Clark, November 1, 1805
November 1st Friday 1805
A verry Cool morning wind hard from the N. E. The Indians who arrived last evining took their Canoes on ther Sholders and Carried them below the Great Shute, we Set about takeing our Small Canoe and all the baggage by land 940 yards of bad Slippery and rockey way The Indians we discoverd took ther loading the whole length of the portage 21/2 miles, to avoid a Second Shute which appears verry bad to pass, and thro which they passed with their empty canoes. Great numbers of Sea Otters, they are So cautious that I with dificuelty got a Shot at one to day, which I must have killed, but could not get him as he Sunk
we got all our baggage over the Portage of 940 yards, after which we got the 4 large Canoes over by Slipping them over the rocks on poles placed across from one rock to another, and at Some places along partial Streams of the river. in passing those canoes over the rocks &c. three of them recived injuries which obliged us to delay to have them repared.
Several Indian Canoes arrived at the head of the portage, Some of the men accompanied by those from the village came down to Smoke with us, they appear to Speak the Same language with a little different axcent
I visited the Indian Village found that the Construction of the houses Similar to those abov described, with this difference only that they are larger Say from 35 to 50 feet by 30 feet, raised about 5 feet above the earth, and nearly as much below The Dores in the Same form and Size cut in the wide post which Supports one end of the ridge pole and which is carved and painted with different figures & Hieroglyphics Those people gave me to eate nuts berries & a little dried fish, and Sold me a hat of ther own taste without a brim, and baskets in which they hold their water- Their beads are raised about 41/2 feet, under which they Store away their dried fish, between the part on which they lie and the back wall they Store away their roots burries nuts and valuable articles on mats, which are Spread also around the fire place which is Sunk about one foot lower than the bottom fore of the house, this fire place is about 8 feet long and Six feet wide Secured with a fraim those houses are calculated for 4, 5 & 6 families, each familey haveing a nice painted ladder to assend up to their beads. I Saw in those houses Several wooden Images all cut in imitation of men, but differently fasioned and placed in the most conspicious parts of the houses, probably as an orniment I cannot lern certainly as to the traffick those Inds. carry on below, if white people or the indians who trade with the Whites who are either Settled or visit the mouth of this river. I believe mostly with the latter as their knowledge of the white people appears to be verry imperfect, and the articles which they appear to trade mostly i e Pounded fish, Beargrass, and roots; cannot be an object of comerce with furin merchants- however they git in return for those articles Blue and white beeds copper Tea Kitties, brass arm bands, some Scarlet and blue robes and a fiew articles of old clothes, they prefer beeds to any thing and will part with the last mouthfull or articles of clothing they have for a fiew of those beeds, those beeds the trafick with Indians Still higher up this river for roabs, Skins, cha-pel-el bread, beargrass &c. who in their turn trafick with those under the rockey mountains for Beargrass, Pashico roots & robes &c.
The nativs of the waters of the Columbia appear helthy, Some have turners on different parts of their bodies, and Sore and weak Eyes are common, maney have lost their Sight entirely great numbers with one eye out and frequently the other verry weak; This misfortune I must again asscribe to the water &c. They have bad teeth, which is not common with indians, maney have worn their teeth down and Some quite into their gums, this I cannot Satisfactorily account for it, do ascribe it in some measure to their method of eateing, their food, roots pertiularly, which they make use of as they are taken out of the earth frequently nearly covered with Sand, I have not Seen any of their long roots offered for Sale clear of Sand. They are rether below the Common Size high cheeks womin Small and homely, and have Swelled legs and thighs, and their knees remarkably large which I ascribe to the method in which they Sit on their hams-go nearly necked wareing only a piece of leather tied about their breast which falls down nearly as low as the waste, a Small roabe about 3 feet Square, and a piece of leather tied about their breach, They have all flat heads in this quarter They are tirty in the extream, both in their person and cooking, ware their hare loose hanging in every direction. They asc high prices for what they Sell and Say that the white people below give great prices for every thing &c.
The noses are all pierced and when they are dressed they have a long tapered piece of white shell or wampum put through the nose, Those Shells are about 2 inches in length. I observed in maney of the villeages which I have passed, the heads of the female children in the press for the purpose of compressing their heads in their infancy into a certain form, between two boards