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Ahwahnee Village


Incense Cedar
Calocedrus decurrens
moonoku (Southern Miwok)
mo.nok-u, capa.ha (Central Miwok)

Incense cedar bark was used to cover Miwok 'umuucha (bark houses). Finely-pounded cedar bark was used as tinder for starting fires. Small boughs were used to break the fall of water when leaching acorn flour and large ones used to thatch chakka (acorn granaries).

Miwok bow-makers used straight, close-grained, knot-free staves from the high branches of incense cedars. Finely made Miwok bows, backed with a layer of deer sinew applied with soaproot glue, were well-known among neighboring tribes. Sierra Miwok bows were traded to Yokuts people across the San Joaquin Valley.

At the turn of the century, Miwok people remembered Kau'tcitti (also known as Captain Lewis) as the last professional bowyer in the Yosemite area. By 1900, fine, sinew-backed bows were no longer being made; they had been replaced by firearms during the 19th century.



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