Published on October 8, 2012 by Amy
The Nomlaki (also Noamlakee, Central Wintu, Nomelaki) are a Wintun people native to the area of the Sacramento Valley, extending westward to the Coast Range in Northern California. Currently one person speaks Nomlaki. Currently, only 2 elder tribal members of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians are said to remain who speak adequately; 1 younger tribal member currently championing the language revitalization efforts.
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The Nomlaki were bordered by the Wintu (Wintun) in the north, the Yana in the northeast and east, the Konkow (Maiduan) in the east, the Patwin (Wintun) in the south, and the Yuki in the west.
There are two main groups:
The Hill Nomlaki lived west of the River Nomaki. Their territory is now within Glenn and Tehama counties and the River Nomlaki region.
The Nomlaki spoke a Wintuan language known as Nomlaki. It was not extensively documented, however, some recordings exist of speaker Andrew Freeman and Sylvester Simmons.
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 combined 1770 population of the Nomlaki, Wintu, and Patwin at 12,000. Sherburne F. Cook (1976:180-181) estimated the combined population of the Nomlaki and northern Patwin as 8.000. Walter Goldschmidt (1978:341) thought that the pre-contact population of the Nomlaki was probably more than 2,000.
Kroeber estimated the population of the Nomlaki, Wintu, and Patwin in 1910 as 1,000.
The Federal Government restored the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians to full tribal status in 1994. They were able to acquire land and establish the Rolling Hills Casino outside of Corning, California. Their tribal office is located in Orland, California
Kyle Lohse – Major League Baseball (MLB) Pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
Cody Pata – Hawaiian entertainer and winner of the Na Hoku Hanohano 2008 Haku Mele Award. Last speaker of Nomlaki.
“Paskenta: Nomlaqa Bōda,” a 2010 film by Harry Dawson based on oral tradition, “was commissioned and guided by the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.”