Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sumeg Authentic?
- "Sumeg village" was built by 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, which is what the Yurok people have
used for centuries.
- "Sumeg" is the placename of a former Yurok seasonal
fishing camp, not a permanent village. Sumeg was located in
the park, but down by the ocean. The nearest permanent village
was Tsurai (roughly pronounced Cher
ray or Cher eye) near the present town of Trinidad.
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 "Sumeg
village" are 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
Patrick's Point State Park.
Where can I learn more about the Yuroks?