Kwalhioqua Indians

Kwalhioqua Indians. From their Chinook designation, meaning “a lonely place in the woods.” Also called:

  • Axwe-‘la-pc, “people of the Willapa,” by the Chinook and Quinault Indians.
  • Gila-‘q!ulawas, from the name of the place where they usually lived.
  • Owhillapsh or W illapa, applied to this tribe erroneously.
  • Tkulhiyogoa-‘ikc, Chinook name.

Kwalhioqua Connections. The Kwalhioqua belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock.

Kwalhioqua Location. On the upper course of Willopah River, and the southern and western headwaters of the Chehalis. Gibbs (1877) extends their territory eastward of the Cascades, but Boas (1892) doubts the correctness of this.

Kwalhioqua Subdivisions.

  • Suwal, on headwaters of the Chehalis.
  • Wela’pakote’li, on Willapa River.

Kwalhioqua Population. Mooney (1928) estimated 200 in 1780; Hale (1846) gives about 100, but in 1850 it is said that only 2 males and several females survived, which indicates that an error had been made by one or the other.

Connection in which the Kwalhioqua Indians have become noted. The Kwalhioqua were distinguished almost solely by the fact that they belonged to the great Athapascan group yet were the only tribe of that stock in the State of Washington in historic times, having become entirely isolated from their relatives.

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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