Makah Tribe. Essay

510 words - 2 pages

The name "Makah", which was given by neighboring tribes, means "Generous with food". The prehistoric Makah Nation had a population of about 4000 people and was composed of five villages. The five villages occupied the shore of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The natural resources were abundant with plants and animals. The Makah adapted themselves to their environment, using practically everything they took from the land and sea.The five villages had massive longhouses, made of large, cedar planks, which housed the Makah and extended families. Their cultural information kept flowing and was pass on by extended families living close together. Some traditional songs, dances, and stories were, and still are today, inherited, and only certain individuals within the Makah family can perform them. At celebrations (called potlatches), such as a wedding and memorials, specific songs are preformed to reaffirm ownership.Canoes, carves from red cedar, allowed the Makah who were excellent mariners, to navigate the swift waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The early Makah carved various types of canoes; war, whaling, halibut, salmon, fishing, sealing, and large cargo canoes.An epidemic of small pox, tuberculosis, influenza, and whooping cough, along with war, killed many Makah People in the late 1700s. European contact created this devastation a lot of family tradition and knowledge was lost. The Treaty of Neah Bay, between the United States and the Makah Indians, was signed on January 31st, 1855, which protected the...

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