Moclips, Washington

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Moclips is a census-designated place (CDP) in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. The population was 615 at the 2000 census. It is located near the mouth of the Moclips River.

According to Edmond S. Meany the word moclips comes from a Quinault word meaning a place where girls were sent as they were approaching puberty.[3] However, according to William Bright, the name comes from the Quinault word meaning, simply, "large stream".[4]



The indigenous inhabitants of the area were members of the Quinault tribe along the coast north of Grays Harbor and the Upper and Lower Chehalis tribes of the lower Chehalis River drainage. Other groups included the Copalis, Wynoochee, and Humptulips subtribes of the Upper Chehalis subtribe, and the Satsop subtribe of the Lower Chehalis.

By Quinault tradition, the Great Spirit called all the animals together and described how he would place humans on the earth. These he called Quinault. The Chehalis, Quinault, Cowlitz, and Queets spoke Coast Salish languages related to other Salishan language groups in the Northwest. The Quileute and Hoh spoke unrelated Chimakuan languages while the Makah spoke a Wakashan language, also unrelated. To the south the Chinookan people spoke yet another family of unrelated languages, the Chinookan languages. All the tribes also used a trade pidgin called Chinook Jargon.

The area's indigenous people lived in permanent villages along rivers and lakes. Water defined their economic and cultural lives. They harvested salmon as they swam upstream to spawn, as well as whales and seals along the coast. In the summers, hunters ranged inland and into the Olympic Mountains for game and to trade with other tribal groups. The Indians developed a high degree of skill with canoes carved from cedar trees in a variety of specialized designs adapted to swift-flowing rivers, broad estuaries, and the sea.

The Quinault's first recorded contact with Europeans, in 1775 near Grenville Point, ended in the deaths of seven Spaniards and as many as seven Indians. The Indians had traded peacefully with the explorers, but turned on them after the Spaniards landed, erected a cross, and claimed the land for the Spanish king. The reason for the sudden attack remains unexplained, but tribal historians have offered the possibility that the Europeans had violated a woman's safe haven.

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