Nez Percé

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Nez Percé

(nĕz pûrs, nā pĕrsā`) [Fr.,=pierced nose], Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). Also called the Sahaptin, or Shahaptin, they were given the name "Nez Percé" by the French because some of them wore nose pendants; however, this custom does not seem to have been widespread among them. They were typical of the Plateau area, fishing for salmon and gathering camas, cowish, and other roots. After the introduction of the horse (c.1700) they became noted horse breeders, particularly of the AppaloosaAppaloosa horse
, breed of light horse developed in the United States by the Nez Percé of Idaho from a horse that originated in Asia and was popular in Europe during the Middle Ages. Lewis and Clark found the breed in the possession of the Nez Percé in 1805.
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, and they adopted many Plains area traits, including buffalo hunts.

In 1805, when visited by Lewis and Clark, they were occupying a large region in W Idaho, NE Oregon, and SE Washington. In the 1830s the Nez Percé, then numbering some 6,000, attracted national attention by sending emissaries to St. Louis to ask for books and teachers. Their request attracted to the Pacific Northwest missionaries, who played an important role in opening the region to settlement. The Nez Percé ceded (1855) a large part of their territory to the United States. The gold rushes in the 1860s and 1870s, however, brought large numbers of miners and settlers onto their lands, and a treaty of cession was fraudulently extracted (1863) from part of the tribe, confining the Nez Percé to a reservation in NW Idaho. A band of the tribe living in Oregon refused to relocate, leading to the uprising under Chief JosephJoseph
(Chief Joseph), c.1840–1904, chief of a group of Nez Percé. On his father's death in 1871, Joseph became leader of one of the groups that refused to leave the land ceded to the United States by the fraudulently obtained treaty of 1863.
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 in 1877. Following their defeat, many of the survivors ended up at the Colville Reservation in Washington, where some of their descendants still live. However, many more Nez Percé live on their reservation in Idaho, earning their living as farmers. In 1990 there were some 4,000 Nez Percé in the United States.


See H. J. Spinder, The Nez Percé Indians (1908, repr. 1974); T. Mathieson, The Nez Percé War (1964); M. D. Beal, I Will Fight No More Forever (1965); A. M. Josephy, Jr., The Nez Percé Indians and the Opening of the Northwest (1965, abr. ed. 1971); M. H. Brown, The Flight of the Nez Percé (1966, repr. 1972); D. Walker, Conflict and Schism in Nez Percé Acculturation (1968); D. S. Lavender, Let Me Be Free: The Nez Percé Tragedy (1992).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Nez Perce fared well in that first treaty, being the only tribe not to be "confederated" with neighboring tribes, and retaining a substantial amount of land that stretched from the Wallowas in the south and west far into what is now Washington and Idaho to the north and east.
The connection between Chief Joseph and Brother to Dragons is reemphasized with a discussion of the auspicious first encounter between the Nez Perce and representatives of the United States in the "Note" Warren inserts between the poem's epigraphs and the body of the poem itself: "The Nez Perce entered history as the friendly hosts to the explorers Lewis and Clark, and took care of their superfluous possessions when the expedition made the last push to the Pacific" (CJ, 491).
Chief Joseph was best known for leading the Nez Perce tribe out of Oregon on a 1,700-mile journey to freedom in Canada to escape living on a reservation.
Now the Nez Perce are struggling to keep their language alive.
Brotnov said his research was inspired by his own cultural background - European roots with a small dash of Nez Perce - and sparked by the cultural intersections in families, especially those with "native and nonnative lineages.
Categories: Bid Protest, Fixed price contracts, Nez Perce National Forest, Prices and pricing, Requirements definition, Road repairs, Road surfaces, SBA Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program, Small business set-asides, Solicitation specifications, Solicitations, Technical proposal evaluation, Technical proposals
At the last minute another young Nez Perce man volunteered as well, enlarging the group to seven.
The Nez Perces in the Indian Territory: Nimiipuu Survival tells of the Nimiipuu captivity and deportation after an agreement with federal agents following the Nez Perce war of 1877.
The others are established writers and represent many of the tribes that Lewis and Clark met--Salish, Shoshone, Hidatsa, Mandan, Nez Perce, and Clatsop, among others.
Miles, 33, became the first woman to lead the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee in Idaho.