- A powerful Indian tribe that roamed the territory between the Blue Mountains
in Oregon and the Bitter Root Mountains in Idaho. The name Nez Percé
(Pierced Nose), was given them by the French, although they are said never
to have practiced the custom of piercing their noses. One of their
own names for themselves meant "The People."
When Lewis and Clark met them in 1805 they
had been horse Indians for more than a century, breeding their famous war
ponies which the white man called the Appaloosa. The formerly fished
for salmon in the tributaries of the Columbia River, but after obtaining
horses they became buffalo hunters and lived in tepees during the hunting
season. At other times they lived in underground lodges, or dugouts.
They made fine baskets in which they could boil water by dropping hot stones
They were friendly to the whites with one
exception. In 1877 their famous chief, Joseph, headed a revolt
which proved disastrous to the tribe. From the tribe Nez Perce County
and a village, Nezperce, both in Idaho, derive their name.
within this Site
][ Cayuse ][ Joseph
][ Lewis ][ Palouse