Quillayute Native American Tribe

The Quillayute are a Native American tribe located  in western Washington in the United States of America, presently totaling about 750. The Quileute tribe colonized onto the Quileute Indian Reservation situated near the south-west corner of Clallam County, Washington at the mouth of the Quillayute River on the Pacific seacoast. The reservation’s primary population center is the residential area of La Push, Washington.

Similar to many Northwest Coast tribes, in pre-Colonial times the Quileute were dependent on fishing by local rivers and the Pacific Ocean for food.   The Quileute built loghouses to protect themselves from the brutal, soaked winters west of the Cascade Mountains. The Quileute and additional Northwest Tribes relied on the sea. The Quileutes were among the sole tribes that hunted whales.  Although the ocean was full of fish for the Quileute Tribe, they as well hunted game. They’d hunt down beasts such as deer and elk. In the Northwest coast naturally developing resources are abundant, and the Quileute Tribe survived off the land as well. The Quileute weren’t a farming tribe; they survived off of what they could find.

Quileute Creation Legend

Like most Native American Tribes the Quileute had their own set of legends that were passed down from generation to generation to explain events and occurances in their history.  Many of these legends have survived the passage of time while others have been lost.   Many of the Quileute legends can be found on this website.

The beliefs of the Quileute tribe varied over time.  They originally were a really spiritual tribe, the Quileute legends have shamans and healers and numerous legends contain monsters that they believed in.  For example; the Quileute creation legend  says that a traveling shape shifter came upon a wolf and transformed him into a human being, creating the first Quileute.

The Quileute are told to have struggled with about all the tribes between the Columbia River and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, however most of the details of these conflicts are not available to examine. The one that’s explained is the warfare with the Makah Tribe in 1850. The describe of the fight, from Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian, reads more similar to a myth than a historical account:

“They removed his [Kihlabuhlup] blanket to find out why they had been unable to kill him, and they found marks on his body where the bullets had flattened themselves against his flesh, as if they had been shot against a stone. Then they cut him open and found that his heart was covered in hair, and his intestines, which were very short, were striped.”

As you are able to visualise, this doesn’t appear to be an precise historical account of the war, but it provides some insight into their culture. There were peaceful relations between tribes as well, with intermarriage and trading which was applied largely with the Makah.

The Quileute are still in existance today.  The 2000 census accounted an official resident population of 371 populate on the Quileute Indian Reservation , which has a acreage of 1.5678 sq mi.

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  1. this is really cool considering that in the movie “Twilight” Stephanie Meyer uses this particular tribe and legend and that it is really true. That gives it a background and character. The Quileutes are a fascinating tribe and should be properly recognized.

  2. I thought in the movie and books “Twilight”, Stephenie Meyer was faking the tribe. I wanted to do research and I guess it is true!

  3. WOw…
    I saw it in “Twilight”…
    i found it’s beautiful…….

    If i have a chance,i want tu get there….

  4. that is so cool

  5. whene i saw the movie twilight i thing that quileute legend it was just in st.mayers imagination.
    it’s great that the quileutes are real.
    it’s the wrong way to discaver this but were i live we don’t lern much about amer.nat.tr.
    i will lern more in time because is like a time journey.
    we have great history(Greece) but i love to lern about other cultures.

  6. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love the movie twilight and I like how the Quileutes are real!!!!!!!!!!
    Next year I am going down to LaPush and study the legend!!
    And who knows maybe i will end up talking to a wolf. LOL

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I thought this was fake at first but now that I did the research I just can’t believe it!!! = D

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I STiLL CAN’T B3Li3V3 iT!!!!
    I L0V3 EDWARD TH0UGH!!!!

  9. I love learning about other native american tribes, and their legends. I am part Abenaki, so I find it very interesting to learn about other tribes and their stories. When I read the “Twilight Sega,” I was like “oh I think I have heard of that name before, wonder if their true.” I was surprised to know the outcome. Stephanie Meyer sure did her homework.

  10. hello i really like the movie!

  11. lourdes says:

    wow awesome… I’M FROm Venezuela… Of course a twilight book fan… I Never thought this could be real… Just thought it wa fake or something… IT’s a good thing cuz it kinda makes us interest about them… The wolves story true… Wow… Love twilight books… Steph really did some research uh? Lol

  12. Lucas Dorethy says:

    it is too bad that almost everywhere you look its twilight this and new moon that and hardly anything that about our tribe thank you for at least posting something remotely relevant to my people instead of the movie


    soy una super fanatica de la saga!!! me encanta!!! desearia q fuera real la leyenda de los indios quileutes! gracias por darnos esta pagina para compartir contigo lo q sentimos…. tengo una hermana melliza…pero a ella no le agrada nada de la saga…peor los libros…

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