Makah Cultural and Research Center Online Museum


WoodworkingThe range of goods manufactured by Makah woodworkers was phenomenal. They shaped wood by splitting it with wedges, then dressing it with adzes, chiseled, and knives. Steaming made wood pliable. Canoes, bowls, and bailers were produced by hollowing wood. Boxes resulted from enclosing space by kerfing, steaming, and folding a board to form four sides, than pegging on a bottom. Whaling harpoon shafts were made in two or three sections scarfed and bound together, partly to provide built-in break points.

Once produced, items that showed wear were repaired or recycled. Ozette furnishes dozens of examples. There are boxes with patches, and split or broken house wall planks, trays, and spindle whorls laced together by passing pieces of split bough through drilled holes. Damaged canoe sides have been made into game paddles; canoe paddles, harpoon shafts, and wedges into stakes.

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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.