Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Wood of the area
 Native tools
 Wood working
 Design characteristics
 The traditional house of the North...
 Laying out the plan of the...
 Erecting house structures
 Text book analysis

Aboriginal houses of the Northwest Pacific Coast
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099617/00001
 Material Information
Title: Aboriginal houses of the Northwest Pacific Coast
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Manning, Raymond L.
Publisher: Raymond L. Manning
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1977
Copyright Date: 1977
Subjects / Keywords: Historic preservation
General Note: Course number: AE675
General Note: Professor Philip Wisley
General Note: UF AFA Historic Preservation document 457
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00099617:00001

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Wood of the area
        Page 4
    Native tools
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Wood working
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Design characteristics
        Page 10
    The traditional house of the North Pacific Coast cultures
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Laying out the plan of the house
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Erecting house structures
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Text book analysis
        Page 29
        Page 30
Full Text

Raymond L.


AE 675
Winter Quarter
Inst. Phillip Wisely


The people of the Northwest Coast were noted for their advanced state

of culture as compared to other aboriginal cultures of North America. A

thin strip of land from Northern California to Southern Alaska comprised

the home of these people. This area was rich in timber and food supplies

which had a very strong effect on the development of this culture.

The large easily accessible food supply from the ocean allowed the

people to remain in one location instead of moving about in the search for

food. This stationary attitude gave the incentive to devise a more perma-

nent structure then that which is usually associated with the North American

aboriginal cultures.

One of the notable developments was the heavy timber dwelling which

was almost universally used in this area.

Large forests in the area with easily worked wood coupled with the

more permanent dwelling location and a people with abundant liesure time

gave way to the development of the heavy timber house of this area.

This report will show how and why the timber house was developed

from this culture. A description of the dwellings used by the various tribes

that make up the culture of this area will show how nature worked with the

inhabitants towards this development.


I. Culture

II. Wood of the Area

III. Tools

IV. Wood Working

V. Design Characteristics

VI. The Traditional House

A. Northern Type

B. Wakashan Type

C. Shed Roof Type

D. Oregon Coast Type

E. Three-Pitch Roof Type

VII. Laying out house plan

VIII. Foundations

IX. Erecting House Structures

X. Bibliography


The cultures of the North Pacific Coast were to become notable

because of two important factors which set them apart from most other

North American aboriginal societies. An advance native culture developed

with little outside influence or help, they took over primitive native elements

and advanced on their own. This differed from a primitive people affected

by contact with a far more advanced society which acted as a stimulus for

development. The close proximity to the sea and its abundance of food lead

to a culture with more liesure time and a non-transient attitude As a

result of this the people had more time for creativity and inventiveness.

Land conditions of the area were to directly effect the development

of the inhabitants. The Pacific West Coast from southern Alaska to

northern California was known for its rugged conditions which were similar

to the climatic and geological conditions in the country of Norway.

The people took advantage of the surrounding forest of abundant ever-

greens, particularly red cedar and redwood. The readily available wood

supply had a definite effect on the development of the dwelling of these


The area had a surprisingly stable climate for such northern latitudes

This was due to the warm Japanese Current that ran along the coast and

the topography of the land with the Cascade Mountains as an eastern bound-


The cultures close proximity to the sea lead to a strong association

with the water and its food supply. The inhabitants mastered techniques

of fishing and trapping of salmon which was to become a large part of

their diet. Commonly used techniques were trapping, spearing, netting,

clubbing, and the use of bow and arrows.

A notable advancement was the development of techniques which allowed

the preservation of food for reasonable lengths of time. This development

greatly decreased the need of the people to move about in a constant search

for food. This important factor contributed to the inhabitants evolving a

more permanent type of structure.

Unlike most other American Indians, the cultures of the North Paci-

fic Coast developed an aristocracy. This was to be one of the key social

developments that gives an idea of the advanced state of these people.

Position in the classes was usually dictated by birthright or some other

obvious characteristic.

The highest class was reserved for chiefs of royal blood and carried

with it certain privileges. Control of wealth and social rank were equated

with the right to rule, as were exclusive rights to practice certain crafts

reserved for nobility and privileges such as exclusive use of the best fish-

ing grounds and in some tribes the honor of hurling the whaling harpoon.

Members of nobility made up the next highest class, followed by the class

of the common people. Slaves, captives, and their offspring were to

represent the lowest class.


A social ritual common to most of these cultures was known as potlatch.

It was a ceremony of feasting and gift giving that took many forms, but its

purpose and nature was always the same. A show of social rank, wealth,

and status that generated into a lavish and prestigious affair. It was

given to mark birthdays, adoptions, and marriages or to impress someone

of particular importance. It occasionally was held to save face after

embarrassing failures or disappointments.


Evergreen forest covered most of the land inhabited by these cultures

and was to be a factor which allowed the development of their particular

type of dwelling. Two types of wood, red cedar in the north and redwood

in the south were used for dwellings due to their favorable properties. The

two similar types of wood were easily split into wide straight planks be-

cause of their easily opened cleavage planes. The wood was soft and

tractable which made it easy to work with native tools.

Wood used for small carvings was usually yellow cedar and alder, be-

cause it was easy to carve and did not have prominent cleavage lines.

Wood that was readily available, but not commonly used, was Douglas

fir, true firs, spruce, and hemlock. These varieties made up the major

portion of the forest, but were too difficult to handle with native tools due

to their tough and cross fibered characteristics.



The native workmen possessed a wide variety of tools which were a

definite factor in attaining their high degree of wood working development.


The maul was a hammering device of stone used to drive adzes,

chisels or vdges. It was used in two varies, either the mounted or the

unhafted unmountedd) type. The unhafted maul was the most commonly

used of the two types, with almost exclusive use in the Southern areas.

A mounted maul consisted of a stone head affixed to a long wooden handle

which was used with a full two handed swing. It saw wide spread use in

the Northern tribes such as the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Bella Coola

and the Heiltsuk.


The cutting blades for adzes and other tools were found in the immed-

iate area by the native workmen. A great variety of blade types were used

such as; elkhorn, bone, strong shells, beaver incisors, tough grained igneous

rock and occasionally pieces of iron.


Chisels took the place of the saw and axe which were unknown to work-

men of these cultures. The blade was usually made of tough stone nephritee),

elkhorn or the dense shell of the deep water clam. It was mounted in a

hardwood shaft that was usually driven by a unhafted pear shaped maul.


The wedge was driven with a maul and used to split planks from logs.

They were used in a variety of sizes and degrees of taper, with one flat and

one curved surface to allow the workmen to control the direction of the

clevage. Hardwoods such as yew were used for the wedge with a grommet

of tough spruce root wrapped around the butt end to prevent splitting.

A few of the Northern tribes of California and their immediate neighbors

used elkhorn for their wedges.


The adze was used for the removal of wood in the shaping of beams,

canoes and other large wooden articles. Two styles were commonly used

either heavy or light depending on the type of woik to be done.

1. Heavy Adze

The heavy adze was a relatively long handled implement with a

blade set at an angle to the axMis of the wooden shaft. It was used in'

in place of the saw or axes which were unfamiliar to the native work-

men. I t was driven with a maul and used for large work, such as

felling trees or planning large surfaces.

'7 2. Light Adze

The light adze was used for fine work such as the finishing of a

surface to remove the marks left by the heavy adze. A beaver in-

cisor was often used for the blade due to its naturally keen edge and

was mounted in a variety of handle styles. The type of handle used

depended on the tribe and their preference, but their was evidence of

overlapping usage of the different styles in one tribe.

The elbow adze was used in the area from the Northern tungit tribes

to the Southern Kwakiutls and were characterized by a cutting blade

lashed to a "T" shaped wooden handle.

A "D" shaped handle of wood or whalebone was used for a "D"

adze which saw wide spread use in the central region by the Southern

Kwakiutls and down the Washington coast by the Nootkas.

The straight adze resembled a chisel with a slightly curve handle

and was common in the area south of the Columbia River.


Drills were used to produce holes for joining of wood by means of

dowels and a native style of tying or sewing. It consisted of a bit of a

hard material mounted in a straight wooden shaft that was rotated between

the workmen' s palms.


Sanding material was used to remove adze marks to produce a smooth

finish. Fine sandstone and scouring rushes were used for rough work,

then finished with sharkskin to produce a smooth surface.


Products of Northwest carpentry were distinguished by neatness of

finish and developed to an extent unrivaled elsewhere in native North Amer-

ica. The fine elaborate carvings and painted decorations were accomplished

with rather crude and limited tools.

Within limits of functional design they strived for symmetry of form.

Corner s were squared, although they did not have the benefit of a tri-

square. Surfaces were carefully smoothed and polished far beyond ulitarian

needs and very often highly decorated.

Giant red cedar and other large trees were felled by laboriously chip-

ping away with adzes and chisels around the trunk. Adzes and chisels

were the primary tools for tree felling, because axes and saws were un-

known to the native craftsman. Occasionally fire was used for tree felling,

but not often, due to the difficulty of controlling burning of green wood.

The native carpenters had two methods of splitting planks from large

trees. The first and most common delt with trees that had been previously

cut down or felled by an act of nature.

The horizontal trunk was marked with a wedge along the desired cut

line, then a set of seven yew wood wedges were driven along this line. The

wedges were of increasing length and so placed that the shortest was nearest

the workman so all could be reached by him in order without changing his

position. As the wood began to split, spreading sticks were inserted to


speed the process. Throughout the procedure care is taken to keep the split-

ting surface on a straight plane by regulating the stresses in the wood by

ballasting or support.

The second method required less work, but was not as widely used as

the first. This procedure delt with trees that were still standing. The

tree was notched horizontally at two places to produce a plank of desired

length. Wedges were driven into the trunk to start the split between the

two marks. A log was then placed in the split to take advantage of wind

effects and tree movement to split off the plank.

Excellent workmanship was exhibited in finishing articles manufactured

from wood. Carvings were often used to finish the surface of large members

as was a native style of fluting, The final adzing was done so as to leave

marks in rows which resembled fluting. This was done the entire lengthof

the member to produce an interesting aesthetic effect.


Two main design styles used, one being a simple and pure art while

the other was an expression of formal decorative schemes.

The pure and simple applied art dealt with realistic images with the

interpretation striving to deplict accurate figures within the knowledge of

the workmen.

The stylized and represental art was in a high state of abstraction

and was more widely used than the pure form. A common practice of the

stylized design was to split the figure of an animal in half, showing both

the right and left profile at the same time. The head or iust the body may

be split in a similar fashion to form a variation of the above practice.

The abstraction may be to the point that the animal can only be easily

identified by a peculiar beak, tooth formation or other distinguishing


Symbolic design was widely used in house painting and on house posts

with a strong mythological influence. The central portion of the design

was usually occupied by the figures head.

Figure relations of simple figures used in house pole designs were in

two forms either interlocking or separated. The Southern tribes had fig-

ures placed one on top of another instead of interrelated This is thought

to be the result of horizontal overlapping siding boards which did not give

a smooth continuous painting surface. This caused separation of the figures

on house paintings which were carried over to the figures of totem poles.


Traditionally the house was a rectangular plank structure with heavy

post and roof beams. These were universally used at winter villages and

other important localities.

Several varients of the basic pattern were used, each with definite

geographical distributions and with only a minor degree of overlapping

styles. Deviation from the main form is suggested by a number of dis-

tinctive features shared by two or more sub-types such as:

1. Double ridge pole

2. Carved posts and roof timber

3. Walls separate from the roof supports

4. Gabled, shed and flat roofs

5. Central pits

6. Multi-family occupancy

7. Basic outline and material

On the basi s of overlapping distribution of these features it seems

reasonable to assume that the varients of the rectangular plank house

represented local modifications of a single ancestrial plan. Regardless of

which house type was used, the north Pacific coast cultures had sufficient

mechanical ingenuity to adapt their dwelling to any peculiar local needs.

The construction process for the dwellings among the different tribes

was basically the same, Mortise and tendon along with tied connections

were used to join the heavy members among the different cultures.


Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida used the Northern type of structure for

housing. This was a large rectangular gable roofed house made of massive

timbers of red cedar. Averaging in size of 50 feet by 55 feet. Four square

corner posts were slotted to receive plates or side beams. Corner posts

also supported paired plates that formed low gables in the front and rear.

Elaborately carved subsidiary posts, supported typical double ridge poles.

Posts and beams were often provided to divide the span between the paired

/ 7. ridge posts and side plates. Sills were mortised into the bases of corner

posts at the front and sides. Upper sill faces and undersides of roof plates

had matching slots. These slots provided the support to form walls using

/ 8 vertical planks. The roofing consisted of double rows of overlapping

planks on a low pitch.

/ c, A central pit was provided that was approximately five feet in depth

and 30 feet square. The pit was dug only a short distance inside the walls,

and used as a central fire place where the people ate. Usually several steps

led into this area; however, tradition tells of houses of renowned chiefs

that had a series of four or five benches leading into the pit.

Sleeping compartments were provided in the houses for important

families. These were small cubicles built of planks which were minatures

even to their gabled roofs of the houses. Most often these compartmenrts

were located in the rear of the house on a bench at ground level. The space

between the pit and the wall was generally used for this purpose as well as

for storage. The front of the house-chiefs compartment was often painted

with elaborate designs.

The doorway was cut through the large center post of the house located

at. the gable end and was often oval or rectangular in shape.

A-i Tlingit

The tlingit culture had a varient of the above house in the form of

structures built on very narrow strips of beach in steep inland fjord. These

were pilling dwellers who built houses on pile foundations partly or entirely

over water.

A-2 Haida

The Haida tribe had the distinctive feature of using an elaborately

carved exterior house post that extended high above the roof. It was set

in front of the house and had a gapeing hole in the mouth of one of the crest

figures which was to act as the entry.

Unlike other houses of this area, the Haida dwelling's did not have

a distinguishable sleeping such as the common bed platform. Instead

partition walls 6 to 8 feet high divided the space randomly to fit the varying

family sizes.

A uniform size and style of house construction was more evident

among this culture. The houses were 45 to 50 feet long and 25 feet wide

with a roof height of 10 to 12 feet high with very little slope.

A-3 Tsimshian

The Tsimshian people utilized a modification of the pile dwelling which

was to raise the house above the high tide level on a cribwork foundation.


Large house poles were occasionally used at the front of the house to

depict the inhabitants major ancestral crests.


The area for this type of house is just South of the far Northern group

of tribes, consisting of the Kwakiutl, Bella Coola, Nootka and Coast

Tsimshain tribes. Their houses were constructed somewhat differently

than those in the North.

23. The walls f each house were structurally separate from the rest of

the framework whose fiction was to support the roof. The massive house

frames consisted of four huge corner posts which formed a rectangle

measuring 20 feet or more wide and 50 to 100 feet long.

Double or single ridgeposts were supported at either ends by pairs of

posts with cross supports. Ridgepoles raised the centerline of the roof

* and gave a slight pitch from the center to the eaves. Over this a secondary

set of beams and rafters of large poles was set to support the roof. Roof

planks of red cedar from one to five feet in width were laid over the frame-

work. Usually the length of these planks was two fathoms. Roof boards were

often left loose to enable the control of rain and smoke. In these houses the

roof slope was so low that early sources described these houses as flat roofed.

B-1 Nootkan

The Nootkan's life style was especially suitable for this type of house.

This tribe moved to several locations throughout the year- therefore, living

quarters had to be provided at each location.

The inhabitants resolved the problem of the need for a number of

L structures by erecting permanent frames at their three most widely used

camps; 1) summer fishing, 2) winter village, 3) salmon stream. The wall

and roof boards were removable so they could be moved- from frame to

frame; therefore, a singel set of planks served them year round. In route

to a different site the planks were used to construct temporary makeshift


Principle houseposts of this area were sometimes left in the natural

round of the log from which they were cut. Hereditary privilidges often

called for the ridgepole to extend above the facade of the house. These

ridgepoles were often carved with designs of local animals such as sea

lion heads. Carved crests were on the house fronts to represent crests and


B-2 Bella Coola

Frequently this group had an unusual feature of having three separate

dwellings placed inside one structure. To obtain access, one would remove

a loose board on the top of each compartment. The house usually pro-

truded out from an enbankment with the front and sides on pole foundations.

B-3 Kwakiutl

In recent times this group copied the practices of Northern tribes

in the construction of plank walled sleeping compartments inside the house.

The Kwakiutl often used carved house posts with a crotch to carry their

roof beams.


This type of housing was most common among the Coastal Salish

tribes of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound. This house most resembled

that of the "Wakashan" type of the tribes to the North. Horizontal siding

was structurally separate from the house frame.

The major feature which distinguished this house from others was its

roof. A shed roof was used instead of the conventional gable roof.

The plan of this house was narrower and much longer than the gable

roof houses. As a result of this length, wide raised shelves were made along

the sides and back walls to serve as sleeping and storage areas. Often a

single village might occupy one house of this type.

Overlapping with other tribe sections was evident in the use of shed

roofs by the Southern Kwakiutl and Nootkans to the North. Several Gulf

of Georgia Salish groups built gable roof and shed roof houses together.


This type of dwelling was found along the lower Columbian River, the

coast of Washington and Oregon. These structures were used by the Chinook

and most Oregon tribes and were commonly large enough to house a

number of family units.

Although similar to the previously discussed structures, it was a

varient unlike those commonly seen before. The distinctive feature was

a deep rectangular pit which was lined with vertically set planks which

acted as the total of the siding dwelling. Corner posts and ridgeposts sup-

ported long heavy timbers on which the roof planks were laid to form a

steep slipping gabled roof with it's eaves just above ground level.

Raised shelve like platforms three feet above the floor ran on both

side walls and along the back wall. The platforms were used for sleeping

and storage.

The doorway was a round hole cut through a wide plank a little above

ground level at one of the gable ends. This small doorway which was

3K designed for protection lead to a notched log ladder where the occupants

descended to the floor level.


This distinctive feature was prevalent among the Yurok, Kapok, Lower

Klamath and Hupa tribes and was to set this type of dwelling apart from

those commonly used on the North Pacific Coast. A functional purpose

could not be found for the three-pitch roof; therefore, it was concluded

to be a form of local elaboration.

The structural system of the dwelling in some respects was more like

that used at the Northern end of the Pacific Coast than the type prevalent

among their immediate neighbors directly to the North. The house had

a deep central pit which started two or three feet from the wall. This left

a step or bench at ground level which was used as a storage area. The pit

itself formed the main living space of the structure.

A round doorway just big enough to squeeze through was cut into a

large redwood plank and was located on one of the gabled ends of dwelling.

E-1 Yurok

Sc. The dwelling of the Yurok's differed from those of its neighbors although

they were of similar location in the area.

The layout of the small villages of these people did not follow a dis-

tinctive plan. The houses were randomly located unlike the well ordered

beach layouts of the coastal tribes to the North. The dwelling was smaller

in contrast to the size used by other tribes of the area.

The major difference between the Yuroks house and the houses of the

other cultures of the area was the manner in which the entry was handled.

The round doorway was cut through a plank located near a corner at one of

the gable ends. Behind this doorway stood an interior partition near the

edge of the pit. The small space that was formed had no particular

purpose except for storage. This chamber was probably the survivor of

a long forgotten structure of a different type and time.

Small terraced platforms of flat river cobble stones were commonly

laid along the house front. This small area was for lounging or as a place

to do small tasks.

House sites of men of good standing were frequently named since this

culture did not use family crest. House names usually had geographical

references such as "By the trail house. Since the house site was given

the name instead of the house itself, a new house built on an old site

acquired the same name as its predecessor.


Elementary geometric principles were used to lay out the ground plan

of a dwelling. A method using these principles proved to be an efficient and

convenient means to assure accurate right angles. This procedure is known

to have been used by a number of the cultures of the North Pacific Coast.

The front of the dwelling usually faced a rough street or a body of

water such as the ocean or a river. A stake was driven in the ground at a

point that was to be the mid-point of the intended location for the house front.

A rope the length of the house front is tied to the stake at the ropes center.

The rope is then stretched out to mark the location of the house front and

staked off at each end. Two long ropes to give the sidewall locations are

marked in the middle, then one end of each rope is tied to each corner stake

and pulled taut. The marked middles of each side rope are connected by a

rope that is the same length as the house front. The unattached ends of the

long side ropes are pulled to the back and connected with another rope the

same length as the house front. When pulled taut, this will give the location

of the back wall, which is then staked off.


Plank houses of the Northvest Coast were most commonly built on

piling or cribwork foundations which represented the ability of these

cultures to adapt to varying local needs.

The interlocking beam or cribwork foundation was used when a house

was on uneven ground or on the edge of an embankment. The embankment

was built up to form a foundation which was similar in construction to

our log labin. Heavy short logs are placed in the embankment with notched

ends sticking out. Another series of heavy logs are laid across the notched

ends to form the front of the embankment foundation. These beams are

also notched to form an interlocking system with the other logs. The space

in the center of the foundation is then filled with hemlock branches and soil.

The whole floor or just a portion of it could be supported on a pile type

foundation. When this type of foundation was used to support only a por-

tion of the floor the remainder usually rested on a high bank. The pile was

buried deep in the ground by a simple method. The front side of the hole in

which the pole is to stand was protected by heavy planks driven into the

ground. The pile is then shoved into the hole and gradually shored up.


Erecting heavy timber members requires considerable skill and

knowledge of structural work which was exhibited by these cultures.

In heavy structural work where simultaneous effort was required, the

crew used rhythmic cries to time their movements. As an example, in the

raising of the roof beam the leader gives the signal for his men by shouting,

"Wo". The men in reply yell, "We, we, we" in quick succession. On

this cue the men would then shove the beam in place as they shouted "Ho"

with each effort. As soon as the beam was in position on the post the

leader shouts, "Ha, ha, ha" which indicates the work is finished.

The workmen devised simple machinery for raising a heavy roof beam

which could be 8 to 10 fathoms in length and 5 spans thick at the front and

4 3 spans at the rear end. The main apparatus required is a lever arm and

a set of guides. A large pole is tied to the house post to form a ramp along

which the beam is to be raised. The beam is placed at the footing of the

slanting pole, resting on a log placed at the middle of the beam. This log

will serve as a pivot point for the lever arm. The lever has a mortis near

its short end into which the lifter fits. The tip of which fits the round surface

for the beam.

The lever is then pressed down to guide the beam along the slanting

pole towards the top of the post. The raised end is held in place by a tem-

porary support which will allow for final adjustments later. Sometimes

two poles tied together near their upper ends are used as guides. Their


lower ends which rest on the ground are brought nearer together as the beam

is raised higher. The other end of the beam is raised in a similar manner.

Precautions must be taken to assure the beam will not fall from the top

of the post while it is to be manuvered about. As the beam approaches the top

of the post a stout plank is tied on the opposite side of the post reaching

about two feet higher than the top. When the beam is in place a similar plank

is tied on the other side of the post to hold it securely in place.

Wall beams which are not as heavy as roof beams do not require large

devices for placement. Ropes and a group of men are all that is required for

installation. The beams are guided in position by men standing on top of the

post with help from a team below.

The cross piece over the door posts has another method of installation.

The cross piece is placed on boxes covered with planks. The member is

raised as more boxes and planks are stacked on top of one another until it

achieves sufficient height to be installed.


Boas, Frank. Kwakiutal Ethnography, University of Chicago Press. Chicago,
Ill. 1966.

Drucker, Phillip. Cultures of the Northwest Pacific Coast. Chandler
Publishing Co. San Franisco, Calif. 1965.

Drucker, Philip. Indians of the Northwest Coast. McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc.,
N. Y. 1955.

Gunther, Erna. Indian Life on the Northwest Coast of NortAmerican,. Univ.
of Chicago Press. Chicaho, Ill. and,London, 1972.

LaFarge, Oliver. A Pictorial History of the American Indian. Crown Pub-
lishers Inc., N. Y., 1957.

McFeat, Tom. Indians of the North Pacific Coast. University of Washington
Press, Seattle and London, 1966.

Marquis, Arnold. A Guide to American Indians, University of Oklahoma
Press, 1974.
Stirling, Matthew. Indians of the Americans National Geographic Society.
Washington D. C., 1955.


1. Culture location map
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 7

2. Man of Nootka Sound
Cultures of North Pacific Coast, P. 39

3. Potlatch Ceremony of the Southern Kwakiutl
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 149

4. Hand Mauls (Hammer)
IBID, P. 43

5. Hand Mauls
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P. 18

6. Woodworking Tools (Chisels & Wedges)
Indian of the Northwest Coast, P. 43

7. Adzes
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P 19

8. House Front Design (Beaver)
IBID, P. 332

9. House Front Design (Raven)
IBID, P. 332

10. House Front Design (Thunderbird)
IBID, P. 333

11. House Front Design (Killer Whale)
IBID, P331

12. Northern Design
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 31

13. House Front Design (Raven, Whale)
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P. 334

14. Carved Clubs
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 31

15. House Types
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, P. 26

16. Northern House Type
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 55

17. Northern House Type
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, P. 26

18. Haida Village
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 56

19. Tungit House Interior
Indians of the Americas, P. 158

20. Haida House Model
Pictorial History of American Indians, P. 217

21. Haida Village
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 56

22. Wakashan House Type
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, P. 26

23. Partial Construction (Southern Kwakiutl Village)
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 58

24. Kwakiutl Village Model
Pictorial History of the American Indians, P. 199

25. Kwakiutl Village
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P. 11

26. Southern Kwakiutl Village
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 58

27. Temporary House (Southern Kwakiutl)
IBID, P. 57

28. House Posts
IBID, P. 177

29. Nootkan House Post
IBID, P. 173

30. House Front Design
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P. 9

31. Kwakiutl Painted House Front
Pictorial History of the American Indians, P. 209

32. House of Nootka Sound
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, P. 147

33. Kwakiutl House Posts
Pictorial History of the American Indians, P. 219

34. Coast Salish Shed Roof
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 61

35. Coast Salish Shed Roof House Type
Cultures of the Northwest Pacific Coast, P. 26

36. Chinook-Oregon House Type
IBID, P. 26

37. House Interior (Notched Ladder)
Indians of the Americas, P. 139

38. Lower Klamath Type (3-pitch roof)
Cultures of the Northwest Pacific Coast, P. 26

39. Yurok Houses (3-Pitch Roof)
Indians of the Northwest Coast, P. 62

40. Raising Roof Beam
Kwakiutl Ethnography, P. 22

41. Pole Foundation
IBID, P. 23

42. Raising the House Post
IBID, P. 22

Inst. _. il ,,ire y


"Cultures of the North Pacific Coast"
Phillip Drucker
Chandler Pub]ishing Company
Copyrighii 196

A description of the area occupied by these
cultures is the first thing the author presents.
This sets up &r immediate far.ilialization of what
kind of culture can be expected to be int-roduced
as the ook pr. gress,.s. Knowing the title and the
area description at the on set allows one to almost
draw a reasonably accurate idea of what the culture
of this area is like.
The author used this as a starting point to
describe the entire aspect of a cultural area
instead of the study of a specific aboriginal
culture. The area description was built upcr by
the otner cultural aspect.: as cne moved through
th e book. Interrelations between these asp-cts
increased ..s more Ntre a aed to v, rk in an o eir-
all context.
Many times through the text, reference is made
to a modern day place or feature as a ccnparision
tu an aspect of oine of the cultures. This corpar-
ision gives a better understa.ilin, of the point
being irpadc oy the author because, it gave the
rea-cr e scnetning he ;s mo:-,e familiar with to use
as a guide or reference poirt. Inis allows the
point to Le easily and quickly grasped.

The usual cut and .iry fact giving attitude of
a general text book is reduced further by the addition
of a fiction story. This story is used very effective-
ly to give a good account of how the Nootkan hunters
seek -,nd kill whles. The facts are there but placed
in 3 inure natural and life like form, this helps Lo
put the reader in the action and allows him to grasp
the addel feeling" how these people really lived.
This technique was used vith restraint, which
is pocbabls oezt for an informative text, but it
would be nice to ,^e t-is method of presenting facts
used m,-re often in other texts. It take away the
sterile type reading of textsbooks and gives a
change of pace for the reader.
The o.ily drawLack of the material was sentences
which tried to give too much material. Ideas were
combined in one sentence that should have been
broken down into two or more sentenves. These
overburdened sentences lead Lo confusion on tne
rearcr- "---t r ne '.riec Lt associate the different
points. T'-is cause the materiall 'o movt along
at a -lower pace.
On the wh.l the book was "ery enjoyable to
reaa and Dresented the fact effectively. This tevt
would maKe pleasu able leading a, well as a good
fact filled reference book.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated May 24, 2011 - Version 3.0.0 - mvs