/poh"moh/, n., pl. Pomos, (esp. collectively) Pomo.
1. a member of an American Indian people of northern California.
2. any of several related languages of the Pomo Indians.

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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 involved secret societies, dances, rituals, and impersonations of spirits. Pomo basketry is often considered among the finest in the world. About 3,000 Pomo live in some 20 communities within their original territory.

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      Hokan (Hokan languages)-speaking North American Indians of the west coast of the United States. Their territory was centred in the Russian River valley some 50 to 100 miles (80 to 160 km) north of what is now San Francisco. The Pomo's territory also included the adjacent coastlands and the interior highlands near Clear Lake. A small detached group lived in the Sacramento River valley surrounded by Wintun people.

 Traditionally the Pomo were a comparatively wealthy people, well supplied with food and other natural resources. Fish, waterfowl, deer, acorns, bulb plants, seeds, and other wild foods were plentiful. Northeastern Pomo settlements held a lucrative salt deposit, and southeastern settlements had magnesite, a substance that was combined with ground shells and made into the beads that were used as standard currency in north-central California. Pomo basketry, considered by some to be the finest in California, was exceptionally well twined and intricately ornamented, using various woody materials, beads, and coloured feathers. Pomo housing varied with the locale: coastal residents constructed dwellings of heavy timber and bark, and inland peoples built various types of dwellings out of such materials as poles, brush, grass, and tule mats. Traditional Pomo religion involved the Kuksu cult, a set of beliefs and practices involving private ceremonies, esoteric dances and rituals, and impersonations of spirits. There were also ceremonies for such things as ghosts, coyotes, and thunder.

      Early 21st-century population estimates indicated approximately 8,000 individuals of Pomo descent.

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Universalium. 2010.

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