Indian Tribe History
Kwakiutl (according to their own folk etymology the name signifies 'smoke of
the world', but with more probability it means 'beach at the north side of the
river'). In its original and most restricted sense this term is applied to a
group of closely related tribes or septs living in the neighborhood of Ft
Rupert, British Columbia. These septs are the Guetela, Komkutis, Komoyue, and
Walaskwakiutl, and their principal village Tsahis, surrounding Ft Rupert. Other
former towns were Kalokwis, Kliksiwi, Noohtamuh, Tsaite, and Whulk, of which the
last two were summer villages shared with the Nimkish during the salmon season.
Those who encamped at Tsaite belonged to the Komoyue sept. In comparatively
recent times a portion of the Kwakiutl separated from the rest and are known as
Matilpe. These and the Komoyue are enumerated separately by the Canadian
department of Indian Affairs, thus limiting the term Kwakiutl, to the Guetela
alone. The population of the Kwakiutl proper in 1904 was 163.
In more extended senses the term Kwakiutl is applied to
one of the two great division of the Wakashan linguistic stock (the other being
the Nootka), and to a dialect and a subdialect under this. The following is a
complete classification of the Kwakuitl divisions and subdivisions, based on the
investigations of Boas:
Haisla Dialect: Kitamat and Kitlope.
Heiltsilk Dialect: Bellabella, China Hat, Nohuntsitk, Somehulitk and Wikeno.
Koskimo subdialect: Klaskino, Koprino, Koskimo, and Quatsino.
Nawiti subdialect: Nakomgilisala and Tlatlasikoala.
Kwakiutl subdialect: Awaitlala, Goasila, Guauaenok, Hahuamis, Koeksotenok,
Kwakiutl (including Matilpe), Lekwiltak, Mamalelekala, Nakoaktok, Nimkish,
Tenaktak, Tlauitsis, and Tsawatenok.
The Hoyalas were an extinct Kwakiutl division the minor
affinities of which are unknown.
The total population of the Kwakiutl branch of the
Wakashan stock in 1904 was 2,173, and it appears to be steadily decreasing.
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opinions of the Webmasters of the site.
of American Indians, 1906
Canadian Indian Tribes