The Tlingit form a distinct ethnic and linguistic group of the Koluschan stock. Koluschan is from the Russian kalyushka, meaning piece of wood (worn in the nether lip). They occupy a compact geographical area along the Pacific coast from about Mount St Elias to the Nass River, and including Sitka and the other adjacent islands of the Alexander Archipelago. The chief tribes are the Chilcat, Stikine and Yakutat. They are essentially a seafaring people and today work in the salmon industries. Prior to the deterioration suffered from contact with the white race they were the foremost traders of the Northwest.