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Esselen Tribe of Monterey County
Technical Research Page

Welcome to the Technical Research page of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County. Our goal is to include or reference the most accurate and up to date research on the Esselen.


  • The Esselen Indians of the Big Sur Country: The Land and the People, by Gary S. Breschini and Trudy Haversat. Coyote Press (2004).

    This is a new book, issued in November, 2004. It contains 240 pages, in full color, and is the most up-to-date and accurate work on the Esselen. It may be purchased directly from Coyote Press. Click the link for details.

Research articles on this website:

Research information elsewhere on the web:

  • Esselen Deer Dancing Song (MP3 format, 225 k). One or more songs attributed to the Esselen were recorded by A.L. Kroeber on wax cylinders in Monterey (possibly in the Rumsen language). They were obtained in 1902 from Viviana Soto (also known as Beviana Torres and Viviana Espinosa) and Jacinta Gonzalez.

    It is interesting that this song appears to include use of a drum, but neither the Esselen nor the Rumsen reportedly used the hide drum. Rather, they used whistles, a variety of rattles, the musical bow, and split stick clappers.