Quinault people

Last updated
Quinault female profile by Edward S. Curtis, 1913 Edward S. Curtis Collection People 075.jpg
Quinault female profile by Edward S. Curtis, 1913

The Quinault ( /kwɪˈnɒlt/ or /kwɪˈnɔːlt/ ) are a group of Native American peoples from western Washington in the United States. They are a Southwestern Coast Salish people and are enrolled in the federally recognized Quinault Tribe of the Quinault Reservation.


The name "Quinault" is an anglicized version of kʷínayɬ, the name of a village at the mouth of the Quinault River, today called Taholah. The river, village, and people were given the anglicized name Quinault in 1787 by the maritime fur trader Charles William Barkley. [1] It is also possible that both names come from a french trapper from the Quinault family who visited the area.


The Quinault Indian Reservation, at 47°25′05″N124°08′19″W / 47.41806°N 124.13861°W / 47.41806; -124.13861 , is located on the Pacific coast of Washington, primarily in northwestern Grays Harbor County, with small parts extending north into southwestern Jefferson County. It has a land area of 819.294 km² (316.331 sq mi) and reported a resident population of 1,370 persons as of the 2000 census. [2] The Quinault people settled onto reservation lands after signing the Quinault Treaty with the former Washington Territory in 1856. About 60% of the reservation's population lives in the community of Taholah, on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Quinault River.

Motorists are cautioned that it is not possible to traverse the entire reservation on Highway 109, in spite of what some online mapping services indicate. Construction of the highway north from Taholah to U.S. Highway 101 was halted in the late 1960s. There is only limited access (for private property owners and tribe members) along the northern coast of the reservation.

Currently, only enrolled members of the Quinault Indian Nation and their guests are allowed onto the beaches throughout the reservation. However guests are able to obtain access passes that allow them to use the beaches for the day issued.



The mixture of members with ethnic ties to the modern Quinault tribe is made up of the Quinault, Hoh, Chehalis, Chinook, Cowlitz, Queets, and Quileute peoples. Linguistically, these groups belong to three language families: Chimakuan (Quileute, Hoh), Chinookan (Chinook groups), and Salishan (Chehalis, Cowlitz, Queets, and Quinault).

Basketry and weaving

Photograph of Quinault baskets by Edward S. Curtis c. 1912 Curtis Quinault baskets.jpg
Photograph of Quinault baskets by Edward S. Curtis c. 1912

The Quinault people have been noted basket makers and weavers. Baskets were made from locally available materials such as reeds and grasses, spruce, maple and red cedar, [3] :80 and in many styles suited to the task at hand. For instance, burden baskets made for gathering oysters and other shellfish had an open weave to allow for drainage, and were made from water resistant materials like cedar bark. Archaeology has revealed some of the ways basketmaking evolved over time, and the Ozette Indian Village Archeological Site, about 40 miles (64 km) up the Pacific coast from the present-day Quinault reservation, has been an invaluable site that preserved objects subject to decay, such as baskets and blankets, in a mudslide. [4] :15 [5] :3–4

Quinault basket artifacts are in many museums in the Northwest and around the world. The following were notable basket weavers of the Quinault prior to 1960. [5] :187–209

There has been some attempt to preserve traditional basketmaking techniques on the Quinault reservation, though the style has been intermixed with that of other tribes. [3] :79


Many tribes within the Pacific Northwest receive per capita payments from their tribes but the Quinault Indian Nation currently does not. The economy for Quinault Indian Nation is mainly derived from the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino, timber, and various fishing entities (Quinault Pride Seafood, etc.). Quinault Indian Nation is the largest employer within Grays Harbor County.


Related Research Articles

Moclips, Washington Census-designated place in Washington, United States

Moclips is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. The population was 207 at the 2010 census. It is located near the mouth of the Moclips River.

Taholah, Washington Census-designated place in Washington, United States

Taholah is a census-designated place (CDP) on the Quinault Indian Reservation, in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. Named for a Quinault chief in 1905, its population was 840 at the 2010 census. The headquarters for the Quinault Indian Nation was moved to Taholah from the town of Quinault on the shore of Lake Quinault.

Olympic Mountains

The Olympic Mountains are a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high – Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,965 ft (2,428 m); however, the eastern slopes rise out of Puget Sound from sea level and the western slopes are separated from the Pacific Ocean by the low-lying 20 to 35 km wide Pacific Ocean coastal plain. The western slopes are the wettest place in the 48 contiguous states. Most of the mountains are protected within the bounds of Olympic National Park and adjoining segments of the Olympic National Forest.

Cowlitz people

The term Cowlitz people covers two culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest; the Lower Cowlitz or Cowlitz proper, a southwestern Coast Salish people, which today are enrolled in the federally recognized tribes: Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation, and Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation; and the Upper Cowlitz / Cowlitz Klickitat or Taitnapam, a Northwest Sahaptin speaking people, part of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

The Quileute, also known as the Quillayute, are a Native American people in western Washington state in the United States, currently numbering approximately 2,000. They are a federally recognized tribe, Quileute Tribe of the Quileute Reservation

Skokomish people

The Skokomish are one of nine tribes of the Twana, a Native American people of western Washington state in the United States. The tribe lives along Hood Canal, a fjord-like inlet on the west side of the Kitsap Peninsula and the Puget Sound basin. Historically the Twana were hunters, fishers, and gatherers who had a nomadic lifestyle during the warmer months, while living in more permanent homes during the winter months.

The Hoh or Chalá·at are a Native American tribe in western Washington state in the United States. The tribe lives on the Pacific Coast of Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. The Hoh moved onto the Hoh Indian Reservation, 47°44′31″N124°25′17″W at the mouth of the Hoh River, on the Pacific Coast of Jefferson County, after the signing of the Quinault Treaty on July 1, 1855. The reservation has a land area of 1.929 square kilometres and a 2000 census resident population of 102 persons, 81 of whom were Native Americans. It lies about half-way between its nearest outside communities of Forks, to its north, and Queets, to its south. The river is central to their culture. The main resources they used included cedar trees, salmon, and the nearby vegetation. They also traded and bartered with other tribes closer to Eastern Washington, near the Plateaus and Great Plains.

Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle, and contains Olympic National Park. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Hood Canal. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous United States, and Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point, are on the peninsula. Comprising about 3,600 square miles (9,300 km2), the Olympic Peninsula contained many of the last unexplored places in the contiguous United States. It remained largely unmapped until Arthur Dodwell and Theodore Rixon mapped most of its topography and timber resources between 1898 and 1900.

Hoh River River in the United States

The Hoh River is a river of the Pacific Northwest, located on the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. About 56 miles (90 km) long, the Hoh River originates at the Hoh Glacier on Mount Olympus and flows west through the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, then through the foothills in a broad valley, emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the Hoh Indian Reservation. The final portion of the Hoh River's course marks the boundary between the coastal segment of Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, the Hoh Indian Reservation.


The Chimakum, also spelled Chemakum and Chimacum are a near extinct Native American people, who lived in the northeastern portion of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, between Hood Canal and Discovery Bay until their virtual extinction in 1902. Their primary settlements were on Port Townsend Bay, on the Quimper Peninsula, and Port Ludlow Bay to the south.

Kalaloch, Washington Unincorporated community in Washington, United States

Kalaloch is an unincorporated resort area entirely within Olympic National Park in western Jefferson County, Washington, United States. Kalaloch accommodations are on a 50-foot (15 m) bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, west of U.S. Highway 101 on the Olympic Peninsula, north of the reservation of the Quinault Indian Nation.

La Push, Washington Unincorporated community in Washington, United States

La Push is a small unincorporated community situated at the mouth of the Quillayute River in Clallam County, Washington, United States. La Push is the largest community within the Quileute Native Reservation, which is home to the federally recognized Quileute tribe. La Push is known for its whale-watching and natural environment.

Tribal Canoe Journeys

Tribal Canoe Journeys is a celebrated event for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Indigenous Nations from the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon and Washington state participate every year. Canoe families travel in ocean-going canoes – many made of cedar, others made using more modern techniques and materials – and visit Native Nations en route to the final host destination.

State Route 109 (SR 109) is a Washington state highway in Grays Harbor County. Beginning at its terminus at U.S. Route 101 (US 101) in Hoquiam, the highway travels west to intersect SR 115 north of Ocean Shores and then turns north to temporarily end at Quinault Street in Taholah, located in the Quinault Indian Reservation. The Washington State Legislature extended the roadway north to end at US 101 south of Queets through tribal lands, although this segment has yet to be built. SR 109 was first established as Secondary State Highway 9C (SSH 9C) in 1937, which was on a more northern alignment until 1947, when it was switched to a Hoquiam to Quinault Indian Reservation route. In 1964, SSH 9C was renumbered to SR 109 and in 1983, a spur route of SR 109 that bypasses Hoquiam was added; the route was extended to US 101 near Queets in 1985.

The Quinault Treaty was a treaty agreement between the United States and the Native American Quinault and Quileute tribes located in the western Olympic Peninsula north of Grays Harbor, in the recently formed Washington Territory. The treaty was signed on 1 July 1855, at the Quinault River, and on 25 January 1856 at Olympia, the territorial capital. It was ratified by Congress on 8 March 1859, and proclaimed law on April 11, 1859.

Quileute Indian Reservation

The Quileute Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation for the Quileute people located on the southwestern Olympic Peninsula in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The reservation is at the mouth of the Quillayute River on the Pacific coast.

Quinault Indian Nation Ethnic group

The Quinault Indian Nation, formerly known as the Quinault Tribe of the Quinault Reservation, is a federally recognized tribe of Quinault, Queets, Quileute, Hoh, Chehalis, Chinook, and Cowlitz peoples. They are a Southwestern Coast Salish people of indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Their tribe is located in Washington state on the Pacific coast of the Olympic Peninsula. These peoples are also represented in other tribes in Washington and Oregon.

The Moclips Highway is a two-lane highway in the U.S. state of Washington. It goes about 22 miles (35 km) from Moclips on the Pacific Ocean, through the Quinault Indian Reservation, to U.S. Highway 101.

Quinault Canyon

The Quinault Canyon is a submarine canyon, off Washington state, in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.


  1. Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee (2003). Jacilee Wray (ed.). Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 100. ISBN   978-0-8061-3552-6 . Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  2. Quinault Reservation, Washington United States Census Bureau
  3. 1 2 Jones 2012.
  4. Gustafson 1980.
  5. 1 2 Wray 2012.

Further reading