|The Calendar Provides Evidence of Seasonal Movement to
Loeb asked Native Americans about the Pomo system of keeping track of time and the
seasons. Their response proved to be the best evidence relating to the seasonal
rounds made by the Clear Lake people on their search for resources. The elder he
interviewed indicated that a family would have a hut in each of three places:
- A substantial winter house which was lived in during the winter and provided a
headquarters during the summer while people made trips to the coast, salt beds
and were packing and drying fish.
- A house in a settlement on the lakeshore or on a major stream bank which was
inhabited for 6 to 8 weeks during the spring fishing season.
- A hut in a mountain camp where the village moved in the fall to gather acorns
(and probably many of the other upland resources). The elder indicated that the
villagers always went to the same upland location in the fall. (Loeb 1926)
This evidence of population movement was supported by another elder who listed the
Clear Lake Pomo calendar and gave examples of how one would talk about the various
months or "moons" of the calendar:
The Clear Lake Pomo year begins in the winter. The calendar follows 13 moon cycles
which are referred to as follows: [emphasis added]
1st moon (Nov/Dec) "It will be hard to go out and hunt game"
2nd moon (Dec) "The moon after this fish won't come to shore"
3rd moon (Jan) "The moon after this fish will begin to come out"
4th moon (Feb) "The moon after this better weather, can hunt, fish"
5th moon (Mar) "the moon after this you can get clover"
6th moon (Apr) "The moon after this fish begin to run, we move nearer lake"
7th moon (May) "The moon after this we will be moving back, packing fish"
8th moon (June) "The moon after this we go to Bodega Bay to get shells"
9th moon (July) "The moon after this we go home and men will be sent out to find
good acorn crops"
10th moon (Aug) "The moon after this we will be camping and gathering acorns"
11th moon (Sept) "The moon after this we will still be gathering acorns"
12th moon (Oct) "The moon after this we will finish with acorns, move home and get
13th moon (Nov) "The moon after this we will be settled and resting, nothing to do"
The calendar indicates that during the 6th moon, people are planning to move to the
lakeshore during the next month [May] (see the Lakeshore Resource Gathering line on
the graph on the "Resource Use" page).
During the 7th moon, people are planning to move back to the main village during
In August during the 10th moon, the people are planning to camp to collect acorns in
the month of September. As the calendar reads, September and October will be spent
in these upland camps collecting acorns (note the peak in the Upland Resource
Procurement line on the graph on the "Resource Use" page).
The four ethnographers listed in this section each used talked to different elders.
This confirms that resource based seasonal population movement was a reality that
Clear Lake people had to deal with.
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
|History and Prehistory of Lake County