“Legend of the Healing Waters”
Centuries ago, the people of the native Wappo Indian Tribe believed in the “Legend of the Healing Waters.” The Wappos noticed steam rising through the earth and the mineral waters bubbling out of the ground. Having discovered the healing properties of the waters and their restorative affect on tired and aching muscles, the Wappos used the mud to treat bee stings and sunburns with great success. Before long, word of the legend spread leading people to travel great distances in order to experience the benefits of the healing waters. Visitors would relax in bamboo sweat lodges, soak in the natural pools, and take in the serenity of Mount Saint Helena.
The Wappo are an indigenous people of northern California. And, like many other tribes, the Wappo Indians crafted intricate basketry. Their traditional homelands are in Napa Valley, the south shore of Clear Lake, Alexander Valley, and Russian River valley.
The name Wappo is an Americanization of the Spanish term guapo, which means, among other things, “brave.” They were known as brave for their stubborn resistance to Mexican domination, particularly their resistance to all military attempts from General Vallejo and his enlisted allies. In 1836 the warring parties signed a peace treaty.