Chinook refers to several groups of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, speaking the Chinookan languages. In the early 19th century, the Chinookan-speaking peoples lived along the lower and middle Columbia River in present-day Oregon and Washington. The Chinook tribes were those encountered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 on the lower Columbia. The Chinook were not nomadic. At birth Chinooks would flatten some children's heads by applying pressure with a board, enabling, in turn, a social hierarchy that placed flat-headed community members above those with round heads. This ranking was inherited. Living near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, they were skilled elk hunters and fishermen. The most popular fish was Salmon. Owing partly to their non-migratory living patterns, the Chinook and other coastal tribes had relatively little conflict over land with one another.
Contributions by Valfontis, ClueBot NG, and Ish ishwar.