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Word Count: 508
The name Makah which was given by neighboring tribes means Generous with food The prehistoric Makah Nation had a population of about 4000 people and was composed of five villages The five villages occupied the shore of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca The natural resources were abundant with plants and animals The Makah adapted themselves to their environment using practically everything they took from the land and sea The five villages had massive longhouses made of large cedar planks which housed the Makah and extended families Their cultural information kept flowing and was pass on by extended families living close together Some traditional songs dances and stories were and still are today inherited and only certain individuals within the Makah family can perform them At celebrations called potlatches such as a wedding and memorials specific songs are preformed to reaffirm ownership Canoes carves from red cedar allowed the Makah who were excellent mariners to navigate the swift waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca The early Makah carved various types of canoes war whaling halibut salmon fishing sealing and large cargo canoes An epidemic of small pox tuberculosis influenza and whooping cough along with war killed many Makah People in the late 1700s European contact created this devastation a lot of family tradition and knowledge was lost The Treaty of Neah Bay between the United States and the Makah Indians was signed on January 31st 1855 which protected the Makahs whaling sealing fishing and village land rights from being totally eliminated The Makah had to give up 300000 acres of tribal land in order to keep some of their ancient culture alive The Makah population currently is around 2000 which is half of what is used to be In early 1700s the village of Ozette was buried and preserved under a disastrous mudslide In 1981 archaeologists excavated over 55000 ancient Makah
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