Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Yurok Village Authentic?
- Sumeg village was built by modern Yurok people using modern tools
but with traditional materials in the traditional style of a permanent
village. The primary building material is split redwood planks,
as used by the Yurok people since time immemorial.
- "Sumeg" is the Yurok placename for the peninsula
occupied by the park. A 1920 map by Thomas
Waterman put the name, "sū'mig, Patrick's
Point", near what today we call Palmer's Point. There is no
record of a permanent village actually on the peninsula. The
nearest villages were Tsurai near the
present town of Trinidad, and multiple villages around Big Lagoon.
How is this place used by the Yurok people today?
- It is one place of connections linking the past to the present
and future. The modern Yurok live in modern houses in a modern
world. Still, many Yurok enjoy the brush dances and other
cultural traditions of their heritage. Sumeg Village is one of
the places where these traditions are still enjoyed.
What about the canoes?
- The two redwood dug-out canoes were built by Yurok people using
modern tools, but in traditional style. Before they had modern
tools, dug-out canoes were built with equal skill, but much more
laboriously using sharpened stone tools and fire. Consequently,
each canoe had great value and could be used only by persons who
could be trusted to excercise ability, care, and judgement.
- The Yurok built canoes of several sizes. The ones at the village
are relatively small, approximately the size that would have been
used on the Klamath river. The Yurok also built some much larger,
ocean-going canoes. There is a replica of a larger canoe at the
Redwood Information Center in Orick, 15 miles north of Sue-meg
Where can I learn more about the Yuroks?
- Waterman, T.T. 1920. Yurok Geography. University of
California. Reprinted by the Trinidad Museum Society, 1993. Page
267 – Notes on Rectangle J, Note #11:
“sū'mig - a point called by the whites Patrick’s
Point. The promontory and the region back of it are celebrated in Yurok
song and story...”