CHAPTER III
1792 - 1840

THE INDIANS, THEIR FAMILIES, TRIBES AND DISTRIBUTION - THEIR ANCIENT STONE AGE DESCENT AND IMPLEMENTS - THEIR MYTHS, HABITS AND RELIGION - THEIR NUMBERS AND WEAKNESS - THE JARGON LANGUAGE - THE INDIAN IDEA OF LAND TENURE.

When the white man discovered Oregon he found a large population of Indians scattered in groups, families and tribes over the entire country from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific ocean, and from California up to the Alaska line. The first comers detected no differences among these people of the forest and plain. They were all simply Indians. As time and experience brought the Indians more and more under the observation of traders and naturalists, marked differences were discovered, and such distinction as the various tribes themselves maintained and enforced. By the study of the language and dialects of these families and tribes, and by investigation of their beliefs in the supernatural, and their regulation of the social and family life, scientists versed in the principles of ethnology were able to arrange and segregate this apparently heterogeneous population of wild men into such a classification as would be intelligible to students of Indian life. This has been accomplished for this history, and for the first time given to the general reader not only in printed form but also on a map of the location of all the Indian families described. For this invaluable service the history is indebted to the Rev. J. Neilson Barry, of Baker, Oregon, and a member of the Advisory Board of the History for the Inland Empire Section.

The Indians of the Old Oregon Country


THERE WERE FIFTEEN GROUPS OR FAMILIES OF INDIAN TRIBES IN THAT PART OF THE OLD OREGON COUNTRY WHICH IS NOW OCCUPIED BY OREGON, WASHINGTON AND IDAHO.

I. THE ATHAPASCAN FAMILY

1. Kwal-hi-o-qua tribe, so called by the Chinooks, meaning "at a lonely place in the woods;" they lived on the Willopah river, Lewis county, Washington.

2. Tlatskanai, lived on the Clatskanie river, Columbia county, Oregon; a warlike tribe; the early Hudson's Bay trappers did not dare to pass their possessions in less numbers than sixty armed men.

3. Ump-qua, lived on the Umpqua river, Douglas county, Oregon.

4. Coquille, or Mishikhwutmetunne, lived on the Coquille river in Coos county, Oregon.

5. Tal-tush-tun-tude, lived on Galice creek, a tributary of Rogue river, in Josephine county, Oregon.

6. Chas-ta-costa, lived on the north side of the Rogue river in Curry and Josephine counties, Oregon.

7. Tu-tut-ni, lived on Rogue river near its mouth in Curry county, Oregon.

8. Chet-co, lived on the Chetco river, Curry county, Oregon. A number of their villages were destroyed by the whites in 1853.

II. CHIMAKUANC

1. Quil-eute, on the Quillayute river in Clallam county, Washington.

2. Chim-a-kum, occupied the peninsula between Hood's canal and Port Townsend, Jefferson county, Washington.

III. CHINOOKAN

This family of Indians occupied the shores of the Columbia from its mouth to the Dalles, and the Willamette from Oregon City to its junction with the Columbia. They artifically deformed their heads.

A. Lower Chinookan

1. Chin-ook, lived at the mouth of the Columbia in Pacific county, Washinton. Their language formed the basis of the Chinook jargon and has given the name for the Chinook wind.

2. Clat-sop, the name means "dried salmon;" lived along the Columbia from its mouth to Tongue Point and along the coast to Tillamook Head in Clatsop county, Oregon.

B. Upper Chinookan

These were visited by an epidemic called ague fever in 1829, which in a single summer swept away four-fifths of the people. [The heaps of unburied bones of these people on Sauvie's island is mentioned by Wyeth and by other early settlers on this island.]

1. Cath-la-com-a-tup, resided on the south side of Sauvie's island in Multnomah county, Oregon.

2. Cath-la-cum-up, lived on the west bank of the lower mouth of the Willamette river, Columbia county, Oregon.

3. Cath-la-ka-he-kit, lived at the Cascades of the Columbia in Hood River county, Oregon, and Skamania county, Washington.

4. Cath-la-met, on the lower Columbia from Tongue Point to Puget island in Clatsop county, Oregon.

5. Cath-la-nah-qui-ah, lived on the southwest side of Sauvie's island, Multnomah county, Oregon.

6. Cath-la-potle, lived in Clark county, Washington.

7. Cath-lath-la-las, lived on the Columbia below the Cascades in Skamania county, Washington, and Multnomah county, Oregon.

8. Chak-way-al-ham, lived near Pillar Rock on the Columbia river, Clatsop county, Oregon.

9. Char-cow-a, lived on the Willamette river just above the falls in Clackamas county, Oregon.

10. Chil-luk-itte-quaw, lived along the Columbia river in Klickitat and Skamania counties, Washington.

11. Chit-pan-chick-chick, lived on the Columbia in Klickitat county, Washington, nearly opposite the Dalles.

12. Clack-a-ma, lived on the Clackamas river, Clackamas county, Oregon.

13. Clah-clel-lah, lived near the foot of the Cascades on the Columbia, Oregon.

14. Clah-na-quah, lived on Sauvie's island on the Columbia river, below the upper mouth of the Willamette river, in Multnomah county, Oregon.

15. Clan-in-na-tas, lived on the southwest side of Sauvies island, Multnomah county, Oregon.

16. Clat-a-cut, lived on Klickitat county, Washington, ten miles below The Dalles.

17. Clow-we-wal-la, resided at the falls of the Willamette river, Clackamas county, Oregon.

18. Clonaic, lived on the Columbia river below the mouth of Cowlitz river in Columbia county, Oregon.

19. Cush-ook, lived on the east bank of the Willamette river, just below the falls in Clackamas county, Oregon.

20. Dalles, resided at The Dalles, Wasco county, Oregon, and on the opposite side of the Columbia river in Klickitat county, Washington.

21. Ith-kye-ma-mit-is, lived in Klickitat county, Washington, nearly opposite The Dalles.

22. Kas-e-nos, lived at the junction of Scappoose creek with the Willamette Slough in Columbia county, Oregon.

23. Kat-lag-u-lak, lived on the Columbia river two miles below Rainier in Columbia county, Oregon.

24. Kat-la-min-i-min, occupied the south end of Sauvie's island in Multnomah county, Oregon.

25. Kil-lax-tho-kle, lived on Shoal Water Bay in Pacific county, Washington.

26. Kle-mi-ak-sac, lived near the present site of the city of Hood River.

27. Know-il-a-mo-wan, a village twenty-five miles from the Dalles [care Lee and Frost Ore. p. 176, 1844].

28. Kt-l-aeshat-l-kik, lived at the present site of Cathlamet, Wahkiakum county, Washington.

29. Kwul-kwul.

30. Lak-stak. Not determined but probably on the Columbia river.

31. Mult-no-mah, meaning "down river," a tribe living on the upper end of Sauvie's island, Multnomah county, Oregon. The term is also used to include all the tribes living on or near the lower Willamette river.

32. Na-mo-it, lived on the Columbia side of Sauvie's island near its lower end, Columbia county, Oregon.

33. Nay-ak-a-u-kaue, lived at the present site of St. Helens, Columbia county, Oregon.

34. Nech-a-co-kee, lived a short distance below the mouth of the Sandy river, Multnomah county, Oregon.

35. Ne-coot-i-meigh, lived at the Dalles [Ross, Fur Hunters I, p. 186, 1855].

36. Neer-cho-ki-oon, lived on the Columbia river a few miles above Sauvie's island, Multnomah county, Oregon.

37. Ne-mal-quin-ner, lived at the falls of the Willamette river in Clackamas county, Oregon, and also had a temporary house on the north end of Sauvie's island in Multnomah county, Oregon, where they went occasionally to collect wap-pa-too roots.

38. Ne-Looth-lect, lived twenty-eight miles from The Dalles on the Columbia river.

39. Scal-tal-pe, lived a short distance above the Cascades on the Columbia river, Oregon [Lee and Frost, Ore., p. 176, 1844].

40. Sha-ha-la, lived on the Columbia river from the Cascades to Sauvie's island.

41. Sho-to, lived in Clark county, Washington, nearly opposite the mouth of the Willamette river.

42. Skil-loot, lived on both sides of the Columbia river near the mouth of the Cowlitz river in Cowlitz county, Washington, and Columbia county, Oregon.

43. Smack-shop, lived on the Columbia river from Hood river to the Dalles.

44. Te-i-ak-ho-choe, lived in Columbia county, Oregon, about three miles above Oak Point.

45. Thlak-a-lam-a, lived at the mouth of Kalama river, Cowlitz county, Washington.

46. Tlak-at-la-la, lived in Cowlitz county, Washington, about three miles above Oak Point on the Columbia river.

47. Tlak-luit, lived in Klickitat county, Washington, from about the present site of Spedis to the White Salmon river, their most noted village near Spedis was called Wishram, but properly Nix-lu-dix.

48. Tla-le-gak, lived near Pillar Rock, on the Columbia river.

49. Tlash-ge-ne-ma-ki, lived in Wahkiakum county, Washington, below Skamokawa.

50. Tle-gu-lak, lived near the present site of Hudson, Columbia county, Oregon.

51. Wahe, lived at the head of the Cascades on the Columbia river.

52. Wah-ki-a-cum, lived in Wahkiakum county, Washington. They were originally a part of the Chinook tribe, but had separated and moved up the river from the Chinook territory to Oak Point.

53. Wak-a-na-si-si [or Ga-lak-a-na-si-si] lived in Clark county, Washington, opposite the mouth of the Willamette river.

54. "Wap-pa-too" is a name given to the tribes on and around Sauvies island.

55. Was-co, or [Ga-las-go], means "cup or bowl," from a cup-shaped rock near the main village near the Dalles, Wasco county, Oregon.

56. Wat-la-la, lived near Hood river, Oregon.

57. Will-o-pah, lived on the lower part of the Willopa river, Pacific county, Washington.

58. Wilt-wil-luk, lived near Rainier, Columbia county, Oregon.

59. Ye-huh, lived just above the Cascades on the Columbia river.


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