We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who are the Hupa Indians?

By C. K. Lanz
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Hupa Indians, known officially as the Hoopa Valley Tribe, are American Indians native to California’s Hoopa Valley. The tribe’s traditional language also called Hupa is part of the Athabaskan linguistic family and connects the Hupa Indians to other western native peoples from Alaskan nations to the Navajo and Apache. It is thought that the Hupa Indians have inhabited the Hoopa Valley for at least 4,000 years and only made contact with American settlers comparatively recently in the mid-19th century. The Hupa Indians remain in the Hoopa Valley, a region that was designated as a reservation in 1876.

Since American settlers did not arrive in the Hoopa Valley until the mid 1800s, the Hupa Indians have been able to preserve a great deal of traditional cultural and history. Prior to contact, the tribe lived in permanent villages in houses made of red cedar planks, navigated the Trinity and Klamath rivers in dugout canoes and subsisted on agricultural and hunting practices. The Trinity River’s semiannual king salmon run was a crucial tribal support.

In addition to fishing salmon, the Hupa Indians also baked acorn bread and hunted deer and elk with bows and arrows made of syringa shoots. The hunters would wear the skin of prey to cover human odor. Deer were hunted with arrows, captured in snares or driven into the water by packs of dogs. Meat was cooked by roasting over a fire or burying it in ashes encased in the animal’s stomach. Both fish and meat were smoked as a preservative measure.

American settlers first made contact with the Hupa Indians when they pushed into the Hoopa Valley in the mid 19th century in search of gold and furs. At this time, the tribe was lead by a chief known as Ahrookoos, a position that was granted based on wealth and that could be passed from father to son. A United States military post was established on Hupa land in 1855 where it remained until 1892.

The Hupa Indians along with the South Fork, Redwood and Grouse Creek tribes negotiated a Peace and Friendship treaty with the United States in 1864. The treaty was ratified by the American government in 1876, and the Hoopa Valley was designated as the Hupa Indian reservation. The reservation includes an area of approximately 141 square miles (365 square kilometers).

Unlike many other Native American tribes, the Hupa Indians were never forcibly removed from their ancestral lands and have had relatively peaceful interactions with the United States government, military and American settlers. The tribe is governed by a seven member-tribal council and administers several commercial enterprises including gaming, lodging, basic services and timber logging. The tribal government provides many social services such as adult vocational and continuing education, tribal police and fire departments, a medical center, human services, and a tribal court and housing authority.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.