The Name – Tsnungwe
By Danny Ammon, Tsnungwe Tribe,
PO Box 373, Salyer, CA, 95563
Tribal peoples have names for themselves. Sometimes names are introduced by
outsiders that are different names, possibly in different languages, than
the tribe’s original name for themselves.
Such is the case with the fairly well-known term “South Fork Hupa.” The
term “Hupa” is actually a term used by the Yurok Indians to refer to Indians
speaking the Hupa language. But, what name did the “South Fork Hupa” people
use to describe themselves in their own language? The term used was
tse:ningxwe, and it was a term that encompassed the Hupa speaking people of
the Willow Creek, South Fork, Burnt Ranch, and New River areas. This term
is still used by the descendants of these Indians and is now written
In the local dialect of the Hupa language, the original tribal people
located in Tsnungwe territory called themselves tse:ningxwe, written in the
current orthography of the Hupa language. The name tse:ningxwe is not an
English name; it is in the original language of the tribal people here.
The ancestors of modern Tsnungwe called themselves tse:ningxwe. The modern
Tsnungwe use the same term to call themselves. Since Indian languages were
not written until fairly recently, the spelling has changed frequently. The
modern Tsnungwe chose this spelling as an attempt to write the correct name
In this paper, many sources are listed, old and new, that show long time use
of the term tse:ningxwe, or Tsnungwe. Copies of sources may be requested by
1. Ammon, Danny, 2001. Email with Patrick Shannon and ktforum reqarding
Tsnungwe Tribe and village sites. Available on internet ktforum of the
2. Baumhoff, Martin A. "California Athabaskan Groups", Anthropological
Records, Vol. 16, No. 5, 1958.
Lists South Fork Hupa as 1 of 3 Hupa "tribelets". Southern and
northern boundaries of Southern Hupa (Tsa-nung-wha)territory.
Notes on the Ts'a-nung-wha. Ethnographic notes from James
Chesbro. Good description of South Fork Hupa villages with maps.
Copy of original map by George Gibbs during signing of 1851 Treaty.
“… the Hupa are bordered on the east by the Shastan [Tlo-hom-tah-hoi]; the
Athapaskan Ts’a-nung-wha [Southern Hupa] on the south, and the Athapaskan
Hwil-kut [Chilula] on the west.]”
“The Ts’a-nung-wha. (An Athapaskan tribe closely related to the Hoopah.)
The territory of the Ts’a-nung-wha lies directly south of the
Tin-nung-hen-na-o or Hoopah proper, embracing the drainage basin South Fork
Trinity River from Grouse Creek to the junction of South Fork with the main
Trinity, and including also the rather narrow strip between South Fork on
the west and the main Trinity on the east as far up as Cedar Flat. At the
mouth of South Fork they crossed the main Trinity and claimed a narrow strip
two or three miles in length on the north side of the canyon where two of
the villages were located, Ti-koo-et-sil-lah-kut [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #9
ta:k'iwe:ltsil-q'it] on the high bench opposite the mouth of South Fork, and
Me-meh [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #7 miy-me'], on the site of the present
Fountain Ranch about 1-1/2 miles east of the other. Their western boundary
was the divide between the tributaries of South Fork Trinity and those of
Redwood Creek (a little west of the course of Madden Creek and Mosquito
Creek). The eastern boundary was the deep canyon of Trinity River from the
mouth of South Fork to Cedar Flat; and the southern boundary Grouse Creek,
and a line running from it’s mouth northeasterly and following Mill Creek to
the main Trinity at Cedar Flat—thus including the Burnt Ranch country.”
“The land of the Ts’a-nung-wha is mountainous and forested, and the
principal streams flow in deep canyons. It is roughly circular in outline,
and of small extent, measuring in air hardly 15 miles in either direction--
north-south or east-west. Nevertheless it seems to have been rather well
populated for there were at least a dozen villages –- all situated on high
benches overlooking the canyons.”
“Their language differs only slightly from that of the Hoopah.”
“The Tsa-nung-wha were in contact with four tribes: the Tin-nung-hen-na-o or
Hoopah on the north, e-tahk-na-lin-na-kah [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #13
yidaq-nilin] [Tlo-hom-tah-hoi] and Che-ma-re-ko [Chimariko] on the
northeast, the Che-ma-re-ko on the east and south, the hwil-kut [Chilula] on
“13. seh-ach-pe-ya (Gibbs map, plate 9). This is no doubt a Yurok name, as
are all those given by Gibbs, but no one else has recorded it. There are
said to have been four houses here.” [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #58a d'ahilding]
3. Bennett, Ruth. Ya:na:’a’awh – Four Hupa Songs from Alice Pratt in the
Hupa Language of California. Center for Indian Community Development,
Humboldt State University, 1994.
Page 31-40 (Chapter 4):
“Whe:’en Do:n’ Le:lding Na-wha:y-yey = I Myself Have Come From Le:lding…
Although she knew a lot about her mother’s ide of the family and the village
from which they came, Alice felt a strong identification with her father’s
family. His ancestral home was the place where the family lived for
generations, and where Alice spent much of her youth… Le:lding is the
village where ancestors on her father’s side came from. Alice’s strong
attachment to Le:lding relates to her memories of her youth. She remembers
her great aunt [actually great-grandmother], old lady Saxey, who knew how to
make Indian kool aid, and her great grandfather, who was nearly blind [Saxey
Kidd was blind in his later years], but always had a joke to tell. She
remembers the sprawling wood frame house with the porch wrapping almost all
around it. She hears the laughter of family members. She celebrates
herself by singing…”
“Le:lding = Principal Tse:ningxwe village at the confluence of the south
fork of the Trinity river”
“The words in the song are true: Alice does come from this village of
Le:lding. Her father’s [Young Willis Norton’s] people were descendants of
these speakers of a dialect of Hupa language.”
“When Alice would talk about her times at South Fork, she would smile and
say, ‘I used to love to go up there.’ One of the Flower Dance songs in this
collection talks of her origins among the Tse:ningxwe people from Le:lding.
It is a song that Alice created, and the song she sang most in her classes
that I attended.”
4. Bennett, Ruth. xa’xowilwatL as told by David Pete (also known as David
Peter, David Peters, and Doc Pete). Manuscript.
“Told by David Peter, Hupa/Tsenungxwe (1978)”.
“David talked about his family on the South Fork, and so I became aware
that, for him, the Indian world extended outside the Hoopa Valley. His
father was South Fork Pete, and his family, the Petes, were Tse:ningxwe
people from the village of Tilchwech’iq’it [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #10a
dilchwehch-ding][Actually he was from Tsnungwe Place #38 ta:ng'ay-q'it].
This village was across the river from Le:lding and from Tak’iwe:lstilq’it
[NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #9 ta:k'iwe:ltsil-q'it], and with them, formed the
center of Tse:ningxwe culture. These people spoke the Hupa language and
shared the Hupa culture, but they had their own villages further upriver.
The Tse:ningxwe had some different neighbors from the Hupa, and so their
stories were different, too.”
“Since David has relatives in this region, and even back in 1970 was one of
the few living people who knew the stories told by these people, it occurred
to me that his stories were one of the last living records of the existence
of his ancient inter-tribal culture. (See map of Tse:ningxwe and adjacent
5. Bennion, Ben and Jerry Rohde. “Traveling the Trinity Highway”, 2000.
“The Tsnungwes. Downriver from the Chimarikos lived a branch of the Hupa
tribe called the Tsnungwes, or South Fork Hupas. There is some uncertainty
about the boundaries of the area they occupied, but their territory centered
on the confluence of the Trinity and South Fork Trinity rivers and probably
extended some distance up the South Fork. Of their nine or so villages, by
far the largest and most important was Hlel-din – “the place where the
rivers come together”- at the mouth of the South Fork; it served as the
tribe’s religious and political center and may have contained upwards of 500
people. Goods from distant locations were brought to Hlel-din and traded;
they included dentalia from Washington, obsidian from the Modoc Plateau, and
redwood canoes from the coast. In this cosmopolitan community many of the
Tsnungwes were multilingual, often speaking Chimariko, Wintu, Whilkut,
Wiyot, and Hupa in addition to their own language. One Hupa historian terms
the Tsnungwes ‘the group most closely related to the Hupa.’”
“An important Tsnungwe ritual was the Flower Dance, held as a young woman’s
coming-of-age ceremony. All the residents from her own village attended,
along with many people from outlying villages; the meetings between young
people at these gatherings sometimes led to matrimony.”
“The earliest white account of the Tsnungwes comes from L.K. Wood, who, as
part of the Gregg Party, traveled through the tribe’s territory in 1849:
‘We came suddenly upon an Indian Rancheria… As soon as they saw us, men,
women and children fled in the wildest confusion… leaving everything behind
them… They had never seen a white man nor had they received any
intelligence of our coming; and to them thus suddenly brought into contact
with a race of beings so totally different in color, dress, and appearance
from any they had ever seen is attributable the fear they betrayed.’
“All too soon the Tsnungwes’ fear proved justified, as the tribe was
compelled to join neighboring Indians in defending their homeland from
encroaching settlers and miners. While the men were off fighting, many of
the women and children attempted to hide in the New River area; some were
captured and taken to Hoopa Valley. Most of the surviving Tsnungwes
eventually found themselves on the new reservation established at Hoopa in
“By then, the village of Hlel-Din no longer existed. Whites had
appropriated the area, setting up a flour mill and a ferry and commencing to
mine. When some of the Tsnungwes left the Hoopa reservation in the 1880s,
they relocated in their old territory along the South Fork Trinity, upstream
from the site of Hlel-Din. Today, much of the property along the lower part
of the river belongs to their descendants.”
“Comtemporary Tsnungwes are working for federal recognition as a tribe; they
have joined with the Nor-El-Muk band of Wintus from the Hayfork area in a
pact of mutual support for their respective recognition efforts. The
Tsnungwes have also established programs to both preserve and reinstitute
elements of the Tsnungwe culture, bninding together a part of what was torn
asunder some 140 years ago.”
6. Davis, Mary B. “Native America in the Twentieth Century: an
Page 249: “The Hupa people from the South Fork of the Trinity and New River
areas were relocated to the Hoopa Valley Reservation during the early years
of conflict. These people call themselves Tsnungwe. When it was first safe
during the 1880s, many Tsnungwe returned to their homeland, yinah-chin, up
the Trinity River. The Tsnungwe, an organized and unacknowledged tribe,
have maintained tribal relations since then. Their federal acknowledgment
application is in process; cuurent enrollment is approximately 150, with an
expected enrollment of 300 to 400.”
7. Davis, Lee, anthropologist on Hupa Indians. Correspondence.
a. Comments from Lee Davis, UC-Berkeley, on draft narrative for
California Tribal Restoration Act from the Tsnungwe Council.
Comments given over the phone, July 15, 1990, and noted on an extra copy.
b. Letter from Lee Davis, UC-Berkeley, regarding phone call of
July 15 and research on South Fork Indians. July 16, 1990.
c. Letter from Lee Davis, Lowie Museum of Anthropology,
UC-Berkeley, to Tsnungwe Council, Nov 7, 1991. Sending South
Fork historical references she received from Arnold Pilling.
d. Letter from Objects of Myth and Memory Project of the Oakland
Museum, Lee Davis, to the Tsenungwe Tribe, Danny Ammon and Dena
Magdalena. Feb 22, 1992. Discussing her recent meeting in Hoopa
regarding our research on South Fork Hupa, Chimariko tribes, and Willow
Creek, New River, and Burnt Ranch areas.
8. Eargle, Dolan. Native California Guide: Weaving the Past & Present”,
“Tsnungwe (tse:ning-xwe) … Imagine a deep river valley, long and straight,
with steeply sloping banks up to a shelf, wide enough for only a house or
two. The banks are covered with thick green forests of cedar, oaks, and
maples that form bright yellow-orange splotches in the fall. Mountains up
to 4,000 feet line the valley, often exposing steep walls of dark, bare,
live rock. This is the home of the Tsnungwe Tribe, whose people have been
speakers of a variant of Hupa, an Athapascan language. This tribe has a
long and continuous history, and since governance is traditionally
family-based, the succession of leaders is well-known. They were recognized
as a band/tribe by the BIA in 1927. The BIA has recently confirmed that the
Tsnungwe were previously recognized by the Federal government through an
1864 treaty. Yet, current official Federal recognition is still being
“Our tribal name comes from tse:nung-ding, which is Ironside Mountain [on
Hwy 299 at Burnt Ranch]. From tse:, rock, nung, a sloped face, ding, place.
We are the people of Ironside Mountain, Ts-nung-we. Our territory is from
the Willow Creek watershed to Grouse Creek towards Burnt Ranch and takes in
New River. Hleldin and Ironside are both important places in our society.”
9. Goddard, Pliny Earle, "Life and Culture of the Hupa", University of
California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 1, No.
Page 7 talks about Leldin, the Kelta, and the Southfork…
“They (the Hupa) have Athapascan neighbors on the south and the west. Those
to the south live along the Trinity river from Hupa valley to the mouth of
the Southfork twenty miles above. They have been treated by Stephen Powers
under the name of Kelta as a separate tribe. Strictly speaking there are no
tribes on the coast of California. The divisions are natural and of varying
degrees, rather than political and well marked. The language spoken at
Southfork differs but slightly from that used in Hupa valley. The village
of Leldin at Southfork figures prominently in the Hupa myths and it is said
that the last head-man in Hupa extended to, and perhaps above Southfork.
The only important difference is in religious matters.”
10. Golla, Victor, Hupa Language linguist. Correspondence.
a. Letter from Victor Golla, Feb 10, 1991
Notes of Harrington-Saxey interview. Merriam's original map
showing the Tsanunghwa.
b. Notes received from Victor Golla in October, 1991.
Notes on Jeremiah Curtin notes, discussing Cheeseborough.
Hupa story told by Chesbro, with English translation by Curtin.
Golla's translation of Chesbro story. Notes on Merriam's South
Fork Hupa (tsa-nung-wha), Chimariko, and South Fork village
11. Golla, Victor. “Sketch of Hupa, an Athapaskan Language” from "Handbook
of the North American Indians", Vol. on Language, Smithsonian Institution,
Page 364: “The ethnographic Hupa of Hoopa Valley (the na:tinixwe)
were the most important Hupa-speaking group of the pre-contact period, but
not the only one. The Chilula and Whilkut (the xwiyLq’itxwe) also spoke
Hupa, although apparently with a few lexical and grammatical differences
from Hoopa Valley speech (P.E. Goddard 1914) So did the tse:ningxwe, the
so-called South Fork Hupas, who lived along the Trinity River and its South
Fork for about 30 miles upstream from Hoopa Valley and whose territory also
seems to have overlapped with that of the ethnographic Chimariko in the
Burnt Ranch and New River areas.”
12. Heizer, Robert (editor). "Handbook of the North American Indians", Vol.
8, California, Smithsonian Institution, 1978
a. "Hupa, Chilula, and Whilkut" by William J. Wallace
Refers to South Fork Hupa, map showing South Fork Hupa villages.
p. 176 SOUTH FORK HUPA
“Directly south of the Hupa lived a group of Indians closely affiliated with
them culturally and linguistically. These people have been so generally
classed with the better known Hupa as to have no accepted name. They have
been treated as a separate unit under the designation Kelta and have also
been referred to as the Tsaningwha.”
b. "Treaties" by R.F. Heizer
Subcommittee on Indian Affairs asked Merriam to identify the
"tribes" in the treaties. Merriam testified in 1926. Part of
land claims settlement for Indians of California. Also refers to "Treaty of
peace and friendship" with Hoopa, South Fork,
Redwood, and Grouse Creek Indians.
13. Heizer, Robert. “Ethnogeographic and Ethnosynonymic Data from
Northwestern California” from C. Hart Merriam, Nov, 1976. Archaeological
Research Facility, Dept of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.
14. Heizer, Robert. "Catalogue of the C. Hart Merriam Collection of Data
Concerning Calif. Tribes and other American Indians", 1969.
References to Tsa'-nung-wha and to pictures and vocabularies from James
Chesbro and Saxey Kidd.
Notes on "Catalogue of the C. Hart Merriam Collection of Data Concerning
Calif. Tribes and other American Indians", 1969. Includes call numbers,
carton numbers, and album numbers.
15. Hoopa Valley Tribe. “Hupa Language Dictionary – Second Edition:
Na:tinixwe Mixine:whe”, 1996.
“Before the Euro-American invasion in 1850, Hupa was spoken in several
distinct regions, each with its own distinctive dialect. As far as can be
determined from the scanty documentation (most extensively in C. Hart
Merriam’s notes), the following dialect areas were distinguished:
Hoopa Valley (dining’xine:wh).
Redwood Creek (xwiyLq’it-xwe) …
North Fork Mad River (me:w-yinuq).
South Fork Trinity River and Burnt Ranch (tse:ning-xwe).
New River (q’ultsahs-ni).
“Indian: … See also: Hupa; Karuk; Konomihu; Redwood Creek; Shasta; Tolowa;
“South Fork, mouth of: Le:lding [= from Le:lin-ding ‘the streams flow
together place’] village of Tse:ningxwe where the South Fork and Trinity
“tsnungxwe, Burnt Ranch Indians: tse:ning-xwe [= ‘Ironside-people’] Indians
of Burnt Ranch and the South Fork of the Trinity (Ironside Mountain,
tse:ning[‘=stone-mountainside’], is on north side of Trinity River, opposite
16. Hoopa Valley Tribe. “Hupa Language – Literature and Culture”, first
dictionary published, 1961 in Unifon writing system. Center for Community
Development, Humboldt State University.
“Burnt Ranch People: tse:-ning-xwe (in Unifon writing system in dictionary).
Hupas sometimes dipped eels with these people.”
“Village Site: Burnt Ranch, tse:-ning-ding” [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #12
tse:nding OR tse:-nung-din]
“Burnt Ranch People: tse:-ning-xwe. Hupas sometimes dipped eels with these
“Village Site, Salyer. Le:l-ding. Where the South Fork and Trinity Rivers
meet.” [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #3 Le:lding]
“Willow Creek. yinuq xa:-ti-nit.” [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #33
“Village Site. to’-ye:l-ding. Near Knight’s Trailer Court location.” [NOTE
= Tsnungwe Place #58a d'ahilding]
17. Kroeber, A.L. “Handbook of the Indians of California”, 1925.
“Above Hupa valley is the small Sugar Bowl, whose bottom harbored the little
village of Haslinding. Some miles farther up begins a string of patches of
valley to where Willow Creek comes in. Here there were two permanent
settlements, kachwunding and Mingkutme. Sehachpeya, Waugullewatl, Aheltah,
Sokeakeit, and Tashuanta are mentioned in early sources as being in this
region: most of these names seem to be Yurok. And still farther, at South
Fork, where the river branches, was the town of Tlelding-whence the “Kelta
tribe”- with subsidiary settlements about or above it. The farthest of
these was Tl’okame, 5 miles up the South Fork. These southerly Hupa were
almost out of touch with the Yurok, and held intercourse with the Wintun and
Chimariko. Their outlook on the world must have been quite different, and
it is known that their religious practices were distinctive. In implements,
mode of life, regulation of society, and speech they were, however,
substantially identical with the better known people of Hupa Valley. And
the Yurok knew Tlelding, which they called, with reference to its situation
at the forks by the same name as their own town of Weitspekw.”
Note (Danny Ammon):
Kachwunding = Tsnungwe Place #31a da:chwan’-ding
Mingkutme = Tsnungwe Place #36 minq’it-ch-ding
Sehachpeya (yurok name) = Tsnungwe Place #58a d'ahilding
Waugullewatl (yurok name) = Tsnungwe Place #62 t’unchwing-tah
Aheltah(hupa name) = Tsnungwe Place #58a d'ahilding
Sokeakeit = Tsnungwe Place #59 saqe:q’it
Tashuanta (hupa name) = Tsnungwe Place #62 t’unchwing-tah
Tl’okame = Tsnungwe Place #6 tL’oh-q’a-me’
Tlelding (hupa name) = Tsnungwe Place #3 Le:lding
Weitspekw (yurok name) = Tsnungwe Place #3 Le:lding
18. Magdaleno, Dena. “Creating Trinity County School Social Science
Curriculum About the Tsnungwe People Using Primary Resources.”
MA Thesis in Native American Studies. Advisor: Laura Lee George. Humboldt
State University, 1992.
“The traditions and lifestyle of one Trinity County tribe, the Tsnungwe, who
have also been called the Trinity, Trinity River, Southern Hupa, Kelta,
Lelwe, and South Fork Indians are the focus of this project. Resources have
been located relative to the Tsnungwe, organized into a study unit, and the
unit has been classroom tested in local schools.”
19. Merriam, C. Hart, manuscript, UC Berkeley.
a. Merriam's notes on Hoopa Ethnography
Information from informant James Chesbro, Burnt Ranch, 1921.
Also old news articles and information on the Tsa-nung-wha.
“Tsa-nung-wha called Tsa-nung-wha by Hoo-pah who say their territory is --
Burnt Ranch and South Fork Trinity. Occupied both sides South Fork from its
mouth south to Grouse Creek and the country between South Fork and main
Trinity to mouth of Cedar Creek (Cedar Flat).
Spoke dialect of Hoopah.”
b. Merriam's notes on Hoopa Ethnogeography
Place names in Hupa language from informant James Chesbro, Burnt Ranch,
Trinity County, CA, August, 1921. Also lists some
“Tsa-nung-wha = Burnt Ranch and South Fork Trinity Tribe. Spoke dialect of
Hoopa. Occupied both sides of South Fork from its mouth south to Grouse
Creek and the country between South Fork and main Trinity to mouth of Cedar
Creek (Cedar Flat).”
c. Merriam's notes (general) on the Tsanungwha
The Merriam Collection is at the Bancroft Library at the University of
California, Berkeley. The call number for the Merriam Collection is 80/18.
a/1e/n8 Tsa-nung-wha page 10 carton 1
Request this folder with:
Photocopies of the Merriam collection are not permitted, but notes may be
taken. All of the information here is from notes taken.
The card attached to this file reads:
Tsa-nung-wha Tribe and Rancherias
(Hoopa group of Athapaskan stock).
-checked Mar 2, 1929
-lower part of South Fork Trinity River
[ attached sheet reads: "The Tsa-nung-wha are the Southern Hupa" (Ed.) ]
List of villages:
[Information here is basically the same as found in:
Ethnogeographic and Ethnosynonymic Data from Northwestern
California by C. Hart Merriam, assembled and edited by Robert F
Heizer, Nov, 1976]
The villages and names listed are:
Chilch-tal'-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #1 ch'iLte:lting]
E-nuk'-kut-te-nan'-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #2 yinaq-dinung-ting]
Hlal'-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #3 Le:lding]
'Hlit-chooch-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #4 Lichiwh-ding]
Hoi'-ti sah'-ahn-me [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #5 xweda’ay-sa’an-me']
Klo'-kum-me [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #6 tL’oh-q’a-me’]
Me-meh (or Me-a-meh) [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #7 miy-me']
Num'-nor-muk [NOTE: name of Tsnungwe Tribe in the
Wintu language, used by the people of Hayfork]
Os-tahn'-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #8 qosta:n-ding]
Tah'-chooch-tung [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #64 dahchiwh-ding]
Ti-koo-et-sil'-la-kut [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #9 ta:k'iwe:ltsil-q'it]
Til-tswetch-a-ki [NOTE = Tsnungwe Place #69 dilchwehch-qeh]
Tin'-nooch-tung [NOTE: we believe this is Chimariko territory]
Tsa-nung-wha [NOTE: what they call themselves]
a/1e/n9 Tsa-nung-wha page 10 carton 1
Request this folder with:
The card attached to this file reads:
Tsa-nung-wha (South Fork Trinity Tribe) and Rancherias
Hoopa group; 2 pages
Tsa-nung-wha Tribe and Rancherias
Lower part of South Fork Trinity River; 3 pages
Rancherias of the Tsa-nung-wha or South Fork Trinity Tribe
On South Fork Trinity:
On Main Trinity River - south side
8. Hoi'-ti sah'-ahn-me
On Main Trinity River - north side
12. Me-meh (or Me-a-meh)
These were permanent villages. There were also several camps along the
south side of Trinity.
d. Merriam's notes on Tsanungwha Ethnogeography
Description of Tsa-nung-wha territory and list of villages.
Names applied to Tsa-nung-wha by other tribes:
Tsa-nung-wha - name applied to themselves
Tsa-nung-wha - name applied by Hoopah
Num-nor-muk - name applied to Tsa-nung-wha by Nor-rel-muk
e. Merriam Photo Collection
Includes photos of Saxey Kidd and the Chesbros.
a/1b/P6 photos 15-20 are photos of the New River area and
are noted: “Territory of Hoopah, Tsanungwha, Tlohomtahhoi,
Chemareko, July, 1934”
20. Merriam, C. Hart. "The New River Indians: Tlo'hom-tah'-hoi," 1930,
American Anthropologist, Vol. 32.
Merriam incorrectly states that Saxey Kidd is the last fullblood
member of the Tlo'hom-tah'-hoi, a tribe he thinks he has discovered. Also
includes map marking part of Tsa'nunghwa
21. Merriam, C. Hart. "Little known tribes of the Salmon, New, and Trinity
Rivers in northwestern California", Smithsonian Institution, Journal of the
Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 8, April 19, 1930.
Refers to Tsa'-nung-hwah Tribe at South Fork of Trinity River.
22. Merriam, C. Hart and Zenaida Talbot. "Boundary Descriptions of
California Indian Stocks and Tribes", 1974.
Boundary descriptions of Tsa-nung-wha.
23. Tsnungwe Council. Tsnungwe Place Names by, 2001.
Villages and places is Tsnungwe territory listed in this paper are cross
referenced to the Tsnungwe Place numbers in this reference. This reference
contains an explanation of the many different names that have been used to
describe the Tsnungwe people including:
South Fork Indians, Southern Hupa, South Hupa, South Fork Hupa, Kelta,
Le:lxwe, Trinity Tribe, Lower Trinity Tribe, tsa-nung-hwah, tsa-nung-wha,
tse:ningxwe, tsaningwha, tsnunwe, Burnt Ranch Band, New River Indians, New
River Hupa, tlo-hom-tah-hoi, tL’oh-mitah-xwe, chal-tah-soom, djalitasom,
Chimalakwe, e-nah-chin, yinahch'in, e-tah-chin, e-tahk-na-lin-na-kah,
24. Tsnungwe Council. Federal Acknowledgment petition, December, 2000.
Prepared by Lynne Ammon Ingram and Dena Ammon Magdaleno.
“Over the years, our people, the Tsnungwe, have been identified by different
people, groups, and agencies in many different forms: Hupa, South Fork
Indians, South Fork Hupa, Southern Hupa, Kelta, Chimalakwe, Tlelding,
Tlelwe, Leldin, Hlelwe, Trinity, Tsanungwe, Tseningxwe, Tlohomtahhoi, New
River Hupa, Hupa of Humboldt and Trinity Counties, New River Indians,
Chaltasom, Burnt Ranch Indians, and Chimariko. All are correct except
“Despite what people have called us, or the names we have been forced to use
over the last one hundred fifty years, one point is important: Our identity
as a people throughout countless generations has remained constant—as that
of a people and community rightfully belonging on our traditional territory,
the area of Trinity River, and its tributaries, the Willow Creek, the South
Fork, and the New River, where today the counties of Humboldt and Trinity
join. Our identification as a group belonging to this territory has been
recognized by all surrounding tribes over the ages, regardless of what name
we are called…”
“Over the last one hundred fifty years, we have been classfied and described
by the miners, settlers, government agencies (local, state, federal), the
anthropologists, the historians, and other Indian tribes, and each has given
us a different name. In 1991, we chose for ourselves the name with which we
find the most identity and comfort—the Tsnungwe, the people from around our
sacred mountain, Ironside Mountain. We, as a people, are more closely tied
to our land than to a name. We do not rely on anthropologists and others to
define who we are. We already know. This petition documents for others so
that they can understand. As has been stated:
‘Rather than struggling to define what a tribe is, Native Californians know
their tribal identities and struggle to preserve tribal sovereignty
(Advisory Council on California Indian Policy 1995:4).’
“Our tie to each other is through our love and identity as a people living
on the land of our ancestors.”