Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California

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The federally recognized Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California have always lived in California. During the years after the Gold Rush (1849) anthropologists visited the land of the Chukchansi. They grouped California Tribes together by their languages; hence, the Chukchansi are grouped with approximately 60 other Tribes in the greater Central Valley.

These people were referred to by early researchers as “Yokuts”, meaning “people”. However, there is no Yokut Tribe, and each Tribe had its own name and its own traditional use areas.

Official Tribal Name: Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California

Address: 46575 Road 417, Coarsegold, CA 93614
Phone: (559) 683-6633
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Official Website: http://www.chukchansi.net

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

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Region: California

State(s) Today: California

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The Chukchansi have inhabited the fringes of the San Joaquin Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada for more then 12,000 years.

Confederacy: Yokuts, Mono, Paiute

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Reservation: Picayune Rancheria and Off-Reservation Trust Land

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During the years after the Gold Rush (1849) anthropologists visited the land of the Chukchansi. They grouped California Tribes together by their languages; hence, the Chukchansi are grouped with approximately 60 other Tribes in the greater Central Valley. These groups had (and still do have) similar cultures, and speak the same language, but had different dialects.

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Villages were situated where there was exposed bedrock to use in the processing of plant foods. The early settlements ranged from large villages, with hundreds of bedrock mortars, to smaller hunting camps. These villages were near the traditional plant harvesting locations. They are just as important cultural resources for the Chukchansi people today as they were thousands of years ago. There are at least 15 sites on the Rancheria and allotment lands and some of the bedrock mortars have as many as 95 holes.

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The Chukchansi were a hunter-gatherer society. They also did some farming and fishing. The Chukchansi hunted deer, rabbit, raccoons, and other game in the marshes and grass lands. The primary food source that was gathered during the summer season was derived from plants, particularly acorns, nuts, seeds, roots and berries.

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