Skip to main content

Long before the first Europeans began their invasion of what would become the state of Washington, the Salish-speaking people known as the Duwamish settled in permanent villages on the flat meadows along the rivers of the Duwamish Drainage System, principally the Black River. Displays at the Renton History Museum document some of this Native American heritage.

 photo DSCN2102_zps88fd2c7d.jpg

According to the museum display:  

The rivers gave the Duwamish their main food staple, fish. At a narrow point of the river they would build a fish weir. This consisted of a tripod of poles and a platform. Other poles were driven into the riverbed to which woven mats were attached to keep the fish from swimming up the river. The men would stand on the tripod platforms and use dipping nets to catch the fish and deposit them in canoes on the upriver side of the weir. The canoes were then paddled to shore and unloaded where the women waited to clean, smoke and dry the fish for future use.
One of the important resources used by the Duwamish and other Salish groups was the Western Red Cedar. The trees could be cut down and the trunks hollowed out to make canoes. The tree could be cut into planks for building the traditional longhouse.

The cedar also provided material for clothing: the fine under-bark from young cedars was used to make clothing. The bark, pounded into fibers, was also used in making sleeping mats and baskets.

In 1853, there were twenty-eight permanent Duwamish villages. The largest village was TUXUDI’DU, centrally located on the Black River where Renton Shopping Center is today. There were ten large longhouses, each 60 by 120 feet, built of cedar posts and planks. TUXUDI’DU had its own fresh-water spring and a cleared garden for growing root crops. Indians from as far north as Canada and as far east as Yakima came to trade.

 photo DSCN2103_zps8350817d.jpg

 photo DSCN2110_zps124d77e7.jpg

The model shown above shows the orientation of Duwamish villages to rivers. Dugout canoes were an important form of transportation.

 photo DSCN2112_zps00b6de95.jpg

 photo DSCN2104_zpsefe5a45a.jpg

Shown above is a model of a Duwamish longhouse on display at the Renton History Museum. Like most of the Indian people in North America, the Duwamish did not live in tipis. The longhouse was generally home to several families.

 photo DSCN2109_zps806d00aa.jpg

Ground stone tools, such as the mauls shown above, were a part of the Duwamish tool kit.

 photo DSCN2108_zps3ceb3be5.jpg

 photo DSCN2115_zps5cae9f76.jpg

 photo DSCN2107_zps03c251c3.jpg

Shown above are some Duwamish woven baskets which are on display at the Renton History Museum.

 photo DSCN2134_zpsc7d55a62.jpg

Shown above is a coiled gathering basket.

 photo DSCN2130_zps1ee70f9e.jpg

Shown above is a cooking basket. Coiled baskets like this were made watertight so that they could be used for boiling water. Hot rocks were placed in the water-filled baskets until the water boiled.

Cross Posted from
 photo NANfooterTEXT_zpsc9f6c5d5.jpg

Originally posted to Native American Netroots on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 08:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shutterbugs, Koscadia, and Pink Clubhouse.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site