What’s In A Name? – Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park, a beautiful park located in Eastern California is known for it’s scenic vistas, enormous granite cliff, wildlife, plant life, and of course, various waterfalls You might be surprised to learn the meaning and origin of the name, “Yosemite.”
El Capitan - Yosemite

L.H. Bunnel, of the Mariposa Battalion, gave Yosemite it’s name in 1852. Yosemite comes from the Valley Miwok word for “Grizzly Bear” or “Killer.”  It may seem surprising that a word with such a violent meaning was used as the name for this amazing landscape. The Native American people living in the area at the time actually called it “Awooni” which means “large mouth” because they thought the valley resembled a gaping mouth. Do you think this is a fitting name?

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Yosemite Falls

The tribe living within the valley was known as violent and were called ‘killers’ or ‘grizzles’ by the Miwoks, who feared them. This is where Bunnel got the word Yosemite, who thought that the Miwoks were using it in reference to the valley itself.

Yosemite

According to Bunnel, Yosemite’s scenery was “the grandest that had ever yet been looked upon.” He believed that it would be most appropriate to give it a Native American because he didn’t “see any necessity for going to a foreign country for a name for American scenery…”

Lassen Bus at Yosemite

Are you interested in seeing Yosemite for yourself? Go to our website and view our Yosemite Itineraries at: http://www.lassentours.com/san-francisco.aspx?SubCategory=41

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