CHINOOK, chi-nook' (Tsinfik, the Che halis name of this tribe), the best known di vision of the Chinookan family. They held territory on the north side of the Columbia River, in Washington, from the mouth of the river to Grays Bay. They have become very much mixed with the Chehalis, a cognate tribe, and the language of the southern division of the Chinookan family has become practically extinct. The Chinook, owing to their proxim ity to the early settlement of Astoria, became well known to the whites; more especially so as the Chinookan tongue had already become the basis of a trade jargon which served as a medium of communication all along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska. This jargon the white settlers, traders, merchants and trappers found it convenient to accept, as it enabled them to communicate not only with the Chinook but with all the other tribes who frequented the country about the mouth of the Columbia River for purposes of trade. The principal village of the Chinook was situated on Baker Bay, on the Pacific Coast, near the mouth of the Columbia River, a very advan tageous position, as the Chinook were great traders and fishermen. Though they lived in villages of a more or less permanent character, they were, owing to the nature of their tribal occupation, given to considerable moving about; and their voyages were generally made by water — in dugouts, canoes of huge size and graceful form. The Chinook differ in size and
appearance from the other tribes of the region lying about the mouth of the Columbia, being taller and having broader and higher foreheads and more arched noses. In all these respects they resemble the Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island. There are at least three distinct di visions of the Chinook Indians : the Chinook proper, the Upper Chinook and the Clatsop. The Upper Chinook and a part of the Clatsop still retain their Indian tongue, the former in a more or less pure state and the latter pretty well mixed with English and Chehalis. The Chinook seems to have been a numerous people. Lewis and Clark, who visited their country in 1805, state that they numbered 16,000. This estimate undoubtedly referred only to the Lower Chinook and did not include either the Clatsop or the Upper Chinook.' The greater part of the Chinookan race was carried off by an epidemic, the nature of which is unknown (1829). This plague swept away whole vil lages and even sub-tribes are said to have disappeared before its ravages. (See CHINOOK JaitcoN). Consult Bancroft, (Native Races of the Pacific States' (New York 1875).