Pit River Indians

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Pit River Indians


The name Pit River Indians comes from the group’s unique hunting technique, which involved digging pits along the river for deer to fall into. The tribe is made up of descendants of the Achumawi (pronounced ah-CHOO-ma-wee; also spelled “Achomawi”) and Atsugewi (at-SOO-gay-wee). The name Achumawi comes from a word meaning “river.” Atsugewi comes from atsuke, the Native name for a place along the Hat Creek; they were also called Hat Creek Indians.


The Achumawi lived along the Pit River in northern California, in an area bounded by Mount Shasta to the northwest, Lassen Peak to the southwest, and the Warner range to the east. There were two Atsugewi groups: the Pine Tree People, who lived in the densely wooded area north of Mount Lassen; and the Juniper Tree People, who lived in the drier plains in and around Dixie Valley, northeast of Mount Lassen. Today both groups live, often with members of other tribes, on several rancherias in northern California. They also own 79 acres in the town of Burney, CA, where their tribal headquarters is located.


In the early 1800s there were about three thousand Achumawi and nine hundred Atsugewi. In a census (count of the population) done in 1990, when the two groups had combined as the Pit River Indians, 1,753 people identified themselves as Pit River Indians. The 2000 census showed 1,765 Pit River Indians; of those, 1,733 were from the Pit River Tribe of California.

Language family


Origins and group affiliations

The Achumawi lived in a collection of villages that were organized individually, but maintained ties with one another. The Atsugewi tribe was made up of two distinct groups: the Pine Tree People and the Juniper Tree People who shared a language. The Achumawi and the Atsugewi were on good terms and frequently renewed friendship ties through marriage. Both tribes fought with the Modoc, Paiute, and Klamath, who sent raiding parties into Pit River territory to enslave women and children. In the early twenty-first century the eleven bands of Pit Indians share several of their rancherias with other tribes including, Yana, Maidu, Pomo, Paiute, Wintun, and others.

Although they inhabited a fairly small region, the Pit River Indians traveled every part of it, looking for food and visiting with neighbors. They rowed swiftly down California rivers in canoes they dug out of pine trees. They fished in those rivers and in countless lakes and streams. They hunted in high and low mountain regions, plains and valleys, swamps and marshes, and grasslands and meadows. Mountain groups often endured winters lasting six months. When one group fell on hard times, neighbors were always willing to help out.


Contact with Europeans

The Pit River Indians were a fairly peaceful people. They did not like to fight and usually did so only when provoked. When challenged they sometimes sent a peacemaker to try to resolve issues with hostile tribes. The Modoc, Paiute, (see entries) and Klamath made frequent hostile invasions into their territory and captured and enslaved their women and children. Some historians think Pit River Indian slaves may have been handed over to the Spanish in the Southwest in the early or mid-1700s, marking their actual first encounters with white people.

American fur trappers entered the Pit River region in 1827, and soon the Native population was overcome by a malaria epidemic. More of their territory was taken after Mexico gave California to the United States in 1848 and after gold was discovered in 1850. Hundreds of settlers passed through on their way to the coast, followed by gold seekers. Relations were hostile, and conflicts erupted throughout the 1850s.

Edward S. Curtis, in The North American Indian, related an eyewitness account of an encounter in the 1850s: “A band of white men from Red Bluff attacked the Fall River Achomawi in a camp at Beaver Creek and slaughtered the entire number except 30 or 40 men, who escaped.… About 160 were killed.” In 1856 Atsugewi warriors attacked whites who had settled on their land. Three years later, an entire friendly Atsugewi group was killed by angry settlers, who mistakenly believed that their village was responsible for the murder of some whites in Hat Creek.

Outnumbered and weakened by death and diseases, the Natives were no match for the white hordes. By 1860 the surviving Atsugewi and Achumawi were removed to Round Valley Reservation in Mendocino County, where members of several other California tribes were already confined.

Important Dates

1833: Malaria epidemic kills many Pit River Indians.

1848: Gold is discovered in California; Pit River lands are overrun by gold miners.

1859: An entire Atsugewi tribe is killed by whites over a misunderstanding.

1860s: The Pit River Indians are forced to move to the Round Valley Reservation; most eventually leave.

1915–38: The U.S. government establishes seven rancherias for Pit River Indians.

1976: The Pit River Tribe is granted federal recognition.

1987: Tribal constitution is accepted by federal government.

Allotments and rancherias

The government expected Native Americans on the reservation to give up their culture and become more like white Americans. It was not long before Pit River Indians became disenchanted with life on the reservation and made their way back to their homeland. There they made do as best they could until the General Allotment Act of 1897 (also known as the Dawes Act) was passed. This act divided former Native American lands into small parcels, which were given to individual Native Americans to farm. Most of these parcels were not suitable for farming, and when the Pacific Gas and Electric Company offered to buy them between 1917 and 1930, many Pit River Indians sold their allotments.

Between 1915 and 1938 the U.S. government purchased seven small plots of land for still-homeless Pit River Indians. These plots were called rancherias, a Spanish term for a small ranch. Like allotments, rancheria land was mostly unsuitable for farming. The largest of the rancherias, the X-L Ranch Reservation, consists of 9,255 acres of cattle-grazing land, and is now the home base of the Pit River Tribe.

Land claims

Beginning in 1919, the Pit River Indians took part in several lawsuits over land that was taken from them illegally. A settlement was reached in 1963 between the U.S. government and all the Native Americans of California, in which the Native Americans agreed to share $29 million, which amounted to about $.47 an acre. The Pit River Indians rejected the settlement. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs then sent a letter to all members of the tribe asking for their votes; based on the responses they received, the Bureau said the tribe accepted the settlement. Some tribal representatives said that those who voted yes did not fully understand the issues. The settlement went through, but members of the tribe disagreed bitterly among themselves over the matter.

Some of the most unhappy members of the tribe joined in Native American protest actions during the 1960s. Protestors complained about the unjust taking of their lands and about too much government interference in tribal affairs, among other grievances.

These protests sparked a movement among Pit River Indians, who were then scattered throughout northern California. They joined together for a common goal—their recognition by the U.S. government as the Pit River Tribe. Federal recognition was granted in 1976, establishing an official relationship between the tribe and the government. Recognition entitles the tribe to certain rights and privileges not received by unrecognized tribes.

In the early twenty-first century the Pit River Tribe is made up of eleven groups (they call themselves bands) who live in eleven areas along the Pit River and its tributaries. The Pit River Indians are an extremely private people who are unwilling to reveal details of their history or their present way of life. They have retained many elements of their ancient culture, despite having their lives disrupted many times.

How the Pit River Indians Got Their Name

The name Pit River Indians comes from the tribe’s unique hunting technique. Ten- to 12-foot (2- to 4-meter) deep pits were dug along river banks for trapping game. Brushwood and grass concealed these holes, and deer fell into them as they came down to drink. Later settlers forced the Natives to abandon this hunting practice because many of their cattle and horses stumbled into the traps.


Achumawi beliefs

Author and linguist (person who studies languages) Jaime de Angulo (1887–1950) quoted an Achumawi man‘s description of the tribe’s religious beliefs in an article entitled q>Achumawi Sketches”: “All things have life in them. Trees have life, rocks have life, mountains, water, all these are full of life. You think a rock is something dead. Not at all. It is full of life.”

In “The Achumawi Life Force“Angulo discussed the Achumawi belief that every person has a good soul-shadow. An Achumawi shaman (pronounced SHAH-mun or SHAY-mun; a religious leader and doctor) by the name of Son-of-Eagle said of the soul-shadow: “You can hear it sometimes in the morning, just before you wake up. It comes from over the mountains. It comes from the East. It comes singing: ‘Dawn is rising. I come. I come. Dawn is rising. I come. I come.’”

The Achumawi believed that if a person was unfortunate or angry, the soul-shadow could leave. People whose soul-shadow has left may appear to be alive, but they are really half dead.

The Achumawi believed in two creators, who laid down codes for the people to live by. These codes covered every aspect of life, including hunting, cooking, marriage, and moral conduct.

Atsugewi beliefs

The Atsugewi religion revolved around a large group of nature spirits, who appeared as people, animals, rocks, or trees. Shaman could communicate with these spirits, who lived in special caves and sacred bathing areas. Old Man Spirit, for instance, lived in a cave near Lost Creek. Guardian spirits guided a person during their lifetime. They could bring a person good fortune and were often called upon in times of need. Bad fortune or sickness was blamed on unhappy guardian spirits. Information on these spirits is scant, for mentioning the name of a guardian spirit was forbidden.

Some Pit River Indians were drawn to the Ghost Dance Religion of 1890. The Ghost Dance of 1890 was a movement started by a prophet named Wovoka (c. 1856–1932), a member of the Paiute tribe (see entry). The Ghost Dance was a circle dance during which performers often went into trances and “visited” dead friends and relatives. The Atsugewi built a dance house in 1892 to accommodate their Ghost Dancers.

By the 1920s some had adopted the Indian Mission Church, which combined elements of Christianity and traditional Native beliefs. Other Pit River Indians have converted to Christianity. While the Christian churches have active members, the people continue to hold traditional beliefs.


Until a report on the languages of the Achumawi and Atsugewi was published in 1905, the two groups were commonly confused as one tribe. The distinction between the two languages showed that the Achumawi and Atsugewi were two separate bands.

A few people in the Pit River region spoke Achumawi in 1966, and according to the 1990 U.S. Census, 81 people still spoke Achumawi at home. Thirty of those 81 Achumawi speakers were under 17 years of age, which meant that the Achumawi were maintaining the language by teaching it to youngsters. In 2000 only eight people were considered fluent speakers. Meanwhile, the Atsugewi language fell out of use. According to the 1990 census, no families spoke Atsugewi at home.

Achumawi Words

  • yalyú … “man”
  • amitéučan … “woman”
  • čahómaka … “dog”
  • čol … “sun or moon”
  • as … “water”
  • hookíči … “black”
  • taktakí … “red”
  • makmakí … “yellow”
  • tíwičí … “white”


Achumawi and Atsugewi villages were independent, each led by a chief whose position was handed down to his son (sometimes the oldest son and sometimes the most popular son). Atsugewi villages were often grouped into clusters presided over by a headman, who was usually a wealthy man and an excellent hunter.

A chief did not have to be wealthy, but he had to be wise and a hard worker. He did not rule by force but by persuading others of the rightness of his decisions. A chief set an example to his villagers, encouraging them to work hard and be alert to outside dangers. He acted as an advisor, gave instructions on when to hunt, and settled disputes.

When the U.S. government got involved in tribal affairs in the second half of the 1800s, many Pit River Indians complained about government interference. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 offered some freedom from government interference if tribes agreed to adopt a constitution like that of the United States. The Pit River Indians’ constitution was finally accepted in 1987. It set up a tribal council with eleven members, each representing a Pit River group. Members are working to unify a community whose people are widely scattered and have strong and differing opinions on tribal issues. Many of the rancherias also have elected tribal or business councils.

Population on rancherias and reservations

Most Pit River Indians do not live on tribally owned lands because they cannot make a living there. In the early 2000s there were nine rancherias or reservations where Pit River Indians lived, usually with members of other tribes. The populations and areas of those places are shown below. A tenth parcel, the 1.32-acre Likely Rancheria, is used as a tribal cemetery. The tribe also owns 79 acres in the town of Burney, California.

Population on rancherias and reservations
Alturas1120 acres
Big Bend040 acres
Lookout6240 acres
Montgomery Creek8108.44 acres
Redding7213.4 acres
Roaring Creek1480 acres
Round Valley1,18131,751 acres
Susanville298224.88 acres
X–L Ranch239,254.86 acres

American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas. Compiled and edited by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, Tiller Research, Inc. Prepared under an award from Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996.


The Pit River Indian economy was based on fish and other river products, acorns, and plants. The Atsugewi traded with their neighbors, but they called it a gift exchange. A person who received a gift had to return a gift. They traded their twined baskets for Achumawi baskets and hats and exchanged more twined baskets, plus hunting bows and furs for Maidu (see entry) skins, beads, and coiled baskets. The Yana (see entry) and Achumawi shared their acorn harvest with the Atsugewi when the crop was poor. In return the Atsugewi permitted the use of their lands for gathering root crops. The Achumawi also granted the Atsugewi use of their fishing grounds in return for access to Atsugewi root-digging areas.

Wealth was measured in terms of how many practical goods a person owned, such as pine canoes, furs, buckskins, cooking utensils, and fishing nets.

After whites settled in California, many Pit River Indians worked for them on ranches and in saw mills. Some continued to gather plants in familiar territory as they always had done. In the twentieth century the logging industry declined in their territory, and many sought logging work elsewhere in California. Others did seasonal work away from their homeland, picking fruits and vegetables, for example.

In the early twenty-first century most tribal income is generated through gaming. Off-reservation tourism and recreation also generates income. Most people continue to work in agriculture or forestry; a large number also work for the federal and state government.

Daily life


Families consisted of a father, mother, their children, and a few relatives. Three or more families lived together in one home. The people had a great affection for children and considered them very valuable. Childless women felt shame and might consult a doctor about this problem.


The Atsugewi believed strongly that hard work was the way to succeed. They arose at dawn, often to the sound of their chief urging them to get up and do something for a living. A person who rarely slept was highly regarded, and was given the respected nick-name Nohalal, meaning “Going all the time.”

Children were encouraged to be hard workers, and started working from the ages of eight or nine under the guidance of their parents. Young girls learned that idle chatter was not permitted while doing the important work of gathering food. Yet it was important to know just how much work was enough. Those who worked too hard were not considered intelligent, because lazy people often reaped the fruits of their labor.

Children also received moral training. They were taught to display modesty in the presence of the opposite sex and to refrain from lying, fighting, and disobedience, lest they be punished by a beating with a coyote’s tail.

In the late 1800s Christian missionaries and the Bureau of Indian Affairs set up religious and boarding schools for Pit River children. Since the 1930s children have attended local public schools. At the Round Valley Reservation children can attend the Eel River Charter School. The tribe also operates the Round Valley Educational Center, which offers support for student achievement.


The Atsugewi lived in two types of homes: sturdy winter structures and brush huts set up near hunting and gathering areas during the summer. Winter homes were oval-shaped and were dug about 3 feet (1 meter) into the ground. Split logs and bark covered the wooden frame, which was overlaid with earth and grass. A ladder was placed next to the central post opening, which served as both an entrance and smoke hole. The interior was very simple. A thin layer of grass covered the floor, and mats made of tule (pronounced TOO-lee, a type of cattail) hung from the dirt walls. There was no furniture, and bedding was rolled up and put aside during the daytime. These dwellings varied in size from less than 12 feet (4 meters) in length to as long as 20 feet (6 meters).

Most Achumawi villages lined the banks of the Pit River, which at 2,000 feet (610 meters) above sea level was the warmest section of Achumawi territory. During the summer the Achumawi lived in tepees covered with tule mats. Winter homes, cone-shaped and partly underground, housed several families and measured about 15 square feet (5 square meters). The Achumawi used trees that had been felled by nature to make the support beams. A smoke-hole in the center of the roof also served as entrance and exit by way of a ladder strapped to the central post. Tule mats and skins for bedding furnished the interior. Several larger buildings—up to 20 feet by 30 feet (6 to 9 meters)—served as ceremonial houses.

Clothing and adornment


During the summer Atsugewi women wore an apron that covered the front and back made of shredded cedar bark or fringed buckskin. Wealthier women decorated their aprons with pine nuts or bones. Basket-like caps covered their heads. Men usually wore a white coyote-skin apron, which hung down to their knees; behind this hung a second apron, with the coyote’s tail still attached. During the winter they wore fur or skin cloaks, leggings, mittens, hats, and waterproof moccasins. Wealthier people adopted the buckskin shirts more typical of the Great Basin and Plains tribes.

Men and women both grew their hair long. Men rolled their hair up into a hair net, while women wore pigtails wrapped in strips of mink, deerskin, or grass. Men and women groomed their hair with porcupine tail brushes, and kept their hair shiny and supple by applying deer marrow. The Atsugewi painted their bodies red, blue, and white. Young girls had their chins tattooed in vertical lines. On special occasions, tribal members wore strings of beads and shells; the chief wore eagle feathers, while others wore magpie feathers.


Achumawi clothing showed influences from east of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast. Women usually wore a fringed deerskin, shredded tule, or juniper bark apron, and a basket-like cap. On important ceremonial occasions they wore long fringed and beaded dresses, often decorated with porcupine-quill embroidery or hummingbird feathers. To protect themselves in winter they wore capes, moccasins, and deerskin leggings. They often dyed their clothes with minerals and plants that produced yellows, reds, blues, blacks, and whites. Women painted their faces with a mixture of grease and a red mineral. They wore braids or coiled their hair on top of their heads and tattooed their chins with three lines.

Men wore deerskin shirts and robes, leggings and moccasins. Badger skins were used for smaller garments, such as caps and capes. They painted their faces red on special occasions. Shells hung from their pierced noses, but unlike the women they were not tattooed.


Men’s work

Fish and acorns were the staple foods of the tribe. Salmon was probably the most important fish, but trout was also caught. Groups who had access to salmon or acorns often invited those who did not to share in their bounty. Men were responsible for hunting and cooking meat, and for fishing, although in some groups women and children drove fish into nets held by men. They employed a number of methods for catching fish, such as drugging them with wild parsley, and hanging gill nets vertically in the water, trapping the fish as they attempted to swim through. At night men fished from pine or cedar canoes, attracting the fish with torches and spearing them. This fishing method is still practiced in modern times.

They hunted deer, antelope, elk, rabbits, badgers, and wood rats. Meat that was not eaten fresh was dried and partially smoked for preservation and winter storage. They also hunted fowl such as ducks, cranes, grebe, pelicans, coot, geese, swans, mudhens, grouse, meadowlarks, robins, and blackbirds. They trapped waterfowl in nets placed across rivers and swamps; once caught, fowl were clubbed to death. Some groups would not eat mink, grey fox, coyote, eagle, buzzard, magpie, or crow, possibly for religious reasons.

Women’s work

The Atsugewi considered women more valuable than men, because tribal survival during winter depended on the women’s ability to gather sufficient supplies for storage. They pounded acorns into flour and processed them with hot water to remove their bitterness. Other foods gathered by women included various roots, pine nuts, tiger lilies, wild onions, manzanita berries, gooseberries, huckleberries, and sunflower seeds.

Women usually boiled food in baskets, roasted it on hot stones, or baked it. The Achumawi did not add salt to their food because they believed it caused sore eyes. They occasionally burned large areas of grass to flush out grasshoppers, which they collected and stored until winter. Grasshoppers and the larvae of yellow-jackets were considered delicacies. The only plant they grew was tobacco.

Healing practices

The Pit River Indians believed illnesses were caused by the departure of one’s soul, by bad blood, or by evil spirits sent by enemy tribes. Shaman, who had contact with healing spirits, were called upon to cure the afflicted one. There were three kinds of shaman: the sucking shaman, who sucked out the object that caused the disease; the singing doctor, who cured by singing to call the healing spirits; and the bear doctor. Bear doctors were men or women who could either cure or harm. Some groups believed the bear doctor could put on a grizzly bear skin and head and actually “become” a bear. This type of doctor was both respected and feared.

Village elders decided who would become a shaman-doctor. Few people wanted the job because it could be dangerous. If the shaman did not catch a disease as it left the body, it could escape and cause epidemics (uncontrolled outbreaks of disease). To keep this from happening, a shaman who failed once too often to cure his or her patients was sometimes killed by a shaman from a neighboring tribe; the disease was then thought to die with the shaman.

Herbs and plants were also used for healing. For example, wild parsley was a remedy for colds, coughs, and stomach aches. Snakes were warded off by rubbing one’s legs with chewed angelica roots.

Long after the disruption of their society by settlers, the Pit River Indians continued to rely on their traditional ways of healing. Even if they desired the services of modern medical doctors, they were often unable to secure them because they lived in remote areas. Things are changing slowly. The tribe now has some medical clinics to serve its needs.

An Encounter with the Tamcìye

Storytelling was usually meant for entertainment rather than to teach lessons, but children did hear stories of evil spirits who punished disobedience. Dwarfs, called tamcìye, were friendly spirits who often turned up in stories and lived like people did. The tamcìye brought men strength and luck. The following story describes a man’s encounter with the tamcìye.

One spring a lazy man went to the bench near Lost Creek to get pine nuts. Here he met two tamcìye women who asked him what he was doing. They said, “We don’t eat that kind of food. You better go back with us.” They took him to their house on the west side of Bald Mountain, where there was an earth lodge. He saw all the tamcìye people. The men were out hunting deer or fishing. In the evening they returned. The lazy man stayed with the tamcìye for a while, and they treated him with much hospitality. When he wanted to return home, the two tamcìye women made ready to go with him as his wives. He was given a buckskin shirt, pants, a bow and arrow, and other things. Before this he had been naked. The two women loaded themselves with dry meat and other things, and the three started to his home. But before they reached his home he made an excuse to go into the bushes, saying that he wanted to urinate, and as soon as he was out of sight he started running. He wanted to leave the women. They saw him running and were angry. They took back all the clothes and beads they had given him, so that he had nothing on when he arrived home. The man told his family what had happened. They were very angry with him for running away from the two women. He was a fool. If he had brought them back he would have made a good living.

Garth, Thomas R. “Atsugewi Ethnography.” Anthropological Records 14, 2 (1953): 129–212.


Courtship and marriage

The hardest-working woman was the most-prized bride. If she came from a wealthy family, so much the better—she was considered more valuable than a man. Once the bride’s parents checked on the good reputation of the groom’s family, who did some checking of their own, the families exchanged presents and the wedding took place. Often the wedding ceremony simply consisted of the groom spending the night with his bride.

A man could divorce a lazy wife by returning her to her family. If he could afford the wedding gifts, he might try out several brides before settling on one. If one partner died, his or her family “owned” the survivor, who had to marry another member of the same family.

Pregnancy and childbirth

Some pregnant women returned to the home of their parents to give birth. They were assisted by their mothers, who sometimes offered a drink made from oak bark to prevent blood poisoning. The grandmother also had the task of making the baby’s first cradle.


Although the people were usually too busy to engage in ceremonies, an exception was made for the beginning of puberty. The practice varied from group to group, but a girl’s ritual might be like this: When her first period began her father sent her into the hills, asking the spirits to aid her. At midnight on the first day she began to dance. For the next four or five days she continued to dance, stopping only to dig for roots if it was summertime or to collect firewood in winter. She got little or no sleep, and the more energy she displayed, the better a worker she was believed to become. The ceremony ended with the piercing of the girl’s ears or nose, which meant she was at last a woman.

When a boy’s voice broke he went on a power quest. His father or a respected village elder lectured him about his conduct and whipped him with a coyote’s tail or a bow string before sending him into the mountains for two or three days. The boy fasted, lit fires, and sometimes cut his arms or legs with a sharp object. If the boy reported hearing a fawn call, he was believed to have a future of good hunting ahead of him. If he heard a groan, it was a sign that he should become a shaman.


The dead were either buried or burned without much ceremony, together with their clothing, personal valuables, and a basket of water. Women mourners shaved their heads and covered them with soot or a sticky liquid. The dead were feared, and it was forbidden to speak their names, because they might return looking for a traveling companion on their journey through the western mountains. When an important tribal member died, his house might be burned along with two or three unpopular people who would become his traveling companions.

War and hunting rituals

In some groups, before warriors departed for battle, they carried out a mock fight against the women of the village, screaming and pretending to go after them with drawn bows. After the warriors left, the women danced war dances. Upon the warriors’ return, women anointed them with roots and tea. Sometimes warriors cremated their fallen comrades in the battlefield and brought the ashes back to the village.

A skilled hunter was greatly respected, especially a man who killed grizzly bears, because he received bear powers when the bear was killed. A man who returned from a hunt empty handed, however, was ridiculed. Of all the animals hunted by the tribe, deer were the most prized. Sometimes a chief summoned a group of men to a communal deer hunt by sending round a message—knots on a piece of string, the number of knots indicating how many days until the hunt.

The night before the hunt, the men gathered in the sweathouse, where they drew up a hunting scheme. Sometimes they charmed deer and antelope with singing. Sometimes they wore a deer-head disguise to get close to the animals.

Festivals and ceremonies

The Atsugewi people worked so hard that ceremonies were a rare luxury. At regular intervals, though, village chiefs ordered a day of rest; then men gambled and women cooked. Sometimes the Pit River Indians attended Maidu ceremonies if they happened to be passing Maidu villages at the right time.

Current tribal issues

The Pit River Indians continue to gather plants for eating and healing. Other tribal issues remain private according to the wishes of the tribal council. A tribal representative has explained that many historical accounts about the tribe are inaccurate; however, she was unwilling to identify them.

Notable people

Darryl “Babe” Wilson (1939–), the son of an Achumawi father and an Atsugewi mother, is a member of the Pit River tribe. He has worked to preserve the oral traditions of all Native people and has written essays, short stories, and poetry. His book Wilma Mankiller: Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation was published in 1995.

Bois, Cora Du. The 1870 Ghost Dance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.

Boulé, Mary Null. Atsugewi Tribe. Vashon, WA: Merryant Publishing, 1992.

Curtis, Edward S. The North American Indian. Vol. 13. 1924. Reprint. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1970.

De Angulo, Jaime. Indian Tales. Santa Clara, CA: Heyday Books, 2003.

Voegelin, Erminie Wheeler. Pit River Indians of California. Garland Publishing, 1974.

Wilson, Darryl J. Songoochaeba. New York: BookSurge Publishing, 2006.

Angulo, Jaime de. “Achumawi Sketches.” Journal of California Anthropology 1, 1 (1974).

———. “The Achumawi Life Force.“The Journal of California Anthopology. 2, 1 (1975).

“Achomawi.” Four Directions Institute. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

“Constitution of the Pit River Tribe.” Native American Rights Fund. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

“Native Americans: Achumawi.” College of the Siskiyous. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

“Shasta Indian Tribe History.” Access Genealogy. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

Susanville Indian Rancheria. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

“Tribal History and Culture.” Round Valley Indian Tribes. (accessed on September 8, 2007).

Edward D. Castillo (Cahuilla-Luiseño), Native American Studies Program, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California

Laurie Edwards