Boats, rafts, and walking were the Yokuts’ main forms of transportation. Before the settlers came, they had no horses, so they carried everything they used or needed. They walked wherever they needed to go.

If they were near a river or a lake, they made a boat and used it for transportation. The boats and rafts were made from tules that grew near lakes and rivers. They were able to hold two to four people or sometimes more.

The Yokuts made the boats in spring and early summer and built them upside-down. They dried and hardened the poles of the boat over a fire. That made the poles strong and practically waterproof. The boats were sometimes 50 feet long, 10 feet wide, and four feet deep.

–Adapted from research by Mary Ann Brensel

A boat made of tules.