Native North Americans who in the mid-19th cent. occupied N.W. California, particularly the area around the Klamath River.
They were of the California cultural area but had some Pacific Northwest Coast culture traits; they subsisted on salmon and acorns, and for money they used the dentalium shell, which they received from tribes living farther north.
Their property laws were unique among Native Americans, pertaining only to the realm of the individual; the Yurok recognized no public claim to property.
By 1855 a reservation was set aside for them.
They then numbered some 2,500.
Presently a small number of Yurok live on the Hoopa Reservation in California.
The Yurok and their southern neighbors, the Wiyot, speak languages of the Ritwan group that belong to the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock and possibly to the Algonquian branch of this stock .