Hoopa (hōˈpə) [key], Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Athabascan branch of the Nadene linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the 19th cent. they occupied the valley of the Trinity River from Hoopa valley to the Klamath River in NW California. Their cedar-planked houses, dugout canoes, basket hats, and many elements in their mythology identify them with the Northwest Coast culture, of which they are the southernmost representatives; however, some of their customs—e.g., the use of a sweat house for ceremonies and the manufacture of acorn bread—are not characteristic of that culture area. In 1864 the U.S. government established a small reservation (Hoopa Valley), where many Hoopa now reside with their neighbors, the Yurok. In 1990 there were 2,400 Hoopa in the United States. The name is sometimes spelled Hupa.
See P. E. Goddard, Life and Culture of the Hupa (1903).
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