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What are some facts about Makah Indians?

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Quick Answer

The Makah tribe resides in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in Washington. Today, they speak English, but historically they spoke their own language. The elders of the tribe today speak broken Makah. The language's sounds are different than English, and the younger population of Makah attempt to learn the language to carry on the tradition.

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Full Answer

Traditionally, Makah women took care of their families by gathering, cooking and caring for children. They carried their babies on their backs, and they sometimes served as clan leaders. Men hunted, fished and protected their tribe. They served as clan leaders, and one man served as the tribe's chief. Both men and women participated in cultural activities such as art, storytelling and music.

Some of their foods included foods included berries, birds, small game and deer. Because of their location and closeness to the ocean, their diets also consisted of fish. They also ate seals, sea lions, clams and whales. Today the tribe is given permission by the United States government to hunt one whale per year because they traditionally hunted whales.

Some tools that the Makah used include canoes that they carved out of cedar trees, harpoons and fish traps. The men also had war tools such as bow and arrows, spears and clubs, though they were mostly peaceful. The Makah tribe often traded with other tribes such as the Klallam and the Quileute.

Often the men wore no clothing at all, but they often wore fur cloaks in the winter and capes for when it would rain. They would also paint their faces for war and cultural ceremonies. Women wore skirts made of grass or bark and also wore fur in the winter and capes when it rained.

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