Karok - Orientation

Identification, The Karok are an American Indian group located in northern California. The name "Karok" is from karuk, "upriver," by contrast with the name "Yurok" for a neighboring tribe, from yuruk, "downriver." The Karok's name for themselves is simply "'Araar," (human being). "Karuk" is now the official name for the tribe.

Location. Aboriginally, the Karok lived along the Klamath River in Humboldt and Siskiyou counties, northwestern California, and on the tributary Salmon River. Since the nineteenth century, Karok have also lived in Scott Valley, farther east in Siskiyou County. The region is characterized by steep forested slopes and a moderate climate, with abundant fish, game, and plant foods.

Demography. The aboriginal Karok population was estimated at 2,700 in 1848. In 1930, the U.S. Census reported 755 people of Karok descent. In 1972, the state of California identified 3,781 individuals of at least partly Karok ancestry.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Karok language is not closely related to any other language, but may be distantly related to other languages of California that have been classified as Hokan.

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