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North American Indian people living in northern California, U.S. The name Pomo, which may have been derived from the name of a village, was given to seven distinct Hokan-speaking peoples who inhabited the Russian River valley. Fish, waterfowl, deer, and wild plant foods were plentiful in this region. Coastal Pomo constructed dwellings of heavy timber and bark; inland Pomo used poles, brush, and grass. Pomo religion was characterized by dance, ritual, membership in a secret society, and the impersonation of spirits. Pomo basketry is often considered among the finest in the world. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated approximately 8,000 individuals of Pomo descent.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pomo, visit Britannica.com.