#1001 California Native American Ceremonial Roundhouses, Wassama Roundhouse


#1001 California Native American Ceremonial Roundhouses, Wassama Roundhouse

Site information:

5.5 mi N of Oakhurst on Hwy 49 to Ahwahnee, then E 0.4 mi on Round House Rd


Plaque information:

State and private plaques

State plaque text:

Wassama Roundhouse

Dating prior to the 1860s, the Wassama Roundhouse was reconstructed in 1985 on the location of the previous four houses. In 1903, the third roundhouse was built using portions of the center pole from the two earlier houses. The roundhouse served as the focal point of spiritual and ceremonial life for many Native Californians. The Wassama Roundhouse continues to serve this purpose.

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Grub Gulch Chapter 41-49 E Clampus Vitus, May 16, 1992.

Private plaque text:

Wassama Village

The village of Wassama (leaves falling) is the site of the last above ground southern Miwok Roundhouse built in 1903. Religious ceremonies, dancing and gambling took place on the site until 1937. Southern Miwok dances including the 1870 Ghost Dance, are known to have been performed in the roundhouse. The village also contains a cemetery, cremation site and mourning area. Originally the Miwok practiced cremation, but this was later discouraged by Spanish Padres and ground burial was encouraged.

Dedicated October 11, 1986 by E Clampus Vitus Grub Gulch Chapter No. 41-49