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(mō`dŏk), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). They formerly lived in SW Oregon and N California, particularly around Modoc Lake (also known as Lower Klamath Lake) and Tule Lake. Modoc culture was similar to the culture of the KlamathKlamath
, Native North Americans who in the 19th cent. lived in SW Oregon. They speak a language of the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languages) and are related to the Modoc people.
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, but the Modoc did not rely as heavily on the wokas, or water-lily seeds, for food. There was considerable trouble between the Modoc and the early white settlers, with atrocities being committed on both sides. The Modoc were finally constrained to live (1864) on the Klamath Reservation in Oregon, but most of the tribe was dissatisfied. In 1870, Chief Kintpuash, or Captain JackCaptain Jack
(d. 1873), subchief of the Modoc and leader of the hostile group in the Modoc War (1872–73). Jack, whose Modoc name was Kintpuash , had agreed (1864) to leave his ancestral home and live on a reservation with the Klamath.
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, led a group back to California and refused to return to the reservation. The attempt to bring them back brought on the Modoc WarModoc War,
1872–73, series of battles between the Modoc and the U.S. army fought as a result of the attempt to force a group of the Modoc to return to the Klamath Reservation in S Oregon. Beginning in Nov., 1872, U.S.
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 (1872–73). After the Modoc War, the Modoc people were divided; some were sent to Oklahoma (where a few remain) and some to the Klamath Reservation in Oregon. The Modoc in Oregon share lands with the Klamath and Snake. In 1990 there were some 500 Modoc in the United States.


See V. F. Ray, Primitive Pragmatists: The Modoc Indians of Northern California (1963), R. H. Dillea, Burnt-Out-Fires (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Modoc War was extensively documented, not only in official military and government records, but in firsthand accounts, including memoirs, letters, lectures, and news stories from daring reporters who managed to interview the besieged Modocs.
Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence, by Boyd Cothran.
According to historian Manu Vimalassery, "the language of the unratified treaty bears interest beyond its illumination of the power imbalance between Modocs and the US government" (2011, 1), and certainly the evocation of settlement as the resolution of conflict circulates provocatively in the treaty alongside the notion of "the unsettled country" evoked in its sixth article: "Indians, except in the unsettled country, or when hunting, shall not pack (carry) guns or bows and arrows; shall not bring them into the white settlement, except to get them repaired; and when you come into the settlements you shall leave your guns in camp" (Potter, Keam, and Steele 1999, 1390).
Daring Donald McKay or The Last War Trail Of the Modocs.
Within a short time, however, the Modocs regretted their decision.
In the early 1820s, when traders from the Hudson's Bay Company arrived in the area, the Modocs began trading with them.
Here, 130 years ago, bands of native Modoc guided by native leaders Schonchin and Captain Jack eluded the US Cavalry, hid among the mountains and fought back against a much greater military force.
He only found out that he was not a Modoc at some time in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
As a result, the settlers persuaded their politicians in 1864 to remove the Modocs to a reservation in Oregon.
Miller wrote a prose autobiography, Life among the Modocs (1873), and published several other volumes of poetry.
The Modocs are renowned for their industry and are ordinarily peaceable, but they were superior fighters in tribal days.
Ray wrote a detailed ethnography of the Modoc Indians of Northern California and Southern Oregon.