Grounds and Landscaping
Taqwsheblu Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden

Lushootseed and Coast Salish Culture

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    Lushootseed, or Puget Salish, is one of the more than twenty Salish languages that have been spoken by Native peoples in an area from the Pacific coast east to western Montana, and from Oregon north to central British Columbia. Lushootseed has been spoken in Washington State's Puget Sound (or "Salish Sea") region,where it has been roughly divided into two regional variants: Northern, traditionally spoken by members of the Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Skagit and Sauk-Suiattle peoples, and Southern, spoken by the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Steilacoom, Suquamish, Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Nisqually and Sahewamish (Squaxin) peoples.

    We pay tribute to the Native peoples of this region and honor their knowledge and traditional culture by labeling all the plants in the garden with their Lushootseed names, accompanied by translations in English and Latin. Specifically Northern or Southern Lushootseed plant names are followed by an (N) or (S). In some cases the Lushootseed names of the plants contain important information about the plant's attributes or uses, reflecting the intimate knowledge that Lushootseed speakers developed with their local plants and their characteristics. We invite you to listen to some of the samples of Lushootseed below and explore some of the cultural refinements that have been developed by Coast Salish peoples.

    Lushootseed Language Resources

    Coast Salish Culture Resources

    • Museum Exhibit: S'abadeb, The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists.
      Seattle Art Museum. Exhibit website
    • Amoss, Pamela. Coast Salish Spirit Dancing: The Survival of an Ancestral Religion. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978
    • Ballard, Arthur C. Mythology of Southern Puget Sound. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1929
    • Brotherton, Barbara ed. S'abadeb, The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008
    • Collins, June McCormick. Valley of the Spirits. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1974
    • Elmendorf, William. The Structure of Twana Culture. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, 1960
    • Elmendorf, William. Twana Narratives: Native Historical Accounts of a Coast Salish Culture. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993
    • Haeberlin, Herman and Erna Gunther. The Indians of Puget Sound. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1952
    • Jennings, Katie (Director). Teachings of the Tree People: The Work of Bruce Miller. New Day Films, 2006
    • Jennings, Katie (Director). Huchoosedah: Teachings of the Heart. KCTS-9 and BBC Wales, 1995
    • Miller, Jay. Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey: An Anchored Radiance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999
    • Suttles, Wayne. Coast Salish Essays. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1987
    • Suttles, Wayne ed. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 7, Northwest Coast. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Publications
    • Thrush, Coll. "The Lushootseed Peoples of Puget Sound Country."
    • Thrush, Coll. Native Seattle. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008