This article contains
interesting facts, pictures and information about
the Flathead Native American Indians of the
Northwest Pacific Coast..
Flathead Native Indians
and Definition: The Flathead Native Indians were not
just one tribe. The
term Flathead was the nickname given by Europeans to
any Native Americans who intentionally changed the
shape of their heads to a flat, elongated profile.
These tribes included the Coast Salish, the
Chinooks, the Clatsop, Kathlamet, Killamuck, Winnapa,
Cowlitz, Kwalhioquas and the Wahkiakum tribes.
Flathead Native Indians
lifestyle and culture of the different tribes
referred to as Flathead Native Indians, had some
variations. However, the article on the
provides and overview and description of the
clothes, food, shelter and religion of the
Where did the Flathead Native Indians live?
According to the
Journals of Lewis and Clark the Killamuck,
Clatsop, Chinnook, and Kathlamet tribes, and all
the tribes seen west of the Rocky mountains (the
easternmost of the Plateau Indians), adopted a
fashion to change their appearance. They changed
the shape of their heads. The custom involved
flattening the head by artificial pressure
during the infancy of all baby boys and girls -
hence the name Flathead.
The Native American Indian tribes who
adopted this tradition lived in the eastern
region and the Northwest Coast
Land: Tall dense forests, oceans, mountains
Climate: The climate was very warm summers and
cold, rain drenched winters
Animals: The animals included Mountain
sheep and goats, deer, moose, beaver, bear
Fish: Fish and Sea animals including salmon, seals,
sea otters, whales, and shell fish
Map showing location of
Southwest Native American Cultural Group
What method was used to create a Flat Head?
The custom involved flattening the head by
artificial pressure during the infancy of all
baby boys and girls - hence the name Flathead.
The bones of the head in a little baby are soft
and can therefore be pressed out of shape
without inflicting any pain. As the child grows
older, the bones become harder and cannot be
easily altered. The Native Indians who followed
this custom made the head a wedge-shaped, from a
'Flathead' look was obtained by wrapping the
baby's head in a bandage and using a board,
which was hinged to the cradle-board, that was
brought down upon the baby's forehead. The
process began when the baby was about one month
board forced the head to broaden in front and
the forehead to slant sharply. After the
pressure from the board had been kept on for
some months, the shape of the head was changed
for life, giving the appearance of a Flathead.
The picture shows a Chinook cradle with the
flattening board. The heads of the children are
released from the bandage between the ages of 10
- 12 months.
procedure resulted in a head with an elongated,
flattened appearance, not more than two inches
thick from the upper edge of the forehead, and
still thinner above.
Why did the Flathead Indians adopt the
The Flathead Native Indians adopted the custom
and tradition of changing their appearance as
they believed it made them look more attractive
and distinctive from other Native American
tribes. The process was painless and did not
affect their mental capabilities. It was seen as
an act of caring for a new baby and ensuring
they were seen as new members of the community
in which they lived. It was a sign of status,
identification and of prestige. Although the
people who made up the groups of Flathead Native
Indians were generally peaceful, on the
occasions they fought with others it was their
practise to take slaves. Flathead slaves were
never allowed to adopt the process of changing
the appearance of their children.
Other customs of the Flathead Indians -
Flathead Native Indians, both men and women,
also adorned their face and bodies with tattoos.
The practise was chiefly adopted by the women of
the communities. The designs of the tattoos took
the shape of circular or parallel lines and
Flathead Native Indians
Interesting Facts and information about the way the people lived
The Flathead way of life
of the process to flatten the heads of Flathead babies
Fast Facts and info about the Flathead Native Indians
Homework resource for kids on the history of the Flathead Native American Indians
Flathead Native Indians History: What happened to the Flathead Native Indians?
It is estimated that there are more than 4,000
Flathead descendants. Most lived on the Flathead
Reservation (formally the Confederated Salish and
Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation) in western
Montana, the fourth largest reservation within the
United States of America.
Pictures and Videos of Native American Indians and their
The Flathead Native Indians was one of the most famous tribes of
Native American Indians.
Discover the vast selection of
pictures on the subject of the tribes of Famous Native Americans
such as the Flathead Native Indians nation. The pictures show the clothing,
and decorations of various Native Indian tribes, such as
the Flathead Native Indians, that can
be used as a really useful
educational resource for kids and children of all ages. We hope you enjoy watching
the video - just click and play - a
great social studies homework resource for kids .