Wakashan language family (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Wakashan is a language family found exclusively in the Northwest Coast culture area. It comprises two major linguistic divisions: Kwakiutl and Nootka.
Wakashan is a language family found exclusively in the Northwest Coast culture area. It comprises two major linguistic divisions: Kwakiutl and Nootka. Kwakiutlan languages are located in regions of the northeast portion of Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland to the east (Alert Bay and north toward Charlotte Sound) in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Nootkan-related languages extend down the western coast of Vancouver Island and can also be found along the coast in the state of Washington. The southern portion of Vancouver Island, however, is dominated by Salish-speaking groups whose languages are not related to Wakashan.
Comparative linguists have divided Kwakiutl into three subgroups: Haisla, Heiltsuk, and Kwakiutl proper (Kwakwala). Each of these subgroups is located in the general Kwakiutl area; however, these languages are not mutually intelligible, indicating a significant degree of linguistic divergence. Haisla and Heiltsuk are located on the mainland north of Alert Bay, extending to the Queen Charlotte Sound and Prince Royal Island regions. These subgroups include three tribal units: Bella Bella, Haihais, and Oowekeeno. Kwakiutl proper was located entirely on the Northeast coast of Vancouver Island. During the historic period, however,...
(The entire section is 350 words.)
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