The Nuu-chah-nulth were previously known as the Nootka. Their area, nearly the whole west coast of Vancouver Island, has the most rainfall on Vancouver Island. The Nuu-chah-nulth were the major whalers of the B.C. Coast. Their canoes were built extremely sturdy because their waters are so rough and because they needed to tow the whales with their canoes. The peoples known collectively as the Nuu-chah-nulth can be quite different from each other; the north and south are so far away from each other that they are quite distinct. There used to be many more groups, but since European contact many groups have vanished, died of diseases and grown so small as to be absorbed into other groups. The original villages have become the present-day bands who carry on their cultures and art.