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This is a site for Quileute people and their friends to tell stories–stories about nicknames and about place-names.  What’s your nickname?  How’d you get it?  What’s the story? What about places around LaPush?  How’d they get their names?  Who named Thunder Road?  Why is Mora called Mora?  What does Toleak mean?

It’s fun to think about these things. The ones I’ve already talked with had a good time remembering some of these names and stories. But everyone remembers different things, and so we’re hoping that everyone can help out with this.

Here’s a questionnaire you can use to get your memories going and get the stories started!


1. What nicknames have you had over the years?

2. What are the stories behind them?

3. What nicknames do you remember from your childhood in LaPush?

4. Do you know the stories behind them?

5. What about over the years, and today? What other nicknames can you think of? What other name stories do you know?

6. Do you think nicknames are more or less common these days than they have been in the past? (Or as far as you can tell, is it pretty much the same?)

7. Do you think most people in the community know the stories behind the nicknames? Do you think it matters if people know the stories or not?

8. What social role do you think nicknames play in Quileute culture?

9. What names have become common words in the community language (like “mup” or “JD” as verbs, or “lela” as a noun)?

10. What about naming generally? How many people do you know in the community who have, or have taken on, Quileute names? Has this practice declined over the years? Why do you think some people do this, and some people don’t?

11. What about last names? Do you know where your last name comes from?


1. What place-names do you know in Quileute territory?

2. Do any of these have stories behind them?

3. Do you know the Quileute words for any of them?