14 Facts About Coast Salish


Coast Salish is a group of ethnically and linguistically related Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, living in the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U S states of Washington and Oregon.

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Coast Salish are a large, loose grouping of many nations with numerous distinct cultures and languages.

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Coast Salish cultures differ considerably from those of their northern neighbours.

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Warfare for the southern Coast Salish was primarily defensive, with occasional raiding into territory where there were no relatives.

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Many Coast Salish mothers altered the appearance of their free-born by carefully shaping the heads of their babies, binding them with cradle boards just long enough to produce a steep sloping forehead.

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Unlike hunter-gatherer societies widespread in North America, but similar to other Pacific Northwest coastal cultures, Coast Salish society was complex, hierarchical and oriented toward property and status.

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The Coast Salish held slaves as simple property; they were not members of the tribe.

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Art of the Coast Salish has been interpreted and incorporated into contemporary art in British Columbia and the Puget Sound area.

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Coast Salish-made bowls in the Northwest have different artistic designs and features.

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Coastal Salish beliefs describe the journey to the underworld as a two-day adventure.

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Coastal Salish people believe that through dances, masks, or ceremonies they express themselves through the spiritual powers that they are given.

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Villages of the Coast Salish typically consisted of Western Red Cedar split plank and earthen floor longhouses providing habitation for forty or more people, usually a related extended family.

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Coast Salish later took to constructing rock walls at strategic points near the Fraser River Canyon, along the Fraser River.

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Coast Salish peoples' had complex land management practices linked to ecosystem health and resilience.

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