Wenatchee Indians

Wenatchee Indians. (Wina’t ca). So called by the Wasco, and it has become a popular name for them.

Also called:

  • Awena’tchela, by the Klickitat, meaning “people at the coming-out or source,” said to refer to the fact that they occupied the country at the heads of the rivers or above the Yakima.
  • Pisquow, from .s.npeskwau’zux, their own name, variants of which appear in the appelations given them by other Salish tribes in the neighborhood.
  • Tso’kwob.c, by the Snohomish.

Wenatchee Connections. The Wenatchee belonged to the inland division of the Salishan linguistic family, their nearest relations being the SinkiuseColumbia Indians.

Wenatchee Location. On Methow and Wenatchee Rivers and Chelan Lake. The Wenatchee are now under the Colville Agency.

Wenatchee Subdivisions

From Curtis (1907-9) and Ray (1932

  • Sinia’lkumuk, on the Columbia between Entiat Creek and Wenatchee River.
  • Sinkumchi’muk, at the mouth of the Wenatchee.
  • Sinpusko’isok, at the forks of the Wenatchee, where the town of Leavenworth now stands.
  • Sintia’tkumuk, along Entiat Creek.
  • Stske’tamihu, 6 miles down river from the present town of Wenatchee.

Minor divisions mentioned are the following:

  • Camiltpaw, on the east side of Columbia River.
  • Shanwappom, on the headwaters of Cataract (Klickitat) and Tapteel Rivers.
  • Siapkat, at a place of this name on the east bank of Columbia River, about Bishop Rock and Milk Creek, below Wenatchee River.
  • Skaddal, originally on Cataract (Klickitat) River, on the west bank of Yakima River and later opposite the entrance to Selah Creek.

Wenatchee Population. Mooney (1928) estimated there were 1,400 Wenatchee in 1780, but Teit (1928) considers this considerably too low. The four bands of this tribe mentioned by Lewis and Clark in 1805 totaled 820. The census of 1910 gave 52.

Connection in which the Wenatchee Indians have become noted. Wenatchee River, Lake Wenatchee, and Wenatchee Mountain preserve the name, as also the town of Wenatchee, county seat of Chelan County.

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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