Coast Salish
LOCATION: Southern Coast British Columbia and south to Washington State.
POPULATION: 5,000 as a result of epidemics brought over by settlers.
LANGUAGE: Coast Salish Language - speaking six related languages.

Coast Salish peoples are a typical Northwest Coast tribe. Dependent on the sea for food resources the tribe feed on the plentiful amounts of salmon, eulachon and other fish. Red Cedar played an important role due to its vast supply and was used to make canoes, houses and tools.

The Salish tribe consists of a number of bands and groups including the Comox, Pentlatch, Sechelt, Squamish, Cowichan and Nanaimo.

In contrast to art made by other tribes on the Northwest Coast, much of the art made on the Salish Coast was less likely to be sold to collectors and museums because of the greatly personal and religious aspect. This possibly tells us why Brenchley has so few Salish works in the collection. Typical works of art were small, such as carved rattles, spindle whorls and combs – of which you can find an example of in the collection – click here to see!

Peoples of the Salish tribe were also accomplished weavers and basket makers. House posts representing deceased ancestors were also carved.