Karok - History and Cultural Relations

The Karok have lived on the middle course of the Klamath River for as long as we know, in close contact with the Yurok downstream, and with the Hupa on the tributary Trinity River. These groups shared most elements of a culture typical of northwestern California, with relationships to the Pacific Northwest cultural area of coastal Oregon and Washington. The Karok had little contact with Whites until gold miners arrived in 1850 and 1851, resulting in widespread disease, violence, social dislocation, and cultural breakdown. By 1972, however, ceremonials were being revived, and there were renewed prospects for the preservation of Karok identity.

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