The Quileute are a Native American people in western Washington state, in the United States, currently numbering approximately 2000. The Tribe is located in La Push on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Quileute Tribe has lived and hunted in this area for thousands of years. Although the village of La Push is only about one-square mile, the tribe’s original territory stretched along the shores of the Pacific from the glaciers of Mount Olympus to the rivers of rain forests. Like many Northwest Coast natives, in pre-Colonial times the Quileute relied on fishing from local rivers and the Pacific Ocean for food and built longhouses to protect themselves from the harsh winters west of the Cascade Mountains. The Quileute come from a rich history of once great whalers, as well as excellent boat makers. However, The Tribe is best known as artists and craftsmen, especially for their woven baskets and dog hair blankets. Their tools and works go hand in hand with the environment the Quileute live in. Their surroundings also affected their lives through stories and their believed history. Ever present in Quileute folklore, legend has it that they descended from wolves. Quileute myths proclaim that the two-sided mythical character known as Dokibatt and K’wa’iti was responsible for creating the first ever person of the Quileute tribe by transforming a wolf. This myth also influenced Stephanie Meyer’s book series, the Twilight Saga. Due to the popularity of the novels, the Quileute people strive off of tourism in the area from fans of the series. Although it is surprising that a piece of fiction has affected these people in a significant way, it is interesting to see how the unreal can change the reality of this tribe.
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