This IS Kalapuyan Land: Strength + Resilience

Strength + Resilience Transcript

Title: Strength + Resilience (added by SLF)


During the summer months, women wore aprons or skirts made of cattails, rush, or shredded cedar bark, along with hide leggings, and sometimes moccasins. Men and children often wore little or no clothing in the summer. In cold seasons, both men and women wore robes made from the skins of wolf, elk, or bear as well as heavy leggings, buckskin shirts or gowns, and caps or fur, spruce, or cedar. Atfalati-Kalapuya men, women, and children rarely woere shoes and were sometimes referred to by neighboring tribes as “the people who walked barefoot.”

Adornments included beaded necklaces, bead or bone wrist bracelets, fur or hide strip arm bands and dentalium nose and ear ornaments. Feathers, especially eagle feathers, were an important symbolic item used by many Native Americans. In western Oregon, the feathers were incorporated into various art forms as headdress, bandolier, kilt,bustle, cape, and wand. Eagle flicker feathers were worn by males through the nose for adornment; in some groups this was done to denote status.


Caption on top image: Women’s clothing. Cedar bark capes made excellent raincoats during the wet Pacific Northwest winters. Woman shown wearing a braided cedar skirt.

Caption on center left image: Dentalium shells are small tubular mollusks found along the Northwest Coast off Vancouver Island. They were used not only as beads, such as those seen below, but also as currency and a sign of wealth and status. Stewart, 1977.

Caption on center right image: A young Quinault girl of Western Washington wearing dentalium ornaments. Curtis, 1913.

Caption on bottom left image: Waterways were important transportation routes in the Willamette Valley.

Caption on bottom right image: Sketch of a Kalapuya man drawn by Alfred Agate, a member of the Wilkes expedition in 1841. He is wearing an elk hide garment and fox skin hat. WCHS #3,435


Learn more about the most frequently used image of a Kalapuyan person, “Costume of a Callapuya Man,” drawn by Alfred T. Agate in 1841.

Kalapuya Drawing

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This IS Kalapuyan Land