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Moquelumnan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                    

  • Tcho-ko-yem, Gibbs in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 421, 1853 (mentioned as a band and dialect).
  • Moquelumne, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 81, 1856 (includes Hale’s Talatui, Tuolumne from Schoolcraft, Mumaltachi, Mullateco, Apangasi, Lapappu, Siyante or Typoxi, Hawhaw’s band of Aplaches, San Rafael vocabulary, Tshokoyem vocabulary, Cocouyem and Yonkiousme Paternosters, Olamentke of Kostromitonov, Paternosters for Mission de Santa Clara and the Vallee de los Tulares of Mofras, Paternoster of the Langue Guiloco de la Mission de San Francisco). Latham, Opuscula, 347, 1860. Latham, El. Comp. Phil., 414, 1862 (same as above).
  • Meewoc, Powers in Overland Monthly, 322, April, 1873 (general account of family with allusions to language). Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 159, 1877 (gives habitat and bands of family). Gatschet in Beach, Ind. Misc., 433, 1877.
  • Mí-wok, Powers in Cont. N.A. Eth,. III, 346, 1877 (nearly as above).
  • Mutsun, Powell in Cont. N.A. Eth., III, 535, 1877 (vocabs. of Mi´-wok, Tuolumne, Costano, Tcho-ko-yem, Mutsun, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Chum-te´-ya, Kawéya, San Raphael Mission, Talatui, Olamentke). Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 157, 1877 (gives habitat and members of family). Gatschet, in Beach, Ind. Misc., 430, 1877.
  • Runsiens, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent, and So. Am.), 476, 1878 (includes Olhones, Eslenes, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Lopillamillos, Mipacmacs, Kulanapos, Yolos, Suisunes, Talluches, Chowclas, Waches, Talches, Poowells).

Derivation: From the river and hill of same name in Calaveras County, California; according to Powers the Meewoc name for the river is Wakalumitoh.

The Talatui mentioned by Hale68 as on the Kassima (Cosunmes) River belong to the above family. Though this author clearly distinguished the language from any others with which he was acquainted, he nowhere expressed the opinion that it is entitled to family rank or gave it a family name. Talatui is mentioned as a tribe from which he obtained an incomplete vocabulary.

It was not until 1856 that the distinctness of the linguistic family was fully set forth by Latham. Under the head of Moquelumne, this author gathers several vocabularies representing different languages and dialects of the same stock. These are the Talatui of Hale, the Tuolumne from Schoolcraft, the Sonoma dialects as represented by the Tshokoyem vocabulary, the Chocuyem and Youkiousme paternosters, and the Olamentke of Kostromitonov in Bäer’s Beiträge. He also places here provisionally the paternosters from the Mission de Santa Clara and the Vallee de los Tulares of Mofras; also the language Guiloco de la Mission de San Francisco. The Costano containing the five tribes of the Mission of Dolores, viz., the Ahwastes, Olhones or Costanos of the coast, Romonans, Tulomos and the Altahmos seemed to Latham to differ from the Moquelumnan language. Concerning them he states “upon the whole, however, the affinities seem to run in the direction of the languages of the next 93 group, especially in that of the Ruslen.” He adds: “Nevertheless, for the present I place the Costano by itself, as a transitional form of speech to the languages spoken north, east, and south of the Bay of San Francisco.” Recent investigation by Messrs. Curtin and Henshaw have confirmed the soundness of Latham’s views and, as stated under head of the Costanoan family, the two groups of languages are considered to be distinct.

Geographic Distribution
The Moquelumnan family occupies the territory bounded on the north by the Cosumne River, on the south by the Fresno River, on the east by the Sierra Nevada, and on the west by the San Joaquin River, with the exception of a strip on the east bank occupied by the Cholovone. A part of this family occupies also a territory bounded on the south by San Francisco Bay and the western half of San Pablo Bay; on the west by the Pacific Ocean from the Golden Gate to Bodega Head; on the north by a line running from Bodega Head to the Yukian territory northeast of Santa Rosa, and on the east by a line running from the Yukian territory to the northernmost point of San Pablo Bay.

Principal Tribes

Miwok division:


Olamentke division:


Population.—Comparatively few of the Indians of this family survive, and these are mostly scattered in the mountains and away from the routes of travel. As they were never gathered on reservations, an accurate census has not been taken.

In the detached area north of San Francisco Bay, chiefly in Marin County, formerly inhabited by the Indians of this family, almost none remain. There are said to be none living about the mission of San Rafael, and Mr. Henshaw, in 1888, succeeded in locating only six at Tomales Bay, where, however, he obtained a very good vocabulary from a woman.

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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