Mother of the
Wolf Children

 
The legend of the mother and wolf children describe the origin of the village on Sequim Bay.
She is carved with her digging stick and harvested clams, a delicacy, and important resource for the Tribe throughout history.
 
From the Dance Plaza House Post Carvings - Dale Faulstich, Lead Carver and Designer.
Assistant Carvers: Nathan Gilles and Ed Charles. Volunteer carvers: Harry Burlingone and Don Walsh.

 
Jamestown
S'Klallam Tribe

1033 Old Blyn Hwy
Sequim, WA 98382
360-683-1109
info@jamestowntribe.org
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Jamestown S'Klallam History
Coastal Salish Canoes
Coastal Salish Weaving
Dungeness Massacre
Indian Homes
Men's Responsibilities
Women's Responsibilities
Stages of Life
Treaty of 1855
Tamanowas Rock Sanctuary
Tse-Whit-Zen-Villiage
 
 

 

 

Indian Homes


 

The summer homes of the Coastal and Puget Sound Indians were temporary lodges built of bushes or bark. Little shelter was needed except during the winter when the weather was cold and rainy for long periods of time, then permanent houses were built. Cedar planks two or three feet wide and from three to six inches thick were cut using wedges made of elkhorn or with chisels of beaver teeth and flint. From these planks and logs rectangular houses 40 to 100 feet or more in length and 14 to 20 feet wide were built with a roof structure similar to tiles. The roof slats could be adjusted to let out the smoke from the cooking fire and let in light. The only opening other than a single door (generally placed at the ends of the houses) was along the left ridgepole to permit the escape of smoke. Windows would have let the cold air in. These long cedar plank houses were always situated by a stream or river and accommodated a number of families, each with its own small fire in the shallow excavating which ran lengthwise down the middle. They would keep the fire going day and night; and if it did go out, they would whirl a stick in dry cedar until it began to smoke and then put on cedar bark. The floor was dirt, and from the ceiling dried foods and roots would be hung.

Longhouses of the northern-most Coastal Indians were often, decorated on the outside with paintings or carvings. These designs weren't just for show. Just by looking at the designs, you could tell what the family history was and you could tell what clan the family was from. This decoration wasn't always just on the outside of the longhouse. Inside the homes of some high-ranking families there were poles that were as beautifully carved as the ones on the outside.

Bunks lined the walls and the four or five feet of earthen floor between them and the fire was the living space of the family.
 


 

Interior Arrangements

A prominent feature of many of the houses was the central pit or trench from one to five feet deep and entered by steps or a ramp. Houses for more than one family had a number of fires placed along the sides of the building, the center being left open for a passageway. Two to four families used one fire. Smoke escaped through holes in the roof made by pushing aside some of the cedar slats with long poles and bark was the principal fuel. The houses were sometimes divided into rooms by cattail mat partitions running the full width of the building. Bed platforms, one to two feet high and three to four feet wide, ran around the walls of each family section. In front of these were low ladders. Every house had a central rack built to the height of the walls on which fish and roots were dried. Cattail mats lined the walls, lay on the floor, served as bedding, and were hung up as partitions. The houses were very smokey, usually smelled very strongly of fish, and because of their loose construction, were also rather drafty. Houses passed from father to son, and were burned or given away if the owner died in them.

     

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