Originally given the status of a distinct stock, the Esselen are now placed in the Hokan linguistic family, their affinities being rather with the Yuman division, to the south, and with the Porno, Yana, and other groups to the north than with their closer neighbors of this stock, the Salinan and Chumash tribes.
Esselen. Probably the name of a village; significance unknown.
Location. On the upper course of Carmel River, Sur River, and the coast from Point Lopez almost to Point Sur.
Echilat, 12 miles southeast of Mission Carmelo.
- Ekheya, in the mountains.
- Ensen, at Buena Esperanza.
- Ichenta, at San Jose.
- Pachhepes, near the next.
- Xaseum, in the sierra.
Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates 500 Esselen in 1770; they are now extinct.