Many Kwakiutls lived in longhouses also known as plank houses. Plank houses were similar to the longhouse except they were taller. The Kwakiutl would put totem poles on the outside of their houses.
The Kwakiutl lived in coastal villages lying close to the shoreline. Each of their rectangular house had a totem pole on the front, a heavy timber frame and were made of cedar planks, and roofs were made of wood bark. The typical Kwakiutl house was up to 100 feet long and housed up to 50 families!
The Kwakiutl made clothing from the bark of trees. They also made rain capes and coats from animal skins. From the abundant forests of cedar and redwood trees, the Kwakiutl built houses called plank houses, or clan houses. Each building of planks could house 30-40 members of the same clan.
Kwakiutl, self-name Kwakwaka’wakw, North American Indians who traditionally lived in what is now British Columbia, Canada, along the shores of the waterways between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
Our Kwakiutl language or Kwak’wala is a Wakashan language of the Northwest Coast, traditionally spoken in our territory. Kwak’wala is the term used for the language, and Kwakwaka’wakw for the ethnic group. The Kwakwaka’wakw, or Kwak’wala speakers are the original inhabitants of the Northern Vancouver Island area.
The Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw (IPA: [ˈkʷakʷəkʲəʔwakʷ]), also known as the Kwakiutl (/ˈkwɑːkjʊtəl/; “Kwakʼwala-speaking peoples”) are Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Their current population, according to a 2016 census, is 3,665.
But they did have dolls, toys and games to play. Like many Native Americans, Kwakiutl mothers traditionally carried their babies in cradleboards on their backs.
Masks are highly valued by the Kwakiutl, serving as potent manifestations of ancestral spirits and supernatural beings and offering these supernatural entities temporary embodiment and communication through dance and other kinds of performance (Greenville 1998: 14).
The Ancient Pueblo people were very good farmers despite the harsh and arid climate. They ate mainly corn, beans, and squash. They knew how to dry their food and could store it for years. Women ground the dried corn into flour, which they made into paper-thin cakes.
The Kwakiutl lived in what is now British Columbia and Northeast Vancouver Island. The climate in British Columbia at the time was very humid with rain and mild. The land was covered with evergreen cedar forests and hills, making wildlife plentiful in the area.
Kwakiutl artists are known for their fine basketry and woodcarving arts, including wooden masks and totem carvings.
Kwakiutl on the west coast of Vancouver Island, however, are reported to have hunted whale . Inuit are reported to have used a simple harpoon with a head that remained in the whale, a line connected to the head, and floats and anchors made of wood and sealskin or deerskin attached.
In general, the 1850s and 1860s were terrible years for the Kwakiutl, marked as they were by the destruction of several villages by the British Navy and Bella Coola raiders as well as smallpox epidemics.
The Kwakwaka ‘ wakw peoples are traditional inhabitants of the coastal areas of northeastern Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. The name Kwakwaka ‘ wakw means those who speak Kwak’wala, which itself includes five dialects. (See also Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)
Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations: California, Arizona and Oklahoma have the largest populations of Native Americans in the United States. Most Native Americans live in small-town or rural areas.