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Northwest coast people fishing dating, linguistic and territorial organization

This instruction began at an age when children were still in their cradles or toddling, and all elder relatives, particularly grandparents, participated in it. See also body modifications and mutilations.

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Although social stratification in Northwest Coast communities is frequently described as including three divisions—chiefly elites, commoners, and slaves or war captives—each person in fact had a particular hereditary status that placed him within the group as though he occupied one step on a long staircase of statuses, with the eldest of the senior line on the highest step and the most remotely related at the bottom.

Collectively, the dances constituted the major ceremonials of the Northwest Coast peoples; known as the spirit dancesthey were performed during the winter months. In this region food was plentiful; less work was required to meet the subsistence needs of the population than in farming societies of comparable size, and, as with agricultural societies, the food surpluses of the Northwest encouraged the development of social stratification.

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Other items made of wood included spoons and ladles, canoe bailers, trinket boxes, chamber pots, masks and rattles used in ceremonies, magnificent memorial or totem poles and interior house posts, housefronts and screens, halibut hooks, and even the triggers of animal traps.

A seated figure bowl is more complex in design depicting humans being intertwined with animals. External[ edit ] Neighboring peoples, whether villages or adjacent tribes, were related by marriage, feasting, ceremonies, and common or shared territory.

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Material wealth not only improved one's life but it increased other qualities such as that was needed to acquire high status. The Nuu-chah-nulth were the only group to venture out to sea to hunt the great whales and a whole ritual accompanied the whale hunt.

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By the summer, steelhead and king salmon appeared in masses along the rivers, and berries were abundant in the forests. Along the lower Columbia River, the typical house was built over a large rectangular pit that was fairly deep and lined with planks, as the earth provided excellent insulation against the cold and damp; only the gabled roof and its end supports showed above ground.

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Page 1 of 2. The status of each member of a house group was hereditary but was not automatically assumed at birth.

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