Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria

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Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria
Kashia Pomo Old Roundhouse (March 2012).jpg
Kashia Old Roundhouse in March 2012.
Total population
over 86
Regions with significant populations
United States (California)
English, Pomoan languages
Roundhouse religion, Christianity, Kuksu
Related ethnic groups
Pomo tribes

The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Pomo people in Sonoma County, California.[1] They are also known as the Kashaya Pomo.

The reservation, Stewarts Point Rancheria, is located in Stewarts Point in Sonoma County. As of 2010, 78 people live on Stewarts Point Rancheria.

Stewarts Point Rancheria
Indian reservation
Country  United States
State  California
County Sonoma
Elevation[2] 13 ft (4 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 78
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95480
Area code(s) 707


The Kashia Band's reservation is the Stewarts Point Rancheria. It is located at Skaggs Springs Road in the Stewarts Point community in rural northern Sonoma County. It occupies 40 acres (160,000 m2) in Sonoma County and 78 people live on it. According to the 2010 United States Census 72 of the 78 residents are Native American, and an additional three residents consider themselves to be both Native American and of another race or ethnicity.[1] The reservation has one elementary school, Kashia Elementary School.

The tribe conducts business from Santa Rosa.[4] The nearest outside community is Sea Ranch, which lies to the northwest along the Pacific coast.

History and culture[edit]

The Kashaya still live in their ancestral homelands near present day Fort Ross. Their name for themselves, wina·má· bakʰe yaʔ is alternately translated as "Person who belongs on the land" [5] or "People From the Top of the Land,"[6] or "Kashaya" means "expert gamblers."[7]

When Russians settled in Kashaya lands, they conscripted the tribe to work for them but did not break up the tribe or convert them to Christianity.[8]

Essie Parrish (1902-1979) was an important Kashia Band basket weaver and a spiritual leader of the Kashia Tribe, she strove to sustain Pomo traditions throughout the 20th century. The current spiritual leader of the Kashaya Pomo is Lorin Smith, (1935- ). As a Kashaya Pomo elder and medicine man, Lorin has welcomed non-Indians to visit the round house and take part in the ceremonies.


The tribe traditionally speaks the Kashaya language, also known as Southwestern Pomo. It belongs to the Hokan language family of Northern California. Several dozen elders speak the language, and younger people are learning and trying to sustain it.[9]

Restoration of tribal land[edit]

In October 2015, California landowner Bill Richardson returned his 688-acre farm to the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, restoring their access to the Pacific coast after they were forced to an inland reservation approximately 150 years earlier. Richardson's family had bought the property, which features dense redwood forest, towering coastal bluffs, and waterfalls along the Pacific Coast Highway, in 1925. The Tribe will manage the land as protected open space, and a demonstration forest will be maintained in order to educate and engage the public about the history and practices of indigenous people in the area. The newly established Kashia Coastal Reserve restores ownership of the land to the tribe, the land being acquired after five years of fundraising by the Sonoma County government, The Trust for Public Land, private foundations and groups.[1]


  1. ^ a b Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1. San Diego State University Library and Information Access. 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2009)
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Jenner
  3. ^ U.S. Census
  4. ^ California Tribes and Organizations. 500 Nations. (retrieved 28 July 2009)
  5. ^ Oswalt, Robert Louis (1964). Kashaya Texts. University of California Press. p. 8. 
  6. ^ About Us. Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of Stewarts Point Rancheria. (retrieved 28 July 2009)
  7. ^ About Us. Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of Stewarts Point Rancheria. (retrieved 28 July 2009)
  8. ^ Sarris, 119-120
  9. ^ Kashaya Language (Kashia, Southwestern Pomo). Native Indian Languages. (retrieved 28 July 2009)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°39′24″N 123°20′20″W / 38.65667°N 123.33889°W / 38.65667; -123.33889