Awaswas language

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Santa Cruz
Native toUnited States
Extinct(date missing)
Language codes
ISO 639-3(included in cst)
Chapel of the Mission Santa Cruz, reconstruction.

Awaswas, or Santa Cruz, is one of eight Ohlone languages. It was historically spoken by the Awaswas people, an indigenous people of California.


The Awaswas lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coast of present-day Santa Cruz County from present-day Davenport to Aptos. Awaswas became the main language spoken at the Mission Santa Cruz.[2] However, there is evidence that this grouping was more geographic than linguistic, and that the records of the "Santa Cruz Costanoan" language in fact represent several diverse dialects.

In 2012, Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman Valentin Lopez stated that "his great-great-grandmother was the last of the Awaswas speakers."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Santa Cruz (Northern Ohlone)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ "Awaswas". Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
  3. ^ Donna Jones (2012-12-21). "Healing ceremonies recall California Mission heritage". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-12-23.


  • Kroeber, Alfred L. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Washington, D.C: Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 78. (map of villages, page 465)
  • Milliken, Randall. A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1910 Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press Publication, 1995. ISBN 0-87919-132-5 (alk. paper)
  • Teixeira, Lauren. The Costanoan/Ohlone Indians of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area, A Research Guide. Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press Publication, 1997. ISBN 0-87919-141-4.
  • Yamane, Linda, ed. 2002. A Gathering of Voices: The Native Peoples of the Central California Coast. Santa Cruz County History Journal, Number 5. Santa Cruz, CA: Museum of Art & History. ISBN 0-940283-11-5

External links[edit]