The Duwamish Tribe


The government of the Duwamish tribe iwas very simple, they had one leader. That leader would be chosen by the people in the tribe. The village people would base their decision by the persons skills, or knowledge about the spirits. The most famous tribe leader or chief was chief Si’ahl. The city of Seattle was named after chief Si’ahl. The chief of the tribe is the person that would make the decisions on when the tribe would fight and also situations like where they would go hunting. They would also lead the spiritual gatherings.

Chief Si'ahl
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Because of the environment that the Duwamish tribe lived in, they were mainly fishermen. They had Puget Sound, a large body of water very close to them so they had a lot of resources to catch salmon. Also because they lived in the northwest, they had a lot of wood to make very strong boats out of. The Duwamish tribe also did a lot of trading, but mainly with other Salish tribes, which are local tribes.

Puget Sound

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The society in the Duwamish tribe was divided into three classes, lower class middle class and upper class. All of the classes were very hierarchical. People would get placed into different classes because of things like how good they were at hunting or how much they knew about spirits. Also, mothers would shape their babies heads so that they looked better, as a way of moving up in class.

Belief Systems
The Duwamish tribe had a very strong spiritual belief system. They had many different festivals that they celebrated. Also a lot of the reasons why a person would be in a certain class, is because of there spiritual knowledge. They thought that the spirits were a huge part of their society and they worshiped them many times, and when they did it was very organized.

The Duwamish had a lot of different customs and traditions, but they also shared a lot of customs with other Salish tribes. During there festivals, a lot of them would dress up in masks and dance. Another thing that they did was play a gambling game called Slahal. Most of the traditional food that they ate was different kinds of fish, but mainly salmon. They also ate a lot of different fruits, nuts and berries.

Science and Technology

The Duwamish tribe did not use that many different technologies and sciences, but the main ones that they did use were different tools to catch fish. The main ones that they used were long spears, which could sometimes be as simple as sharpened sticks, and they also used a lot of different types of knives. Sometimes, they would also use a bow and arrow. Some other native American used fishing poles made out of bamboo with very thin wire and the hooks would be made out of bone.

Art and Architecture

The Duwamish tribe had a lot of its own unique art and architecture. They and other Salish tribes were very well know for their totem poles. Totem poles are large sculptures carved from tree trunks. Duwamish totem poles usually represent big events in a family or villages history. Another big part of Duwamish architecture was their longhouses. Most people in the villages lived in big longhouses that could hold tons of people. Some people of lesser class also lived in pit-houses.

Totem Pole

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