© 2011 Suscol Intertribal Council, P.O. Box 5386, Napa, CA  94581
 Phone: 707-256-3561
Native History
For 10,000 years...
Native people live in “Talahalusi” the cultivated paradise of the Napa Valley

Kanetychama, the great Native leader who lived to be 129 years of age, is born

A Spanish and Mexican expedition, led by Ensign Jose Sanches, is the initial contact with Napa Valley Native Americans; Father Altimura, a Jesuit priest, accompanies the expedition to establish a mission

Epidemic - First serious smallpox

Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo is sent by Mexico to the Northern California territory, where he vigorously engages in "Indian campaigns" (wars against Wappo and Pomo tribes).

General Vallejo and the Wappo leader, Satiyomi, declare a truce after a yearlong war

"Miramonte's Epidemic" of rapidly spreading smallpox

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, begins a census process, and because it disregards the tribal names of Mayakmah, Mutistul, Mishewal, and Onastis, the Wappo are declared nearly extinct

U.S. Cavalry march 250 Wappo to Noyo on the north coast of California

U.S. troops "hog-tie" 500 Wappo and drive them to the coast and to the town of Covelo; some settle at Mt Konocti, creating a new Lilik·Wappo group

Early 1900s 
 Remaining Wappo force-marched with a promise of "relocation to a land base," but it is ten years before land is granted

Dry Creek Rancheria is established near Geyserville, forcing the blending of Pomo, Onastis and Mishewal-Wappo tribes
                    The Valley of Legends

Formerly known as Talahalusi (Beautiful Land), the Napa Valley is one of California's longest inhabited areas. Archaeological surveys indicate 10,000 years of uninterrupted habitation. "It was a paradise - a cultivated paradise where one only had to reach out their hand to eat. A place rich in beauty, water and food," stated the oral history of Native American Elder Jim Big Bear King.

Native Americans lived peacefully in pole houses, using clamshell beads and magnesite cylinders for money and jewelry. They processed obsidian into shafts, spears and arrowheads, which were used for hunting and export. Acorns, perennial grasses, wild berries, freshwater shellfish, salmon, fowl and game were their diet. These hunter-gatherers lived in a rich environment with a capacity for a dense, socially complex population of 35,000-40,000 people. They established large permanent villages with nearby seasonal resource and task-specific camps.

The Wappo became known for beautiful fine-work baskets made of sedge with redbud and bulrush decorations. Feathers, clamshell and abalone beads decorated their gift and ceremonial baskets and the weaving was so precise that baskets were watertight. Women created the finer, more artistic baskets, while men traditionally made rough workbaskets for gathering and fishing from unpeeled willow.
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