Daily LifeThe day started early for the tribes people of the Pacific Northwest.They woke up at sunrise and took a bath in the river, and then the startedtheir daily work. They did not eat till later in the day.Women would do chores around the village. These included weaving baskets and mats, digging for clams, cleaning the house and cooking the meals.The men were the food providers for the tribe. They would fish and hunt. They would make nets to catch fish and scoop them up when the time was right.
Baskets Baskets were an important part of life. Some of them had a family design on them. The baskets were made in the winter time and women had to gather the materials all summer long to be ready for it. The baskets were used to store food and other household goods. The techniques for making the baskets were past down from mother to daughter each generation.Meals The meals were eaten in the long house, this was also were they stored much of the food as well.They mostly ate food from the ocean. They would use fish oil and whale fat for seasoning. By using hot rocks, they could cook their food over them with out using a pan.
The Long HouseSince the area in which the indians lived was near the forestand lumber was abundant, they chopped down cedar trees and built their long houses out of them. The long house was typically100 ft. long and 25 ft wide. The entire family lived there, includingmarried sons and daughters. Once the father of the house died, the family had to move or built a new long house and they burned the old one, as they believed the dead owner would be bothered if the family stayed in the house.
Whales and SalmonSalmon and whales were the main source of food forthe Northwest Pacific Native Americans. To kill a whale, it could take days and was very dangerous. The whalecould flip the canoe as the men tried to hunt it withharpoon type spears. In the summer they fished forsalmon and in the winter months they fished for whales. A successful whale hunt meant food, oilrope and other supplies for months to come.
Totem polesThe Pacific Northwest Native Americans used totem poles to tell stories. This was animportant part of their culture. They did notinvent the totem pole though, they liked the idea from another tribe and took it into their culture.
The Fur TradeWealth was very important to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest. They were great hunters and the area they livedin was plentiful of sea otters. The white men who came to the area wouldpay a high price for the furs and alsotrade with them for metal tools which helpedadvance their status with other tribes in the area.