Their main food source was salmon, but Chinook men also caught other fish and sea animals. The Chinook woman gathered clams, mussels, shellfish, berries, and roots. The Chinook men hunted elk, deer, buffalo, and sea animals. Chinook people were not nomadic, they stayed in one place most of the time.
Each family had its own small fire in the longhouse. To roast the salmon, Chinook and Nez Perce people put the salmon into a split cedar wood stick that held the salmon tight like a clothespin, and stuck the wooden stick in a sand pit near their fire.
The women of the Chinook tribe preserved their food by smoking a year’s supply of salmon. They also pressed the rich oil from the eulachon (candlefish) and used large amounts of this oil as a dip for their food. Shellfish was another popular food and clams were dug from the beach and then smoked.
The Chinook peoples caught salmon using a variety of methods. By the mouth of the river, they made long seine nets with twine spun from spruce roots and with stones tied to the bottom edges. They were caught swimming past a small town near the mouth on the Washington side of the river, known today as, well, Chinook.
Cedar was a favorite material, but nettle, rushes, willow bark, and other fibers were also used. Almost any activity you can think of utilized some sort of cordage. In addition to salmon and other fish, elk and deer were among the most important food resources used by the Chinook.
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.
Chinook, North American Indians of the Northwest Coast who spoke Chinookan languages and traditionally lived in what are now Washington and Oregon, from the mouth of the Columbia River to The Dalles. The Chinook were famous as traders, with connections stretching as far as the Great Plains.
The Chinook used shells as a form of currency.
Chinook Jargon, also called Tsinuk Wawa, pidgin, presently extinct, formerly used as a trade language in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is thought to have originated among the Northwest Coast Indians, especially the Chinook and the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) peoples.
In the manner of numerous settled tribes, the Chinook resided in longhouses. More than fifty people, related through extended kinship, often resided in one longhouse. Their longhouses were made of planks made from red cedar trees. The houses were about 20–60 feet wide and 50–150 feet long.
The climate of the Northwest Coast was mild and rainy. The geogra- phy where the Chinook lived was the shoreline. The Chinook had salmon for food, cedar bark for clothing, and trees for shelter. with deerskin and by weaving cloth from the inner bark of cedar trees.
Chinook has a 2020 population of 154. Chinook is currently declining at a rate of 0.00% annually and its population has decreased by -66.95% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 466 in 2010.
“Chinook women really have a very important role in our society and while most of the time, men were headmen, that is actually not entirely true. Women could also hold the position of head-person.
Before the annual meeting, Chinooks hold a first salmon ceremony, in which the bones of the season’s first salmon are taken out to the Columbia River in a gesture of gratitude and respect. They also maintain the Chinook language and traditions of canoe building, wood carving and basket weaving.
The Clatsop tribe were great fish-eaters, and believed that the salmon were a divine gift from the wolf-spirit Talapus. The wolf-spirit Talapus was believed to have created the salmon to save their people from extinction at a legendary time of near disaster.
Definition of Chinook 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.