Duwamish Indians

Duwamish Indians. A place name.

Duwamish Connections. The Duwamish belonged to the Nisqually dialectic group of the coast division of the Salishan linguistic stock.

Duwamish Villages

(According to Smith, 1940)

  • The Duwamish River from its mouth up to and including the Black and Cedar Rivers, with the following villages:
    • Dsidsila’letc, at Yesler Way and Jackson St., Seattle.
    • Duwe’kwulsh, at Maple Valley.
    • Kati’lbabsh, at the present town of Renton.
    • Sakwe’kwewad, on Cedar River about 2 miles from Renton.
    • Skwa’lko, where the Black and White Rivers join to form the Duwamish.
    • Tkwabko’, at south end of Lake Washington.
    • Tola’ltu, below Duwamish Head, Seattle.
    • Tupa’thlteb, at the mouth of the easternmost estuary of the Duwamish.
    • Tuduwa’bsh, at the mouth of the Duwamish River.
  • From where the Black River flows into the Duwamish to the junction of the White and Green Rivers, including these villages:
    • Stak and Tcutupa’lhu, on the east bank of the White River between its junction with the Black River and the mouth of the Green River.
  • The Green River villages:
    • Ila’lkoabsh, at the junction of the Green and White Rivers. Su’sabsh, on Suise Creek.
    • Perhaps several groups of houses:
      1. on the upper Green River, including Tskoka’bid (at the bend now spanned by the highway bridge about 4 miles east of Auburn)
      2. on the north bank of the Robert Wooding Place
      3. on the Du Bois Place
      4. at the mouth of Newaukum Creek.
  • The White River village, Sbalko’absh (on White River near a small stream at the southeast corner of the present Muckleshoot Reservation and to the east on Boise Creek).
  • The Lake Washington people, including the Thluwi’thalbsh (at Union Bay), the Sammamish (at the mouth of Sammamish River), and the peoples of Salmon Bay. In 1856 they were removed to the eastern shore of Bainbridge Island but as the place lacked a fishing ground they were shortly afterward taken to Holderness Point, on the west side of Eliot Bay, which was already a favorite place for fishing. They are now under the Tulalip School Superintendency.

Duwamish Population. The Duwamish were estimated by Mooney (1928), with the Suquamish and other tribes, at 1,200 in 1780. About 1856 they are variously given at from 64 to 312. The census of 1910 returned 20.

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Connections in which the Duwamish have become noted. The Duwamish Indians will be remembered mainly as one of the tribes formerly located on the site of Seattle, and one of the two of which the Indian who gave his name to that city was chief. The name Duwamish itself is preserved in Duwamish River and in the name of a small town.

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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