The Esselen were one of the least numerous groups in California, and are often cited, incorrectly, as the first California group to become culturally extinct. Some have placed cultural extinction early as the 1840s (Kroeber 1925:544; Hester 1978:497; Beeler 1978:3). Reasons cited generally include the small size of the group, and close proximity of Esselen territory to two of the three earliest California Missions.

Esselen Tribe of Monterey County Joan Baez and Baba Olatunji offered to perform a benefit concert to raise money to help the Tribe through the Winter and continue to preserve this ancient culture.
Monterey County Historical Society Esselen Indians - by Gary S. Breschini, Ph.D. and Trudy Haversat, M.A.
Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation The Original People of the Monterey Bay Area, California
Understanding the Composition of Costanoan Indianse Text from a paper presented by Escobar, the Ohlone/Costanoan
Esselen Nation tribal genealogist, at the California Indian Conference, at San Francisco University, 1998.
(See also Costanoan)