Northwestern California Macro-Culture
|Ethnies||Chilula, Chimariko, Eel River Tribes, Hupa, Karuk, Lassik, Nongatl, Shasta, Tolowa, Whilcut, Wiyot, Yurok, some southwestern Oregon ethnies|
|Transition Ethnies||Achomawi, Atsugewi|
|Economy||The macro-culture shared a capitalist economy with wealth driving virtually all activities. Dentalium shells were used for money. Blood money was recognized as well as debt slavery.|
|Shamanism||Female shamans only, received payment for services and were typically wealthy.|
|Housing||Redwood plank cabins with an interior pit and a small hole entry to keep bears out.|
|Marriage||Bride purchase and half marriage (men who could not afford the bride price worked as a slave for one year for the bride's family).|
|Dances||White Deer Dance, Jump Dance, Brush Dance|
|Creation Story Motif||Man Across the Water|
|Primary Food||Salmon and acorns|
|Taboos||Twins. Smothered one of twins upon birth.|
| The Northwest California
macro-culture featured many traits of the greater Northwest cultures.
The greater Northwest cultures undertook a metamorphosis in the
mid-eighteenth century as a result pf Polynesian influences.
These changes manifested themselves particularly in art, both manual
and performance. Nonetheless, their overwhelmingly dentalium
driven capitalistic economy and society was a feature that the
Northwest California macro-culture shared with the other greater
The Northwest California macro-culture was, on the average, a rich one in comparison to all other California macro-cultures. Life was relatively easy along the salmon rich rivers and in the acorn and game rich forests for all but a few relatively small ethnies. This afforded opportunities for the pursuing of arts and the participation in ceremonies.
Inter-culture contact within the Northwest California macro-culture, however, must have been minimal as compared to the other California macro-cultures as demonstrated by its great number of separate languages each with a relatively few speakers. This large number of languages surely developed subsequent to the arrival of most of the various ethnies barely more than a millennium ago. Heavy inter-ethnie contact would have mitigated such linguistic diversity.
Northwestern California Plank House http://www.ncidc.org/