Quileute (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Quileute, a maritime people, dwelled in permanent split-cedar-roofed longhouses that accommodated several extended families or even a lineage. They were dependent primarily upon fishing, which was reflected in their ceremonies, settlement patterns, technology, and mythology. Quileute society was internally stratified with hereditary chiefs, commoners, and slaves. Status was gained through oratory, warfare, birth, and accumulation and redistribution of traditional forms of wealth (usually in the forms of copper, slaves, obsidian blades, pileated red woodpecker scalp capes, and dentalium shells). Kinship was bilateral. Residence tended to be patrilocal. They had a shamanistic religion; polygyny; complex ceremonies, including the potlatch; house and totem pole-raising; rites of passage; and the launching of hollowed red cedar canoes for trading. Raven was a cultural hero, and art was typified by geometric and representational thunderbird-whale motifs.
First European American contact was with the Spanish in 1775 and with the British in 1787. The Quileute signed a reservation treaty in 1855 with Governor Isaac I. Stevens, but through a misunderstanding the Quileute remained in their territory until 252 were removed in 1889 to a one-mile-square reservation at La Push, on the western coast of Washington. In 1893, the remaining 71 inhabitants moved to the Hoh River. In 1882, a school was established at La Push. The syncretic Indian Shaker Church was...
(The entire section is 291 words.)
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