Map of Ramaytush tribelets and villages at the time of contact
Ramaytush dancers at Mission San Francisco de Asís in modern San Francisco, California

The Ramaytush (/rɑːmtuʃ/) or Rammay-tuš people are a linguistic subdivision of the Ohlone people of Northern California. The term Ramaytush was first applied to them in the 1970s, but the modern Ohlone people of the peninsula have claimed it as their ethnonym.[1][2] The ancestors of the Ramaytush Ohlone people have lived on the peninsula—specifically in the area known as San Francisco and San Mateo county—for thousands of years. Prior to the California Genocide, the Ohlone people were not consciously united as a singular socio-political entity. In the early twentieth century anthropologists and linguists began to refer to the Ramaytush Ohlone as San Francisco Costanoans—the people who spoke a common dialect or language within the Costanoan branch of the Utian family. Anthropologists and linguists similarly called the Tamyen people Santa Clara Costanoans, and the Awaswas people Santa Cruz Costanoans.

The homeland of the Ramaytush is largely surrounded by ocean and sea, the exception being the valley and the mountains to the southeast, home to the Tamyen Ohlone and Awaswas Ohlone, among others. To the east, across San Francisco Bay, what is now known as Alameda County is home to the Chochenyo Ohlone. To the north, across the Golden Gate, was a Huimen Miwok village. The northernmost Ramaytush local tribe—the Yelamu tribe of what is now San Francisco—was closely connected with the Huchiun Chochenyos of what is now Oakland, and members of the two tribes frequently intermarried at the time of Spanish colonization.[3]

European disease took a heavy toll of life on all Indigenous people who came to Mission Dolores after its creation in 1776. The Ohlone people were forced to use Spanish resulting in the loss of their language. The Spanish rounded up hundreds of Ohlone people at Mission Dolores and took them to the north bay to construct Mission San Rafael, which was then used as a hospital for sick neophytes.[citation needed] Alfred L. Kroeber claimed that the west bay people were extinct by 1915[citation needed], and although none of their villages survived, four branches of one lineage are known to have survived the genocide.[4] The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe—the descendants of the closely related Chochenyo and Tamyen Ohlone people who were federally recognized as the Verona Band of Alameda County in the early twentieth century—and other Ohlone peoples—have been vocal advocates for Native American issues on the San Francisco Peninsula.[citation needed]

In 1925, Alfred Kroeber, then director of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, declared the Ohlone extinct, which directly led to the tribe losing federal recognition and land rights.[5]


The term "Ramaytush" (Rammay-tuš) meaning "people from the west," is a Chochenyo word the Ohlone of the East Bay used to refer to their westward neighbors.[6] The term was adopted by Richard L. Levy in 1976 to refer to the peninsular linguistic division of the Ohlone.[7]

Ramaytush tribes and villages

Ramaytush groups, for the most part independent territorial local tribes, include:[8]

The Yelamu group, probably a multi-village local tribe, with the following villages within the present City and County of San Francisco:

On San Francisco Bay, south of San Francisco:

On the Pacific Coast, south of San Francisco:

Other Villages (known as Rancherias by the Spanish) listed in San Francisco Mission De Asiss registry that are not given specific locations:[11]

Ramaytush Ohlone people

See also


  1. ^ Levy in Heizer 1974:3
  2. ^ "Ramaytush Ohlone". Ramaytush Ohlone. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Milliken 1995:260
  4. ^ "Ramaytush Ohlone". Ramaytush Ohlone. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  5. ^ Brown, Patricia Leigh (December 11, 2022). "Indigenous Founders of a Museum Cafe Put Repatriation on the Menu". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2023.
  6. ^ Erickson, Evelyn Arce. "Thanksgiving is a season of both gratitude and mourning". Half Moon Bay Review. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  7. ^ Golla, Victor (August 2, 2011). California Indian Languages. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26667-4.
  8. ^ Milliken 1995
  9. ^ San Francisco Call, January 7, 1910 – page 16
  10. ^ Historic Resource Study for Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Mateo County, p. 26
  11. ^ Englehardt, pg 410-11
  12. ^ Milliken, 1995:68.
  13. ^ a b Engelhardt, 1924.
  14. ^ Engelhardt, 1924.
  15. ^ website – Muwekma history
  16. ^ Milliken 1995:120
  17. ^ Milliken, 1995:80-81m.
  18. ^ a b Englehardt, pg 121
  19. ^ San Francisco Call April 10, 1898
  20. ^ a b from gravestone at Mission Dolores.
  21. ^ Milliken, 1995:206–207.
  22. ^ San Francisco Call January 2, 1910
  23. ^ Pomponio
  24. ^ A History of Mission San Rafael, Archangel Archived March 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ at the bottom of the page
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 1842 Census
  27. ^ a b Brown, 1974


  • Brown, Alan K. Indians of San Mateo County, La Peninsula:Journal of the San Mateo County Historical Association, Vol. XVII No. 4, Winter 1973–1974.
  • Brown, Alan K. Place Names of San Mateo County, published San Mateo County Historical Association, 1975.
  • Fr. Engelhardt O. F. M, Zephyrin. San Francisco or Mission Dolores, Franciscan Herald Press, 1924.
  • Heizer, Robert F. 1974. The Costanoan Indians. De Anza College History Center: Cupertino, California.
  • Milliken, Randall. A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769–1910 Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press Publication, 1995. ISBN 0-87919-132-5 (alk. paper)
  • Teixeira, Lauren. The Costanoan/Ohlone Indians of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area, A Research Guide. Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press Publication, 1997. ISBN 0-87919-141-4.
  • 1842 Census of San Francisco