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Ahwahnee Village


Ahwahnee and Yosemite

Yosemite Valley was called awahni by the Southern Miwok. While this word has been the subject of many fanciful translations, Southern Miwok speakers contend that it means “place like a gaping mouth,” likening the shape of Yosemite Valley to that of a huge mouth. The Miwok people living in Yosemite came to be known as awahnichi, “people who live in awahni.

Miwok residences west of Yosemite sometimes referred to the Native residents of Yosemite as yohemite or yohometuk. The word Yosemite is derived from these words, which translate “they are killers.”

Miwok village diorama
[click to enlarge]

Miwok village diorama


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