Topic: Clatsop Indians Pt 2 What they ate
Below is an exerpt from the offical site for the Clatsop-Nehalem tribes
Web site: clatsop-nehalem.com
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CLATSOP-NEHALEM PEOPLE
Since long before European people first arrived on our shores, there has been a Clatsop-Nehalem people.
Most Clatsops dwelled along the northern Oregon coast from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head near Seaside, while most Nehalem-Tillamook dwelled in villages from Tillamook Head to well south of Tillamook Bay. Yet, the lines between these two people were by no means sharp, geographically or socially. The Clatsop and Nehalem peoples shared resource harvesting areas, such as the rich berry picking grounds of Clatsop Plains, and visited the same sacred places, such as Saddle Mountain. They gathered together each summer to trade with visiting tribes, socialize, and conduct ceremonies at the large village near Tansey Point, in present-day Hammond, Oregon. In the winter, many gathered together in a mixed Clatsop-Nehalem village near present-day Seaside. Though their languages were different, Clatsops and Nehalems were bilingual and readily borrowed words from each others languages. The familiar place prefix “Ne-,” for example, used in such placenames as Neahkahnie, Nehalem, Necanicum, and Neacoxie was used by Clatsops and Nehalems alike.
From the very earliest written record of the Clatsop and Nehalem people, they are described as being culturally, economically, and socially integrated with one-another. When Lewis and Clark visited our territories, in the winter of 1805-06, the Clatsop and Nehalem people were inseparable and often indistinguishable. The journals of Lewis and Clark make frequent reference to the presence of Nehalem-Tillamooks in Clatsop villages and Clatsops in Nehalem-Tillamook villages. On the southern Clatsop Plains, Lewis and Clark’s journals describe a Clatsop-Nehalem community that is thoroughly and seamlessly integrated. For example, at the site of present-day Seaside, men from the Corps of Discovery were operating a salt-making operation, “Situated near 4 houses of Clatsops and Killamox, who they informed me had been verry kind and attentive to them.” -William Clark, January 7, 1806
The above gives you just a tiny glimpse into the Clatsop indians.
Over my birthday in april we visited Ft Clatsop and took pictures of the display cases in the visitors center documenting the types of foods and cooking methods the Clatsop people used at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The signs are too hard to read, so I have given a written description of each below the corresponding photo.
First picture: Cooking Boxes
The card reads: “ In these vessels they boil their fish or flesh by means of hot stones which they immerce in water”
Lewis, Jan 17, 1806
Second Picture: Cooking Boxes different view.
Third Picture: Wooden Bowl
The Card reads: “ The culinary articles of the Indian consists of wooden bowls or troughs, Baskets, Shell and wooden Spons;… their wooden bowls are most generally dug out of solid pieces.”
Clark, Jan 17, 1806
Fourth Picture: Wappato Roots
The card reads: Roots of the wappato, or arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), gathered from upstream islands in the Columbia River became an important staple in the expedition’s diet. The men traded eagerly such items as they could spare for the delicious roots.
“ Wrap-to, a excellent root which is roasted and tastes like a potato.”
Clark, Nov 13, 1805
Sixth Picture Thistle Tubers
The card reads: Native peoples, including Sacagawea, supplied the men with edible roots such as wappato, cattail, and thistle tubers. They considered some of these delicious.
“ The root of the thistle, called by the natives Shan-ne-tah-que… is white and nearly as crisp as a carrot.”
Lewis, Jan 21, 1806
I have a few more photos which I will share on Wednesday-
Original written material:
by Joanna Linsley-Poe
Photo’s by Michael Poe