Coast Miwok

The traditional Coast Miwok language area is from Bodega Bay across Petaluma Plain to Sonoma Valley, the lower Napa River, and through Marin County to the Golden Gate. In pre-contact times, there were approximately 1,500 speakers (Kroeber 1925). In the 21st century, there are no first-language speakers (Golla 2011). However, tribal members and language activists have been pursuing language revitalization and reclamation. Coast Miwok is a Miwokan language; the others members of this family are Central Sierra Miwok, Lake Miwok, Northern Sierra Miwok, Plains Miwok, Saclan, and Southern Sierra Miwok. The Miwokan languages comprise one branch of the hypothesized Penutian language family, within which they form a subgroup with the Ohlone languages (Awaswas, Chalon, Chochenyo, Karkin, Mutsun, Ramaytush, Rumsen, and Tamyen). Penutian includes, in addition, Klamath-Modoc, the Maiduan languages (Konkow, Maidu, and Nisenan), the Wintuan languages (Nomlaki, Patwin, and Wintu), and the Yokuts languages.

Selected archival materials at Berkeley

Selected materials in other archives

Further reading

  • Callaghan, Catherine A. 1970. Bodega Miwok dictionary. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Callaghan, Catherine A. 1978. Some Coast Miwok Tales. The Journal of California Anthropology, 5:21-41. [PDF]
  • Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian languages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Kelly, Isabel. 1978. Coast Miwok. In William C. Sturtevant, and Robert F. Heizer (eds) Handbook of North American Indians, 8:414-425. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Levy, Richard. 1978. Eastern Miwok. In Robert F. Heizer (ed.), California, 398-413. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.