Makahs lived in five villages that were occupied all year long (Neah Bay, Ozette, Biheda, Tsoo-yess, and Why-atch).

By: Evan Taylor.

The Makah people live on a reservation that sits on the most northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The northern boundary of the reservation is the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The western boundary is the Pacific Ocean. The remaining two land borders can expand if the Tribe purchases additional parcels of real estate. The current reservation is approximately 27,000 acres, a small portion of the territory controlled by the Tribe before the Treaty of Neah Bay was signed in 1855. Before they were moved to a reservation they had five villages that were located on the shores of the pacific ocean, these villages were composed of large cedar plank longhouses, which housed many members of an extended family. The social units of Makah life were large extended families.

In addition to its land territories, the Makah tribe reserved numerous ocean fishing banks and sea mammal hunting areas when the treaty was signed. Each of these areas has a name in the Makah language, and are not necessarily close to the coast. Makah seafarers have had the ability to navigate out of sight of land since ancient times, so some of these fishing and sea mammal hunting areas can be as far as a hundred miles from shore.

The bounty of the reservation is not limited to the natural resources of the rivers, lakes, tidelands, and ocean areas in Makah territory. Makah forests provide many types of wood for carvers, many species of land animals for hunters, and a wide variety of plants that can be used for food, medicine, or raw materials.

While the contemporary reservation has modern facilities and services such as a world-class museum, a general store, a public school, an Indian Health Service clinic, a gas station and several restaurants, the area is still remote by most standards. State road 112, the only paved road that connects the Makah reservation with the rest of the Olympic Peninsula, is prone to mudslides and washouts. The journey to the county seat, Port Angeles, is about seventy miles distant; this trip becomes more dangerous when roads are icy, or when the reservation is enduring one of the many rains and wind storms that plague the area from October through April. Rainfall often averages over 100 inches annually, and peak gusts of 50 mph or more commonly accompany fall and winter weather.

Weapons & tools:
Makah hunters used harpoons tipped with mussel shells and bows and arrows. Fishermen used hook and line or wooden fish traps. In war, Makah men fired their bows or fought with spears and war clubs. Makah warriors would wear armor made of hardened elk hide.


Makah men didn't usually wear clothing at all, though some men wore breech-clouts. Women wore short skirts made of cedar bark or grass. In the rain, the Makahs wore tule rush capes, and in colder weather, they wore tunics, fur cloaks and moccasins on their feet. Later, after European influence, Makah people began wearing blanket robes.

There are lots of traditional Makah legends and fairy tales. Storytelling is very important to the Makah culture. One Makah legend is about a child who defeats an evil ogre women

The treaty of Neah Bay in 1855 aloud the makahs whale hunt, for more information about this treaty visit http://content.lib.washington.edu/curriculumpackets/treaties/makahtreaty.html

At the time of the Neah Bay treaty in 1855, the Makah tribal cheifs were: Tse-kauwtl, head chief of the Makah tribe,
Kal-chote, subchief of the Makahs,
Tah-a-howtl, subchief of the Makahs
Kah-bach-sat, subchief of the Makahs
Kets-kus-sum, subchief of the Makahs
Haatse, subchief of the Makahs
Keh-chook,subchief of the MakahsIt-an-da-ha, subchief of the Makahs,
Klah-pe-an-hie, or Andrew Jackson, subchief of the Makahs