Buldam, California

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North bank of the Big River (left side of image), looking upriver from the California State Route 1 bridge across its mouth. The pilings were left later by the logging industry.

Buldam is a former Pomo settlement in Mendocino County, California.[1] It was located on the north bank of Big River, near the mouth of the river and east of the present town of Mendocino; its precise location is unknown.[1][2] Following the standard conventions of the Pomo people, in which a community of the Pomo was named by adding "-pomo" to the name of their principal site, the community at Buldam was called Buldam-pomo.[3]

According to some Pomo sources, it was founded in around 1851 by people from the Mitom Pomo who had been driven out of Nabo and other inland valley settlements by European settlers. Its founding sparked a war between the Mitom Pomo and the Pomo from Point Arena, possibly over ownership of the area.[4]

However, this chronology is brought into question by other sources, who claim that cargo from the wreck of the Frolic in 1850, roughly 4 miles (6 km) north of the Big River, was salvaged by Pomo from Buldam.[5] A different story about the cause of war between the Point Arena Pomo and the Buldam Pomo involves an incident in which one of the Point Arena Pomo was poisoned.[6]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Buldam, California
  2. ^ Kroeber, A. L. (1925), Handbook of the Indians of California, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, 78, Washington: Government Printing Office, p. 230 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link). Reprinted by Dover Books in 1976, ISBN 9780486233680.
  3. ^ Kroeber (1925), p. 227.
  4. ^ Stewart, Omer C. (1943), "Notes on Pomo Ethnogeograpy" (PDF), University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, University of California Press, 40 (2): 29–62 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) See in particular p. 37
  5. ^ Baumgardner, Frank H. (2010), Yanks in the Redwoods, Algora Publishing, p. 66, ISBN 9780875868028
  6. ^ Bauer, William J. Jr. (2016), California through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History, Indigenous Confluences, University of Washington Press, pp. 77–78, ISBN 9780295806693