August 14, 2017

Wappo Indians


The Wappo language constituted a very divergent form of speech of the Yukian linguistic family.


Wappo. An Americanization of Spanish Guapo. “brave,” given them on account of their stubborn resistance to Spanish military aggression. Also called:

  • Ash-o-chl-mi, a name given by Powers (1877).
  • Soteomellos or Sotomieyos, names given by Taylor (1860-63).

Wappo Location

On the headwaters of Napa River and Pope and Putah Creeks, and a stretch of Russian River.

Wappo Subdivisions and Villages

Following are their dialectic divisions and the villages in each, the names in italic being principal towns in as many village communities:

  • Southern Wappo:

    • Anakota-noma, at St. Helena.
    • Kaimus, at Yountville.
    • Tsemanoma, northeast of St. Helena.
    • Wilikos, near the head of Sonoma Creek.

  • Central Wappo:

    • Maiyakama, south of Calistoga.
    • Melka’wa-hotsa-noma, at site of Middletown, Driver.
    • Mutistul, between the Napa River and Russian River drainage.
    • Nihlektsonoma, north of Calistoga.
    • Tselmenan, north of Calistoga.

  • Northern Wappo:

    • Lok-noma, northeast of Middletown.
    • Petinoma, north of Middletown.
    • Uyuhanoma, east of Middletown.

  • Western Wappo:

    • Ashaben, near Lytton.
    • Gayechin, near Lytton.
    • Hol-tcu’kolo, location unknown.
    • Koloko, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Malalachahl, at Lytton.
    • Nets-tul, northeast of Tsimitu-tsonoma.
    • Oso’ynk-eju, west of Russian River and southeast of Geyserville.
    • Owotel-peti, east of Tsimitutsonoma.
    • Pipoholma, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Shei-kana, location unknown.
    • Shimela, on Russian River below Geyserville.
    • Tsi’mitu-tso-noma, on the east bank of Russian River some miles below Geyserville.
    • Tekenan-tso-noma, near Geysers in Sulphur Creek drainage.
    • Unutsa’wa-holma-noma, north of Tsi’mitu-tso-noma.

  • Lile’ek Wappo:

    • Daladan, on Cole Creek.
    • Kabetsawam, on Cole Creek.

Driver (1939) adds the following names of camp sites, presumably in the country of the Western Wappo: Halfsh-wah1 k-holma, Ho’lko-mota, Hut-mitul, Nuya-hotsa, Tcano-nayuk, Ts’awo-tul, Tikomota, Walma-pesite.

Wappo Population

Kroeber (1925) estimates 1,000 Wappo in 1770 as a maximum; the census of 1910 returned 73. (See Yuki.)

Yuki–Wappo Languages
About nativelady

Leave a Reply