Language: Kwak'wala or Kwakiutl is a Wakashan language of the Northwest Coast,
spoken by around 250 native people in British Columbia. The language has been in decline, but some young Kwakwakawakw
people are working to keep their ancestral language alive.
Names: The people's own name for their language is Kwak'wala (also spelled Kwak̕wala or Kwakwala), and their general
name for themselves is Kwakwaka'wakw (also spelled Kwakwakawakw or Kwawkwakawakw,) which means "Kwak'wala speakers."
The name "Kwakiutl" was originally the name of one of the major Kwakwaka'wakw subdivisions, also spelled Kwagu'ł, Kwaguł,
Kwagulth, Kwagu'tl, and many other ways. Although many people do refer to themselves as Kwakiutl today,
Kwakwaka'wakw is more inclusive and is preferred by some, particularly fluent speakers of Kwak'wala.
Dialects of the Kwak'wala language include Liq'wala (or Liqwala,) Nak'wala (or Nakwala), Guc'ala (or Gucala),
and Tłat'łasik'wala (or Tlatlasikwala.)
Our list of vocabulary words in the Kwakiutl language, with comparison to words in other Wakashan languages.
Kwakiutl Animal Words:
Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Kwak'wala language.
Kwakiutl Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions