The Patwin (also Patween, Southern Wintu) are a Wintun people native to the area of Northern California. The Patwin comprise the southern branch of the Wintun group, native inhabitants of California since approximately 500 AD (Golla 2011: 250).
The Patwin were bordered by the Yuki in the northwest; the Nomlaki (Wintun) in the north; the Konkow (Maiduan) in northeast; the Nisenan (Maiduan) and Plains Miwok in the east; the Bay Miwok to the South; the Coast Miwok in the southwest; and the Wappo, Lake Miwok, and Pomo in the west.
The "Southern Patwins" lived between what is now Suisun, Vacaville and Putah Creek. By 1800 they had been forced by Spanish and European invaders into small tribal units - Ululatos (Vacaville), Labaytos (Putah Creek), Malacas (Lagoon Valley), Tolenas (Upper Suisun Valley) and Suisunes (Suisun Marsh and Plain).
Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. (See Population of Native California.) Alfred L. Kroeber (1925:883) put the 1770 population of the Wintun, including the Patwin, Nomlaki, and Wintu proper, at 12,000. Sherburne F. Cook (1976a:180-181) estimated the combined population of the Patwin and Nomlaki at 11,300, of which 3,300 represented the southern Patwin. He subsequently raised his figure for the southern Patwin to 5,000 (Cook 1976b:8).
Kroeber estimated the population of the combined Wintun groups in 1910 as 1,000. Today Wintun descendants of the three groups total about 2500 people.
- Cook, Sherburne F. 1976a. The Conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Cook, Sherburne F. 1976b. The Population of the California Indians, 1769-1970. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian Languages. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Johnson, Patti J. 1978. "Patwin". In California, edited by Robert F. Heizer, pp. 350–360. Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, general editor, vol. 8. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- Kroeber, A. L. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 78. Washington, D.C.
- Mithun, Marianne. 1999. The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
- "Native Tribes, Groups, Language Families and Dialects of California in 1770" (map after Kroeber), California Prehistory
- Southern Patwin Tribes: "Tragic Demise of People of the West Wind", The Reporter.com[dead link]
- "Patwin Language", Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of Berkeley