Chief Estanislao

Estanislao (born Cucunuchi and baptized as Estanislao) was a Yokuts tribal leader famous for leading armed bands of Native Americans in revolt against the Mexican government and Mission establishments.


Born in Rio de los Laquisimes in the central valley in 1798 and brought to Mission San Jose early on he left the Mission with about 400 followers in 1827, including men, women, and children.

Mission San Jose


Described as about six feet tall with light colored skin and “very muscular like a horse” he was able to read and write and stood out among the leaders of other Central California tribes.


The group was joined by Chumash Indians and other Yokuts and rose to have an army of 4000 and were active raiding the Missions San Jose, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, as well as Mexican settlers around the Stanislas River.


His raids were characterized as sudden, usually involving a trap, and ending with no loss of life.


Finally, the Mexican Army was called into action and after several battles including a stand off in 1829 at the hands of General Vallejo he was brought back to Mission San Jose, where he died, in 1838, possibly from smallpox, but not before inspiring other native rebels well into the 1840s and right up until today.


Ritual dancing at the Mission



One of these leaders could have been Estanislao and one could be Kaaknu the Volvon.

Certainly they were well acquainted.


Kaaknu the Volvon circa 1780 artist John Finger