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Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties (1868) by John S. Hittell

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THE NAME.

The name of the great fall was given to the valley, and it is now universally accepted. The meaning of Yosemite, in the tongue of the Ahwahnachee tribe which formerly dwelt in the valley, according to Dr. Bunnell, the best authority, is grizzly bear; according to others, big grizzly bear. Some Fresno Indians said the proper name was Yohamite, which means big fall in their tongue, and a number of writers used that title for a number of years. Others wrote Yohamity and Yoamity. A few persons now write Yo-Semite and Yo-sem-ite; but the majority of the authorities, including the State Statutes, the State Geological Survey, Greeley, Bowles, Richardson, Cronise, and Bancroft’s map, say Yosemite; and the Federal Statute and Hutchings say Yo-Semite.


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