|Pre-contact distribution of the Karuk|
|Regions with significant populations|
|California (Yreka, Happy Camp, Orleans), Oregon|
|Related ethnic groups|
Karuk (also Karok) (Tolowa: chum-ne ) is an indigenous people of California in the United States. They are one of the largest tribes in California today. Most Karuk people are enrolled in the federally recognized Karuk Tribe; however, some are enrolled in the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, located in Humboldt County, California. The tribal headquarters, located off State Route 96, is in the town of Happy Camp, California. Currently the tribe has three tribal board meeting places, in Yreka, Happy Camp, and Orleans.
Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber proposed a population for the Karuk of 1,500 in 1770. Sherburne F. Cook initially estimated it as 2,000, later raising this figure to 2,700.  Kroeber reported the surviving population of the Karuk in the year 1910 AD as 800.
As of Fall 2007, the Karuk Tribe of California had 3,507 enrolled members.
Since time immemorial, the Karuk, whose name means "upriver people", or "upstream" people,  have resided in villages along the Klamath River, where they continue such cultural traditions as hunting, gathering, fishing, basket making and ceremonial dances. The Karuk were the only California tribe to grow tobacco plants. The Brush Dance, Jump Dance and Pikyavish ceremonies last for several days and are practiced to heal and "fix the world," to pray for plentiful acorns, deer and salmon, and to restore social good will as well as individual good luck.
In the summers of 1871 and 1872 an amateur ethnographer by the name of Stephen Powers visited Indian groups in Northern California. His published observations offer an insight into the lives of the native survivors of the California Gold Rush. According to Powers, the Karok (Karuk) were one of three groups living on the Klamath River (the others being the Yurok and Modok). He also noted that there was no recollection of any ancient migration to the region; instead there were legends of Creation and the Flood which were fabled to have occurred on the Klamath.
Some of Powers' other observations were:
"The Karok are very democratic. They have a headman or captain in each rancheria, though when on the war-path they are in a slight degree subject to the control of one chief…In war they do not take scalps, but decapitate the slain and bring in the heads as trophies. They do battle with bows and arrows, and in a hand-to-hand encounter, which often occurs, they clutch ragged stones in their hands and maul each other with terrible and deadly effect"
"There are two classes of shamans—the root doctors and the barking doctors…It is the province of the barking-doctor to diagnose the case, which she (most doctors are women) does by squatting down…before the patient, and barking at him…for hours together. After her comes the root-doctor, and with numerous potions, poultices, etc., seeks to medicate the part where the other has discovered the ailment resides."
"The first of September brings a red-letter day in the Karok ephemeris, the great Dance of Propitiation, at which all the tribe are present, together with the deputations from the Yurok, the Hupa, and others. They call it sif-san-di pik-i-a-vish…which signifies, literally, "working the earth". The object of it is to propitiate the spirits of the earth and the forest, in order to prevent disastrous landslides, forest fires, earthquakes, drought, and other calamities."
The Karuk developed sophisticated usage of plants and animals for their subsistence. These practises not only consisted of food harvesting from nature, but also the use of plant and animal materials as tools, clothing and pharmaceuticals. The Karuk cultivated a form of tobacco. Furthermore, fronds of the Coastal woodfern, Dryopteris arguta were used as anti-microbial agents in the process of preparing eels for food consumption.
 Present day tribal organization
As a government organization, the Karuk Tribe of California has demonstrated its ability to administer a multitude of social, cultural and economic programs effectively, earning the status of a "Self-Governance Tribe." The Tribal government currently employs more than 100 people in administrative, child welfare, community/economic development, education, elders, energy assistance, health, housing, human services and natural resources programs. In little more than a decade the Karuk Tribe has developed housing divisions, health clinics and Head Start programs in Orleans, Happy Camp and Yreka, its three major population centers. Through the tribally-chartered Karuk Community Development Corporation, the Karuk Tribe also has administered salmon fisheries enhancement projects, acquired and expanded a retail business, planned a small manufacturing plant, assisted a number of local people in starting small business enterprises and staffs Workforce Development personnel at Community Computer Centers in Orleans, Happy Camp and Yreka.
 Karuk tribal lands
The Karuk do not have a legally designated reservation, but do have a number of small tracts held in trust by the federal government as well as tracts owned by the tribe in fee-simple status. These small non-contiguous parcels of land are primarily located along the Klamath River in western Siskiyou County and northeastern Humboldt County in California. The total land area of these parcels is 2.908 km² (1.123 sq mi, or 718.49 acres). A resident population of 333 persons was reported in the 2000 census. There are also a number of tracts located within the city of Yreka.
The city of Happy Camp, California is located in the heart of the Karuk Tribe's ancestral territory, which extends along the Klamath River from Bluff Creek (near the community of Orleans in Humboldt County) through Siskiyou County and into Southern Oregon.
 Karuk in film
- Andrew Chambers. 2008. Pikyáv (to fix it). Documentary film produced for the Truly California series. KQED Public Television and C. Buried Star Productions.
 See also
- "Karuk Indians." SDSU: California Indians and Their Reservations. 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Siletz Talking Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria." Alliance for California Traditional Arts. 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- For estimates of population, see Population of Native California.
- Cook, Sherburne F (1956). "The Aboriginal Population of the North Coast of California". Anthropological Records (University of California, Berkeley) 16 (81-130): 98.
- Cook, Sherburne F (1976). The Conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, Berkeley. p. 170.
- Kroeber, p. 883
- Karuk Tribe Fall 2007 newsletter
- Kroeber, Alfred L (1925). Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin. No. 78. Washington, D.C.
- Bauer, Helen (1963). California Indian Days. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc.
- Powers, Stephen (1876). Tribes of California. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 21. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Powers, p. 26
- Powers, p. 28
- C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Coastal Woodfern (Dryopteris arguta), GlobalTwitcher, ed. N. Stromberg
- Karuk Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, California, United States Census Bureau
- Karuk Bibliography, from California Indian Library Collections Project