Tribal Government

Every Yokuts tribe had two leaders: the Head Chief and the Winatun. These two leaders ruled over the four or five villages that made up the tribe. The Head Chief lived in the largest tribal village. The Winatun was the messenger for the tribe.

In each village, a Village Chief collected taxes and acted as a judge. Yokuts living in the village paid the Village Chief in seeds, fruit, fish, and animals. Every two weeks the Head Chief visited the villages to collect his share of the food. If anyone in a village did something bad, the Head Chief made sure he was punished.

The Winatun met all travelers coming into a village. They told the travelers news and took them to the Chief. When the visit was over, the Winatun took them back out of the village.

–Adapted from research by Mary Ann Brensel