / Chit-dee-ne), Tututni (Tolowa-Chetco: T’uu-du’-dee-ni’ or Ta-́a te ́ne, also: Tu-́tutûn t̟ûn-nĕ) to the north; Shasta Costa (Tolowa-Chetco: Shis-taa-k'wvs-sta-dv-ne or See-staa-k’wvt-sta Dee-ni’), Takelma (Tolowa-Chetco: Ghan’-ts’ii-ne), Galice Creek / Taltushtuntede (Tolowa-Chetco: Talh-dash-dv-ne' ) to the NE, all of which were removed to the Siletz Reservation, and Karuk (Tolowa-Chetco: Ch'vm-ne Dee-ni' , also: Ch’vm-ne Xee-she’ ) to the east; and the Yurok (Tolowa-Chetco: Dvtlh-mvsh, also: Dvtlh-mvsh Xee-she’ ) to the south.

The name "Tolowa" is derived from Taa-laa-welh (Taa-laa-wa), an Algic name given to them by the Yurok (Klamath River People) (meaning "people of Lake Earl").


Their autonym is Hush, Xus or Xvsh, meaning "person" or "human being".

The neighboring Karuk called them Yuh'ára, or Yurúkvaarar ("Indian from downriver") and used this Karuk name also for the Yurok,[6] and the Tolowa territory Yuh'aráriik / Yuh'ararih (″Place of the Downriver Indians″). Today the Karuk use also the term Imtípaheenshas (from Imtipahéeniik - ″Tolowa Indian place, i.e. Crescent City, California″).


They called themselves in a political sense also Dee-ni’ , Dee-ne, Dvn-’ee, Dee-te which means "(is a) citizen of a yvtlh-’i~ (polity)" or "a person belonging to a place or village".


In the extreme south, the Yurok and the Tolowa proportions of gathering/ hunting/fishing are 40/10/50 percent and 40/20/40 per cent, respectively. This is an area where acorns were used and naturally the proportion for gathering is greater.

By the use of the rivers, sea and the land the Tr'vm-dan' (Early) Dee-ni' produced a rich and highly developed culture. Salmon, whale, seal, clams, deer, elk, eggs and duck provided a diet rich in protein. Acorns, berries, seaweed, and vegetables supplied them with carbohydrates. Their traditional mvn' (homes) were rectangular single ridge gable-roofed structures built into the ground from redwood, cedar and pine timbers and planks.

https://www.tolowa-nsn.gov/who-we-are/#:~:text=Salmon%2C%20whale%2C%20seal%2C%20clams,and%20pine%20timbers%20and%20planks.

Importance of Animal Products

Salmon, whale, seal, clams, deer, elk, eggs and duck provided a diet rich in protein and fat.

Importance of Plants

This is an area where acorns were used and naturally the proportion for gathering is greater. Acorns, berries, seaweed, and vegetables supplied them with carbohydrates.

Transition to Industrialized Food Products

The California Indian population plummeted from one-hundred-fifty-thousand (150,000) in 1848 to thirty-thousand (30,000) in just twelve years.

https://grist.org/food/food-access-is-a-big-problem-for-many-native-nations-heres-how-one-community-is-fighting-back/

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Reddit's r/Ketoscience