June 5, 2005

Wailaki band and place names and their meanings


Here are the literal meanings of Wailaki band and place names based on the work of Baumhoff in “California Athabascan Groups.”

Alternate Spellings:

Kakwits, Kastel Pomo, Kenesti, Southern Athapaskan, Tlachee, Tlackes, Uye Lackees, Wailakki, Wilacki, Wi-Lak-ke, Wy-Tackee-Yukas, Wry Lackers, Wye Lackees, Wylackies, Ylackas, Wintun, Wintoons, Kenesti, Patawe, Wintu, Northern Wintun

Major Divisions: Literal meanings are given in (parentheses).

Eel Wailaki – Both sides Eel River from Boulder Creek to Cottonwood Creek, then W side south to Yuki border (around Blue Rock Creek)

North Fork Wailaki – Both sides North Fork Eel from its mouth to about a mile up from Asbill Creek; E side Eel River between Cottonwood Creek and Yuki border (around Blue Rock Creek)

Pitch Wailaki – North Fork Eel from a mile up from Asbill Creek all the way up to Lassik border (at Salt Creek; includes Hull’s Creek and Casoose Creek)

Northern Bands (not clearly Wailaki or Lassik) – Both sides Eel River north of Boulder Creek on east side and Chamise Creek on west; north to Lassik border (around Kekawaka Creek)

Eel Wailaki

BIS-kaiyaah (slide/riverbank – band) = CH’INISNOO’-kaiyaah ? (Indian Creek – band) – Band on eastern side of Eel River from Cottonwood Creek north to Willow Creek


Daabisch’i’aandin (ant-something’s den-place); “ants nest place”

Daabistciis’aandin (ant-red-lies-place)

Dilkitts’oo’kaaliindin (??-milk-flows up-place)

Kotc’ildjildin (he slips down-place); “man slipped down”

Sait’ohdaadin (sand-?-mouth-place); village near Sait’oo cliff

Sait’ooyeeh (sand-?-under); winter shelter under Sait’oo cliff

Seedibiintcekinee’din (stone-sharp-DIM-base-place); “rock sharp (?) under place”

Place Names:

Bisbii’ (slide-in it); Bis-kaiyaah territory

Ch’ilhsil (throw stone ?); a sharp rock in the creek

Daabisch’i’aankot (ant-something’s den-creek); “ant hole creek”

Dilkitts’oo’kaaliin ? (??-milk-flows up); “deer milk flows up”, a sulphur spring

Distaatcilai’ (string-??-tip); “string (?) point”

Nee’lhtcink’it (ground-black-on it); “ground black on”

Sait’oh ? (sand-grass/prairie?); “sand open place (?)”, a cliff

Slisyaanbii’ (squirrel-eat-in it); “squirrels they eat in”, Willow Creek Flat

Slisyaankot (squirrel-eat-creek); Willow Creek

Taalhdjankot (water is muddy-creek)

Taalhdjanlai’ (water is muddy-tip); “water clayey point”

T’ghistciikot (cottonwood-DIM-creek); “cottonwood creek”

Yaasaichow; a large graveyard

DAADII’SCHOW-kaiyaah (grasshopper-big – band) = DAADII’SDIN-kaiyaah (grasshopper-place – band); Grasshopper Band, band on western side Eel River from opposite mouth of North Fork Eel north to Natoikot Creek


Baahntceekii (warrior-cry); “war (ghosts) cry”

Daadii’schowdin (grasshopper-AUG-place)

Lhtciishseeyeehbii’ (ashes-stone-under-in it); “ashes rock shelter in”

Place Names:

Baank’it (edge-on it); Island Mountain

Naatoikot; Natoikot Creek

KAIKIITCE-kaiyaah (live oak – band) = SHAAHNAA’NDOON’-kaiyaah (Chamise Creek – band); “live oak people”, band on western side Eel River from Pine Creek at Horseshoe Bend north to Chamise Creek



Dindaidin (flint-place); “flint place”

Naadilyaasdin (pine-young-place); “pine seeds place”

Place Names:

Baaseetc’eelhghaalk’it (for it-stone-throw out-on it); “throw stones outside on”

Ban’tc-ilhtciitaah ? (fly-?-among); “fly flat”

Kaikiitcebii’ (live oak-DIM-in it); “live oak in”

Konteeltcek’it (valley-DIM-on it); “valley small on”

Laashee’tciikot (buckeye-DIM-creek)

Seech’idee’k’it (rock-something’s horn-on it); “stone deer horn on”

Shaahnaa’ndoon’kot (stream-is straight?-creek); Chamise Creek

NIN’KENIITC-kaiyaah (earth-middle – band) = NEE’TAASH-kaiyaah (landslide – band); “earth middle people” or “landslide” people, band on western side Eel River from opposite mouth of North Fork Eel River extending about a mile south of there (north of McDonald Creek)


Bischowdaadin (stream bank-AUG-mouth-place); “slide large mouth place”

Nin’keniitcit (earth-the middle)

Place Names:

Djankot (muddy water-creek); “clay creek”


Nee’taashbii’ (landslide-in it); “land slide in”

Seedjogholchowdaalindin (rock-round-AUG-riffle-place); “rock round riffle place”

Silt’okot (hot-nest-creek); “hot nest creek”, Bell Springs Creek

SEENCHAAH-kaiyaah (stone-big – band) = SEENCHAAHDIN-kaiyaah (stone-big-place – band) = SEELHSOW-kaiyaah (stone-blue – band) = TSAIT’OHDIN-kaiyaah (sand-grass/prairie?-place – band); Blue Rock Band = Bell Springs Band, the band on western side of Eel River from north of McDonald Creek south to the Yuki border (halfway between Blue Rock Creek and Bell Springs Creek)


Ch’oolhittciik’it (graveyard-on it); “graveyard on”

Saahkonteelhdin (???-valley-place); “beaver (?) valley place” (beaver should be tcaa’ or shaa’)

Place Names:

Seelhchaahbii’ (rock-big?-in it)

SEETAAH-kaiyaah = SEETAAHBII’-kaiyaah (stone-among(-in it) – band); band on western side Eel River from Natoikot north to Pine Creek


Ch’ibeetcekii’ (pick grass-DIM-tail); “gather grass tail”

Ch’idee’kinee’din (something’s horn-base-place); = Seetaahbii’ ?

Ch’inaa’ghaan’tc’eedai’ (something’s eye-?asleep?-door?); “eye closed door”

Ilhgaichowkii’ (??white?-AUG-tail)

Laashee’lhgottcedin (buckeye-pierced-DIM-place); “buckeye small hole place”

Sait’ootcedaadin (sand-?-DIM-tip-place); “sand point on”

Seedik’aandin (rock-ridge-place); “rock ridge place”

Seenaaghaatcedin (rock-wander-DIM-place); “stones walk around place”

Place Names:

Baasoitc’eedai’; “basoi door”

Ilhgaichowkot (??white?-AUG-creek)

Ilhgaidaadibin’lai’ ? (??white-??-tip)

Kaighintc’iik’it (wind blows up-on it); “wind blows up on”

Laashee’tciikot (buckeye-DIM-creek)

Lhtaaghtcebii’ (black oak-DIM-in it); “black oaks in”

Naatoikot (??-creek)

Seechowk’it (rock-AUG-on it); a ridge

Seelhsowchowk’it (rock-blue-AUG-on it); “stone blue large on”

Seenaanaitiniik’it (stones-trail goes across-on it); “stones trail across on”

SEEYAADIN-kaiyaah = SLAA-kaiyaah (plural things/rope lies? – band); band on eastern side Eel River from Willow Creek north to Copper Mine Creek


Ch’oolhittcebinin’ (graveyard-DIM-its hillside); “graveyard hillside”

Kaaslinchowdin (spring-AUG-place); “spring large place”

K’ai’tc’il’iintaahdin (Christmas berries-among-place); “Christmas berries among place”

Naataalliinkii’ (step over-flow-tail); “step over creek tail”

T’ighiskotin (cottonwood-trail down); “cottonwood trail down”

T’ohch’ilishchowkii’ ? (grass-?-AUG-tail); “grass sour large tail”

Toommischowdaa’din (water-slide-AUG-tip-place); “water slide large point place”

Tootcedin ? (water?, grass?-DIM-place)

Place Names:

Aachaank’it (right here-on it); “right here on (?)”

Kaaslinchowbii’ (spring-AUG-in it); “spring large in”, a rock shelter

Lheehk’it (smoke-on it); “smoke on”

Naataalliinkot (step over-flow-creek)

Sk’ee’tc’eelhkaasshaanin’ (mush-thrown out-sun-face); “mush thrown away sunny place”

Sk’ee’tc’eelhkaiyeeh (mush-thrown out?-under)

T’ighiskotin (cottonwood-trail down); “cottonwood trail down”

Tciiskot (ochre-creek); Copper Mine Creek

Tooseechowk’it (water-stone-AUG-on it)

TCIISKOT-kaiyaah (ochre-creek – band) = TOOS’AAN-kaiyaah (water-lies – band); “water stands people”, band on eastern side Eel River from Copper Mine Creek north to Boulder Creek


K’ishs’aandin (alder tree-lies-place); “alder stands place”

Seechowkinee’din (rock-large-base-place); “rock large its base place”

“tcadEtokInnEdAN” (??-??-base-place)

Place Names:

Dindaich’aanbii’ (flint-something’s den-in it); “flint hole in”

Konteeltcek’it (valley-DIM-on it)

Nee’tc’eedeetcink’it ?? (ground-??-on it); “ground rolling on”

Seelhkaibii’ (??-in it); “make a noise in throat”

Seetciik’it (rock-rough-on it); “rock coarse on”

Taat’at (water-middle); camped there in February

Taat’atkot (water-middle-creek)

Taat’atlai’ (water-middle-tip); “water middle on”

Tciiskot (ochre-creek); Copper Mine Creek

North Fork Wailaki

KAIYEEH-kiiyaahaan (??-under – band); band on north and south side North Fork Eel River, from Seechow-kiiyaahaan boundary west of Wilson Creek eastward to boundary with Pitch Wailaki


Nooleehchowtaahdin (waterfall-AUG-among-place); “waterfalls large among”

Seeghaakindin (rocks-it floats through-place); “rocks through it (water) goes”

Place Names:

Daaht’ool’kot (grapevine-creek); Wilson Creek

Djankot (muddy water-creek); “mud creek”, Asbill Creek

K’aa’soleechowbii’ (arrow-rotten-AUG-in it); “arrowwood rotten flat”

Lhitchaahbii’ (smoke-big-in it); “smoke ? in”

Seenees (rock-long)

Seeneesbinin’kai; “rock tall its slope”

Seeneeschow(kot?) (rock-long-AUG); a small creek from the south

Seeneeschow-naatinkai (rock-long-AUG – crossing-on); “rock tall large crossing”

NEE’LHTCIICHOW-kaiyaah (ground-red-AUG – band) = SEEGHAA’-kaiyaah (moss (rock-hair) – band) = SHAAHNAA’NTCIN’CHII’-kaiyaah (stream-dirty-tail – band); band on eastern side Eel River from McDonald Creek north to mouth of North Fork Eel River


K’ai’lhtciitaahdin (redbud-among-place); “redbud place”

Tseegholkiliinseeyeeh ? (rock-?-?-rock-under)

Place Names:

Nee’lhtciichowk’it (ground-red-AUG-on it); “ground red large on”

Seeghaa’k’it (moss (rock-hair)-on it)

Shaahnaa’ntcin’chii’ (stream-dirty-tail); “creek dirty”, McDonald Creek

Shaahnaa’ntcin’k’it (stream-dirty-on it)

SEECHOW-kiiyaahaan (stone-AUG – band); band on north and south side North Fork Eel River, next group after the Seetaandoon’-kaiyaah, extending for about one mile to a little downstream from Wilson Creek


Seelhtciidaadin (rock-red-mouth-place); “stone red mouth place”

Tootak’it (water-between); “between water”, a summer camp

Place Names:

K’ai’tcintaahkot (Christmas Berry-among-creek); “Christmas berries creek”, small creek entering North Fork from the south

Laashee’naat’ailai’ (buckeye-extends vertically-tip); “horse chestnut stands point”

Sdischowk’it (string-AUG-on it); “rope large on it”

Seech’aan (stone-something’s hole/den); “rock hole”

Seechowlai’ (rock-AUG-tip); “rock large point”

SEELHGAICHOW-kaiyaah (stone-white-AUG – band); “rock white large people”, band on eastern side Eel River from McDonald Creek south to border with Yuki at Big Bend Creek


Seelhgaichowdin (rock-white-AUG-place); “rock white large…”

Place Names:

Ch’iseeb’aanchowdik’aan (coyote-his den-AUG-ridge); “coyote hole large ridge”

Dindaikot (flint-creek); “flint creek”, Big Bend Creek

Seenaach’in’aakot (stone-?extends?-creek); Blue Rock Creek

Sildaikot ? (?-creek)

Shaahnaa’ntcin’tcii (stream-dirty-DIM); “creek dirty”, McDonald Creek

T’aan’tciiyaaslai’ (leaf-DIM-young-tip); “leaves young point”

Pitch Wailaki:

CH’I’AANKOT-kiiyaahaan (something’s den/cave-creek – band); band on Hull’s Creek and Casoose Creek


Ch’i’aanmiiyeeh (something’s den/cave-under it)

Ch’ilkoochowdin (??-AUG-place)

Ch’ilkoochowkinee’din (??-AUG-base-place)

K’aishkonteelhdin (?-valley-place)

Loonbistee’din ?

Min’k’itdin (pond-place)

Seetciitciikidaadin ?

T’aan’chowsiidin (leaf-AUG-head?-place)

T’aan’tciighittcin ?


Place Names:

Ch’i’aankot (something’s den-creek); Casoose Creek

Djeehtoobii’ (pitch-water-in it)

Ilhtaaktciibii’ (black oak-DIM-in it)

Nooleehdin (waterfall-place); a waterfall

Seelhkaantcilai’ (stone-burnt?-DIM-summit)

Seetcii (rock-DIM?); a rock

Yiishtinebii’ (wolf’s-road-in it)

CHOWKOT-kiiyaahaan (AUG?-creek – band); band on North Fork Eel from south of Red Mountain Creek to border with Lassik at Salt Creek

Village Names:

No village names given


Place Names:

Chohkot; Red Mountain Creek

T’OHCHAAH-kiiyaahaan (grass/prairie-big – band); “prairie large people”, band on both sides of North Fork Eel River from Hull’s Creek north to about a mile south of Red Mountain Creek


K’ishkonteelhdin (alder-valley-place); “alder flat”

Naandoon’din (it is straight?-place)

Seelhtcinninyeeh (rock-black?-face?-under)

Sin’aanyeeh ?

T’aantcintaanteelhdin (pepperwood-flat-place); “pepperwood flat”


Place Names:


K’ai’lhtsowtci Shaahnaa’ndoon’ ? (hazel-blue-DIM stream-is straight??)

“kAllata” ?

Lheeliinchowbii’ (flow together-AUG-in it); “streams flow together large in”

“mAntc’aik’At” (??-??-on it)

Mischowshaahnaandoon’ ? (slide-AUG-stream-?straight??)

Seelhtcinnint’aa (rock-black?-face?-??bottom??)

T’aan’tcinyaasbinin’ ? (pepperwood?-small-its slope)

“tAltcAskIN” ?; “named from a knoll, tAltcAs

“tco’Ammi'” ?

T’OHDININ’-kiiyaahaan (grass/prairie-slope – band); “prairie slope people”, band on both sides of North Fork Eel River from Hull’s Creek southwest to border with North Fork Wailaki


Nee’lhghiindin (ground-greasy-place)


T’ohchaahdin (grass/prairie-big-place)

Aantcinyaashbinin’ (pepperwood-small-its hillside)

Seetcimmii’ (stone-kind-in it)



SEELHTCIICHOW-kaiyaah (stone-red-AUG – band); “rock red large people”, band on eastern side Eel River from mouth of North Fork Eel River north to Cottonwood Creek



“chug/-ge/-tah” (Merriam)

K’ai’lhtciitaahdin (redbud-among-place); “redbud place”

Seetaatciikaiyaa (stone-??-DIM-tribe?)


Place Names:

Kaasii’aadin (head extends up-place); “his head comes up place”, crossing on a ridge

Seelhtciichowk’it (rock-red-AUG-on it); “red rock large on”

Seelhtcinkolghaalbii’ (rock-black-smooth?-in it); “rock black smooth in”, a large rock in Eel river

Shaahnaa’nchaahkot (stream-large-creek); “creek large”

T’ghistcekot (cottonwood-DIM-creek); “cottonwood creek”

Toonlheembii’ (water-together-in it); “streams come together in”

SEETAANDOON’-kaiyaah = SEETAANDOON’CHII’-kaiyaah (stone-goes straight into water(-tail) – band); band on north side North Fork Eel River from its mouth on Eel River extending about 1/2 mile upstream


Seenchiiyeeh; “rock large under”

Seetaandoon’chii’ (rock-goes straight into water-tail); “rock runs to the water”

Northern Bands (Kekawaka and allies, neither Wailaki nor Lassik; language like Wailaki, not Lassik)

DAA’LHSOW-kaiyaah (surface-blue – band); “blue ground people”, band on western side Eel River north of Chamise Creek, to Lassik border? Possibly not Eel Wailaki or Lassik, but separate people

“They were said to visit with the people on Kekawaka creek to whom they were related. It is doubtful that they should be counted as Wailaki, but they were not Lassik and probably spoke the same dialect as the Wailaki.” (Goddard, Habitat of the Wailaki, p.107)

ILHKOODIN-kaiyaah (??? – band) = Yoiyidee’-kaiyaah (far north – band); band on eastern side Eel River from Boulder Creek north to Lassik Border? Possibly neither Eel Wailaki or Lassik, but a separate people

“On the eastern side, below the tciskokaiya, were the iLkodANkaiya. They are said to have been a numerous people whose territory extended from about two miles below the mouth of Chamiso creek nearly to the mouth of Kekawaka creek.” (Goddard, Hab.Wail.p.108)

K’AA’SNAIKOT-kaiyaah (arrow-??-creek – band); Kekawaka band

“The people on the north side of Kekawaka creek and on the east side of Eel river were known to the Wailaki as kasnaikotkaiya, arrow creek people. North of them were the Lassik. These people joined with the whites in the extermination of the Wailaki. That they ever had any political bond with the Wailaki is improbable. They were related by marriage, however, with the iLkodANkaiya, to whose country they came for acorns and buckeyes when their own harvest was short.” (Goddard, Hab.Wail.p.108)

K’IN’DIN-kaiyaah (bow-place – band); “bow people”, band on Jewett creek

“On Jewett creek, called by the Wailaki dAsk’Ekot, lung creek, were the k’AndANkaiya, bow people. Nothing is known of the villages of this group. They are represented only by mixed bloods living in the neighborhood of Harris. North beyond them in the bed of Eel river were the villages of the Lassik.” (Goddard, Hab.Wail. p.108)

SEETAALHTCIICHOW-kaiyaah (pestle-red-AUG – band); “pestle red large people”, band north of Daalhsow-kaiyaah, at or near Jewett rock, close to Harris.

“They were friends of the daLsokaiya and of the Kekawaka people.” (Goddard, Hab.Wail.p.107)

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