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Referred to now as Klikitat, they were a Shahaptian tribe whose former seat was at the headwaters of the Cowlitz, Lewis, White Salmon, and Klickitat rivers, north of Columbia river, in Klickitat and Skamania Counties, Wash. Their eastern neighbors were the Yakima, who speak a closely related language, and on the west they were met by various Salish and Chinookan tribes. In 1805 Lewis and Clark reported estimated their number at about 700.
The Klikitat were active and enterprising traders, and from their favorable position became widely known as intermediaries between the coast tribes and those living east of the Cascade range. They joined in the Yakima treaty at Camp Stevens, Wash., June 9, 1855, by which they ceded their lands to the United States. They are now almost wholly on Yakima Reservation, Wash., where they have become so merged with related tribes that an accurate estimate of their number is impossible.
Their basketry is extremely fine, with total imbrication and multiple colors and styles. Many of their works can be found in national museums and discerning collections.
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