The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 19, 1806
Clark, January 19, 1806
Tuesday 19th of January 1806
This morning Sent out two parties of hunters, one party towards Point adams and the other party up Ne tel River by water. we were visited to day by two Clatsop men and a woman who brought for Sale Some Sea otter Skins of which we purchased one gave in exchange the remainder of our blue heeds Consisting of 6 fathoms, and the Same quantity of Small white beids and a knife. we also purchased a Small quantity of train oil for a par of Brass arm bands, and a hat for Som fishinghooks. these hats are of their own manufactory and are Composed of Cedar bark and bear grass interwoven with the fingers and ornimented with various Colours and figures, they are nearly water proof, light, and I am Convinced are much more dureable than either Chip or Straw,- These hats form a article of traffic with Clatsops an Chinnooks who dispose of them to the whites, the form of the Hats is that which was in voge in the U States and Great Britain in 1800 & 1801 with a high Crown rather larger at the top than where it joins the brim, the brim narrow about 2 or 21/2 inches.
Several families of those people usially reside together in the Same room; they appear to be the father mother with their Sons and their Sons wives and children; their provisions appears to be in common and the greatest harmoney appears to exist among them. the old man is not always respected as the head of the family that duty generally devolves on one of the young men. They have Sildom more than one wife, yet plurality of wives are not denyed them by their Customs. those families when associated form bands of nations each acknowledgeing the authority of its own Chieftains, who does not appear to be herititary, or has power to extend further than a mear repremand for any improper deportment of the indevidual; the Creation of a Chief depends upon the upright Conduct of the individual his abiltity and disposition to render Service to the Comunity, and his authority and the defference paid him is in extent equilibrio with the popolarity or volintary esteem he has acquired among the individuals of his band, or nation. Their Laws like all uncivilized Indians Consist of a Set of customs which has grown out of their local Situations. not being able to Speak their language we have not been able to inform ourselves of the existance of any peculiar Customs among them.