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First Peoples' Names for Mountain in the Olympics?  RSS feed

Posts: 53
Location: Olympia, WA
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I'm trying to find as many of the original names as I can for the mountains in the Olympic Mountains in Washington state. I know it's a broad request, but if anyone knows any of the names of any of the mountains in the Olympics given to those mountains by the First Peoples in the area, particularly by the Makah, Elwha Klallam, S'Klallam, Suquamish, Skokomish, Quinault, Hoh, and Quileute tribes, please share them in this thread!

This might seem an odd request, but I'm somewhat new to the PNW and I'm feverishly trying to learn about the pre-colonial history of the area. One of my favorite parts of learning these things is learning the original names for a place. In my humble opinion, they are usually quite a lot more beautiful than the names we call them by now (Denali for Mt. McKinley, Chomolungma for Mt. Everest, Tahoma for Mt. Rainier, Klickitat for Mt. Adams, etc). I've found the names used by the First Peoples who lived nearest a mountain for many mountains, but I have been unlucky finding names for mountains in the Olympics. Any personal knowledge and/or references to places I could find such information would be greatly appreciated!!
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Posts: 5397
Location: Missoula, MT
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Kyle, this is a great question--wish I had an answer for you. Since it is regionally specific, I moved it to the Cascadia forum.
Posts: 7722
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Find a linguist at a university or contact the band office. You might get invited to a pow wow where you'll meet older people who know those things. Many bands have groups of elders who go around to the schools to teach language and history. They're a chatty bunch.
Posts: 3418
Location: woodland, washington
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wikipedia tells me the Olympics were called "Sun-a-do" by the Duwamish Indians.

I've found this sort of information to be fairly scarce on the internet. you might need to seek out some flesh-and-blood informants. certainly more work, but probably a lot more rewarding, too. and not at all out of the question in this part of the world.
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