Cowlitz Indians

Cowlitz Indians. Significance unknown. Also called:

  • Nū-sō-lupsh, name given by Indians not on the Sound to Upper Cowlitz and Upper Chehalis.

Cowlitz Connections. The Cowlitz belonged to the coastal division of the Salishan linguistic family, yet shared some peculiarities with the inland tribes.

Cowlitz Location. Most of the lower and all the middle course of Cowlitz River. Later they were divided between Chehalis and Puyallup Reservations.

Cowlitz Towns. Ray (1932) gives: Awi’mani, at the mouth of Coweman River, south of Kelso, and Manse’la, on site of Longiew. (See Curtis, 1907-9.)

Cowlitz Population. Mooney (1928) estimated the number of the Cowlitz, along with the Chehalis, Humptulips, and some other tribes, at 1,000 in 1780. In 1853 Gibbs stated that they and the Upper Chehalis counted not more than 165. About 1887 there were 127 on Puyallup Reservation. The census of 1910 returned 105. The United States Indian Office Report of 1923 gives 490, probably including other tribes.

Connections in which the Cowlitz Indians have become noted. The name Cowlitz is perpetuated by Cowlitz River and Cowlitz Pass; by Cowlitz Glacier, which radiates from Mount Ranier; and by Cowlitz County, Cowlitz Park, Cowlitz Chimney, Cowlitz Cleaver, and some small towns in the same region.

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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