Muckleshoot

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English, Whulshootseed (Muckleshoot)

other Salishan peoples

The Muckleshoot are a Lushootseed Native American tribe, part of the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest whose traditional territory and reservations is located in the area of Auburn, Washington, between Seattle and Tacoma. They are the descendants of various tribal groups, which included the Duwamish,Skopamish, Smulkamish, Stkamish, Tkwakwamish, Yilalkoamish, and Snoqualmie tribes.

Contents

Demographics

Traditionally, the Muckleshoots lived along the eastern shores of Washington State's Puget Sound region and the adjacent rivers of the Cascade Range. They spoke Whulshootseed, a local form of Lushootseed; most Muckleshoots today do not speak their ancestral language, but some do and the tribe has an active program for its preservation and resuscitation.

Most Muckleshoots now live on or near the 15.871 km² (6.128 sq mi) Muckleshoot Reservation, between the White and Green rivers southeast of the city of Auburn (at 47°15′43″N 122°08′45″W / 47.26194°N 122.14583°W / 47.26194; -122.14583 in King County and Pierce County). With an approximate population of more than 3,000, the Muckleshoots are one of the largest Native American groups in Washington State. The 2000 census reported a resident population of 3,606 on reservation land, and 28.65 percent reported solely Native American heritage. The city of Auburn extends onto much of the reservation's land, and includes 72.6 percent of the reservation's population.

Traditional culture

Although they were skilled hunters, salmon fishing was the mainstay of traditional Muckleshoot life. Salmon was gathered and cured, and very often traded with other peoples along the coast and inland. Inevitably, salmon was treated with great reverence, which continues until this day. In the elaborate First Salmon Ceremony, which is still observed, the entire community shares the flesh of a Spring Chinook, then returns its remains to the river where it was caught, so that it can inform the other fish of how well it was received.

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