Home Forum Resources Shop Journey Log Back to map


Lewis and Clark
SHOWING RECORD: 2 of 16   Cathlamet Indians
PreviousNextJournals and Maps
Cathlamet Indians

First Noted by Expedition
While wintering at Fort Clatsop, November 1805 to March 1806

A Chinookan tribe living at the mouth of the Columbia River in modern Oregon and Washington, Cathlamet life centered around the salmon trade.

Lewis and Clark reported that about 300 Cathlamet occupied nine plank houses on the south side of the Columbia River, about four miles (six kilometers) south of Puget Sound. In early January 1806 Cathlamet Chief Shahharwarcap, together with 11 men, visited Fort Clatsop.

Around 1849 there were an estimated 50-60 remaining Cathlamet in the region. It is possible that they moved onto the Yakima Reservation, or moved north with the Quinault. Today, however, the band is no longer a distinct group.

From the Expedition Journals

"the most remarkable trait in their physiognomy is the peculiar flatness and width of forehead which they artificially obtain by compressing the head between two boards while in a state of infancy and from which it never afterwards perfectly recovers. this is a custom among all the nations we have met with West of the Rocky mountains."

Subscribe Online
Your subscriptions help National Geographic conservation efforts worldwide >>

Alsea Indians
Cathlamet Indians
Chehalis Indians
Chinook Indians
Clackamas Indians
Clatsop Indians
Cowlitz Indians
Quinault Indians
Siletz Indians
Siuslaw Indians
Tillamook Indians