Fish is the staple food of the Chinook tribe. They love to eat fish because for them, this gave them the power and the energy to go on with life, just how smoothly fished swim through the waters. Salmon is their favorite fish, and they consider this as their main diet or called Chinook Diet.
They are also expert fishermen as they devised various kinds of nets, lines, rakes, hooks, fish baskets, and even traps. They mastered the inner workings of how to fish effectively, making them skilled fishermen. Although they have different techniques on how to catch fish, nothing beats their accuracy and mastery in using the spear in fishing.
The women of the Chinook tribe are responsible in cooking the food that the village people eat. One of the most popular ways of cooking their food, specifically the salmon, is by first preserving them. When the right time of the year comes, they then get it and they smoke it. Even though it has been chilled for a while, they are used to the unconventional flavor that it will have, knowing that it has been stored for several months.
Chinook Diet Facts
The oil that contains essential nutrients and vitamins for the candle fish which is also called as eulachon, are also used. They use the oil that they extract from the eulachon as a dip whenever they eat the food that they have.
Eulachon oil is also referred to as “grease” by the Europeans. This had became one of the most important things that are traded between the Chinook Indians and the Europeans, most especially the English and the French. There were even cases where they traded guns for this specific kind of oil. The Grease Trail, trail route was named after the famous grease trade.
Popular food of Chinooks
Shellfish is also a popular food that they incorporated in Chinook Diet. Clams that were dug under the beach shores are considered to be a very nutritious food that they ate. These were smoked just like the other food that they have. It was normal for them to dip it into the Eulachon oil while eating.
The Chinook tribe were not people who focused in war and raids, as they focused more in growing their economy and sustaining the livelihood that their village have. For them, war is not the answer, but instead peace is the solution to the problem. When issues happen, they usually confront the opposing party by negotiating diplomatic solutions. This was what happened to them between the other Native American tribes and European settlers that crossed their paths. This is also one of the reasons why their weapons are not designed for warfare, but instead are made for hunting purposes.
However, they were also known to capture slaves when the outbreak of war is inevitable. But one feature that they have that was different from the other tribes is that they treated their slaves kindly.
The usual animals that the men hunted in the mountains are deer, elks, mountain goats, and bears. These were used for their clothing and as food. Their chosen weapons of use are spears, knives, bows and arrows and clubs. However, these are designed and are mostly used for hunting purposes only.
Clamons are used as the kind of clothing that the Chinooks wore during warfare. This can be compared to that of the breastplate. This is made from hardened elk hide with cedar bark to support the structure and strength of it. This is said to be capable of protecting the wearer from arrow fire.
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