In today’s book, TWO BEAR CUBS, we met the Miwok Indians who lived in Yosemite Valley. Here is some additional information you might want to know!

The Miwok Indians worked very hard for their food. They hunted deer and other small game. They also ate plants, insects, and fish. They gathered mushrooms in the spring and fall, greens in the spring, seeds in late summer and early fall, and acorns in the fall.

Why couldn’t the Miwok Indians just go to the store and buy what they needed?


Animal skins provided the main source of clothing for the Miwok Indians. Men and women wore buckskin in the spring and summer. In the winter, they kept warm by wrapping themselves in fur robes made from the tanned skins of larger animals, such as deer or mountain lion, or in blankets woven from strips of rabbit skin.

How is their clothing different from yours?


Toys for the Miwok children included noisemakers and tops made from acorns, whistles made from goose quills, bows and arrows for boys, and dolls created using shredded soaproot leaves for girls. Children played games like tag (several versions), hide-and-seek, and a guessing game in which someone had to guess in which hand another child had hidden a bit of charcoal.

How are these different from the games you play? Which ones are the same?


Basketry was a high art among the Miwok, done almost exclusively by women. Weavers used the young shoots of willow, redbud, and other shoots and roots as the raw materials. Each basket was made for a specific purpose: carrying loads, harvesting grass seeds, transporting babies, and so on. Acorn mush and other foods were cooked in tightly woven baskets, filled with water, into which hot stones were placed.

Have you helped prepare food for your family before, and how was the method different from the Miwoks?

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