What Did the Yuki Indians Eat?


Quick Answer

The Yuki mainly ate deer, acorns and salmon. They used the acorns to make a mush that was served at every meal. Yuki gathered other nuts and seeds and also ate grasshoppers, clover, tubers, roots, berries, mushrooms and bird eggs.

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Full Answer

The main staples for Yuki varied according to where they lived. Coastal Yuki ate shellfish from the ocean, while Yuki living near rivers depended on salmon. In the foothills of the Coast Ranges of California, Yuki hunted for vegetables, acorns and game.

Those living on the upper Eel River struggled with a low fish supply, while their neighbors up river, the Wailaki, found fish plentiful. Occasionally, the water level was so low the salmon became trapped, and the men were able to dive in and capture the salmon using their bare hands. At other times, they caught salmon and trout using spears, nets, traps and even poison.

The Yuki made good use of their environment to sustain themselves. Yuki hunters wore deer heads to disguise themselves and captured their game using spears, bows and arrows made by scraping wood with bones or elk horns. Stones were used to grind the acorns into flour. Mussel shells became effective spoons, although the Yuki liked to eat the acorn mush with their hands.

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