One of our local Klallam Native American tribes is the Elwah, a group that lived for centuries in the Port Angeles area. This is their Port Angeles heritage center, a center for local tribal and community events. Since last summer it has also been home to a small collection of artifacts from an ancient Klallam village called Tse-whit-zen.
The artifacts were discovered in 2003 during construction in the Port Angeles Harbor area. In addition to remains of over 300 people, archaeologists and tribal members exhumed 80,000 artifacts, including items with fine carvings and functional pieces such as bone hooks, harpoon points, and a spindle whorl. Fourteen of these items are on display in the Heritage Center in six display cases on each side of the main gallery. The public is welcome to view the displays although the tribe respectfully requests they not be photographed.
The community center space is very attractive and now enhanced by the return of ancestral items from a village that was occupied for at least 2,700 years. The Tse-whit-zen site has been called one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Washington state.