The Quileute tribe linguistically belongs to the Chimakuan family of languages among Northwest Coast indigenous peoples. The Quileute language is one of a kind, as the only related aboriginal people to the Quileute, the Chimacum, were wiped out by Chief Seattle and the Suquamish people during the 1860s. The Quileute language is only of only five known languages to not have any nasal sounds (m, n).
Like many Northwest Coast natives, the Quileute relied on fishing from local rivers and the Pacific Ocean for food and built plank houses (longhouses) to protect themselves from the harsh, wet winters west of the Cascade Mountains. The Quileutes, along with the Makah people, were once great whalers.