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Although it is clear that the term “Yahooskin” is not a native term (likely originating from the Sahaptin (Ichiskiin) language), it has been in general use as a reference to disparate Northern Paiute bands (e.g., YapatɨkaɁa, ‘wild carrot-eaters’) around any of several lake basins of south-central Oregon, including the Silver, Summer, and Abert lakes, and the Warner Valley region. These bands were brought together after the formation of the Klamath Reservation and the signing of the treaty at Yainax in 1864. The “Yahooskin Band of Snake Indians,” as they had come to be called, were most closely tied to the Northern Paiute of Surprise Valley, the KidɨtɨkaɁa (groundhog-eaters). The grandfather of the speaker featured here, known as Dr. Sam Watah, served as consultant to ethnographer Isabel Kelly for her “Ethnography of the Surprise Valley Paiute” (1932) and her collection of folklore in “Northern Paiute Tales” (1938).

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This document was originally published in International Journal of American Linguistics by University of Chicago Press. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1086/707226