The Makah

The Makah call themselves "Kwih-dich-chuh-ahtx" which means "people who live by the rocks and seagulls." The name "Makah" was given to the tribe by neighboring tribes. "Makah" means "generous with food."

The Makahs live at the most northwestern point of the United States in the state of Washington.

For thousands of years, the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean have provided food for the Makah people. Dugout canoes carved from hollowed-out tree trunks are used to aid in fishing.
The Makah are the only Native American Tribe whose treaty rights include the hunting of whales.

The traditional shelter of Makah is the longhouse. The longhouses were made from the tall cedar trees which are plentiful in the American northwest.

For centuries, totem poles have been landmarks in Native American villages along the Northwest Coast. They are usually carved from cedar trees and trace the histories of the families and clans.

Each figure on the totem pole is a symbol of a family characteristic, event, or a "totem" - a power of nature to which the family has a special relation.

You can learn more about the Makah on these pages...
The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest
A Makah Legend
The Symbolism of the Totem Pole