Miwok (Mi-Wuk) Tribe

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This project is a sub-project of the Native Americans Project

Bierstadt Albert Mariposa Indian Encampment Yosemite Valley California.
(Mi-Wuk) Tribe

The mission of the project is to add and improve profiles of the Miwok (Mi-wuk) Tribe. Project members take primary responsibility for relevant profiles or family groups and work on merging duplicates, cleaning up profiles, adding sources, removing incorrect information and offer research assistance as needed.

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For each person:

  1. All duplicates merged into lowest number
  2. PPP added only for individuals who are historically significant or are the subject of many merges.
  3. pertaining categories added
  4. templates added
  5. biography cleaned up and written, using the WikiTree Style Guide (can work with Profile Improvement Project for help)
  6. Attached family meets these goals, too
  7. Attached to the main WikiTree family tree (ask the GFR for help)

Project Scope

The is a sub-project of the Native Americans Project . The time frame will cover pre-colonial until the present.


Add your name to the list below, along with a note about what you're working on in this project right now.

Mags - Working the project from the administrative side of things. I will answer any question asked, even if it's to send you to someone else who knows the right answer. DNA.
Alex Elliott - Project Coordinator. Answering questions and working to add and improve profiles.

Project Sticker

Sample usage:

{{Sticker | category = {{{Miwok|Native Americans}}} | image = American Indian Project Photo Page-26.jpg | text = {{Name}} was a Native American {{#if: {{{tribe|Miwok}}}| and member of the Miwok tribe}}. }}


... ... ... was a Native American and member of the Miwok tribe.


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 their native 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.

The predominant theory regarding the settlement of the Americas date the original migrations from Asia to around 20,000 years ago across the Bering Strait land bridge, but one anthropologist claims that the Miwok and some other northern California tribes descend from Siberians who arrived in California by sea around 3,000 years ago.[1]


Anthropologists commonly divide the Miwok into four geographically and culturally diverse ethnic subgroups. These distinctions were unknown among the Miwok before European contact.

  1. 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.
  2. Coast Miwok: from present day location of Marin County and southern Sonoma County (includes the Bodega Bay Miwok and Marin Miwok.)
  3. Lake Miwok: from Clear Lake basin of Lake County.
  4. Bay Miwok: from present-day location of Contra Costa County.


Miwok Territories
In 1770, there were an estimated 500 Lake Miwok, 1,500 Coast Miwok, and 9,000 Plains and Sierra Miwok, totaling about 11,000 people, according to historian Alfred L. Kroeber, although this may be a serious undercount; for example, he did not identify the Bay Miwok. The 1910 Census reported only 671 Miwok total, and the 1930 Census, 491. See history of each Miwok group for more information. Today there are about 3,500 Miwok in total.


The Miwok or Miwokan languages (/ˈmiːwɒk/; Miwok: [míwːɨːk]), also known as Moquelumnan, are a group of endangered languages spoken in central California in the Sierra Nevada. There are five somewhat diverse Miwok languages, two of which have distinct regional dialects (Sierra Miwok and Coast Miwok). There are a few dozen speakers of the three Sierra Miwok languages, and in 1994 there were two speakers of Lake Miwok. The best attested language is Southern Sierra Miwok, from which we get the name Yosemite.

  • Yok-Utian
  • Utian
  • Miwok


Yosemite Miwok Home


The Sierra Miwok harvested acorns from the California Black Oak. In fact, the modern-day extent of the California Black Oak forests in some areas of Yosemite National Park is partially due to cultivation by Miwok tribes. They burned understory vegetation to reduce the fraction of Ponderosa Pine.[15] Nearly every other kind of edible vegetable matter was used as a food source, including bulbs, seeds, and fungi. Animals were hunted with arrows, clubs or snares, depending on the species and the situation. Grasshoppers were a highly prized food source, as were mussels for those groups adjacent to the Stanislaus River.

The Miwok ate meals according to appetite rather than at regular times. They stored food for later consumption, primarily in flat-bottomed baskets.


Miwok mythology and narratives tend to be similar to those of other natives of Northern California. Miwok had totem animals, identified with one of two moieties, which were in turn associated respectively with land and water. These totem animals were not thought of as literal ancestors of humans, but rather as predecessors.


Miwok people played athletic games on a 110-yard playing field called poscoi a we’a. A unique game was played with young men and women. Similarly to soccer, the object was to put an elk hide ball through the goalpost. The girls were allowed to do anything, including kicking the ball and picking it up and running with it. The boys were only allowed to use their feet, but if a girl was holding it he could pick her up and carry her towards his goal.

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External Links


  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miwok

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Great Work Alex!


posted by Mags Gaulden