By Paige Dickerson
Though the legends about the origins of the Quileute people in the best-selling vampire books set in Forks and LaPush have some resemblance to the real stories--they both involve wolves--the tribe wants to make sure fans are aware of the rich reality of their true culture.
"We want to assure that all visits to LaPush are successful, enjoyable and provide lasting memories to those that are blessing us with their presence," said tribal councilwoman Anna Rose Counsell.
"The Twilight phenomenon gives the Quileutes the opportunity to educate those about who we are by way of sharing our own stories, food, song and dance passed down from generation to generation," she added.
So far in 2009, more than 70,000 visitors have passed through the visitor centers in Forks and LaPush seeking to see the spots named in the books.
"Stephenie Meyer is a great fiction writer and her characters bring excitement to her story," said executive director Bill Peach.
"The culture of the Quileute tribe is also very exciting because of the very long time they have lived here, and the success of the tribe in preserving their culture.
"An opportunity for visitors to learn about the culture is to experience tribal art and purchase items such as handmade cedar baskets."
Since the "Twilight boom" the Quileute have embraced fans with storytelling on special fan weekends and events to entertain and teach.
Below: "Chris Morganroth III tells the legend of the Quileute people." (Photo by Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News)