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Any of several bands of Northwest Coast Indian people of southwestern Vancouver Island, B.C., Can., and northwestern Washington, U.S. The name Nuu-chah-nulth, which they adapted in preference to Nootka (given them by others), means along the mountains. They speak a Wakashan language. Culturally related to the Kwakiutl, the Nuu-chah-nulth were traditionally specialized whale hunters. They moved seasonally, returning to their principal homesites during the winter. Local groups were usually socially and politically independent. The most important religious ceremony was the shaman's dance, a reenactment of mythological themes that ended with a potlatch. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 8,500 individuals of Nuu-chah-nulth descent.
Variants of NUU-CHAH-NULTH
Nuu-chah-nulth or Nootka
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Nuu-chah-nulth, visit Britannica.com.
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