The peoples who lived along the northwestern coast of North America had stable communities and a distinctive artistic style. A. The people lived on food from the sea, animals, and wild plants, and used wood from the forests for building construction, boat making, and sculpture. B. In the absence of a central political or religious organization, wide kinship networks established through interclan marriage helped to maintain social cohesion. C. Totem poles had a chief's symbols of identity imposed on them, and were thus used as objects of worship, whereas masks were used for secular purposes. D. Although the peoples of the northwestern communities came from various language groups, their languages were closely related and they could generally understand one another. E. The most remarkable artistic products of the northwestern peoples were totem poles and masks, which often represented families and their spirit guides. F. Carvers made masks using a principle of bilateral symmetry that resulted in the creation of a unity of symbolism, form, and surface.