The Chinook Indians, relatives to the Clatsop tribe, lived in the Northwest along the banks of the Columbia River and the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Chinooks were superb canoe builders and navigators, masterful traders, skillful fishermen and planters.
In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered the Chinook Tribe on the lower Columbia. There are several theories about where the name ″ Chinook ″ came from. Some say it is a Chehalis word Tsinúk for the inhabitants of and a particular village site on Baker Bay, or “Fish Eaters”.
The Chinook tribe spoke in the Chinookan and Penutian language. Penutian encompassed a large division of languages spoken in the Pacific northwest, near the Columbia River basin, including Chinookan, Oregon Penutian, Tsimshianic and Utian.
The Chinook were prolific traders. In trade, the Chinook received dentalium shells, sea otter pelts, colored beads, obsidian, and other items. Dentalium shells were found in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Vancouver Island, and were valued by the Chinook. Dentalium shells were used to make beads for jewelry.
The Chinook is named after the Chinook Indians who lived along the Columbia River, and who were the first people to tell stories of “The Great South Wind”, or, in their language, the “Snow Eater”.
The Chinook used shells as a form of currency.
1: a member of an American Indian people of the north shore of the Columbia River at its mouth. 2: a Chinookan language of the Chinook and other nearby peoples. 3 or less commonly chinook. a: a warm moist southwest wind of the coast from Oregon northward.
Chinook men didn’t usually wear clothing at all, though some men wore a breech-clout. Women wore short skirts made of cedar bark or grass. In the rain, the Chinooks wore tule rush capes, and in colder weather, they wore fur robes and moccasins on their feet.
Today, most Chinooks live in southwestern Washington and scattered around the Pacific Northwest. Population In 1780, roughly 22,000 Chinookans lived in their territory, a figure that declined to less than 100 in the late nineteenth century. Chinook tribal membership stood at more than 2,000 in 1983.
The Chinook Indian Nation, a confederation of the Lower Chinook, Clatsop, Willapa, Wahkiakum, and Kathlamet bands includes 2,300 people. Chinook host four-day Lewis and Clark Bicentennial event in Chinook, Washington. Chinook Canoe Family joins the Inter- tribal Canoe Journey.
The ancient Makah lived in villages, inhabiting large longhouses made from western red cedar. These longhouses had cedar -plank walls. The planks could be tilted or removed to provide ventilation or light.
The Chinook tribe’s main way of transportation was the canoe. They had many, many types of canoes. Some types of canoes that they had was the big seagoing canoe, the shovelnose canoe, and the Chinook Canoe.
No, the Chinook Indian Nation is not Federally recognized.