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Name: Mattole: also known as Mat-toal, Matole.

Location: Mattole River in northwestern California, in the Bear River tribe vicinity of Cape Mendocino, within the present Humboldt County, California. 

Clothing: Both men and women wore the hides of deer, elk and buckskin. The men wore buckskin piece inbetween their legs or went nude, however if it was cold they wore buckskin moccasins and leggings.  The women wore deerskin that covered their entire top half and a double apron of fringe on the lower half.  The California Indians did not wear war bonnets, most did not beat drums, and they did not dance war dances

Food: The Mattole's food source was the acorn, and salmon which was very important in their diet. They also took sea-lions, gathered molluscs and fished in the sea, but these sources were not as important to them as the first two.  All made and used bows and arrows and made arrowheads, knives, and other tools from stone.

What They Were Known for:  The men traditionally had facial tattoos (on the forehead), while other local groups traditionally restricted facial tattooing to women. [2]

Ceremonies/Traditions/Rituals: Their most important ceremonies were the Kuksu  dance cycles and ceremonies honoring their two most important types of shamans, rattlesnake and grizzly bear. Their creation stories have a great flood motif in which a creature dives down into the water for soil.

Legends: The Cougar and the Cricket

Cougar was walking in the forest, and he jumped onto a fallen log to look around. From inside the log came a tiny voice.

"Get off the roof of my lodge!" Out from the rotten end of the log came a tiny Cricket. "You are standing on the roof of my lodge, Cougar," said the little insect. You must step off now, or the roof-pole will break and my lodge will fall in."

"Who are you to tell me what to do?" asked Cougar sternly, although he did step off the log. He lowered his head until his nose was very close to Cricket. "In this forest, I am the chief of the animals!"

"Chief or no Chief," said Cricket bravely, "I have a cousin who is mightier than you, and he would avenge me."

I don't believe you, little insect," snarled Cougar, "Believe me or believe me not," said Cricket. "it is so."

"Let your cousin come to this place tomorrow, when the sun is high, and we will see who is the mightier," said Cougar. "If your cousin does not prove himself to me, I will crush you and your entire lodge with my paw!" Cougar turned and bounded off through the forest.

The next day, when the sun was high, Cougar came back along the same trail. He stopped over the log and called to cricket. "Cricket, come out! Let me meet your mighty cousin!"

Just then, a tiny mosquito flew up from the log buzzed into the big cats ear.

"What is this?" cried the cougar, who had never seen or heard a mosquito before. The mosquito began to bite the soft inner ear of the cougar, and drank from his blood. "Ahrr! Ahrr!" cried the cougar in pain, "Get out of my ear!" The cougar pawed at his ear, and ran around in a circle shaking his head. The mosquito bit him again and again.

Cricket came out of the log and called up to the cougar. "Are you ready to leave my lodge alone?"

Cougar said that he would so Mosquito came out of Cougar's ear and went into the log lodge with Cricket. Cougar ran off down the trail, and never went that way again.

Current Status with Government: The tribe is  a federally recognizable tribe. 


*shamans: a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc.