The WappoAs long ago as 6,000 years, and probably longer, the Wappo (a branch of the Yukian language family) emerged from the proto-Yukian group occupying the Mayacamas range along the eastern edge of our valley. Their name derives from the Spanish term “guapo” or brave, for their stubborn resistance to becoming subdued by Mexican colonists.

Anthropologists have noted that -sonoma appears as a suffix in several common Wappo village names. It is believed the name for Sonoma indicates they once occupied our entire valley, and began moving back towards the headwaters of Sonoma Creek in the Mayacamas mountains as the Miwok arrived from the southwest, perhaps some 3,000 years ago.