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Ahwahneechees from NEVADA?? No such thing as Nevada Miwoks.

Discussion about Yosemite National Park history, including Native Americans, Euro-American pioneers and settlement, and establishment as a national park.

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Ahwahneechees from NEVADA?? No such thing as Nevada Miwoks.

Postby Yosemite_Indian » Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:36 pm

I got an email today and I was pretty shocked. I am part of group of Yosemite Indians that like to talk about Yosemite Native history. I got this email today about Lafayette Bunnell's book Discovery of the Yosemite.

I remember seeing it before, but didn't think about it til some of the Paiutes started to question the LIES that the Yosemite National Park was pushing on the public. There are several Paiutes who have proven that Yosemite National Park is trying to erase Paiutes out of the history of Yosemite National Park in favor of some of their Indian employees in a non-profit group called the Southern Sierra Miwuks.

What one person showed me was that some of Chief Tenaya's band of Ahwahneechees were from NEVADA. Read chapter 13 of his book and then it is in Chapter 18 I think.

So I had to go back and check and there it was. He was right. Some of the Ahwahneechees were really Nevada Paiutes, since there is no such thing as Nevada Miwoks.

I was blown away. He also mentioned Johnny Calico and it all made sense. It is true. There was no Yosemite Miwoks but Yosemite Indians were outlaw Paiutes from different bands which made them a 'composite' band, not a composite band of Miwoks and Paiutes, but a composite band of different Paiutes from different bands and other Numic speaking people, like Kaweahs.

Here is the post. Good detective work;


"...what is known about the Yosemite Miwok..." Let's examine that.

Submitted by Yosemite_Native... on Sun, 2007-07-22 19:16.

Posted in History/Culture | Yosemite_Native_American's blog »

Sentinel Rock - Chapter 13 - Discovery of the Yosemite

Craig Bates, federal employee who worked for Yosemite National Park for over 30 years as their official Indian Ethnologist, while being married to a Miwok woman and dressed and danced in Miwok ceremonial dress, wrote in his book “Legends of the Yosemite Miwok” on pages 77-78 about Dr. Lafayette Houghton Bunnell “But much of what is known about the Yosemite Miwok at that time is derived from this [his] work”. In fact everything we know about the first contact was from Dr. Bunnell writings and this is what he wrote in Chapter 13 of his book Discovery of the Yosemite and the Indian War of 1851, which led to that event, which there is a lot more, remember this is only a sampling.

Let’s examine the “Yosemite Miwoks” the “impartial” park’s “Indian expert” Craig Bates in his book “Yosemite Miwok Legends” made reference to;

"Though seemingly unimpressed by their sublime surroundings, their figures and comparisons, when not objectionable, were beautiful, because natural. The Pai-ute and Mono Colony originally established by Ten-ie-ya, was the result of a desire to improve their physical condition. They were attached to this [Yosemite] valley as a home." [Notice Bunnell didn’t write Miwok]

"Our Po-ho-no-chee and Noot-chü scouts [note these are the ones Craig Bates claims are Miwok, but they are the scouts for Savage] were familiar with the dialect in common use by the Yosemites, and they also aided me, while at times they confused, [that is why there is a mix up in the Yosemite Valley names] in acquiring the proper names. The territory claimed by the Po-ho-no-chees, joined that of the Yosemites on the south. During the Summer months, they occupied the region of the Po-ho-no Meadows, and the vicinity of the Pohono Lake [farthest left side of Yosemite National park, but the Paiutes had the everything to the right from there on, which includes the valley itself]. Their territory, however, extended to the right bank of the South Fork of the Merced. It was there we found a little band on our first expedition. Some of this band were quite intelligent, having with the Noot-chüs, worked for Major Savage [they worked for James Savage, the leader of the Mariposa Battalion]. It was from them that the Major first learned that the Yosemites were a composite band, collected from the disaffected of other bands in that part of California, and what is now Nevada [NEVADA, the home of the Paiutes. This also matches Johnny Calicos story of the Ahwahnees being a band of outlaw Paiutes from different PAIUTE bands]; and as the Major said, the dialect in common use among them was nearly as much of a mixture as the components of the band itself, for he recognized Pai-ute, Kah-we-ah and Oregon Indian words among them." [Northern Paiutes make the the largest area in Oregon; Paiutes and Kaweahs are Numic people, not Miwoks. Remember James Savage could speak Miwok]

Indian Belle - Chapter 13 - Discovery of the Yosemite

Remember Craig Bates wrote over 100 publications as the official Indian Ethnologist for Yosemite National Park. Most of those publications in many Native people descendent of Yosemite Indians eyes are false and biased because he had a personal interest in the Indian history of Yosemite. There are so many ‘implied’ or out right mistakes that because of his long tenure at Yosemite, and it is sad to many of us Paiutes that the Yosemite National Park service, the Yosemite Fund and the Yosemite Association still uses Bates’ work as source reference material.
Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Paiute Colony of Ahwahnee
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