The Muckleshoot Native Americans

The Muckleshoot’s of coastal Washington had a variety of needs and wants. For
example, they needed food and shelter. Also, they wanted tools and utensils.

The Muckleshoot needed shelter to survive. However, they had different types of
shelters for different seasons. In fall through spring they, lived in plank
houses. The whole house was made of cedar. The structure, siding, roof,
everything! Sometimes, the Muckleshoot’s would double plank their longhouses to
really keep the cold out, and the warm in. They also warmed up the longhouses by
having fires. Because of the smoke resulting in fire, they had slats in the roof
to let it out. It also extra allowed light to get inside. When they cooked
indoors, they opened the slats. The Muckleshoot always had to have a fire going
because once the fire went out, it would take a very long time to get back going
again. When they cooked, they dried out the fish and other food by hanging it on
the ceiling. To make sure that there was enough room to cook inside the
longhouses, they attached their beds to the walls. Then, they put all of their
belongings under their beds. During the summer, they lived in tepees. These
tepees were made of mats of animal skins stitched together. These mats were
stretched over poles which formed a big tent. They reason they moved out in the
summer was because of food. They would go and gather food and then go back to
their longhouses for the winter.

Another major need of the Muckleshoot’s was food. They ate vegetables, roots,
fruits, fish, seafood, and berries. Their primary food source, though, was
salmon. Salmon were caught by the nets that the woman made. After caught, the
Muckleshoot would smoke them. This would preserve them year round. In the
winter, they ate salmonberry sprouts and fish eggs. In the spring, they gathered
roots. With these roots, they made biscuits. First, they dried the roots. Then
they mashed them into flour. They had a feast with the biscuits that they made.
In this ceremony, they thanked the Great Spirits for bestowing upon them that
food resource by dancing, singing, drumming. They also ate wapato, camas, tiger
lily, and fern. They were boiled and then eaten. In the summer and into the
fall, the Muckleshoot Native Americans ate a variety of berries. They had salal
berries, huckleberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries,
and more. Salal berries were pounded into cakes and mixed with animal grease to
make a scrumptious treat. In late fall, they gathered hazelnuts. Seafood and
salmon were gathered year round. Clams, although not as popular as salmon, was a
very important food resource. They were collected by using special clam digging
sticks made of cedar. After collected, they were wrapped in leaves and dirt, and
put on heated rocks.

Tools/ Utensils
In order to cook, hunt, do woodwork, and more, the Muckleshoot used wanted Tools
and utensils. To cook, they needed knives and cutting items. They were made of
shells, horns, and rocks, which were sharpened quite frequently. To hunt, they
needed weapons. The bow and arrow was the most common weapon. The arrows were
quite aerodynamic. The shaft was carved of ironwood. The tip was made hard,
solid rock or bone. The arrows were about two and a half to three feet long.
Each man made his own bow and his own arrows. Wood working was also common in
the Muckleshoot tribe. They would make canoes, slats for their houses, tables,
chairs, totems, and more. Some examples of the utensils and tools used are
wedges, hammers, drills, carving knives, and sand paper. Wedges were primarily
made stone, bone, or horn. However, they were sometimes even made of wood.
Hammers were made of stone. Carving knives made of sharpened shells set into
wooden handles. Drills were similar, but instead of shells, they were made of
rock. Sand paper was pretty much wet sand put onto a canvas.

The Spokane Native Americans
The Spokane Native Americans of the Washington state Plateau lived peacefully and quitely along the Spokane River. They have lived there for more than 14,000 years, they used the natural resources around them to meet their needs.

The most important need they had to meet was food. Living right along the Spokane River, fish was most abundant. They caught and ate eels, suckers, trout, and salmon. They ate some fresh, but most of it was dried on racks or kept in storage pits. Then they were eaten in the winter. they also ate roots and berries such as camas bulbs, bitter-root, onions, wild carrots, parshnips, serviceberries, huckleberries, and blueberries. Meat also played a major role. They hunted deer, bear, and carribou.

Tools were also very important they were used to get food. Spears, traps, and nets were used for catching fish. They were also used for hunting. They used digging sticks made of wood to dig for roots. For hunting they used bows and arrows. Traps and nets were made primarily by women. They were made of treebark. Spears, bows, and arrows were crafted by men from wood and stone.

Shelter was also very important. For shelter, the Spokane people used tepees. The tepees were eld up by a long stick that was stuck into the ground. The tepee cover was made of animal skins stitched together. They used tepees because they were a nomadic people. When people are nomadic, it means that they move from place to place looking for food. Since they were nomadic, the tepees were easy to pick up and take with them.

Cheif Garry of the Spokane Tribe
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Spokane Tepees in the winter
Spokane Tepees in the winter
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Spokane Tepees Muckleshoot tribe man

"The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe." The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. 8 Jan. 2008 .

"The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe." The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. 2002. Online
Highways. 8 Jan. 2008 .
"Questions and Answers About the Spokane Indians." 12 Feb. 2008 <>.