- Costano, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 82, 1856
(includes the Ahwastes, Olhones or Costanos, Romonans, Tulornos,
Altatmos). Latham, Opuscula, 348, 1860.
- Mutsun, Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 157, 1877 (includes
Ahwastes, Olhones, Altahmos, Romonans, Tulomos). Powell in Cont.
N.A. Eth., III, 535, 1877 (includes under this family vocabs. of
Costano, Mutsun, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz).
Derivation: From the Spanish costano, “coast-men.”
Under this group name Latham included five tribes, given above,
which were under the supervision of the Mission Dolores. He gives a
few words of the Romonan language, comparing it with Tshokoyem which
he finds to differ markedly. He finally expresses the opinion that,
notwithstanding the resemblance of a few words, notably personal
pronouns, to Tshokoyem of the Moquelumnan group, the affinities of
the dialects of the Costano are with the Salinas group, with which,
however, he does not unite it but prefers to keep it by itself.
Later, in 1877, Mr. Gatschet,34
under the family name Mutsun, united the Costano dialects with the
ones classified by Latham under Moquelumnan. This arrangement was
followed by Powell in his classification of vocabularies.35
More recent comparison of all the published material by Mr. Curtin,
of the Bureau, revealed very decided and apparently radical
differences between the two groups of dialects. In 1888 Mr. H. W.
Henshaw visited the coast to the north and south of San Francisco,
and obtained a considerable body of linguistic material for further
comparison. The result seems fully to justify the separation of the
two groups as distinct families.
The territory of the Costanoan family extends from the Golden Gate
to a point near the southern end of Monterey Bay. On the south it is
bounded from Monterey Bay to the mountains by the Esselenian
territory. On the east side of the mountains it extends to the
southern end of Salinas Valley. On the east it is bounded by a
somewhat irregular line running from the southern end of Salinas
Valley to Gilroy Hot Springs and the upper waters of Conestimba
Creek, and, northward from the latter points by the San Joaquin
River to its mouth. The northern boundary is formed by Suisun Bay,
Carquinez Straits, San Pablo and San Francisco Bays, and the Golden
Population.—The surviving Indians of
the once populous tribes of this family are now scattered over
several counties and probably do not number, all told, over thirty
individuals, as was ascertained by Mr. Henshaw in 1888. Most of
these are to be found near the towns of Santa Cruz and Monterey.
Only the older individuals speak the language.
Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891