August 14, 2017

Wintun Indians


The Wintun were formerly considered a part of Powell’s Copehan stock and the Wintun of Kroeber (1932) but are now placed in the Penutian family. Synonym for Wintu.

Wintun Indians. The word for “people” in the northern Wintun dialects.

Also called:

Wawa h, Mono name for all Sacramento River tribes, meaning “strangers.”
Xdtukwiwa, Shasta name for a Wintun Indian.


On the west side of the Sacramento Valley from the river up to the coast range, but falling short of this in spots and ex-tending beyond it in others, and from Cottonwood Creek on the north to about the latitude of Afton and Stonyford on the south.

Wintun Tribelets

(Generally south to north)
Dahchi’mchini-sel, in a village called Dahchi’mchini (upstream of Brisco Creek and 4 miles above Elk Creek).

Toba, reported by Barrett (1919) as a town at the mouth of Brisco Creek.

A tribelet probably located at Tolokai or Doloke (at the mouth of Elk Creek).

Pomtididi-sel, at the village of Pomtididi (where Grindstone Creek enters Stony Creek).

A tribelet at a village called Kalaiel (on the North Fork of Stony Creek).

Soninmak (at a “butte” named Son-porn down Stony Creek).

Pelti-kewel (reported north of preceding by one informant).

A tribelet at the villages of Sohu’s-labe (3 or 4 miles south of Fruto) and

Nome’I-mim-labe (2 or 3 miles farther south still).

Nom-kewel or Nom-laka, with their village, Lo-pom (south of Thomas Creek).

Walti-kewel, with villages called Noitikel, Kenkopol, and Saipanti (close together on the north side of Thomas Creek below Nom-kewel).

Olwenem-wintun, at O’lwenem (near the mouth of Thomas Creek on the Sacramento).

A tribelet at Mi’tenek (at Squaw Hill Ferry).

Pelmem-we, at Pelmem (near Vina and the mouth of Deer Creek).

Tehêmet, (at Tehama).

Da-mak (where Redbank Creek comes in below Red Bluff).

Wai-kewel (on Elder Creek).

A tribelet at Chuidau (on the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek).


Kroeber (1932) estimates 12,000 Wintun in 1770 and about 1,000 in 1910. The census of 1930 returned 512 Wintun, Wintu, and Wappo.

Penutian language family
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