Makah Cultural and Research Center Online Museum

Hunting

HuntingOne hundred bows have come from Ozette, but only two stone arrowheads. It was points of wood and bone that tipped Ozette arrows. More than 1,500 such points have been recovered.

Probably these were for shooting fish and birds. Common murre, white-winged scoter, and northern fulmar are the birds most represented by bone in the Ozette houses and midden. All are seabirds. In fact, fulmars-chunky gulls called "whalebirds" by today's Makahs-never come close to shore.

Elk and deer were valued for meat, bone, and antler; elk and deer tallow gave a face cream that protected against chapping. Because of the damp climates, hides weren't used extensively. Whalers, however, draped bearskin cloaks over their shoulders. At least this was true in prehistoric times. Little animal tissue other than bone and antler has been preserved at Ozette.

Probably most of the hunting took place away from the village, and only processed meat plus ribs, long bones, and antlers for carving or making into tools were brought to Ozette. Even in the earliest deposits there is little land animal bone. Elk and deer probably were available close by; Ozette people simply preferred to hunt mostly sea mammals and to fish.

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All content for this exhibit is © Makah Cultural and Research Center.

The Community Museum is a project of community organizations and Tribes across the Olympic Peninsula, and the University of Washington.
Support for the project comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Preston, Gates and Ellis, LLP.