Pomo - Settlements



The Pomo groups lived in three ecological regions: coastredwood, river valley, and lake. Each region had hinterland mountainous areas used for hunting and gathering plant food. The Kashaya lived in the coast-redwood region, and the Southern, Central, and Northern Pomo, in the succession of valleys along the Russian River drainage, with territorial Extensions to the coast. The Eastern Pomo lived on easterly and northerly shores of Clear Lake. The Southeastern Pomo lived on three islands in the southeastern part of Clear Lake, with ownership and use of adjacent mainland. One Northern Pomo community had an extension to a portion of the Northwestern shore of the lake. The Northeastern Pomo lived on the east side of the Inner Coast Range. There were about seventy-five tribelets and several hundred named former settlement sites, not all occupied at one time. The village sizes varied from hamlets of fifty to major centers of over five hundred. In the middle of the twentieth century there were twenty-one small reservations, some bought by the government and others by Pomo groups for themselves. In the 1960s fifteen of these were terminated. Many Pomo still live in their ancestral territory in small rancherías or in adjacent towns where work is available; others are scattered across the United States. Three types of houses were constructed: large semisubterranean ceremonial houses, semisubterranean sweat houses, and dwellings. The dwellings on the coast were conical lean-tos of slabs of redwood bark, suitable for one family only; elsewhere the dwellings could hold several Families and consisted of a framework of willow poles with grass thatching in the valleys and tule thatching near Clear Lake.


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