Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Wailaki Indians

Wailaki Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

A small deerskin apron with the hairy side exposed was the sole garment of Wailaki men, except that in cold weather a skin was worn about the shoulders and a piece of fur about the head. For women there was a deerskin skirt from waist to knees. The hair of men was generally in a knot at the back of the head; that of women was parted, and hung in two twists. Some of the well-to-do had nose and ears pierced for the sporting of dentalium ornaments.  All females had curving lines tattooed on chin, cheeks and nose.

Dwellings

Their structures were exactly like those of the Kato.

Food

Salmon, smoked but not salted for preservation, was a very important food of the Wailaki. Deer were so abundant and so easily taken by driving them into noose snares, that venison was seldom dried. Small birds were esteemed, but full-grown waterfowl were too elusive for the Wailaki. Grasshoppers and certain larval forms were great delicacies. Acorn meal and pinole were the principal vegetal foods.

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