New World Encyclopedia integrates facts with values.
Written by online collaboration with certified experts.
Their society was highly stratified, with several classes: Nobles and aristocrats, commoners, and slaves. Their lifestyle was based primarily on fishing, with the men also engaging in hunting, and the women gathering wild fruits and berries. Ornate woodwork was an important craft, used in carving totem poles and ceremonial masks as well as the more practical canoes. Wealth, defined by numbers of slaves as well as material goods, was prominently displayed and exchanged at potlatch ceremonies.
After contact with outsiders, their numbers were drastically reduced by disease, and their lifestyle forcibly changed in efforts to "Christianize" and "civilize" them. Notably, the potlatch was banned for many years. In contemporary times, the Kwakwaka'wakw have been active in the revitalization of their culture and language, and their artwork, particularly the totem poles, has been recognized and widely appreciated.
Sushi has become increasingly popular in the Western world, and chefs have invented many variations incorporating Western ingredients and sauces together with traditional Japanese ingredients.