the people of the nw coast n.
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The people of the NW Coast. SS 9 Ms. Pakkar. Totem Poles. The PPL of the NW Coast were talented artists One of their most known works is the totem pole (handout) Some examples: http :// Location. West coast of BC

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totem poles
Totem Poles
  • The PPL of the NW Coast were talented artists
  • One of their most known works is the totem pole (handout)
  • Some examples:
  • West coast of BC
  • Most diverse of all FN ppl in terms of language – over 19
  • About 70 different Nations
housing permanent
Housing – permanent
  • The NW Coast PPL were able to live in permanent settlements because food was available all year round
  • They lived in longhouses AKA “big houses”

Longhouses in Ksan Village

the big house
“The Big House”
  • Made of cedar planks cut with stone axes
  • 50-150 feet long, 20-60 feet wide
  • Housed several families in one

Kwakwakw'wakw house front

the inside
The Inside
  • Bunk beds against one wall with storage area above
  • Each family had their own small fire pit for cooking
food hunter gatherers
Food – hunter gatherers
  • Hunting, fishing, and gathering edible roots
  • Agriculture never needed because of the food available to them by nature
  • The NW Coast PPL were skilled fishermen because of their understanding of waterways
  • Primarily caught Pacific salmon in the Pacific Ocean (main source)
  • Used harpoons, nets, and traps – plentiful during the fall (1000s in a small area – enough for a year)

Nuu-chah-nulth man fishing with a net

fishing continued
Fishing Continued
  • Used canoes made of cedar for transportation
  • Other sea animals: whales, seaweed, sea otters, turtles, crab, etc. and oils (good trade item)

Kwakwakw'wakw Canoe

hunting mostly summer time
Hunting – mostly summer time
  • Hunted black-tailed deer, elk, bear, mountain goat in nearby forests
religion and culture
Religion and Culture
  • Oral tradition (stories), dance, song
  • Creation stories about the creation of parts of nature and why events occurred eg. change in seasons
  • Belief that humans are surrounded by the supernatural always – spirits connected to all living things
  • Shaman – the only connection to the spirit and natural world
the shaman or medicine man
The Shaman or “Medicine Man”
  • Shaman’s jobs: (1) cure the sick (2) make sure there’s enough food (3) influence the weather
  • All of these jobs were completed through communication with the spirit world
  • Used rattles as a communication tool with the spirits

Gitksan woman Shaman

potlatch ceremony
Potlatch Ceremony
  • Means, “to give”
  • Big celebration – often took a year to plan
  • Celebrated a person's change in social status ie. marriage, birth, death, and coming of age
  • Included large feast, singing, costume dancing
  • Some potlatches lasted 2-3 weeks
a celebration of wealth
A Celebration of Wealth
  • Potlatches became a way of individual’s showing off their wealth
  • Every person in attendance received gifts related to their social rank. Eg. canoes, slaves, carved dishes, and eulachon oil.
  • The more wealth that a family gave away (as gifts), the more prestige was bestowed on them.

Potlatch dancers

  • The PPL of the NW Coast wore little clothing in general
  • Warmer months  men would often go naked, & women would only wear bark skirts.
  • Women made most of the clothing out of softened cedar wood or bark, animal leather, and wool.

Salish goat wool coat