Tsnungwe Place Names

by the

Tsnungwe Tribe
P.O. Box 373
Salyer, CA 95563

General Description of Tribal Territory

The Tsnungwe Tribe is located in western Trinity County and eastern Humboldt
County in northwest California.  We are located on the Trinity River, South
Fork of the Trinity River, and New River.  This land is our aboriginal
tribal territory, where we resided prior to first contact with non-Indians.

We continue to reside on our aboriginal territory to this day, although now
our lands fall within the Six Rivers National Forest as well as the
Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

On the Trinity River we resided between the Willow Creek area and the Cedar
Flat area.  On the South Fork of the Trinity, we resided from the mouth up
to Grouse Creek.  Additionally resided also within the entire New River

This paper gives the names and locations of special places within the
Tsnungwe Tribal Territory.

During March and April of 1994, Tsnungwe meetings were held with elders to
plot placenames on Forest Service maps.  Those involved were:
Les Ammon, Wes Ammon, Violet Warren, Toby Ammon,
Lincoln Martin, Ed Chase, Danny Ammon, Jim Ammon.

Although the information presented here is from many sources, most came from
an interview between J.P. Harrington and Saxey Kidd in 1928, with Carrie
Bussell interpreting.  Saxey Kidd was the spiritual leader of the Tsnungwe
people, and was the great-grandfather of Les, Wes, and Toby Ammon.  Saxey
Kidd was 4/4 Trinity County Hupa (Tsnungwe), although many anthropologists
have incorrectly stated his identity as Chimariko or New River Shasta.  The
Saxey Ranch is located at tL’oh-wa:ne on the South Fork of the Trinity
River, near the great Tsnungwe village of Le:lding.

Another good source of information is the C. Hart Merriam papers and
manuscript at the University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library.
Although Merriam also worked with Saxey Kidd, most of the information used
here came from his son-in-law James Chesbro of xweda’ay-sa’an-me', Burnt
Ranch.  Also, James Chesbro was the brother of Carrie Bussell.

Another good paper was written by James Bauman concerning the place names of
the New River area, and it compares the Hupa names of places with the
Chimariko names of the same places.  Most of the information Bauman uses
with this comparison comes from Saxey Kidd and Sally Noble.  Sally Noble
resided at qowh-ding on New River.  Sally Noble’s mother Polly Dyer was a
Chimariko Indian, and her father was Tsnungwe.  Her father was killed in the
early years of conflict with non-Indians, so Sally was raised by her mother
as primarily a Chimariko speaker.  Sally’s father was a brother of Indian
Friday, also a Tsnungwe Indian.

Various Names
that have been
to the
Tsnungwe Tribe


These are all variations on the phrase yidaq-nilin meaning upcountry-river,
and is the Hupa phrase which means New River.


The following maps are included in this document:
Willow Creek Quadrangle - 1
Willow Creek Quadrangle - 2
Willow Creek Quadrangle - 3
Willow Creek Quadrangle - 4
Ironside Mtn Quadrangle - 1
Ironside Mtn Quadrangle - 2
Ironside Mtn Quadrangle - 3
Salmon Mtn Quadrangle - 1.
These maps can be attached together to produce one large contiguous map of
Tsnungwe territory.

These maps have numbered labels which correspond to the place name
descriptions for the areas of:
Willow Creek
South Fork of the Trinity
Trinity River (South Fork to Cedar Flat)
New River.

Willow Creek Area

Place Number : 63a
Place Name : tse:ting
Translation : rock-place
Description : across river from Knight's trailer park
Comments : across from bluffs

Place Number : 63b
Place Name : xowiyk'iLxowh-ding
Translation : where wagons come down
Description : Knight's trailer park
Comments : relatively modern name; old name is kiqin-sa’an-ding

Place Number : 70
Place Name : yahdzime'
Description : Brannan Mountain
Comments : a mountain between Willow Creek and Redwood Summit

Place Number : 58a
Place Name : d'ahilding
Description : a creek and little ranch, Whitson’s;
seh-ach-pe-ya in Yurok language.
4 houses according to Gibbs.  This village included in Treaty of 1851,
alternately spellings at that time were a-hel-tah in Gibbs journal, and
ta-hail-ta in Daily Alta California.

Place Number : 58b
Place Name : niskinje:ndihding
Translation : small fir place
Description : O'Gormans farm
Comments : Gallup's place

Place Number : 59
Place Name : saqe:q’it
Description : Between Waterman’s and Gallup’s
Comments : an old village in the Willow Creek valley; gather manzanita
berries in summer here; had regular houses.  Jurin’s place.  This village
included in Treaty of 1851, alternately spellings at that time were
so-ke’a-keit in Gibbs journal, and sock-kail-kit in Daily Alta California.
Place where Indians set net to fish at river.

Place Number : 30
Place Name : saqe:q’it  mima:n-ch’ing
Translation : saqe:q’it across-from
Description : Kidd/Bussell ranch, bulb farm

Place Number : 60
Place Name : misqine:q'it (perhaps nisking-q’it = fir trees-on it; see
Description : Dick & Sonya live now
Comments : Waterman's place

Place Number : 61
Place Name : nants'ing-tah
Translation : crag, peak-amongst
Description : Clover Flat

Place Number : 62
Place Name : t’unchwing-tah
Translation : pepper nuts place-amongst
Description : school house flat, pepperwoods
Comments : Zack Bussell's old place; waug-ulle-watl in Yurok language, which
means pepper nuts place; dances here.  This village included in Treaty of
1851,alternately spellings at that time were tash-huan-tat in Gibbs journal,
and tash-wan-ta in Daily Alta California.

Place Name : xoxo:ch'e:lding
Translation : water runs out from the creek
(perhaps abbreviated from xoxo: - ch’e:-wilin-ding = xoxo: - flows out
Description : Willow Creek, mouth of the creek itself
Comments : xo:xolding = Willow Creek from HLC.  Where Willow Creek Brizard’s
Store was.

Place Number : 31a
Place Name : da:chwan’-ding
Description : near Seely-McIntosh Rd, where Friday lived
Comments : Golla writes village across river from mouth of Willow Creek, a
little upstream.  Waug-ulle-wutle-kauh in Yurok language, which means across
from the Peppernuts place.  1 house according to Gibbs map.  Saxey says
across from Willow Creek Store.  Former home of Annie Leach, Indian Friday,
and Fanny Lack.  This village included in Treaty of 1851, on Gibbs map.

Place Number : 31b
Place Name : da:chwan’-ding mima:n-ch’ing
Translation : across from da:chwa:n-ding
Description : Kimtu

Place Number : 33
Place Name : yinaq-xa:-ding
Translation : upstream - out of the ground? - place
Description : just upstream of mouth of Willow Creek
Comments : where road comes uphill

Place Number : 34
Place Name : tL'ohday-kyoh-q’it
Translation : grain-large-on it
Description : Young's place where nice road is
Comments : Buddy's auto now

Place Number : 71
Place Name : qawh-me'
Translation : yew- in it
Description : Brush Mountain
Comments : a mtn to the southwest of Willow Creek

Place Number : 72
Place Name : dilchwehk   e'ildilme'
Translation : ponderosa pine nut - he throws them in his mouth - in it
Description : Horse Mountain
Comments : near Redwood Summit

Place Number : 35
Place Name : q'aykist ch’e:xahsding
Translation : hopper basket-flies out when you pound acorns
Description : Gambi's, China Flat.  Lucinda Henderson lived here.

Place Number : 36
Place Name : minq’it-ch-ding
Translation : pond-on it-little-place
Description : Forest School House
Comments : Enchanted Springs

South Fork of the Trinity

Place Number : 9a
Place Name : ta:k'iwe:ltsil-q'it
Translation : pounded into the water - on it
Description : near Lincoln Martins house.  Six Beans lived here.
Comments : hachugidji in Chimariko

Place Number : 37
Place Name : me:lchwin-q'it
Translation : a kind of weeds- on it
Description : part of Le:lding
Comments : where old road went up to Saxey's.  Big rancheria there.  Martin
Road and Friday Ridge Road side of South Fork.

Place Number : 3
Place Name : Le:lding
Translation : rivers go together place
Description : mouth of South Fork
Comments : weitspek in Yurok Language; a k'ixinay and modern village.
Squirrel Tail Tom and many others from here.  This name includes #9, #37,
and #38.  This village included in Treaty of 1851, alternately spellings at
that time were weitspek in Gibbs journal, and wish-pooke in Daily Alta
California.  Corruption of Le:lding became Kelta tribe of Powers and
Kroeber.  Powers also uses Kailtas, whose home was anciently on the South
Fork of Trinity River. hatsukitse (forks place) in Chimariko.  qhore pure’
(forks) in Wintu. Site of Tsnungwe Jump Dance, formerly led by Saxey Kidd.

Place Number : 38
Place Name : ta:ng'ay-q'it
Translation : point-on it
Description : Wade Ammon's house
Comments : part of Le:ldin;  village both k'ixinay and modern.
  South Fork Pole and South Fork Pete from here.

Place Number : 47
Place Name : yisinch’ing-qeh
Translation : coming from downhill - along
Description : South Fork River
Comments :

Place Number : 57
Place Name : chway-me'
Translation : something covered up
Description : Sandy Bar
Comments : This is not the Campbell Creek village.
ha'umkitatce (covered up place) in Chimariko.
mukhumeston muk (cover) in Wintu.

Place Number : 10a
Place Name : dilchwehch-ding
Translation : little pine-place. Ponderosa Pine-place
Description : village at mouth of Campbell creek
Comments : also called "hay nahdiyaw tehLchwin-ding" = "the money-it
grows-place".  An old important town.

Place Number : 44
Place Name : tL’oh-wa:ne
Translation : always grassy
Description : Saxey ranch
Comments : xo-Litsow-ch-ding = at the little green place; also

Place Number : 69
Place Name : dilchwehch-qeh
Translation : little pine-along creek
Description : Campbell Creek

Place Number : 1
Place Name : ch'iLte:lting
Translation : something (mat, traditional Indian bed) spread out
Description : Upper Pete's

Place Number : 56
Place Name : tse:ch-ting
Translation : little rocky place
Description : Salyer's place
Comments : where miner lives

Place Number : 8
Place Name : qosta:n-ding
Translation : cap - place
Description : Westerburgs/Koons.  hamiyakchay in Chimariko, meaning “hat”.

Place Number : 4
Place Name : Lichiwh-ding
Translation : sand place
Description : Pikes garden, PG&E flat

Place Number : 52
Place Name : yahts'ame'
Translation : throw rocks down there and make it rain
Description : Shore's place (Canclini lives there)
Comments : used to be Boyd Jackson's; no:na:diyahts = the snowfall is
reaching down the mountain to that point

Place Number : 6
Place Name : tL’oh-q’a-me’
Translation : grassy prairie - in it
Description : Carpenter/Jurin place

Place Number : 53
Place Name : yunihting
Description : Todd ranch (used to be Si and Elsie Jones)
Comments : bench 1/2 mile upstream of Carpenters

Place Number : 55
Place Name : yidahtich'inahding
Description : old Ammon ranch

Place Number : 64
Place Name : dahchiwh-ding
Description : hell's 1/2 acre
Comments : 10 or 12 mile above mouth east side of river

Place Number : 54
Place Name : niLtaq-tah-ding
Translation : black oak-amongst-place
Description : Mosquito creek
Comments : maybe where Mosquito enters Grouse creek; some Indians dance here

TRINITY RIVER (South Fork - Cedar Flat)

Place Number : 48
Place Name : xan-kya:w-qeh
Translation : creek-biggest-along
Description : Trinity River.  Also called xan-qeh.

Place Number : 39
Place Name : ti-diL -ding
Translation : away - flew (subj. is plural, e.g birds)-place
Description : Frakes place
Comments : across from Whole Enchilada; old community hall.
recently erected after 1928. just downstream of Salyer

Place Number : 40
Place Name : xoling-kyoh-miye
Translation : there is-big-under;  under the little hill
Description : Doc Williams place
Comments : across from forest service in Salyer

Place Number : 7
Place Name : miy-me'
Translation : thunder/something taboo - in it, at the Rain Rock
Description : Old Campbell Ranch / Fountain Ranch
Comments : also miyi-mida:q'it on the bank at miy-me';
himamsu'tse (green place) in Chimariko.  Wintu name is ts’aruqahas pom,
where ts’aruq means greens.  This village included in Treaty of 1851,
alternately spellings at that time were me’-yemma in Gibbs journal, and
me-em-ma in Daily Alta California.

Place Number : 41
Place Name : k'inunq’-ding
Translation : deer lick-place
Description : Billy Nobles place
Comments : where Tommy McKnight lives; The lick is just below Billy Noble's
on the river.

Place Number : 42
Place Name : tse:-q'it
Translation : rock- on it
Description : Swanson's place
Comments : Keyes' place

Place Number : 32
Place Name : no:k'iwowh-ding
Translation : drift pile-place
Description : Suzy Q area
Comments : Down from Swanson's; driftwood piled.  River makes a turn there.
Driftwood comes in there.

Place Number : 46
Place Name : tse:Le:nga:ding
Translation : rocks with points together
Description : near Trinity Village
Comments : downstream of Irvings used to be Jerry Smith's place.

Place Number : 17
Place Name : kin-sa'an-ting
Translation : trees-lie there-place
Description : Irvings place, Hawkins Bar
Comments : 'amaitatse in Chimariko

Place Number : 50
Place Name : miq'os-taq
Translation : it’s neck-between, but here means gap
Description : gap in ridge, up Gray's creek rd, on left by rock pit
Comments : trail went threw gap to Chesbros

Place Number : 22
Place Name : ta:wha:wh-ding
Translation : ford river, wade across river-place
Description : Dave Gray's place
Comments : Gray's flat; Jordan White used to gather acorns here;
hissa hadamutse in Chimariko (where the trail comes down onto the level).

Place Number : 12
Place Name : tse:nding OR tse:-nung-din
Translation : rock-sloped side, face - place
Description : Ironside Mtn.
Comments : tse:nung-q’it = on Ironside Mountain.
jalita, tcalita, tcalita a’wu (a’wu=mountain), waywoli, awu te’ta (great
mountain) in Chimariko; tcalita phuyuq in Wintu (phuyuq - wintu for mtn);
Indians gathered at that big mountain and camp and fish in summer, even from
Arcata.  Original inhabitants talked both Hupa and Chimariko.  Carrie
Bussell says they talked a little differently from Hoopa (i.e. different
dialect of Hupa Language).  Straight opposite Chesbro's place in river;
Saxey said caught eels at Burnt Ranch Falls.  James Chesbro owned Burnt
Ranch Falls.  C. Hart Merriam manuscript has notes from Chesbro regarding
Burnt Ranch Falls. tsutamtatce = waterfalls in river place in Chimariko
language. bohem tc’aqhi = big falls in Wintu language.

Place Number : 49
Place Name : xowung-q'it
Description : Bud Carpenters place near Chesbro's
Comments : where Bob Martin lived, and where Mary Carpenter lives now.
Natural lake used to be here.

Place Number : 45
Place Name : niLtuq-tah-ting
Translation : black oak-amongst-place
Description : black oak country (up hill from Hennesy's)
Comments : comprises much territory.  "a big name."  (means by this an
extensive name); yaqha' natse in Chimariko

Place Number : 5
Place Name : xweda’ay-sa’an-me'
Translation : his head-lays there-in it
Description : Wells place (Chesbro lived here)
Comments : Post Office, Hennessey Ranch. hima' hitchutatce in Chim. (head
lying there) phoyoq wineston in Wintu (he looks at the head) Indian came
along and found a dead man’s head there. Elders say White Deerskin Dance
formerly held at Burnt Ranch.

Place Number : 43
Place Name : nants'e:lchwe:-q'it
Translation : crag, mountain peak - make - on it
Description : Ridge up along side of road where Chesbro lives
Comments : Between McDonald's and Chesbro's

Place Number : 2
Place Name : yinaq-dinung-ting
Translation : south slope place
Description : McDonald Ranch, Burnt Ranch

Place Number : 51
Place Name : tse:nung-axis-ding
Translation : Ironside Mtn-flies-place, throw rock across river
Description : near China Slide
Comments : up river from McDonald's at Burnt Ranch

New River Area

Place Number : 13
Place Name : yidaq-nilin
Translation : up country- creek
Description : New River
Comments : tcalitasom in Chimariko

Place Number : 18
Place Name : ch'e:nantiLting
Translation : Meaning things (fish or anything, or drift wood) comes out.
Description : mouth of New River

Place Number : 65
Place Name : dah-sita:n-q’it
Translation : it lays-on it
Description : High Rocky Ridge NW of New River mouth
Comments : Sleeping Indian

Place Number : 19
Place Name : ch’e:na:dawhding
Translation : out it goes again place
Description : Dyer's place [Bell's Flat]
Comments : ‘tsxeposta in Chimariko, possible meaning “dusty place”

Place Number : 16a
Place Name : tsi ma:n tan-qeh
Description : Big Creek
Comments : hime hakutse in Chimariko

Place Number : 16b
Place Name : k’iLna:dil mito’
Translation : wolf water
Description : Hoboken

Place Number : 20
Place Name : k'iyawh-michwan
Translation : Bird Shit
Description : Mrs. Bussell place (on China creek)
Comments : ti'ra 'apxay in Chimariko (bird shit); xolish ch’ena:xolxolding =
melts off quick, name of China Creek, the creek itself

Place Number : 23
Place Name : qowh-ding
Translation : alder-place
Description : Sally Noble's place
Comments : just south of Panther Creek; Frank Noble also used to live here.
Big mountain straight across from here is niLtuq-Na:san-ding, meaning black
oak place.  mune’natse in Chimariko meaning oak place.

Place Number : 24
Place Name : ch’ixe:ne:wh-din
Translation : he/she talked-place
Description : upstream of Sally Noble's on same site as #23, Martha
Ziegler’s place
Comments : Flat between Noble's and Ladd’s on same side.  Above name from
Saxey; James Chesbro gave Merriam the same name which he recorded as
kek-hah-na-tung.  Saxey also gave “xolish na:xoxuynta” meaning it melts
quickly for Martha Dyer Ziegler’s place.

Place Number : 15
Place Name : tL’ohsch’il’e:n-ding
Translation : a strap- people treat it like”, hazel brush sticks, hazel
Description : Daily’s, Moses Patterson before that

Place Number : 14
Place Name : tL'ohne:s-ding
Translation : long prairie-place
Description : Ladd's place, Thomas’ place, Quimby
Comments : mouth of Quinby creek, west side; maytca so're in Chimariko =
rough field.  Sally Lewis from here.

Place Number : 25
Place Name : Lige:y  de:-dilLa:t-ding
Translation : pine squirrel  into fire-ran-place
Description : Fall creek or Mill creek
Comments : on same side as Noble's upstream of Ladd's

Place Number : 26
Place Name : dilxich-mitah-k'iste:n-ding
Translation : fawn-amongst-bed-place
Comments : where Indians camp and catch fish; upstream of #25

Place Number : 27
Place Name : na:na:k’iwila:t -ding
Translation : a limb fell down - place
Comments : women go up and have no axe and pull dry limbs down getting
firewood.  This was a camping place up there.

Place Number : 67
Place Name : tse:na:ning'a:ding
Translation : rock-hanging down place
Description : at junction of east fork with main New River on bar.
  Malinda Kidd from here.
  qha'a yawismutce in Chimariko (rock goes across place)

Place Number : 21
Place Name : yidaq-Le:na:lding
Translation : up country- where the streams flow together again
Description : Forks of New River
Comments : four miles up river from Denny;

Place Number : 28
Place Name : miq’it-k'ildil-no'ondiLting
Translation : on it - eat berries - they sit down-place
Description : Pony creek
Comments : to camp or sit down and pick a while.

Place Number : 66
Place Name : tL’ohq'a'kyow-q'it
Translation : bunch grass-big-on it
Description : Pony Butte

Place Number : 68
Place Name : nundil-wint'e:q'it
Translation : snow-eternally on it
Description : Mary Blaine Mtn
Comments : on the ridge to the north of Pony Butte


1. Bauman, James.  “Chimariko placenames and the boundaries of Chimariko
territory”, 1980.

2. Baumhoff, Martin A. "California Athabascan Groups", 1958.

3. Chase-Dunn Christopher and Kelly M. Mann.  “The Wintu and their
Neighbors.”  Appendix 3: Wintu, Yana, Pit River and Chimariko Placenames in
Northern California. http://www.jhu.edu/~soc/cd/appendices/b6app3.htm.

4. Daily Alta California, Nov. 8, 1851.  Old newspaper.  Names villages
included in Treaty of 1851.

5. Davis, Lee. Correspondence, 1990.

6. Davis, Lee. "The Leldin Towns in Indian Time, The South Fork Bridge
Today", 1987.

7. Dixon, Roland.  Chimariko Indians and Language. 1910.

8. Gibbs, George.  "Indian Tribes of the United States" by Henry R.
Schoolcraft, 1853.  Pages 99-177.  Journal of expedition of Col. Redick

9. Golla, Victor. Correspondence, 1991-1992.

10. Golla, Victor.  "Edward Sapir's Hupa Texts".  Unpublished.

11. Hupa Language Class.  “Hupa Language Dictionary, 2nd Edition”.  1996.

12. Kroeber, A.L.  "Handbook of the Indians of California".  1925.

13. Merriam, C. Hart.  Manuscript, U.C. Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Includes
Treaty of 1851 newspaper articles.

14. Merriam, C. Hart. "Ethnogeographic and Ethnosynonymic Data from Northern
California Tribes".  1976.

15. Merriam, C. Hart. "The New River Indians:  Tlo-hom-tah'-hoi". 1930.

16. Saxey Kidd-J.P. Harrington interview, 1928.  Interpreter Carrie Bussell.

17. Wallace, William J.  "Hupa, Chilula, and Whilkut".  1978.

18. Waterman, T.T.  “Yurok Geography”.  1920.

19. Wooden, Margaret.  “Trinity River Country”.  1987.