California – Miwok

California – Miwok Indians

Native American ǀ American Indian

Benjamin Barry

Photo: Benjamin Barry, WWII veteran and fire chief (photo taken by son Darin Barry).

The Miwok (also spelled Miwuk, Mi-Wuk, or Me-Wuk) are members of four linguistically related Native American groups indigenous to what is now Northern California, who traditionally spoke one of the Miwok languages in the Utian family. The word Miwok means people in the Miwok language.

The Miwok lived in small bands without centralized political authority before contact with European Americans in 1769. They had domesticated dogs and cultivated tobacco but were otherwise hunter-gatherers.

Anthropologists commonly divide the Miwok into four geographically and culturally diverse ethnic subgroups. These distinctions were not used among the Miwok before European contact.[2]

Plains and Sierra Miwok: from the western slope and foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Coast Miwok: from present day location of Marin County and southern Sonoma County (includes the Bodega Bay Miwok and Marin Miwok)

Lake Miwok: from Clear Lake basin of Lake County

Bay Miwok: from present-day location of Contra Costa County

The California- Miwok population data represent DNA samples from 33 unrelated individuals with self-identified affiliation with the California- Miwok tribe. Samples were obtained using the Globalfiler ® PCR Amplification kit to produce STR genotypic data.

Source publication: Native American Population data based on the Globalfiler® autosomal STR loci, Forensic Science International: Genetics, pp 12-13

[Population 480]

By Unknown, Public Domain.

Lucy Parker Telles, a Southern Sierra Miwok basket weaver, with her largest basket