Hi there! Did you know that the Makah Tribe Chief Tatoosh had an island named after him? Besides, in 1834, a ship from Japan came ashore near Cape Flattery. The Makah tribe took three survivors of the ship as slaves for several months. This newspaper will give you more interesting facts about the Makah tribe.
The Makah tribe lived in cedar-plank homes. The average house was in a rectangular shape. The Makah tribe used to live in houses up to 60 feet long, and several families lived in one house. About 50-60 people could live in a house.
The Makah tribe had a traditional shelter. Their traditional shelter was the longhouse. Each longhouse had five separate living areas centered around cooking hearths.
Every house has a particular material that most of the other houses did not possess.
Sometimes the outside of the longhouse was painted. Each longhouse had its own animal on its totem pole[s].
In this part of the newspaper you will be learning about shelters and the types in which they are built.
Home Sweet Home
Cedar Plank House
What’s for Dinner?
Makah ate an extreme variety of foods, including many marine animals like sea lions, whales, and porpoises. Women collected plants, roots and berries. They tamed wild turkeys to eat, and grind corn between stones. This way the Makah had high variety of food to eat.
People currently eat western foods (as they should), but they haven’t modernized completely yet-the tradition still sticks. And if you would like to eat some of it yourself, then it would help to know that it is very healthy.
It doesn’t matter which season of the year you go to Neah Bay, they get, catch, hunt, and kill pretty much the same foods all year long (except for winter when it’s all just preserved food, and fall, when nuts and fruits are plentiful). So if you want a change in meals, you can just go once and it’ll be enough (Winter is just smoked salmon and other preserved foods from spring, summer, and fall).
Things that could be found on the beach included clams, oysters, crabs, and mussels. Salmon, herring, eulachon, and dogfish were all very popular and widespread fish, and were caught all over Washington.
The methods for the catching the fish were assorted. There were weirs, which were little nets placed in between two rocks. There were harpoons and fish spears, which were used to stab the fish.
This part of the newspaper will tell you what the
Makah tribe ate.
The whalers have three weapons used in whaling against the whales-a harpoon, a lance, and shafts.
The harpoon was used to wear the whale out, and when the whale was worn, then came the lance for the killing blow, When that was thrown, then the shafts were stuck in so that the tow would be easier to make. Then, the mouth was sewn shut so that water would not come into the stomach and weigh the whale down into the water. If a successful whale hunt was executed, then the entire village would celebrate. The entire whale could hold out to feed the entire village for two months. Then, not even the entire weight of the whale was eaten. There was the blubber that would be transferred into oil, and the bones would be made into super-strong tools- bone is five times stronger than steel.
The Specialty of the Makah Tribe-Whaling!
Some men wore breechclouts, or breechcloths. Breechclouts are a long rectangular piece of animal fur, deerskin, or cloth that flaps or falls down in the front and the back. The breechclout is worn between the legs. To secure it to your body, a rope or ring is tied around your waist.
Usually only men wore moccasins. Moccasins are slipper-like shoes for keeping feet warm in harsh weather. Hard-soled moccasins were usually made from two or more pieces of hide that were weaved together. Soft-soled moccasins were made from one piece of tanned leather that was folded over.
Men and women both wore basketry hats. Basketry hats are a common type of headdress. They are made from cedar bark or spruce root that is usually woven together to make a hat.
Native American Breechclout
This part of the newspaper will tell you what the Makah tribe wears.
Just the Necessities
This is a Makah black-edged hat collected by Lewis and Clark at the Columbia River
Native American Moccasins
The Makah tribe used many different kinds of canoes. I will tell you about three of them. First I will tell you about the Dugout canoe, then the Birch canoe, and finally the Plank canoe. Hope you will enjoy it!
Dugout Canoes have the simplest building sequences because it is just made out of hollowed-out wood logs and can hold many people. The canoes are painted with an animal on the front. To make this canoe it takes carving skills, because these canoes need some bark chipping. They need to be sturdy, and they cannot have holes. These canoes are sea worthy and provide a very smooth swift ride.
Birch Bark Canoes are smaller and are obviously made of birch wood. These canoes are a primary transportation source. These are lightweight styled canoes. The canoes have a wooden frame with birch bark over it. These canoes are less sea worthy.
Plank Canoes are an uncommon Native American canoe. These canoes are very sturdy and strong. They are made of a hollowed out log. They are similar to dugout canoe but stronger. These canoes are more sea worthy and can hold a reasonable amount of people.
Birch Bark canoe
Suspendisse gravida nibh et quam.
Going, Going, Gone!
In this part of this newspaper, or newsletter, you will learn about three types of canoes that the Makah tribe used.
Some tools that a hunter used were harpoons tipped with mussel shells and bows and arrows. The harpoons tipped with mussel shells were used for whaling to kill the whales so they could tow it in. They used the bow and arrow to kill animals such as deer and squirrel.
The fishermen of the Makah tribe used things like hook and line or wooden fish traps, also known as weirs. They used the hook and line like we would to catch fish, casting the line into the water then winding it back in. To use the weir, they built a wooden fence across the water and then used a spear to catch the fish.
Some weapons that warriors in the Makah tribe used are bone and horn-tipped clubs, bows and arrows with stone or bone tips, and spears. When they went to war, the Makah used these to fight other Northwest Native American tribes.
These are some of the many tools that the Native American Makah tribe used.
Harpoons tipped with mussel shells
Wooden fish trap (weir)
Bow and arrows
Where’s the Hammer?
This section will tell you about some of the tools that the Makah tribe used.
Will the natives keep using the tools that they have been using or will they move on and use the modern technology? Will the Makah tribe be able to preserve its culture? Will the tribe be able to keep whaling? But there is one thing we know for sure. The Makah tribe has walked down a long path over the course of time.