10 January 2014

Historic Indian Names for California Condor

Note. — The Condor, or Vulture, was known in the different Indian languages of California, as far as we have been able to gather from Vocabularies, by the following names — (the reader bearing in mind, its common terms among the Spanish-Californians as Buitre, Auron, and Gallinazo):

The Indians at the rancheria of Cas-cen, or Cascel, the site of the Santa Ynez Mission, in Santa Barbara county, called it Slok-ka-wa.

Those of the San Luis Rey Valley, in San Diego county, called it He-pa-va-roo.

The Indians of Orleans Bar and vicinity, on the Klamath river, in Klamath county, called it (or the largest bird) Cheweve-Cami.

The Indians of the Valley of San Miguel Mission, in Lower California, thirty miles below San Diego, who speak very nearly the same language as the Yumas of the Colorado, called it Ish-pa.

The Indians of San Gabriel Mission, or its valley (the Tobis-Cangas), called it Lo-woo.

The Eslenes of San Carlos de Carmelo, or those of Monterey, called it Wa-sack-a.

Those of Campas Seco and Dent's Ferry, in Calaveras county (the Tan-kins), called it Bui-tch.

Those of Petaluma and vicinity, in Sonoma county (the Yo-hios), called it Ka-hey.

The Condor, or Auron, is a bird of great celebrity among all the Indian tribes of California (as we have been informed), and its immense feathers used in their head and waist dresses for warriors, and in their dances and gala times.

Alexander S. Taylor. July 1, 1859. Addendum to a Summary of Accounts of the Condors of Chili and California.California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences 11(22): 170.