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Makah Indians- Their Life

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David Starling

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Makah Indians- Their Life

The Makah Indians The Makah Indians lived in villages run by one headman. The headman was always a high ranking clan leader. Organization Housing Transportation David Starling Food The Makah Indians were primarily whalers by trade, so a main part of their diet was whale and seal. However, they would also catch fish, and dig up berries and roots. Religous Ceremonies The Makah Indians would hold potlach's where important elders and other people from other villages would meet and exchange gifts. The hosting village would prepare fancy gifts for each guest, such as the best woven baskets. Clothing For the most part, the Makah Indian men would not wear clothes. However, the men would wear breechcloths sometimes and the women would wear short skirts of cedar bark or grass. In colder weather, they wore tunics and moccasins. In the rain, they would wear tule rush capes. The Makah Indians lived in coastal villages of rectangle cedar plank houses. These houses would house several families from the same clan. Legends The Makah Indians had many legends. Some of these include When the Birds and Animals Were Created, a creation story. Another is Wild Woods Woman Ogress, a story where a child defeats an ogress. Language The Makah Indians traditionally spoke their native Makah language. However, the last fully fluent speaker died in 2002. Now most Makah Indians speak English, yet there are some that are trying to bring their language back to life. The Makah Indians would paddle canoes for transportation. they would hollow out logs to make dugout canoes, which they whaled in as well as paddled to go somewhere. The type of logs that they would use were red cedar. Different canoes would be used for different things. The Makah's had special huge war canoes for war use. Even children would have practice canoes to learn how to paddle in. Child Toys The Makah Indian children would often have chores or other things. However, when they did get time to play, they would play with dolls and other common toys that could be easily made. When they got the time, Makah boys would also play games with balls or hoops. Men's Roles The men Makah's work was mostly hunting and fishing. When trouble came, however, they would go off to war to protect their families. The Makah Indian cheif was always a man however, clan leaders could be either gender. Women's Roles Women's work among the Makah's mainly was cooking and caring for their children. However, the women would also gather herbs, shellfish, and farmed plants. Women could also be clan leaders. Bibliography http://www.bigorrin.org/makah_kids.htm
http://content.lib.washington.edu/ Area of Habitation The Makah Indians lived on the Northwest Coast of the United States. They lived there until 1855 as a free people. Now they live on a reservation near the town of Neah Bay, Washington.
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