Hoh Indian Tribe

Hoh Indian Tribe (HM2E83)

Location: Forks, WA 98331 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 47° 49.021', W 124° 9.13'

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Inscription
The tribal name for the Hoh River is Chalak'At'sit (meaning "The Southern River"). The river itself is focal in Hoh tribal identity and folk-history and in traditional economic patterns. The Hoh people were created along the river. Mythic narratives called kixl' recall the origin of Those-Who-Live-on-the-Hoh (Chalat', as the Hoh call themselves). According to these accounts, the ancestors of the tribe were "created by transformation" at the Time of Beginnings by K'wati the shape-shifting "Changer" who went around the world making things as they are today.
When K'wati got to the Hoh River he discovered that the inhabitants of the area were upside down people, who walked on their hands and handled their smelt dip nets clumsily with their feet. They weren't very good at it, so they were famished and skinny. K'wati set them right-side up and showed them how to operate their nets with their hands. For that reason, Hoh elders still sometimes refer to themselves as p'ip'isodat'sili, which means "Upside down people." After he had set the Hoh upright, then, the Transformer told the Ancestors, you shall use your feet to walk... Go and fish smelt. You shall catch much fish when you fish smelt." Ever since then there is a bounty of smelt at Hoh.
So important is the river in tribal lifeway's that there is also, not surprisingly,



a mythic narrative for the origin of the river. The Hoh River and the headlands along the beaches (Toleak Point and Hoh Head) were created by K'wati, as well. According to the story, K'wati killed the chief of the wolves, and then tried to escape from the other wolves, which were bent on revenge. The wily Transformer had grabbed his carved comb and a container of oil when he fled from his house, even though the wolves were in hot pursuit. According to the story, then K'wati ran down the beach. Then the wolves followed K'wati intending to kill him. As soon as the wolves were about to overtake K'wati, he used what had been hanging in the house [i. e. the comb] and struck the ground with it on the beach. No sooner had K'wati finished striking the ground on the beach with his comb and there appeared a cliff. Of course, the wolves had to swim around the cliff. Then the wolves would be left far behind. Once more the wolves were about to overtake K'wati and he spilled on the ground what he was carrying [i. e. the oil], there appeared a river. Of course the wolves had to swim across the water. Then K'wati kept on going and as soon as they would be about to overtake him, he would... make cliffs and rivers. So, he went around the country and K'wati was never overtaken by the pursuing wolves. Ever since that time there are cliffs and rivers.
Details
HM NumberHM2E83
Tags
Year Placed2015
Placed ByAssociation of Washington Generals, The Peterson Family, State of Washington, State of Alaska, and American Legion Post 106
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 7:04pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 413750 N 5296605
Decimal Degrees47.81701667, -124.15216667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 47° 49.021', W 124° 9.13'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds47° 49' 1.26" N, 124° 9' 7.8" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5843 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks WA 98331, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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