Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Kutenai / Kootenay / Kootenai Indians

Kutenai Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

Since they were first observed, the Kutenai have worn skin clothing made in the fashion of the plains costume, but their robes were skins of the elk and of the mountain goat rather than of the buffalo. The hair hung loosely, that of the men being parted at the side and that of the women in the middle. Of late years they have adopted the custom of braiding it at the sides.

Dwelling

The summer house consisted originally of a small, tipi-shaped framework of poles covered with bark or spruce boughs, with rush matting, or with elk-skins, according to the wealth of the occupants. Later, buffalo-skins were much used. The permanent lodge was a low structure thatched with willows and covered with bark and earth. All houses faced the east.

Food

The principal foods were the flesh of the horned animals, such as deer, elk, caribou, moose, and buffalo; fish, and roots and berries of considerable variety.

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