Chimakuan Language

Chimakuan Language Family

The Chimakuan language family consists of two languages spoken in northwestern Washington, USA on the Olympic Peninsula.Chemakum is now extinct.

It was spoken until the 1940s on east side of the Olympic Peninsula between Port Townsend and Hood Canal.

The name Chemakum is an Anglicized version of a Salishan word for the Chemakum people.

The Chemakum spoke a language very similar to the Quileute language, which is now effectively a language isolate.

Quileute is a group of Native American peoples from western Washington state in the United States.

The Quileute people settled onto reservation lands after signing a treaty with the former Washington Territory in 1855. The reservation’s main population lives in La Push, Washington.

The Quileute language is one of a kind, as the only related aboriginal people to the Quileute, the Chemakum, were wiped out by Chief Seattle and the Suquamish people during the 1860s.

The Quileute language is one of only five known languages to not have any nasal sounds (m, n).Like many Northwest Coast natives, the Quileute relied on fishing from local rivers and the Pacific Ocean for food and built plank houses (longhouses) to protect themselves from the harsh, wet winters west of the Cascade Mountains.

The Quileutes, along with the Makah people, were once great whalers.Quileute is now a severely endangered language.

It is spoken by a few people south of the Makah on the western coast of the Olympic peninsula south of Cape Flattery at La Push and the lower Hoh River. The name Quileute comes from the name of a village at La Push.

Chimakuan (2)

Chimakum (USA)

Quileute (USA)