Makah Indians

Makah Indians. Meaning “cape people.” Also called:

  • Ba-qa-ŏ, Puyallup name.
  • Cape Flattery Indians, from their location.
  • Classet, Nootka name, meaning” outsiders.”
  • Kwe-nēt-the-chat, own name, meaning “cape people.”
  • Tlā‘asath, Nootka name, meaning “outside people.”

Makah Connections. The Makah belonged to the Nootka branch of the Wakashan linguistic family.

Makah Location. About Cape Flattery, claiming the coast east as far as Hoko River and south to Flattery Rocks, besides Tatoosh Island. Later they were confined to the Makah Reservation.

Makah Villages

  • Winter towns:
    • Baada, on Neah Bay.
    • Neah, on the site of the old Spanish fort, Port Nunez Gaona, Neah Bay.
    • Waatch, at the mouth of Waatch Creek, 4 miles from Neah Bay.
  • Summer villages:
    • Ahchawat, at Cape Flattery.
    • Kehsidatsoos, location unknown.
    • Kiddekubbut, 3 miles from Neah Bay.
    • Tatooche, on Tatoosh Island, off Cape Flattery.

Makah Population. Together with the Ozette, the Makah were estimated by Mooney (1928) to number 2,000 in 1780, a figure evidently based on that given by Lewis and Clark in 1805. In 1905 there were 435; the census of 1910 gave 360, and the United States Indian Office Report for 1923 gave 425, including the people of Ozette. In 1937, 407 were returned besides the Ozette Indians.

Connection in which the Makah Indians have become noted. The Makah and the Ozette are peculiar as the only tribes of the Nootka group and the Wakashan stock in the United States.


Makah Reservation,

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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