Chetco Indians

Chetco Indians. Own name, meaning “close to the mouth of the stream.”

Chetco Connections. The Chetco belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock and differed little in culture from the other Athapascan groups immediately north of them and the Tolowa to the south.

Chetco Location. On each side of the mouth of Chetco River and about 14 miles up it as well as on Winchuck River.

Chetco Villages

As recorded by Dorsey (in Hodge, 1907):

  • Chettanne, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Khuniliikhwut, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Nukhsuchutun, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Setthatun, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Siskhaslitun, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Tachukhaslitun, on the south side of Chetco River.
  • Chettannene, on the north side of Chetco River.
  • Nakwutthume, on Chetco River above all the other villages.
  • Thlcharghiliitun, on the upper course of a south branch of Chetco River.

As recorded by Drucker (1937):

  • Hosa’tun, at the mouth of Winchuck River.
  • Natltene’tun, about where the modern town of Brookings stands.
  • Shri’choslintun, on Chetco River a little above the following.
  • Tcagitli’tun, on Chetco River at the mouth of the north Fork.
  • Tcet or Tcetko, at the mouth of Chetco River, really a town on each side.
  • Tume’stun, near Shri’choslintun.
  • Drucker adds that “the coast town which Parrish calls Wishtenatan (Water man, xustene’ten) may have been affiliated more closely with Chetco River than with the Lower Rogue River group.”

Chetco Population. See Chastacosta. In 1854, a year after the Chetco had been removed to the Siletz Reservation, they numbered 241. In 1861 they numbered 262. In 1877 there were only 63 on the reservation. The census of 1910 returned 9.

Connection in which the Chetco Indians have become noted. A river and a post hamlet in Curry County, Oregon, perpetuate the name of the Chetco.


Siletz Reservation,

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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