Nisqually Indians

Nisqually Indians. From Skwale’absh, the native name of Nisqually River. Also spelled   Quallyamish, and Skwalliahmish. Also called:

  • Askwalli, Calapooya name.
  • Ltsχe’als, Nestucca name.
  • Suketī‘kenuk, Sukotī‘kenuk, by Columbia Indians along with all other coast people, meaning “people of the other side,” with reference to the Cascades.
  • Tsĕ Skua’lli ami’m, Luckamiut Kalapooian name.

Nisqually Connections. They gave their name to one dialectic division of the coastal division of the Salishan linguistic stock.

Nisqually Location. On Nisqually River above its mouth and on the middle and upper courses of Puyallup River.

Nisqually Villages

  • Basha’labsh, on Mashell Creek and neighboring Nisqually River, the town on a highland below Eatonville on Mashell Creek.
  • Sakwi’absh, Clear Creek and neighboring Nisqually River, the main settlement on a hill near the junction of Clear Creek and the Nisqually River.
  • Sigwa’letcabsh, on Segualitcu River, the main settlement where Dupont Creek enters the Sgwualiteu River.
  • Tsakwe’kwabah, on Clarks Creek and neighboring Puyallup River, the main settlement where Clarks Creek empties into Puyallup River, but seems to have included also Skwa’dabsh, at the mouth of a creek entering Wappato Creek above the Wappato Creek village.
  • Sta’habsh, where the Stuck River enters the Puyallup.
  • Tsuwa’diabsh, on what is now the Puyallup River above its junction with the
    Carbon, and just below the site of the Soldiers’ Home.
  • Tuwha’khabsh, above Ortig where Vogt Creek enters the Carbon River.
  • Yisha’ktcabsh, on Nisqually Lake, the principal settlement being at the mouth of a sizable creek.
  • Yokwa’lsshabsh, on Muck Creek and the neighboring parts of Nisqually River, the main settlement located where Muck Creek enters Nisqually River, and a division on Clover Creek.

Nisqually Population. Mooney (1928) estimated that in 1780 there were about 3,600 Nisqually of whom, in 1907, between 1,100 and 1,200 survived. About 1,100 were returned in the census of 1910, but the Indian Office Report for 1937 gives only 62, evidently a minor tribe which gave its name to the larger body.

Connection in which the Nisqually Indians have become noted. The memory of the Nisqually tribe, or cluster of bands, has been preserved in the name of Nesqually or Nisqually River, and in the post village of Nisqually in Thurston 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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