Surviving Communities

Some Ahwahneechee slowly returned and established small communities in the Valley. Survivors from other tribes also settled here where a better living could be made. By 1910, over 90% of the original Ahwahneeche inhabitants were dead or missing.

Beyond Yosemite Valley, seven traditionally associated American Indian tribes and groups have ancestral connections to Yosemite National Park: the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, Inc. (aka Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation), Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bridgeport Indian Colony, Mono Lake Kootzaduka'a, North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, and the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians.

Photos of American Indians posing in front of their homes.
(Left) Indians, such as this laundress in 1869, worked in the burgeoning tourist industry as fishermen, woodcutters, and laborers. Indians also sold baskets and memorabilia.

(Right) Bridgeport Tom, a Mono Lake Kootzaduka'a, and his family lived in the Valley during the early 1900s. Here, the family poses in front of their home at the base of Yosemite Falls.
American Indians with baskets posing by their homes.
(Left) Callipene lived in the small Indian community in the Valley in the early 1900s. She was known as a doctor of great power and as a basket weaver who sold her wares to tourists. 

(Right) Their community in tatters, Indian people had to adjust to a new and strange way of life. In 1870, this was an American Indian family of high status in Yosemite.

Last updated: November 21, 2022

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