Yokuts Dwellings

"Yo'-kuts Tule Lodges" from Contributions to North American Ethnology, Volume III. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1877. California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library collection, FN-32152.


Frank Latta wrote that many Yokuts tribes, including the Tuhoumne, Halaumne, Tulumne, Yowlumne and Paleumne, used tule grass for almost everything, including their houses, baskets, mats and boats. For example, Yokuts houses, some hundreds of feet long and housing several families, were basically long tents made of woven tule grass. Poles with v-shaped forks on top were set upright in the ground in straight lines at intervals of 8 to 10 feet. Long straight poles laid in the crotches of these upright poles provided a ridge against which lighter poles were leaned. Branch stubs 3 to 4 inches long typically were left on both the upright and leaning poles to provide hangers for clothing and other items. Finally, woven tule mats, with the tule fibers oriented vertically to better shed water, were placed over the poles to provide shade from the sun and limited protection from rain and bugs. No doubt racoons, rats and snakes, if they could avoid being caught and eaten, came and went as they pleased.


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