Yana (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Yana were a tribe of Native Americans living in California between the Sacramento River on the west and Lassen Peak and the Sierra Nevada on the east. Rock Creek marked the traditional southern boundary of Yana territory, while the Pit River served as the northern limit of the Yanas’ land. This area would correspond roughly to the triangle of land between Lake Shasta, Mount Lassen (which the Yana called Waganupa), and the city of Chico, about 2,400 square miles. They were bordered on the west by the Wintun tribe, on the north by the Wintun and Achumawi, on the east by the Atsugewi, and on the south by the Maidu.
Most anthropologists agree that there are few if any Yana alive today, and even at their zenith they numbered only fifteen hundred to three thousand. In the Yana language the word “Yana” meant person. There were four distinct divisions among the Yana peoples. The Northern Yana were by far the smallest group. The others were the Central Yana, Southern Yana, and Yahi. The Yahi were the southernmost group. The linguistic anthropologist Edward Sapir made a detailed study of the Yana in the first decades of the twentieth century and found the Yana to belong to the Hokan linguistic family. Each of the four subgroups had its own dialect and usage of the Yana tongue, and communication among the various groups was possible but difficult. Each used two forms of oral communication; one was for women and one was for men.
(The entire section is 559 words.)
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