Northwest Indian Facts

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The Northwest Coast American Indians lived in families and had a local populace of around 250,000. Underneath you’ll discover who these men and ladies were, what they ate, where they lived, and why the northwest drift tribes were known to be the wealthiest tribes. In this area there are many intriguing truths on their high quality things, for example, gems and covers and in addition their tribal traditions and conventions. On this page you will discover a rundown of the numerous tribes inside the northwest drift area. These American Indians lived along the Pacific Coast. The district crossed from southern Alaska to northern California up into beach front British Columbia and Washington State. The territory additionally incorporates some eminent islands, for example, Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island. The region is thickly lush, has a calm atmosphere, and is known for its substantial precipitation. The woodlands are dim and clammy. Springs and streams from mountain icy masses stream into the waterways that rushed to the drift.

Northwest Coast American Indian Tribes List
– Alsea
– Bella Bella
– Bella Coola
– Chehalis
– Chinook
– Clatskanie
– Comox
– Cowlitz
– Haida
– Haisla
– Heiltsuk
– Klallam
– Kwakiutl
– Makah
– Nisga-Gitksan
– Nooksack
– Nootka
– Pentlatch
– Puget Sound Salish
– Quileute
– Quinault
– Siuslaw
– Straits Salish
– Takelma
– Tillamook
– Tlingit
– Tsimshian
– Tututni
– Twana
– UmpquaList of Facts About the American Indians of the Northwest Coast
– There was no shortage of food sources in the forest areas that blanketed the Northwest region. Deer, moose and elk are just a few of the many animals these Indians hunted on land. The sea, however, is where they got most of their plentiful food supply. Northwest Coast tribes enjoyed various types of fish including Salmon, in addition to whale, sea lion, porpoise, seal, and sea otter. The sheer abundance of food made these tribes wealthy.
– Their homes were known to be very sturdy and large. Made of plank from cedar, they were both wide and long and put together with wooden pegs. Although there were no windows, there was a small hole in the roof to let fire out and fresh air inside. Most homes were built right along the seashore.
– Massive canoes were carved from cedar trees. The canoes were known to hold massive amounts of fish in addition to about 20 warriors.
– Of all the resources available to the Northwest Coast peoples, the two most important were cedar and salmon. Cedar provided the raw material from which houses, boats, baskets, boxes, clothing, and carvings of every imaginable kind were made. The people also used a wide variety of plant resources were used for food, technological items, and medicines. Among the more important plant resources were twelve kinds of berries (most of them smashed, dried into cakes, stored for later use), the starchy roots of camas and wapato, and the roots of bracken fern.
– Religion centered around the guardian spirit. Each Indian had a guardian spirit that gave them a specific skill such as carving, hunting or even healing. Winter ceremonies were often a time for acknowledging these spirits through song and dance.
– They were very talented artists and most well-known for their handcrafted totem poles. Totem poles were most commonly found in front of a home to tell a families tribal history through intricate carvings, pictures and colors. With a lack of any written language, these Indians relied on the totem poles to pass down their history, stories, and myths through the generations.
– They wore necklaces to symbolize wealth. Bear claw necklaces, as well as beaver teeth and clamshells were very popular.
– Usually held in winter months, the potlatch was one of the most common traditions. The feast was a way to show off wealth. Dancing, gift-giving, storytelling, and eating were all part of the ceremony. Possessions were also sometimes destroyed to show guests that they were so wealthy it didn’t matter. Potlatches were a way to celebrate many occasions such as marriage, death, new clan houses and the raising of a totem pole.
– Because the Northwest Coast Indians had no written language, the totem poles were a very important part of their culture. The totem poles allowed them to record stories, legends, and myths through images. Impressive. Totem poles, with their vivid colors, are the most recognizable of their arts. Every surface of the poles was carved into highly stylized representations of bears, wolves, eagles, ravens, thunderbirds, beavers and other animals, plus human figures. Totem poles could be huge, providing frontal pieces for homes, grave markers and other decorative purposes. Many represented family crests or told stories from family or tribal history.
– Beautiful and intricate cedar dance masked were carved out of wood. They were often used in storytelling at ceremonies such as a potlatch. Some masks even had a second carved face inside the first to unmask as a story was told.
– The Indians developed a social system that was highly stratified. There were those at the top- the nobles, the middle- the commoners, and the bottom-the slaves.
– The First Salmon was an important feast honoring the salmon, one of their most plentiful food sources. They believed the salmons chose to sacrifice themselves for humans so their spirits could go on to live again like humans, in houses under the sea.

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