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Image of a totem pole figure carved from cedar.
Totem pole figure carved from cedar, Vancouver, BC Photo: Ed Shay

Wood Use: Traditional Uses
Uses of Wood by the Makah Tribe The Makah are a tribe of native Americans who live along the seacoast of the tip of northwestern Washington. The following material, gathered from the Makah Museum in Neah Bay, Washington, reveals the many uses "The People of the Ocean" have had for the woods.

Almost every facet of Makah existence was dependent upon the need for wood products. Quote from exhibit at Makah Museum in Neah Bay, WA.

 Use  Wood
canoe single cedar log, bow and stem pieces added
bailer alderwood 
paddle yew 
seal skin float plug hemlock 
canoe mat woven cedar bark 
harpoon shaft yew
whale line cedar bough 
whale harpoon bag cedar bark 
wrapping on harpoon of elk antler  cherry bark 
fishing tackle pouch woven cedar bark 
seal harpoon shafts yew 
rope cedar bough 
club yew 
trays red alder
combs western hemlock
clubs Sitka spruce
wedges yew, Sitka spruce
boxes cedar
platters cedar
bowls cedar
game paddles yew, cedar
toys, miniature basketry, tops, animals, wooden game discs carved cedar and cedar bark, yellow cedar for carving
art objects of all kinds, masks, headdresses cedar
spirit masks yellow cedar
totems cedar
woodworking tools yew, Sitka spruce
planks for the "longhouse" cedar
benches cedar
bench mats woven cedar bark
floor mats woven cedar bark
loom for weaving clothes spruce
other clothing pounded cedar bark

Plants were used for food and medicines.

For further information visit Neah Bay, Washington and the Makah People.

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