Indians

ARCHEOLOGICAL research has revealed evidences of numerous
successive cultures in many parts of Oregon. Surviving the wear of
centuries on canyon walls and cliffs are rude designs daubed in red
ochre or outlined in primitive carving. Although often the subject of
fanciful interpretation, most of these pictographs and petroglyphs are de-
void of symbolic or esoteric meaning, being merely the groping efforts
of prehistoric man to give graphic expression to his experience. Burial
mounds in irregular patterns mark the places where the dead, with their
crude artifacts, lie buried. Along the coast, numerous kitchen middens—
heaps of shells, bone and stone fragments, and miscellaneous refuse,
overgrown with grass and trees—indicate the existence of prehistoric
homes. Where the Coast Highway cuts through such a kitchen midden,
as it does at several places, varying levels or strata in the heap are re-
vealed, denoting successive occupations of the locality.

Stone and obsidian weapons and bone fragments, frequently dis-
covered beneath layers of lava or volcanic ash, indicate human existence
in Oregon at a remote period. Near Abert Lake in Lake County, and
at the base of Hart Mountain in Warner Valley, are excellent examples
of prehistoric painting and carving. A local legend associates Abert Rim
with the retreat of an "Indian army" that ended in a plunge over the
cliff, at the foot of which are scattered many relics. Near The Dalles,
Arlington, and Forest Grove, and in the Cascadia Caves, are diverse
examples of prehistoric pictorial representations. The Linn County
mounds, the Deschutes region, the Malheur and Catlow Caves in Har-
ney County, and numerous other sites, have yielded weapons, utensils,
and other Indian artifacts.

The Indians who inhabited Oregon at the coming of the first white
men were members of twelve distinct linguistic families. Along the
south side of the Columbia, from its mouth to the Cascades, the Chi-
nookans held sway. Important branches of this family were the Clatsops,
who lived along the river to Tongue Point and along the coast to Tilla-
mook Head, and the Cathlamets, who dwelt a short distance farther up