Yaquina (American Indians Ready Reference)
The patrilineal Yaquina were oriented toward the sea and rivers, but they were also dependent upon land animals and plants for food and needed by-products. Their environment provided numerous tidal foods, birds, and waterfowl. They lived in rectangular, multifamily, cedar plank winter houses in autonomous permanent villages. Yaquina society was stratified, and wealthy men were often polygamous. Marriage reinforced trading relationships, established status, and redistributed wealth. Slaves, one form of traditional wealth, were usually acquired by raids. They excelled, as did their southern neighbors, the Alsea, in woodworking skills.
The first European American contact in the area was by the American ship Columbia in 1788. Unfortunately, little is known of the Yaquina or Alsea people, whose numbers were greatly reduced by early epidemics, particularly smallpox. By 1856 the remaining Alsea and Yaquina had been placed on the Coast Reservation, a small portion of their original territory. The Coast Reservation was split in 1865, and in 1910 only nineteen people who identified themselves as Yaquina remained.
(The entire section is 161 words.)
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