JSCNHM home • Fall 2013 • vol. 5 no. 2

Origin of the Mountains

The Yokuts

Sierra Nevada Native Americans

The Yokuts are Native Americans who inhabit parts of the San Joaquin Valley, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and the Southern Sierra. The Yokuts consisted of up to sixty ethnically and linguistically separate tribes prior to European contact, and although their population decreased more than 90 percent from 1850 to 1900, there are still a number of Yokuts in today’s Sierra Nevada.

For the Yokuts, the Sierra Nevada began with an unlikely contest between two old combatants—Hawk and Crow. This ancient story was edited by Katharine Berry Judson in 1912. In this selection, references are made to Tulare Lake, a large lake, now dry, in the San Joaquin Valley; and to Ta-hi-cha-pa Pass in the southernmost Sierra Nevada, now known as Tehachapi Pass.

This presentation is two minutes. Selection read by Gary Noy, Director emeritus of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies and former Editor-in-Chief of the Sierra College Press.

Muir Trail in Sierra NevadaMuir Trail in Sierra Nevada

Photo credits:

In the Sierra Nevada, on the Muir Trail – Photographs by Joe Medeiros


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