- A form of boat or raft made by tying bundles of rushes together in a
cigar shape. Balsas were used by Indians of California, as on Cedar
Lake among the Pomo and Tulare Lake among the Yokut. Sometimes balsas
were made of tule grass, like those used on Pyramid lake in nevada.
The name is from the Spanish balsa, which means a raft or float
for conveying people or goods across a river.