Metates and Basket Bases

The well-used Yahi metates’ nice shape and flat surfaces would have made them a very handy place for the Wintuan women to put things on. The Wintuan speaking people which include the Wintu of the Redding Area and the Nomlaki peoples south of Red Bluff did not use metates to process their food.*

Made in the old U.S. A., Mill Creek, Northern California

Hopper Basket sitting on Hopper Mortar

The Wintuan peoples did not spend any effort to shape a pit in a hopper base the way the Yahi did.* Because these hopper basket bases were already in the camp area, common sense suggests that the Wintuan women would have used them just like they would have used their own mortar bases. (why pack a 50 lb rock any distance if you didn’t have to).

The ground stone made bowl mortars, metates, hopper motor base and the quarter moon shaped pestle are shown in a way so that the esthetically pleasing shapes can best be appreciated.

The large pestle (center) was used by a Wintuan woman in her hopper basket.  The Wintun likely used the Yahi hopper mortar base simply because it was already in the camp area.

Yahi women were very petite. They preferred lightweight implements.  The river Nomlaki Wintun women had a much more robust skeletons and a set of muscles and could use the much longer and heavier pestles found at this camp.**

The two river shaped art rocks (left and top right), acorns, black walnuts, feather, shells, flowers, and smoke (to carry the message) were put into the picture to enhance the look of the stone made artifacts.  

Yahi Stone Artifacts


*Dr. Johnson's writing for the California State Fair
**Dr. Johnson's writing for this exhibit