14 thoughts on “A Majestic Valley in Yosemite

    • Yohhe’meti (Southern Miwok) or Yos.s.e’meti (Central Miwok) originally referred to the Indian tribe that lived in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite means literally “those who kill” (Yos, “to kill,” the modifier e, “one who,” and the plural suffix -meti). It was used by the surrounding Miwok tribes. The Yosemite people were referred to as killers by these surrounding tribes, who feared them. The Yosemite tribe, led by Chief Tenaya, were composed of renegades from multiple tribes, including Mono Paiute from the eastern Sierra. The Paiute were traditional enemies of the more-peaceful Miwok people.

      The Yosemite people called Yosemite Valley Awooni or Owwoni for (gaping) “large mouth,” where the stem Awo or Owwo means “mouth” and the suffix ni means “large.” This referred to the appearance of the Yosemite Valley walls from the the village of Ahwahnee, which was located on the valley floor.

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