FOUR DIRECTIONS INSTITUTE

California Na-Dene Phylum

AZTEC-TANOAN
CHUMASHAN
HOKAN
MACRO-ALGONQUIAN
MACRO-PENUTIAN
NA-DENE
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     The Na-Dene arrived in the Alaska-Yukon sub-arctic sometime after the end of the Ice Age. They apparently walked across the frozen Bering Strait or (less likely) traversed the strait in boats. They remained generally in that area until about AD 750 when a cataclysmic volcano eruption in the Yukon dispersed much of the phylum. The Haida and Tlingit then settled on the Alaskan south coast, others in the sub-arctic, and others began long migrations south. The Pacific Coast Athapaskans settled from southwest Washington to northwest California about AD 900. Most, however, went out onto the western edge of the Great Plains, ranging from the sub-arctic to southwest Texas. The earliest arrivers in the American southwest, Apachean ancestors of the Navajo reached the area as early as AD 1100. The bulk of the Apacheans, however, arrived about AD 1500. All of the Apacheans preyed on the sedentary peoples of the southwest.
     All of the Na-Dene were hunter/gatherer cultures. The Haida and Tlingit were maritime. The Ahtna and some of the Pacific Coast Athapaskans were coastal. The remainder of the Alaskan, Yukon, and Northwest Territories Athapaskans were sub-arctic. The Apacheans were bellicose plains peoples, if not predatory.  Many Apacheans eventually became pastoral.
     This means that the California Athapaskans were relatively late arrivers in the region.  As was often typical of Na-Dene continent wide, they, to a considerable degree, embraced the cultures of the region in which they settled.
     This analysis lists four California Athapaskan languages:  Hupa, Mattole, Tolowa, and Wailaki, as a single Pacific Coast Athapaskan language family which includes some Oregon and Washington ethnies.  Some believe their are more linguistic families, but most of the dispute surrounds the extinct Mattole and Wailaki languages.
 
Stock Family Language Ethnie
Athapaskan Pacific Coast Athaaskan Hupan Chilula
      Hupa
      Whilkut
    Mattole Mattole
    Tolowan Tolowa
    Wailakian Cahto
      Eel River Tribes
      Wailaki