Clallam Indians

Meaning “strong people.” Also spelled Nu-sklaim, S’Klallam, Tla’lem.

Clallam Connections. The Clallam were a tribe of the coastal division of the Salishan linguistic stock most closely connected with the Songish.

Clallam Location. On the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Port Discovery and Hoko River. Later the Clallam occupied the Chimakum territory also and a small number lived on the lower end of Vancouver Island.

Clallam Villages.

  • Elwah, at the mouth of Elwah River.
  • Hoko, at the mouth of Hoko Creek.
  • Huiauulch, on the site of modern Jamestown, 5 miles east of Dungeness.
  • Hunnint or Hŭngǐ’ngǐt, on the east side of Clallam Bay; this town and Klatlawas together were called Xainañt by Erna Gunther (1927).
  • Kahtai, at Port Townsend, occupied after the destruction of the Chimakum. Kaquaith (or Skakwiyel), at Port Discovery.
  • Klatlawas, the Tlătlăwai’is of Curtis (1907-9), on the west side of Clallam Bay; see Hunnint.
  • Kwahamish, a fishing village on the Lyre River.
  • Mekoös, on Beecher Bay, Vancouver Island, B. C
  • Pistchin, on Pysht Bay.’
  • Sequim or Suktcikwiiñ, on Sequim Bay or Washington Harbor.
  • Sestietl, Upper Elwah.
  • Stehtlum, at new Dungeness.
  • Tclanuk, on Beecher Bay, Vancouver Island, B. C.
  • Tsako, at the former mouth of Dungeness River.
  • Tsewhitzen, on Port Angeles Spit, 2 or 3 miles west of the old town of Stehtlum.
  • Yennis, at Port Angeles or False Dungeness.

Clallam Population. Mooney (1928) estimated 2,000 Clallam in 1780. In 1854 Gibbs estimated 800. In 1855, 926 were reported. In 1862 Eells estimated 1,300 but gave 597 in 1878. In 1881 he reduced this to 485. In 1904, 336 were returned. By the census of 1910, 398 were reported; by the United States Indian Office in 1923, 535, and in 1937, 764.

Connections in which the Clallam have become noted. The name Clallam is perpetuated by its application to a bay, a county, a river, and a precinct in the State of Washington.

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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