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Forty-fifth Annual Report 

of the 






D. C. 










For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. - - - Price $2.35 (Paper Covers) 


Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American .Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, June 30, 1928. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Forty- 
fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1928. 

With appreciation of your aid in the work under my 
charge, I am, 

Very respectfully yours, 


Chief Clerk, Smithsonian Institution. 
Dr. C. G. Abbot, 

Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 





Systematic researches ' 1 

Special researches 10 

Editorial work and publications 16 

Illustrations 17 

Library 18 

Collections 18 

Property 19 

Miscellaneous 19 


The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateaus, by James A. Tcit, edited by 

Franz Boas 23 

Tattooing and Face and Body Painting of the Thompson Indians, British 

Columbia, l)y James A. Teit, edited by Franz Boas 397 

The Ethnobotany of the Thompson Indians of British Columbia, by Elsie 

Viault Steedman ' 441 

The Osage Tribe: Rite of the Wa-xo'-be, by Francis La Flesche 523 






H. W. DoRSEY, Chief Clerk 

The operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1928, were conducted 
in accordance with the act of Congress approved February 
11, 1927, making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of 
the Government, which act contains the following item : 

American ethnology : For continuing ethnological researches among 
the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, the excavation 
and preservation of archseologic remains under the direction of the 
Smithsonian Institution, including necessary employees, the prepa- 
ration of manuscripts, drawings, illustrations, the purchase of neces- 
sary books and periodicals, and traveling expenses, $58,720, of which 
amount not to exceed $48,000 may be expended for personal serv- 
ices in the District of Columbia. 

Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, chief of the bureau since March 1, 
1918, continued to occupy that position until January 15, 
1928, when he retired as chief but continued on the stalT of 
the bureau as associate anthropologist. 

The general program of the bureau for the entire year has 
been similar to that of the last fiscal year. 


Doctor Fewkes's scientific work has been mainly devoted 
to the preparation of a report on his excavations at Elden 
Pueblo, Arizona, made during the summer of 1926. 

Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, completed the proof 
reading of his papers on Social Organization and Social Usages 
of the Indians of the Creek Confederacy, Religious Beliefs 
and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians, Aboriginal 


Culture of the Southeast, and a paper by the late WilHam 
E. Myer on Indian Trails of the Southeast, all of which 
have appeared in the Forty-second Annual Report of the 
bureau, and of a short paper on the Social and Religious 
Usages of the Chickasaw Indians which is to appear in the 
Forty-fourth Annual Report. He spent some time in con- 
tinuing the preparation of a tribal map of aboriginal North 
America north of Mexico and the accompanying text, and 
assisted in the preparation for publication of James Mooney's 
paper on The Aboriginal Population of America North of 
Mexico, which appeared as volume 80, No. 7, of the Smith- 
sonian Miscellaneous Collections. 

Work in connection with the Timucua dictionary, with the 
help of Miss Tucker, was continued during most of the 
year. In 1926, Miss Irene Wright, in the employ of the 
Florida State Historical Society, discovered a letter in the 
archives of the Indies at Sevilla written in the Timucua 
language. Part of the work of preparing this material for 
publication by the society has been done by Doctor Swanton, 
and in the same volume an earlier letter, discovered and 
published by Buckingham Smith, is to be included. Al- 
though this publication is being done outside, it will furnish 
in more convenient and reliable form all of the known material 
which we have not yet drawn upon for the dictionary , some 
scattered words alone excepted. Doctor Swanton has been 
called upon for an unusual amount of advisory and other 
special work during the past year. 

From July 1 to 22 Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, 
continued ethnological and linguistic work among the Sauk 
and Fox of Iowa. From the latter part of July to the end of 
August he was engaged in work on the Northern Arapaho, 
devoting his time mainly to linguistics, and was able to un- 
ravel a number of complex phonetic shifts whereby a larger 
proportion of Algonquian elements in the language were 
made more certain than hitherto suspected. He also took 
physical measurements of a number of Arapaho and Sho- 
shoni Indians. As far as the latter is concerned, the cephalic 
index of his series agrees closely with that obtained under the 
direction of Doctor Boas more than 20 years ago. After 


his return to Washington, September 1, he corrected the 
proofs of his Notes on the Buffalo-head Dance of the Thunder 
Gens of the Fox Indians, wliich will appear as Bulletin 87 of 
the bureau. 

Doctor Michelson submitted for publication a work en- 
titled ''Observations on the Thunder Dance of the Bear 
Gens of the Fox Indians," which is to be issued as Bulletin 89 
of the bureau. He has also submitted a manuscript desig- 
nated "Sketch of the Buffalo Dance of the Bear Gens of the 
Fox Indians." He worked out a complete translation of a 
syllabic text supplementary to his paper in the Fortieth An- 
nual Report. A number of technical papers have been pre- 
pared by Doctor Michelson and published in various scientific 
journals. Doctor Michelson from time to time has furnished 
data to answer official correspondence. 

Mr. J. P. Harrington, ethnologist, spent the year in a study 
of the Mission Indians of the Santa Barbara region of Cali- 
fornia and of the Taos tribe of north-central New Mexico. 

Leaving for the field in the fall of 1927, Mr. Harrington 
resumed his field studies at Santa Barbara wdth great suc- 
cess, securing a mass of important linguistic information 
from the last few aged survivors of the proud and highly 
cultured people which only a few decades ago thickly popu- 
lated the islands and mainland coasts of the Santa Barbara 
region. The material covered the entire range of knowledge 
of the informants and included difficult translations into 
the Chumashan. These translations now include an almost 
exhaustive study of the earlier period of Chumashan history. 
The grammatical material was all perfectly heard and 
reaches into every corner of phonetic phenomena and gram- 
matical construction. The work contains a new and exhaus- 
tive study of the early voyages, proving, among other points 
that will have great popular interest, that Cabrillo was the 
discoverer of Monterey. It also contains translations made 
by Mr. Harrington of the diaries of the early land expedi- 
tions, throwing new fight on hitherto dark chapters of the 
earliest history of Alta California, since this history is here 
for the first time dealt with from the Indian viewpoint. In 
this work, Mr. Harrington has cooperated with Fr. Zephyrin 


Engelhardt, custodian of the Santa Barbara Mission archives, 
and with Dr. H. E. Bolton and other friends at the Bancroft 
Library of the University of Cahfornia. 

Returning to Washington in March, Mr. Harrington 
elaborated his recent notes and prepared his Taos material 
for publication. This consists of a thorough presentation 
of the documents of Taos Indian history, all of them worked 
through afresh and provided with new original translations 
by Mr. Harrington, a presentation of Taos ethnology, and 
a comprehensive vocabulary of the Taos language, which, 
as Mr. Harrington has recently pointed out, has close genetic 
relationship with the Kiowa language. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year 1928 Mr. J. N. B. 
Hewitt, ethnologist, undertook a detailed study and inter- 
pretation of certain Onondaga Iroquoian texts recorded by 
him in former years relating to the wind or air gods, who are 
in fact disease gods of Iroquoian mythic thought. These 
texts are Delphic in their brevity, and so are most difficult 
to interpret and to correlate. They are only brief myths, 
most of the details of which have been forgotten, and so 
the mode of telling them has become oracular. 

Mr. Hewitt read the galley proof of his paper in the Forty- 
third Annual Report of the bureau, Iroquoian Cosmology, 
Second Part. Severe illness during the early winter delayed 
this work, but upon partial recovery he completed this task 
and also the final reading in page proofs. 

Mr. Hewitt also edited Mr. Edwin Thompson Denig's 
manuscript, Report on the Indian Tribes of the Upper 
Missouri to the Hon. Isaac H. Stevens, Governor of Wash- 
ington Territory. He added an introduction to the report, 
with a brief biography of the author. 

As the representative of the Smithsonian Institution on 
the United States Geographic Board, Mr. Hewitt attended 
the meetings of the board and of the executive committee 
of that board, of which he is also a member. 

As custodian of the bureau manuscripts, Mr. Hewitt re- 
ports the continuation of the work of recataloguing the man- 
uscript material and the phonograph music records belonging 
to the archives. Miss M. W. Tucker typed the cards and 


stored the material, and also catalogued 250 cylinders of the 
Osage Indian songs and rituals. These were verified by 
Doctor La Flesche with the use of the phonograph, and are 
therefore authentic. Mr. Harrington has also turned over 
his collection of 100 cylinders. Miss Densmore has, to 
date, a total of 1,697 cylinders listed and filed. 

There are now 3,079 manuscripts in the archives, and 
about 626 phonograph records, in addition to those of Miss 

On May 18, 1928, Mr. Hewitt left Washington to continue 
his studies among the Iroquoian and Chippewa tribes in 
Canada. He visited the Chippewa at Garden River to 
revise certain cosmic texts acquired in 1900 from Mr. John 
Miscogeon, of Bay View, Mich., and from Mr. George 
Gabaoosa, of Garden River, in 1921. He visited the Huron 
remnant at Loretteville, near the city of Quebec, Canada, 
to ascertain whether any knowledge of an institution re- 
sembling closely the League of the Five Iroquois Tribes 
formerly extant among the Hurons then dwelling about 
Lake Simcoe still existed among this remnant of the Hurons. 
But no remembrance of it was found. 

Mr. Hewitt visited the Caughnawaga Mohawk living near 
Montreal, where information regarding the league and its 
institutions was sought, but he found only a jumble of ideas 
coming from the old religious thought of the natives, from 
the so-called Handsome Lake reformation, and from the 
hazy ideas instilled into them by the missionaries. Here he 
also sought information tending to identify the so-called 
Seven Nations of Canada, etc., who have recently become 
a problem for the Canadian Department of Justice and of 
the law department at Albany, N. Y. 

Mr. Hewitt's most fruitful field of research was among 
the Six Nations of Iroquois living on the Grand River grant 
not far from Brantford, Canada. Here he undertook the 
free translation of the historical tradition of the founding 
of the League of the Five Iroquois Tribes in the closing 
decades of the sixteenth century, as related by the Mohawk 
and the Onondaga, which embodies the farewell address of 
Deganawide, the master mind in the work of establishing 


that institution. He revised the seven myths in native 
Onondaga texts relating to the gods of the air and the wind 
who control diseases. 

He was fortunate enough to secure the emblem of official 
authority of the fire keeper of the council of the league to 
open and close the sessions of the council. 

Mr. Hewitt, as usual, has devoted much time to providing, 
through careful research, data for replies to the many corre- 
spondents of the bureau. 

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1928, Dr. Francis 
La Flesche, ethnologist, completed two manuscripts: Wa- 
sha-be A-thi", containing 270 pages, and Wa-wa-tho", or 
Pipe Ceremony, containing 110 pages. Another manuscript 
is in the hands of the editor, entitled "The Child-naming 

He started a dictionary of the Omaha language, obtaining 
about 7,000 words with both the Indian and the English 
meaning and usage. In November he began the compilation 
of a dictionary of the Osage language. About 20,000 words 
with their full meanings and usage have been completed. 

The month of July, 1927, and the first part of August were 
spent by Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jr., archeologist, in the Chaco 
Canyon, New Mexico, completing the excavation of a late 
Basket Maker site. It was discovered that the latter had 
been a village consisting of 18 houses, a kiva or circular 
ceremonial structure, 48 storage bins, and a court. Definite 
knowledge of the house type was obtained during the progress 
of these excavations, as well as other information of value 
concerning one of the lesser known stages in the cultural de- 
velopment of the sedentary agricultural Indians of the pre- 
historic Southwest. The work in the Chaco added materially 
to the information on southwestern archeology. 

Two weeks of August were spent in southeastern Utah in a 
reconnaissance along Montezuma Creek, one of the northern 
tributaries of the San Juan. The purpose of this reconnais- 
sance was to locate additional late Basket Maker sites which 
might warrant intensive investigation. Despite heavy rains 
and flooded conditions of the streams, he was able to make 
his way up Montezuma Creek a distance of 40 miles. Several 


late Basket Maker sites were observed, but in every case the 
remains were so eroded that it was not deemed advisable to 
do any excavating. Several ruins were visited which were of 
interest because they had been noted and described by W. H. 
Jackson in the Hayden survey report for Colorado and 
adjacent territory, 1876. Although unique from an archi- 
tectural standpoint, the ruins belong to the late Mesa Verde 
era, the period when the pottery characteristic of the large 
Mesa Verde pueblos and cliff dwellings was in vogue. 

At the end of August Doctor Roberts went to Pecos, 
N. Mex., where he attended the conference of southwestern 
archeologists and ethnologists held at the Pecos ruins, where 
the Andover Academy expedition under Dr. A. V. Kidder 
was completing its extensive investigations of that well- 
knoTMi pueblo. While at the conference he assisted in the 
drafting of a new outline of the sequence of cultural stages in 
southwestern prehistoric and early historic development of 
the sedentary Indian groups. 

The first week in September found him at Folsom, N. Mex., 
where workmen of the Colorado Museum of Natural History, 
Denver, had uncovered several projectile points in direct 
association with the bones of an extinct species of bison, 
Bison taylori. Several days were spent in investigating the 
fossil bed and the surrounding territory. Doctor Roberts 
was so impressed with the find that he sent for Dr. A. V. 
Ividder, of the Andover Academy and the Carnegie Insti- 
tution of Washington, and with him again went carefuUy 
over the problem presented. At the conclusion of the inves- 
tigations Doctor Roberts and Doctor Kidder were convinced 
that the bones and the projectile points had been deposited 
in the stratum contemporaneously. He returned to W^ash- 
ington earl}' in October. 

The winter was spent in the preparation of a manuscript 
on the season's work, entitled "Shabik'eshchee Village, a 
Late Basket Maker Site in the Chaco Canyon, New Mexico." 
Another manuscript on Certain Cave Sites Near El Paso, 
Tex., was also completed. 

In February Doctor Roberts went to Melbourne, Fla., to 
view, in situ, a projectile point which Dr. J. W. Gidley, of 


the United States National Museum, had found in a stratum 
from which he was removing the bones of extinct Pleisto- 
cene animals. The projectile point and bones were from the 
same stratum which in previous work had yielded the crushed 
skull of a human being. It is around the latter that much 
anthropological and paleontological discussion has centered 
during the last two years. Doctor Roberts took advantage 
of the trip to Melbourne to visit a number of shell heaps 
and mounds left by some of the earlier Indian inhabitants 
of the region. 

In may, 1928, Doctor Roberts made a reconnaissance 
along the San Juan River to a point about 10 miles south of 
Rosa, N. Mex. Returning to Arboles, Colo., a short survey 
and inspection was made of the ruins and ruin sites along 
the Piedra River, one of the larger tributaries of the San 
Juan. As a result of the latter it was determined to excavate 
a site located on a bluff 100 feet above the river on the east 
side of the Piedra 15 miles north of Arboles. 

The month of June was spent in an intensive investigation 
of the above site, which proved to be a Pueblo I village. Of 
the 24 houses excavated, 21 were single-room structures. Of 
the remaining 3, 2 had been 2-room domiciles, while the third 
had contained 3 cell-like rooms. It was found that the struc- 
tures varied considerably in size, some of them being but 5 
to 6 feet square, while others were 25 to 30 feet in length by 
6 to 9 feet in width, but all had been constructed in the same 
manner. In most cases there had been a slight excavation 
measuring from 6 inches to 1 foot in depth. This pit portion 
of the dwelling, if the slight excavation may be so called, was 
roughly rectangular in shape. At an average distance of 10 
inches from each corner a large post had been set in the floor. 
These four posts appear to have carried at their tops a rec- 
tangular framework, which formed the support for the roof 
and walls. Both the roof and walls had had a framework of 
small poles, which was covered with adobe plaster averaging 
6 inches in thickness. The roof proper seems to have been 
flat, while the walls had a slight slope due to the fact that the 
poles which formed them had had their lower ends embedded 
in the earth around the edges of the shallow pit, while their 


upper ends leaned against the framework at the tops of the 
large support posts. In most cases the rooms were entered 
by means of a small doorway in the center of one of the side 
walls. One or two of the structures gave the suggestion of 
a roof entrance. In all cases the doorway seems to have had 
a large stone slab for a cover. 

There seems to have been a definite method of grouping 
the houses, from four to eight or more of them being grouped 
in a semicircle around a circular depression. Two of these 
depressions were excavated and two more were trenched in 
the hope that they might be found to contain kivas or cere- 
monial rooms, but in all four cases they were found to be 
nothing more than pits. It is quite possible that the earth 
used in making the plaster to cover the wooden framework 
of the structures was taken out of these pits; possibly the 
plaster itself was mixed there, while the hole remained to 
serve as a reservoir for the storing of water. In each case 
the lower portions of the pits gave distinct evidence of having 
been filled Avith water. 

Refuse mounds containing burials were found in most 
cases to lie some distance south or southeast of the house 
clusters. The burials were of the contracted form, the body 
being placed in the shallow grave with the knees drawn up to 
the breast and the lower limbs tightly flexed to the upper. 
Accompanying each burial were tw^o or three pottery vessels 
as mortuary offerings. 

A good collection of pottery and other specimens was 
secured from the houses and graves. 

An interesting sidelight on the village is that it was de- 
stroyed by fire, presumably in the fall or early winter, as 
practically every vessel found in the structures contained 
corn, beans, wild cherries, or some other form of vegetal food. 
It appears that very little of the harvest had been used when 
through some mischance or other the village was devastated 
by flames. Two of the inhabitants were trapped in the 
houses, as the finding of the skeletons on the floor would 
indicate. In both instances the remaining fragments of 
bone showed clearly the marks of fire, and there was every 

41383°— 30 2 


evidence to show that the bodies had been consumed in the 



Research in the music of the American Indians has been 
carried forward during the past year by Miss Frances Dens- 
more, a collaborator of the bureau. In October, 1927, Miss 
Densmore visited the Winnebago in Wisconsin, recording 
songs and interviewing many Indians Vvdthin a radius of 
about 20 miles around Black River Falls. Eighty-three songs 
were recorded, with data concerning their origin and use, 
and the singers and their environment were photographed. 
The winter feast (also known as the war-bundle feast) and 
the buffalo dance received special consideration, as these are 
distinctively Winnebago ceremonies. Twenty-five winter 
feast songs were recorded, including those of the night spirit, 
morning star, sun, bear, and thunderbird bundles. The 
songs were recorded and information given by men who 
habitually attend this feast, given annually in Wisconsin and 
Nebraska. The use of music in the treatment of the sick 
was found to be similar to that of the Chippewa and, in some 
respects, to that of other tribes. The principal informant on 
this subject was John Henry, living at Trempeleau, who 
recorded the songs used by his grandfather when treating the 
sick. Additional old healing songs included those formerly 
used by a Winnebago named Thunder and recorded by his 
sons. Herb remedies were administered and songs sung to 
make them effective. 

Among the war songs is a group composed by members of 
the tribe when serving in France with the United States Army 
during the recent war. These express a high patriotism and 
are interesting examples of songs composed by serveral per- 
sons in collaboration. This is a phase of musical composition 
which has been observed among the Sioux and Makah, as 
well as among Indians of British Columbia. Other classes 
of recorded Winnebago songs are those of the Heroka (bow 
and arrow spirits), songs to calm the waves, songs received 
in dreams, and songs of the moccasin game. 


One purpose of the work among the Winnebago was to 
ascertain whether their songs resembled those of the neigh- 
boring Chippewa or the related Sioux. The songs show a 
distinct resemblance to the Chippewa and to the Menominee. 
Each tribe has its own songs, and exceedingly old songs of 
each tribe have been obtained, but there is a general resem- 
blance in the melodic trend. 

The stud}^ of material obtained at Neah Bay, Wash., and 
in British Columbia in 1926, as well as Menominee mate- 
rial obtained in 1925, was continued, together with the work 
on Winnebago songs. Eight manuscripts were submitted 
with the following titles: "Dance and dream songs of the 
Makah and Clayoquot Indians"; ''Miscellaneous Makah 
and Claj^oquot songs and Makah customs"; "Nitinat war 
and dance songs and Menominee songs connected with 
stories of Manabus, with catalogue numbers of 184 songs"; 
"Songs of Nitinat medicine men and miscellaneous Nitinat 
songs, with catalogue nmnbers of Nitinat songs"; "Songs 
of Indians living on the Eraser and Thompson Rivers in 
British Columbia"; "W^innebago songs of the Winter 
Feast"; "Winnebago songs used in the treatment of the 
sick"; and "Winnebago war songs, wdth catalogue numbers 
of Winnebago songs." 

The paper on Makah customs includes a consideration of 
such topics as the construction of houses and canoes, tools, 
rope, clothing, fishing, cooking, tattooing, and wedding 
customs, also methods of making observations of the sun, 
and beliefs concerning petitions for supernatural help. 

In addition to the preparation of original manuscript. Miss 
Densmore provided data for the labels of 520 songs and read 
the galley and page proof of her book on "Uses of Plants by 
the Chippewa Indians" and the galley proof of her book on 
"Chippewa Customs." She also combined her several pa- 
pers on Menominee music into the form necessary for their 
publication, the material comprising more than 190 pages, 
about two-thirds of which she retyped. The song records 
obtained from Miss Densmore by the bureau are now pro- 


vided with catalogue numbers, except a small group of 
British Columbia songs, which are held with field numbers 
until the group is complete. The total number of records 
transcribed is 1,695. 

Early in June, 1928, Mr. H. Hughes, of Ono, Russell 
County, Ky., advised the Smithsonian Institution of certain 
Indian objects recently exhumed from a cave in the bluffs 
bordering Wolf Creek, a branch of Cumberland River. To 
examine these objects and the scene of their discovery, Mr. 
Neil M. Judd, curator of American archeology, United States 
National Museum, was directed to proceed to Ono. 

Accompanied by Mr. Hughes, Mr. Judd called lipon the 
three gentlemen concerned with the discovery of the material 
in question, examined the specimens, and later visited the 
shallow cave from which they had been removed. The col- 
lection included parts of three skeletons — two adults and an 
adolescent — a fragment of a buckskin head band with fiber 
ropes attached, fragments of an olivella shell necklace, a 
covered basket, and portions of two others The basket, 
certainly the most important of the several items, was woven 
of split reeds; it is about 20 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 
8 inches deep, and was provided with a cover of approxi- 
mately equal size that fitted completely over the container. 
The basket is doubtless of Cherokee origin; pottery frag- 
ments found in the cave tend to confirm this deduction. 

Owing to the fact that the site of discovery is only a 
shallow shelter in a thick stratum of disintegrating shale, it 
is truly remarkable that these textile fragments should have 
been so well preserved. Layers of burned clay and ash 
indicated frequent though intermittent use of the shelter 
by Indian peoples. Fragments of corncobs, one small red 
bean, gourd rind, and squash seeds were observed among the 
shaly deposits covering the narrow floor space. 

During the summer and early fall of 1927 archeological 
investigations for the Bureau of American Ethnology were 
continued by Mr. H. W. Kreiger, curator of ethnology, 
United States National Museum, in the arid section of the 
Columbia Basin and in the lower valley of Snake River. 
During the preceding year the region extending from the 


mouth of the Yakima River to the Canadian border vi'^as 
explored. During the season of 1927 exploration of archeo- 
logical sites was continued from the mouth of the Yakima 
River to Hosier, Oreg., in the vicinity of The Dalles. At 
this point an appreciable increase in rainfall and forest growth 
marks the dividing line between the humid northwest coast 
and the arid plateau of the interior. 

In most essentials the early occupants of the upper plateau 
possessed a remarkably uniform culture. It was found that 
the subculture area of north-central Oregon appears to be 
distinguished by the excellent chipping of weapon points and 
tools from obsidian, jasper, agate, and chalcedony. The 
subarea of The Dalles and Miller Island, the so-called "Dalles 
culture," is characterized to a greater degree than is the sub- 
area of north-central Oregon by realistically shaped animal 
and human figurines executed in stone and wood and appear- 
ing on wooden combs, stone pestle heads, stone bowls, and 
as stone plaques. The subarea of The Dalles is also unique 
in the possession of a lozenge or ovoid shape stone knife with 
beveled lateral surfaces shaped by rubbing. This type of 
knife was found in abundance at Lyle, Wash. In the Snake 
River Valley a form of bone or horn knife supplants the knife 
of chipped stone which prevails elsewhere in the Columbia 
Basin, except in the areas mentioned. 

Materials used as tools or as media on which to execute 
art designs are characteristic of very restricted localities and 
vary in many instances from village to village. The dis- 
tinctions are the more clear cut the more ancient the site and 
the more free the area from the influence of contiguous culture 

At Page, Wash., on the Snake River, about 20 miles from 
Pasco, were noted definite departures from the general type 
of archeological remains characteristic of the sites along the 
Columbia River. No copper ornaments or other objects of 
metal were found; nor were any objects uncovered, other 
than dentalium shell, that might indicate intercourse with 
British Columbia or with the tribes of the lower Columbia. 
Bone knives and scrapers here displaced those of chipped 
stone; weaving implements and perforators were of antler 


or bone instead of rubbed stone as on the Columbia. Pairs 
of sandstone arrow-shaft rasps; fine-grained, grooved stone 
poHshers; basketry fragments, showing types of false 
embroidery, lattice weave, and simple coiHng and twining; 
ovoid stone culbs; and burials either with red paint or of the 
usual cremation group type — all these characteristics indi- 
cate a subculture area transitional between the Shoshoni on 
the east and south and the Shahaptian tribes of the middle 
Columbia Basin. 

The type of early culture that existed within the arid 
sections of the Columbia Basin has become definitely estab- 
lished. Many of the connecting culture and trade relation- 
ships are now known. The relationship with the Shoshoni 
and with other cultures on the south, those of the Basket 
Maker and the Pueblo, is not yet clearly defined. Further 
research along the Snake River and its tributaries in south- 
ern Idaho, northern Utah, and Nevada will no doubt bring 
out additional evidence of relationships with the preagri- 
cultural peoples of the Southwest. 

Mr. Henry B. Collins, jr., assistant curator of ethnology, 
and Mr. T. Dale Stewart, of the division of physical anthro- 
pology. United States National Museum, were detailed to 
conduct field work along the coast of western Alaska, in- 
cluding the island of Nunivak, for the purpose of observing 
these people, their manner of life, and their physical type, 
as well as to collect skeletal and cultural material from 
inhabited and abandoned villages. From the standpoint of 
the anthropologist, the section of Alaska from Bristol Bay 
northward along the coast to the mouth of the Yukon is 
one of much interest, for here dwell the most primitive 
group of Eskimo to be found in all of Alaska. The work 
was conducted under the auspices of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology, the United States National Museum, the Ameri- 
can Association for the Advancement of Science, and the 
American Council of Learned Societies. 

Transportation to Nunivak Island was obtained on the 
U. S. S. Boxer, through the courtesy of the Federal Bureau 
of Education, which operates this boat in the interest of the 
native schools it maintains throughout Alaska. The Boxer 


stopped at Unalaska, Akutan, and Ugashik on the Aleutian 
Islands and the Alaska Peninsula, and later at Kanakanak 
on the upper part of Bristol Bay. 

Leaving Bristol Bay, the journey was continued north- 
ward along the coast, stopping at Kukukak, Togiak, Mum- 
track, and Tanunuk. The Eskimo here live in small vil- 
lages, usually along the coast near the mouth of a stream. 
They subsist principally on fish, seal, and birds, together 
with berries and a few other native plants. The most im- 
portant item of their clothing is the parka, a long coatlike 
garment made of feathers or fur. Their dwellings are semi- 
subterranean, consisting of a square or octagonal excavation 
from 1 to 3 feet deep, with walls and roof built up of suc- 
cessive tiers of driftwood logs, for there is no timber any- 
where along the coast north of Bristol Bay. The outside is 
completely covered with sod. 

For winter travel the Eskimo use sleds and dog teams, 
while in summer most of their journeys are made in the 
kayak, the ingeniously made skin boat so typical of the 
Eskimo everywhere. 

On June 21 Mr. Collins and Mr. Stewart landed at Nash 
Harbor on the northwestern end of Nunivak Island, 48 days 
after leaving Seattle. Here at the small nativg village of 
Kligachimiuny is located the school of the Bureau of Educa- 
tion. Nunivak Island is 70 miles long and about 45 miles 
wide, but there are no dependable charts of its shores except 
for two restricted localities. 

While very little was definitely known of them, the Nuni- 
vak Eskimo have long been regarded as the most primitive 
in this remote region. This was found to be true. Women 
were found still wearing the lip, ear, and nose ornaments of 
beads and walrus ivory that were given up years ago by the 
other Eskimo of western Alaska. The elaborate observances 
and ceremonies relating to the hunting of the seal, and their 
social and reHgious life in general, furnish additional evidence 
of the extreme conservatism of these people. 

The first work accomplished at Nash Harbor was the taking 
of measurements and physiological observations on the 
natives. Much of the western end of the island was explored 


on foot, bones and ethnological material being collected from 
several deserted villages and finally from the village at Nash 
Harbor. After completion of the work on the western end of 
the island, camp was removed to Amolowikimiut, a native 
village at Camp Etolin, some 30 miles to the east. 

In August the party left Nunivak Island, Mr. Stewart 
going to St. Michael with the trader from Tanunuk village. 
Nelson Island, while Mr. Collins stopped at Hooper Bay, an 
Eskimo village on the mainland between Nunivak and the 
Yukon, where additional collections were secured. From St. 
Michael the outward trip was made up the Yukon to Nenana, 
and thence to the coast to Seward, affording an opportunity 
to observe the Eskimo along the lower Yukon and later the 
Tinne Indians farther up the river. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, editor, 
assisted by Mrs. Frances S. Nichols, editorial assistant. The 
status of the publications is presented in the following 
summary : 


Forty-second Annual Report. Accompanying papers: Social Organi- 
zation and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek Confederacy 
(Swanton) ; Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek 
Indians (Swanton) ; Aboriginal Culture of the Southeast (Swanton) ; 
IndianTrailsof the Southeast (Myer). 900 pp. 17 pis. 108 figs. 

Bulletin 85. Contributions to Fox Ethnology (Michelson). 168 pp. 


Forty-first Annual Report. Accompanying papers: Coiled Basketry 
in British Columbia and Surrounding Region (Boas, assisted by 
Haeberlin, Roberts, and Teit) ; Two Prehistoric Villages in Middle 
Tennessee (Myer). 

Forty-third Annual Report. Accompanying papers: The Osage 
Tribe: Two Versions of the Child-naming Rite (La Flesche); 
Wawenock Myth Texts from Maine (Speck): Native Tribes and 
Dialects of Connecticut (Speck); Picuris Children's Stories, with 
Texts and Songs (Harrington); Iroquoian Cosmology, Part II 


Forty-fourth Annual Report. Accompanying papers: Excavation of 
the Burton Mound at Santa Barbara, Calif. (Harrington); Social 
and Religious Usages of the Chickasaw Indians (Swanton) : Uses 
of Plants by the Chippewa Indians (Densmore) ; Archeological 
Investigations — II (Fowke). 

Bulletin 84. Vocabulary of the Kiowa Language (Harrington). 

Bulletin 86. Chippewa Customs (Densmore). 

Bulletin 87. Notes on the Buffalo-head Dance of the Thunder 
Gens of the Fox Indians (Michelson). 

Bulletin 88. Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians (Swanton). 

Bulletin 89. Observations on the Thunder Dance of the Bear Gens 
of the Fox Indians (Michelson). 

Bulletin 90. Papago Music (Densmore). 


The distribution of the pubhcations of the bureau has been 
continued under the charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted 
by Miss Emma B. Powers. Pubhcations were distributed as 
follows : 

Report volumes and separates 1,450 

Bulletins and separates 6, 870 

Contributions to North American Ethnology 23 

Miscellaneous publications 783 

Total 9, 126 

There was a decrease of 788 publications distributed, due 
to the fact that 1 less publication was distributed to the 
mailing list than in the previous year. The mailing list, 
after revision during the year, now stands at 1,713 addresses. 


Following is a summary of work accomplished in the illus- 
tration branch of the bureau under the supervision of Mr. 
De Lancey Gill, illustrator: 

Drawings made (maps, diagrammatic and graphic illustra- 
tions) 55 

Photographs retouched, lettered, and made ready for engraving 598 

Engraved proofs criticized 582 

Color prints examined at Government Printing Office 3, 660 

Illustrations catalogued for outside publications 350 

Photographic negatives 96 


Photographic prints 367 

Enlargements 2 

Development (films) 12 

Color print 1 

The development and printing of all photographic work 
was done in the laboratory of the United States National 
Museum by Dr. A. J. Olmsted in cooperation with the 
bureau in exchange for work done by Mr. Gill for other 
branches of the Institution. This arrangement, as in the 
previous year, has proved eminently satisfactory. 


The reference library has continued under the care of 
Miss Ella Leary, librarian, assisted by Mr. Thomas Black- 
well. The library consists of 27,921 volumes, about 16,177 
pamphlets, and several thousand unbound periodicals. 
During the year 780 books were accessioned, of which 115 
were acquired by purchase and 665 by gift and exchange; 
also 3,980 serials, chiefly the publications of learned societies, 
were received and recorded, of which only 108 were obtained 
by purchase, the remainder being received through exchange. 
A considerable amount of tune was given to preparing 
bibliographic lists for correspondents. Requisition was made 
on the Library of Congress during the year for an aggregate 
of 325 volumes for official use. An increasing number of 
students not connected with the Smithsonian Institution 
found the library of service in consulting volumes not 
obtainable in other libraries. 


99366. Ai'cheological and human skeletal material collected in Florida 
by Henry B. CoUins, jr., during January and February, 1928. 
(133 specimens.) 

99553. Lots of potsherds collected on the surface of mounds in the 
vicinity of Green viUe, S. C, during the spring of 1927 by Dr. J. 
Walter Fewkes. 

99554. Small archeological collection purchased by the bureau from 
R. W. Owen, Philadelphia, Pa. (16 specimens.) 

99953. Archeological and human skeletal material collected by H. W. 
Kj-ieger during the late summer of 1927 in the Columbia and Snake 
River Valleys. (190 specimens.) 


101146. Small collection of arclieological specimens from Tennessee 
secured in the spring of 1928 by Henry B. CoUins, jr. (6 speci- 

101340. Archeological material from two sites in Chaco Canyon, 
N. Me.x., collected dm-ing 1927 by Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jr. (199 

101524. Potsherds, stone, and shell objects from a shell mound near 
Melbourne, Fla., collected by Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jr. (4 speci- 

101525. Atlatl, spearshafts, sandals, netting, etc., from a cave about 
20 miles northeast of El Paso, Tex., collected in May, 1927, by 
Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, jr. (26 specimens.) 

Office equipment was purchased to the amount of $656.89. 


Clerical. — The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief, assisted by Mr. Anthony W. Wilding, stenog- 
rapher. Miss Mae W. Tucker, stenographer, continued to 
assist Dr. John R. Swanton in compiling a Timucua dic- 
tionary. She also classified and catalogued 2,323 musical 
records in the possession of the bureau. Mrs. Frances S. 
Nichols assisted the editor. 

Personnel. — Dr. J. Walter Fewkes retired as chief of the 
bureau January 15, 1928, but continued on the staff of the 
bureau as associate anthropologist. 

Respectfully submitted. 

H. W. Dorset, 
Chief Clerk, Smithsonian Institution. 

Dr. C. G. Abbot, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 










Tlic lollovviiijj; |)iip<'rs <(»iiliiiji (lc(ii|)l luii nl' I Ik; Siilishaii tril>OH of 
Uic'ior, cxcopUrif^ l,lic Miilillc ( 'oliiinhui Iribc,.' 

'I'lic iniilcriiil prc.ciili'd lic,r(i was (•(illci-lcd l)y Mr. Jarnos A. Toit 
ill I'JOl, I DOS, iiihI I'.tO'J w liilc h(! whs (ill vcliii}^ ov(!C I'l'iUsli (yoliinihiii 
and llic Sillies of Wiisliin^Mon hihI Moiiliiriti for \.\i(: jjui'posc, of <1<'- 
Iciininiii;.'; llic di: I iihiil idii of Salisliaii diidcrls mid I lie, gonoral inov(;- 
iiiciils of lri[)(>8 so fill- as llioso could he ascertained l)y I indil ion. 

This iiivcsfii.nifion was nia(l<', |)ossibic, hy l,li(; f^(!ii(U'osit,y of Mr. 
lloincs E. .Sarj<(!(it,, of Pasadena,, (.'idif., wtio for many years defrayed 
all tlu! very consideriihi*! expeiiscss of Mr. T(!il,'s work. 

Ml'. Teit, was l,lioroii}^lily eon versiini vvilli I. lie Tiioinjjson iinJians, 
aiiionf^ whom Ik; lived foi u fijroaf iriany years. Tliis fiu;ilitated his 
iriV(!slJj.(aiions consideiiihly. It will he undcwstood that th(! informa- 
tion j^iveii here is almost entirely hasful upon fpiesticMiing of the 
IruJians. The aneient customs have disappoiicd to such an extent 
that (lir(!ct ohsiu'vation is impossible. The historiod diita contaifK^l 
ill the following account must also he consi<lered in this li^ht. They 
nvc the i(icor(ls of oral tradition amonj^ the Jndians and not based on 
documentary evidence. 

On (iccoiml of Ml'. Teit's iiilimate knowledge of the Thompson 
tribe, it is natural that his inquiries were very largely guid(!d by what 
he knew about the customs of that tribe. Ft is not unlikely tliat this 
iriay have colored, to a certiiin ext(^iit, the descriptions. I doubt 
liiirliciiljiily v\liclhcr iIk^ negative statements contained in his report 
cm I II I ways be taken as conclusive, because the question whether a 
certain custom is in vogue may bi^ misunderstood mid siinilar customs 
may have existed. Mr. Teit's statements of opinion must Ix; taken 
as those of his infoiniants, not his own, unless expressly so (jualific^d. 

The material here presented has been edited from a manuscript 
written by Mr. '{'eit and from notes scattered over many years of 

Mr. Teit's sjx'lling of native words is not (piite certain; particularly 
the distinction between /• mid </: liiv, x and ./•, // and I is uncertain. 
The variability of vowels probably represents real differences. 

' A (IdScrlliUon of tlil.s tilho liiw hcon putiUHhcd in Uio ,\nUiro|)ol<)t<loul Puljlicalioiis of tlio Unifer.slty of 
WoshliiKloi), vol. II, No. 4. 

41383°— 30 3 25 


The following is an explanation of the symbols used: 
Vowels have their continental values, 
e open e, as in "fell." 
6 open o, nearly as in German "voll." 
E obscure vowel, as e in "flower." 
tl iifl'ricative. 
I voiceless I. 
q velar /<:. 
c English sli. 

X medial palatal continuant, corresponding in position to Ic. 

X velar continuant, corresponding in position to q. 

' glottal stop. 

Special attention is called to the use of x and x which has been 

changed from earlier usage to conform with the system now generally 


Mr. Tcit uses the period (.) to indicate in some cases a glottal stop, 
in others strong voicing. 

Dr. Gladys Reichard had the kindness to revise with native inform- 
ants all Indian words in the chapter on the Coeur d'Alene. She 
was able to identify most of the terms. The spelling of Indian 
words in this chapter is, therefore, reliable, except in the case of a 
few words that could not be identified and which are marked with a 

Fkanz Boas. 


The Coeuh D'AL:fcNE 


I. Historical and geographical 37 

Habitat and boundaries 37 

Divisions, bands, villages 3S 

Population 39 

Migrations . 40 

Intercourse and intermarriage 40 

Mental and ph3'sical traits 40 

II. Manufactures 40 

Work in stone 40 

Work in bone, wood, antler 42 

Paints and dyes 43 

Preparation of skins 44 

Sewing 40 

Mats 47 

Woven bags 47 

Skin bags and pouches 49 

Rawhide bags and parfleches 50 

Flexible baskets . 51 

Openwork baskets 52 

Birch-bark baskets 52 

Cedar-bark baskets 52 

Coiled basketry 54 

Nets 55 

Designs on bags and baskets 55 

Designs on flat wallets 56 

Designs on beaded bags 57 

Designs on rawhide bags and parfleches 57 

Designs on bark baskets 58 

III. House and household 58 

Conical mat lodge 58 

Skin lodge 58 

Long lodge 58 

Bark lodge 61 

Brush lodges 62 

Women's and girls' lodges 62 

Underground and other lodges 62 

Sweat houses 62 

Scaffolds 63 

Caches and cellars.. 63 

House furnishings and utensils 63 

IV. Clothing and ornaments 65 

Robes 65 

Men's clothes, shirts 66 

Neck wraps, belts.- 69 

Leggings 69 

Breechclouts and aprons 69 



IV. Clothing and ornaments — Continued. Piige 

Women's clothes, dresses 70 

Bodices 71 

Leggings . 71 

Children's clothes 72 

Moccasins 72 

Socks 73 

Mittens - 73 

Men's caps and headbands.. 73 

Women's caps 76 

Woven ponchos, rain cloaks 77 

Ornamentation and designs on clothing 77 

Modern clothing 80 

Ornaments 81 

Nose ornaments 82 

Ear ornaments 82 

Hair ornaments 82 

Arm rings 83 

Combs 83 

Tweezers 83 

Hairdressing 83 

Perfumes , 86 

Face and Vjody painting 86 

Scarification 87 

Tattooing 87 

V. Subsistence 88 

Food 88 

Tools and methods of harvesting 91 

Preservation of vegetal foods, cooking, dishes 92 

Preservation of animal foods, cooking 94 

Seasons 95 

Game and hunting 96 

Weapons of the chase — bows 97 

Arrows 99 

Quivers 100 

Guns 101 

Methods of hunting and trapping 101 

Fishing — hooks 105 

Spears 105 

Traps 106 

Nets 107 

VI. Travel, transportation, and trade 108 

Canoes 108 

Tump lines 108 

Snowshoes 108 

Dogs 109 

Horses 109 

Horse equipment 110 

Trade 112 

VII. Warfare 115 

Weapons ■ 115 

Armor 117 

Forts and defenses 117 

Wardress 118 


VII. Warfare — Continued. Page 

Wars 119 

Wars with the Spokan 119 

Wars with the Kahspel 121 

Wars with the Pend d'Oreilles 121 

Wars with the Kutenai 124 

Wars with the Nez Perec 125 

Wars with the Blackfoot and other tribes east of (he 

Rocky Mountains 125 

Wars with the whites 128 

Internal fights 129 

VIII. Games and pastimes 130 

Dice and guessing games 130 

Hoop or ring games 131 

Arrow games 132 

Ball games 133 

Sports 134 

IX. Sign-language 135 

Signs 136 

Tribal names in the sign language 144 

Counting, greeting, signals 148 

X. Social organization and festivals 150 

Social organization 150 

Chiefs 152 

Councils 154 

Camp circle.- 155 

Tribal regulations 155 

War chiefs 155 

Companies 156 

Slavery 158 

Personal names 159 

Property 161 

Festivals 163 

Musical instruments 164 

Pipes 165 

XI. Birth, childhood, puberty, marriage, death 166 

Twins 166 

Carriers or cradles 166 

Head deformation 167 

Whipping ordeal : 168 

Puberty 1 168 

Tattooing 169 

Scarification 169 

Marriage 170 

Mother-in-law taboo 172 

Burial 172 

XII. Religion and ceremonies 176 

Conception of the world 176 

Dwarfs 180 

Tree men 180 

Giants 181 

Land and water mysteries 181 

The soul 183 

Prayers and observances 183 


XII. Religion and ceremonies — CoiitiniiCLl. Page 

Dances and ceremonies, first-fruits ceremony, or harvest dance. 185 

Praying dance 185 

Sun dance and sun worship 186 

Horse dance, thanksgiving ceremony 186 

Medicine dance 186 

War dances and war ceremonies 187 

Scalp dance 189 

Tsuwikt dance 191 

Tribal and intertribal war dances 191 

Marrying dance 191 

Fest i\al or gift dance 192 

Woman's dance or round dance 192 

Weather dances 192 dances 192 

Guardian spirits 192 

Rock paintings 194 

Images of guardian spirits --J 194 

Shamanism 195 

Et liical concepts 196 

Charms and beliefs 196 

]\ ledicines 197 

The Okanagon 

I. Historical and geographical 198 

Ti-ibes of the group 198 

Tribal names 198 

Names given to the Okanagon tribes by other tribes 199 

Names given to other tribes by the Okanagon 202 

Dialects. 203 

Habitat and boundaries 203 

Di\isions, bands, villages, place-names 203 

Population 211 

Migrations and movements of tribes 213 

Intercourse and i ntermaJTiage 215 

II. Manufactures 217 

Work in stone, bone, etc 217 

Paints and dyes 218 

Dressing of skins ' 21S 

Mats__^ 218 

Weaving 219 

Woven bags 219 

Flat bags-! 220 

Skin ba^ss 221 

Rawhide bags and parfltH^hes 221 

Bark basketry 222 

Coiled basketry 223 

Ropes. 1 bread, and nets 225 

Woven clot hing 225 

Designs on bags 226 

Designs on baskets 226 

III. House and household 226 

Underground lodge . 226 

Conical lodge 227 

Square or square-topped lodge 227 

Long lodge 227 

Bark and other lodges 228 


III. House and household — Continued. Puge 

Sweat houses 229 

Cellars 229 

Household utensils 229 

IV. Clothing and ornaments 230 

Dress 230 

Robes and capes 230 

Men's clothing 23 1 

Women's clothing 233 

Footwear 234 

Hand wear 235 

Men's headwear 235 

Women's headwear 235 

verclothes, etc 235 

Ornamentation of clothing '. 236 

Personal adornment 23G 

V. Subsistence 237 

Food 237 

Hunting 240 

Fishing 246 

Seasons 247 

VI. Travel, transportation, trade 248 

Canoes 248 

Carrying 249 

Snowshoes 249 

Horses .._ 249 

Horse equipment ^ 250 

Trading and trade routes 250 

VII. Warfare .. 255 

Weapons of offense and defense 255 

Wars 257 

Feuds 259 

VIII. Games and pastimes 260 

IX. Sign language 261 

X. Social organization 261 

Organization 26 1 

Chiefs 261 

Slaves 277 

Names 277 

Property 277 

Festivals 277 

Musical instruments 278 

Pipes and smoking i 278 

XI. Birth, childhood, puberty, marriage, death 278 

Pregnancy 278 

Birth 278 

Twins 279 

Carriers 279 

Head deformation 281 

Fostering of children 281 

Education 281 

Puberty 282 

Marriage 287 

Customs regarding women 288 

Death and burial 288 



XII. Religion 289 

Concept of the world 289 

Mythology 290 

Various supernatural beings 290 

Prayers and observances 290 

The soul 292 

Guardian spirits 292 

Shamans 292 

Dances 292 

XIII. Medicines and current beliefs 293 

Medicines 293 

Current beliefs 294 

The Flathead Group 

I. Historical and geographical 295 

Tribes of the group 295 

Origin of tribal names 295 

Names for themselves 296 

Names by wliicli Ivnown to other tribes; names given to them 

by Salish tribes 297 

Names given to them b.y non-Salish tribes 298 

Names given by them to otlier tribes 300 

Dialects 303 

Habitat and boundaries 303 

Physical cliaracteristics of the countr}' 309 

Divisions, bands, and headquarters 309 

Population 314 

Migrations and movements of tribes.. 316 

Intercourse and intermarriage 322 

Mental and physical traits of tribec 325 

II. Manufactures 326 

Material culture in general 326 

Work in stone, wood, etc 326 

Painting and dyeing 326 

Dressing of skins 327 

Rawliide work 327 

Woven and other bags 327 

Woven mats . 327 

Woven clothing 328 

Twine, etc 328 

Woven basketrj' 328 

Bark basketry * 328 

Coiled basketry 329 

Designs on baskets, bags, etc 330 

Division of labor 330 

III. House and houseliold 331 

Semiunderground lodge 331 

Long lodge 331 

Conical lodge or tent 332 

Bark lodge 332 

Other lodges 333 

Household utensils 333 



IV. Clothing and ornaments 334 

Clothing 334 

Men's clothing 335 

Women's clothing 336 

Ornamentation and designs on clothing 337 

Personal adornment 339 

V. Subsistence 34 1 

Roots and berries 341 

Agriculture 344 

Hunting 344 

Fishing 348 

VI. Travel, transportation, and trade 349 

Canoes 349 

Dogs - 350 

Horses 350 

Transportation and horse equipment 352 

Snowshoes 355 

Trade 355 

VII. Warfare 359 

Weapons of offense and defense 359 

Wars 359 

VIII. Sign language 373 

IX. Social organization 373 

Chiefs 376 

Names 379 

Slavery 1 380 

Smoking 380 

X. Birth, childhood, puberty, marriage, and death 381 

Twins 381 

Baby carriers 381 

Head deformation 381 

Puberty 382 

Marriage 382 

Mother-in-law taboo 382 

Customs regarding women 382 

Burial 382 

XI. Religion and ceremonies 383 

Religion 383 

Giants, dwarfs, etc 383 

Guardian spirits 384 

Berdaches 384 

Shamans 384 

Missions j 385 

Ceremonies and dances 386 

Current beliefs, charms, etc 394 

Authorities cited 396 

Index 835 




1. Chisel of elk horn. Thompson River Salish 218 

2. Birch-barli basliets. Interior Salish 218 

3. Dresses. Interior Salish 334 

4. Dress, '^lathead tribe 334 


1. Edges of matting 48 

2. Temporary bark basket 53 

3. Method of cutting bark for basket 53 

4. Designs from woven wallets 56 

5. Designs from beaded bags 57 

.0. Sketch illustrating cut of moccasin 72 

7. Designs in quillwork and beadwork on clothing 78 

8. Designs from headbands 80 

9. Sketch illustrating cut of modern coat 80 

10. Wrist tattooing 87 

11. Sketches illustrating the use of a hide for a bag in which meat is 

carried 104 

12. Fish trap 106 

13. Netted hoop 132 

14. Pipe . 165 

15. Arrow smoother 218 

16. Birch-bark basket 222 

17. Sketch illustrating cut of modern clothing 232 

18. Structure for drying meat 241 

19. Cradle board 280 

20. Rock paintings 283 

21. Rock paintings, Similkameen Valley 284 

22. Rock paintings on a cliff near Tcutcawi'xa, Similkameen Valley 285 

23. Rock paintings near Princeton 286 

24. Rock paintings 287 

25. Figures incised in bark of trees 288 

26. Ornamental edge of a mat 328 

27. Moccasins, Spokan 335 

28. Moccasin trailers 338 

29. Designs on moccasins 338 

30. Designs on front of women's leggings 339 

31. Designs on sides of men's leggings 339 

32. Designs on lower part of men's leggings 340 

33. Designs from shoulders of women's dresses 340 

34. Types of canoe bow 350 

35. Stirrups 353 

36. Beaded flaps for stirrups for women's saddles : 353 

37. Beaded flaps for horse collars 354 

38. Women's saddlebags 355 

39. Design illustrating dance 393 




By James A. Teit 

Edited by Franz Boas 


Habitat and Boundaries. — The country occupied by the Coeur 
d'Alene was almost entirely within what is now the State of Idaho. 
A small part extended into Washington. They held all the head- 
waters of Spokane River from a little above Spokane Falls to the 
sources, including Coeur d'Alene Lake and all its tributaries. To the 
southeast their territory extended across the head of the Clearwater, 
a tributary of the Snake River. Their eastern boundaries were the 
Coem" d'Alene and Bitter Root Mountains. Generally speaking, 
then- country is mountainous and more or less heavily forested, with 
more rain and snowfall than the territories of the surrounding tribes. 
The western part, around De Smet, Hangman's Creek, Tekoa, Farm- 
ington, and toward Spokane Falls, is drier and comparatively flat, 
open, and well grassed. In the central part are many navigable 

On three sides tribes of the Flathead group were neighbors of the 
Coeur d'Alene — the Spokane to the west, the Kalispel to the north, 
and the Pend d'Oreilles to the east. On the south theii" neighbors 
were the Nez Perce and Palous; but, as the latter are considered 
comparatively new arrivals, in olden times probably they bordered 
only on the Nez Perce. It seems lilvely that there was a narrow strip 
of neutral country between the two tribes, used to some extent by 
both in times of peace. For many years the tribe has been on the 
Coeur d'Alene Reservation in Idaho, which is located near the 
southeastern border of their former territory. 

a The native names in this section were revised with tlie help of natives by 
Dr. Gladys Reichard. A few words that could not be identified are marked 
with a question mark. Mr. Teit's remarks on the Coeur d'Alene refer to the 
year 1904. 



Divisions, Bands, Villages. — The grouping of the Coeur d'Alene 
into divisions and bands is fairly clear. To judge from the number 
of chiefs and by information obtained from various individuals, the 
bands were grouped into three, possibly four, units corresponding to 
divisions of the tribe. These were — 

1. Coeur d'Alene Lake and Spokane River (possibly Spokane 
River may have been a separate unit) . 

2. Coeur d'Alene River. 

3. San Joe (or St. Joseph) River. 

It seems that the foot of Coeur d'Alene Lake, where the head 
chief lived, was the headquarters of the tribe; but this is not quite 
sure. Some informants, however, consider it the old, traditional 
seat. I obtained the following list of villages, which were the per- 
manent wintering places of the tribe immediately before the time 
when they became regular buffalo hunters, or at least before they 
were first decimated by smallpox. Some camps are said to have had 
few lodges (perhaps three or four families), and others had many. 
The largest camps are credited with a winter population of about 
300. The population of the various camps fluctuated a little in 
different winters. The number of camps belonging to each band is 
not quite certain. In most cases the band lived in a single camp, 
forming a single vUlage community; but in some cases it had besides 
the main camp one or two small outlying ones, as among the Thomp- 
son Indians and other tribes of this region. 

Villages of St. Joe River division 


1. sti'qHakECEn (?) Near the mouth of St. Joe River, on the river, 

or near by on the lake. 

2. tceti' ctacECEn Probably on the lake, near the last named, on 

the north or east side, not far from the mouth 
of the river. 

3. stoisEtd'wEs On St. Joe River, at the place now called Fish 

Trap by the whites. 

4. tcat'owa'calqs On St. Joe River a little above the preceding. 

5. ntea'mte£w(" confluence")-- At the confluence of the St. Joe and St. Maries 


6. ta'x.olks (?) On upper Hangman's River, at a spring near 

the foot of the hill just south of De Smet. 

There were no permanent villages or winter camps on St. Maries 
(or St. Maiy's) River, none at tca'ikolat (Chatcolet of the whites), 
and none at nlpo'sEntsEn (Tekoa of the whites). These places were 
all summer camps. The Indians had a large fish trap near Tekoa 
long ago. 



Coeur d'Alene River Division 


1. tda'tcalx"' On Coeur d'Alene Lake, close to the mouth of 

Coeur d'Alene River. 

2. gwa'lit (probably "blackl,^ ,, , , , , . tt ■ 

. „f ?-Near the lake and close to Harrison. 

pines ). ) 

3. alqwa'rtt At Harrison. 

4. ne'atsxa'xslEm On Coeur dWlene River a little above the pre- 


5. nest'a'qwasl At Black Lake, at a tributary river and lake 


6. qaqole'tilps ("black pines, "|^ ^.^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^ 

rmus coniorta) . J 

7. stna'qEqEn At Medimont. 

8. htnsd'lut On Coeur dMlene River, a little above No. 7. 

9. sEncd'lEmdnts A little above No. 8. 

10. nalsiqd' IxwEn A little above No. 9. 

11. sk'wai'o' At old mission. 

A band of Indians also made their headquarters near Wardner. 

Coeur d'Alene Lake and Spokane River Division 


1. nt'a'q'En Hayden Lake, north of Coeur d'Alene Lake 

2. Iceld' IcElitcEniEn Halfway down Coeur d'Alene Lake, on the east 


3. nlc'Emqa'inqwa (probablyl,, „ j, n. /~c, 

,., ,,,, ^ y At Coeur dAlene City, 

"head ). J -^ 

4. srnslEle'na Near No. 3, on the same side. 

5. tp'o' Enc'lpEm Very near No. 4, on the same side. 

6. ncd'rEpt A little below No. 4. 

7. stcalkwe'i A little below No. 6 

8. qdmilcn (throat, 1 , . ti ^ -^ ^^ 

,. ,,, ^At Post Falls, 

"gorge ). J 

9. htnsaq'e'lpEns About 1 mile above the Spokane bridge. 

10. ne'Ewa'calqs A little below No. 9. 

11. ntsetsakwolsa' ko (?) -__ On Tamarack Creek, toward the mountains. 

12. nesxwa'xwe On the river, a little below the last two. 

13. nesli'xum A little below No. 12. 

14. tcanokwa'kEn (?) A little below No. 13. 

15. mu'lc (probably mean si ,^ „ , 

,, ^/ ,,,. >At Green Acres. 

Cottonwood ). J 

16. tcatenwa' xelpEin A short distance below Green Acres, and about 

20 miles above Spokane City. 

No. 16 was the last village of the Coeur d'Alene on Spokane River. 
A few miles below was the boundary between the Coeur d'Alene 
and the Spokane. The latter, however, did not reach much above 
Spokane Falls (or City). 

Population. — The Coeur d'Alene claim to have been veiy numer- 
ous before the first appearance of smallpox among them; but the}" 
have no definite idea of their numbers, which they place at from 2,000 
to 5,000, Judging from the number of their winter camps or ^'illages, 


the population may have been between 3,000 and 4,000. Smallpox 
twice attacked the tribe — first, it is said, about 1831 or 1832; and 
again about 1850. Toll was taken of every camp, and some camps 
were almost completely wiped out. The report of the United States 
Indian Department for 1905 gives the number of Coeur d'Alene as 
494, all on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation. There were also 91 
Upper and Middle Spokan with them on the reserve. 

Migrations. — There is no record of any migrations. According 
to tradition, the tribe has always been in its recent habitat. 

Intercourse and Intermarriage. — Intercourse was chiefly with 
the Spokan, and to a less extent with the Pend d'Oreilles and Nez 
Perce. The Coeur d'Alene claim that long ago they seldom inter- 
married with other tribes, and what little intermarriage occurred was 
mth Spokan, Pend d'Oreilles, and Nez Perce. They say the first 
intermarriage with Kalispel was not before 1840. After the tribe 
began to make annual journeys to the Flathead country for buffalo 
himting intermarriage became more frequent with Pend d'Oreilles, 
and some took place also with Flathead and Kalispel. In later 
times there were a few intermarriages with Colville, Sanpoil, and 
Palous, but none at any time with Columbia, Wallawalla, Cayuse, 
Shoshoni (excepting slave marriages), Kutenai, and other tribes. 
The introduction of the horse facilitated intermarriage with Salish 
tribes to the west, north, and east. Since the tribe has been on their 
reservation intercourse has been almost enthely with the Spokan. 
Intermarriage with wlutes was never very common, and none occurred 
with Negroes and Chinese. There are probably fewer mixed-bloods 
among the Coeur d'Alene than among the surrounding tribes. Long 
ago there were a few slave women in the tribe, chiefly Shoshoni from 
the south; but it is not likely that much foreign blood has been 
introduced from this source. 

Mental and Physical Traits. — The Coeur d'Alene differ some- 
what in appearance from the surrounding tribes. They are of fair 
stature, the men pi'obably averaging about 169 centimeters, few 
being very tall or very short. They appear to be more heavily 
built than the Spokan and Okanagon, and to have rather large 
heads and heavy faces. In disposition they seem to be more serious 
and reserved than some of the neighboring tribes. They pay much 
attention to religious practices, and have been considered since early 
times as a tribe possessing a rather high standard of morals. 


Work in Stone. — Stone of many kmds, intended for tools, was cut 
with quartz crystals. Aitow smoothers, generally made of sand- 
stone or other coarse-grained stone, were also cut with crystals. 
Sandstone was used for grinding and sharpening bone, antler, and 


THE coEUK d'al£;ne 41 

stone, and also for cutting some of the finer-grained stones. Adze 
blades and cliisel blades were made of fine-grained hard stones of 
several colors, and were cut and sharpened with quartz crystals and 
grit stone. They were all, or nearly all, of short type. However, 
stone adzes and chisels were not much used. It seems that no long 
celts, like those of the Lillooet, Thompson, and Columbia, were 
made or used. Adzes were hafted in the same way as among the 
Upper Thompson ^ and other tribes. It seems that adzes and chisels 
were more commonly made of antler. Stone hand hammers and 
pestles were made of river bowlders selected for size and shape to 
save labor. They were worked down by peclving with the edges of 
hard unworked stones or river bowlders selected for hardness and 
for handiness of shape and weight. The pecldng was fii'st done in 
rings ^ parallel to one another or in spirals, and then the intervening 
ridges were battered down, the process being repeated until the desii'ed 
size and shape were attained. They were finished by smoothing 
with grit stone. 

Pestles were conoid in shape. They had a rather small and almost 
flat base, and tapered gradually to the head which was often more or 
less pointed. A few had heads carved to represent animals, or had 
simple rim enlargements at the head. They were of two sizes — short 
ones, about 12 or 15 cm. in length, for use in one hand ;^ and long ones, 
up to double that length, for use in both hands.* 

Hand hammers were of about the same length as the short pestles, 
but varied in size and shape. They were round, and usually had 
wide, deep strildng heads and well-defined tops. Idee some of those 
used by the Thompson Indians and Nez Perce. ^ Most tops were 
flat; but some were pointed or rounded, and others hat shaped. 

Stone mauls were made, some of which were of the type figured by 
Wissler for the Blackfoot.^ Others were shaped somewhat hlce stone 
hammers; but they had deeper, narrower bases, more or less square 
or flattened, and the handles were longer and thinner than hammer 
handles. Some of them may have resembled the flat-sided hammer 
of the Nez Perce, ^ but were not so short and thick, while others may 
have more nearly resembled wooden mauls or some stone clubs of 
the Thompson Indians.^ In these mauls the side of the base was the 
striliing surface, instead of the bottom, as in hammers. Both ham- 

• a, fig. 123. 

^ See Yakima, (', fig. 25. 

5 See Nez Perce, b, pi. 8, No. 8; compare Yakima, i, fig. 21, 22. 

* See Nez Perce, b, pi. 8, Nos. 6, 7; compare Yakima, i, figs. 29-36. 
5 a, fig. 120; Nez Perce, b, pi. 8, No. 10; Yakima, i, fig. 27. 

« c, fig. 1. 

? h, pi. 8, No. 9. 

8 a, fig. 250. 

41383°— 30 4 


mers and mauls were employed in driving wedges and stakes. A 
heavier maul wielded with both hands was in use. It consisted of a 
bowlder fastened with withes or twine to a short wooden handle, and 
was used for driving larger stakes, as in fish weirs. Possibly some of 
the stones were grooved; others had hide shrunk over the handles. 
These may have resembled Blackfoot mauls, ^ but some seem to have 
been heavier and differently hafted. 

It seems that no stone mortars were made or used, excepting per- 
haps a few small shallow ones, resembling dishes, for paint. They 
were made of steatite and other soft stone, and it seems were not at 
all common. 

Files of fine-grained stone were used in smoothing and polishing 
bone, antler, and wood. Arrowheads, spearpoints, knife and other 
blades, borers or perforators and skin grainers were flaked with 
flakers of deer and elk bone. The small tines of antlers were rarely 
used as flakers. The process of flaking was the same as that described 
for the Thompson and Nez Psrce.'" Stones for arrowheads and other 
flaked instruments were procured near tca'ikola't and in other parts 
of the country. The common colors were black, white, and yellow; 
but some stones were reddish, mottled, and other colors. Pipes 
were of soapstone. The stone was cut with quartz crystals, arrow- 
stones or animal's teeth, filed into shape with knives and files, and 
drilled with perforators.'^ Flaked stone knives with crooked points 
were in use, and seem to have been similar to those of the Thompson.'^ 
Flat stones were used as anvils. Small flaked and notched stones 
were used as rasps and planers for smoothing arrowshafts and raw- 
hide thongs. (See fig. 15, p. 218. )'3 

Work in Bone, Wood, Antler. — Wedges for splitting wood 
were made of deer and elk antler and of hard wood. The wood was 
bound around the top with bark or twine to prevent fraying and 
splitting. Chisels for felling trees and cutting wood were made of 
the basal parts of the antler. The points of some were rounded, and 
of others nearly square. All were filed to a sharp edge on one side.'* 
Nearly all sharpening and smoothing of bone and antler were done 
with grit stone of different textures of grain. Stone knives and 
cliisels were hafted with antler and wood. Arrow flakers have 
already been mentioned. Wooden mallets, of square cross section of 
striking head, like some of those made of stone, but longer and 
thicker, were sometimes used for driving stakes or wedges,'^ but 

^ c, fig. 1 a. 

1" a, p. 182; Nez Perce, h, p. 184. 

" See Thompson, h, fig. 352, e, /, g; Nez Perce, h, pi. 7, Nos. 23-25. 

12 a, figs. 125, 126; A, fig. 352 d. 

" Nez Perce, 5, pi. 7, No. 34. 

^* Thompson, a, fig. 119; Nez Perce, h, fig. 5, No. 7; Yakima, /, fig. 39. 

15 Field Museum 111957. 



stone hand hammers were probably more frequently used for this 
purpose. Some mallets were made of the basal parts of elk antlers, 
a tine serving as a handle. '"^ Beaver-tooth knives were used for 
incising on antler, bone, wood, and soft stone; and stone ^^ knives, 
generally with crooked points, for incising on antler, bone, and wood. 
Both kinds of knives were used for cutting hide and dressed skin. 
Flensing knives had leaf-shaped blades of arrowstone.'^ A few 
knives and spear points of bone and antler were used. Bark was 
cut with knives and antler chisels. Peelers of antler and wood were 
employed for removing bark from trees, ^^ and some bone sap scrapers 
were in use. Mortars, it is said, were not used as much as among 
some tribes. A few were made of wood, and hide was sometimes 
shrunk over them. It seems they were of two shapes, circular and 
oblong, the former being the older tj-pe. The latter kind was prob- 
ably similar to some used by the Nez Perce. ^^ No mortars with 
handles were used. Horn spoons were made and shaped on molds of 
wood. Wooden spoons and wooden pestles were also made. 

Paints and Dyes. — Paints of many colors were used, most o^ 
them made of minerals procured witliin the tribal territory. White 
consisted of a land of white earth, and was used both dry and mixed 
with water. As among the Thompson, a gray paint was made by 
burning and pulverizing large bones of animals. The powder was 
mixed mth water or grease. It was not much used. Red, yellow, 
and blue of various shades were obtained from earths in the Coeur 
d'Alene country, and in later days also in the buffalo country east 
of the Rocky Mountains. They were used dry, and also mixed with 
grease or oil, water, and occasionally with thin glue. Black was 
made from a black earth resembling coal dust. Another black 
paint was powdered charcoal, used dry or mixed with grease or gum. 
This was applied to arrows, and was then generally mixed wdth gum 
or glue. Soot in its natural state was also used as a black paint. 
Another black paint, described as shiny, may have been plumbago. 

Berry stains of various lands were used as coloring material. The 
juices of some lands of berries were also used as dyes. A light-blue 
paint was obtained by crushing and rubbing on the fresh flowers of 
the larkspur {Delphinium sp.). Algae growing in stagnant pools 
were rubbed on fresh and provided a green paint. One of the two 
best lands of red paint obtainable was secured by buffalo-hunting 
parties from a cave underneath a cliff near Helena in the Flathead 
country. This was a famous place named adpl yu'tsamEn ("possessing 
red paint"). The paint from tliis place was very bright. The other 

16 See Lillooet, k, fig. 64 b, p. 203. 

" Field Museum 111741. 

18 Yakima, i, fig. 6; Blackfoot, c, fig. 5, b; also Thompsoti, /(, fig. 333 b. 

1' See Shuswap, e, fig. 235 a, b. 

'-0 b, pi. 6, No. 14. 


paint was procured at a place about 10 miles below Rockford, and 
consisted of a red mud which was collected and kneaded into balls. 
When dry, it was heated over a fire. When cooked, it became brittle 
and on the slightest pressure turned into a fine powder. Nearly all 
lands of mineral earths used as paints were also used as dyes, different 
shades of red, yellow, blue, and black being obtained from them. 
Some materials, such as grass and bark, were dyed black by being 
buried for a time in wet black loam. A common yellow dye was 
obtained by boiling the roots of the Oregon grape (Berberis sp.) and 
a common yellow or lemon colored dye was obtained by boiling 
wolf-moss (Evernia vulpina). This lichen was also used as a paint. 
It was dipped into cold water or applied to a damp surface. A red- 
dish dye was obtained by boiling alder bark (Alnus rubra) ; and a green 
dye, from the leaves of the snowberry {Symphoricarpus racemosus 

Preparation of Skins. — The processes of dressing sldns were 
similar to those practiced hy the Thompson Indians.^' Of old (also 
^employed at the present day) the common method, especially for 
medium-sized skins, was to soak the skin in water for several days. 
It was then placed on a smooth log resting against a tree, as among 
the Thompson, and the flesh side scraped clean. It was then re- 
versed, and the hair scraped off, along with the outer cuticle of the 
sldn. Some people scraped the hair side first. The scrapers or 
fleshers used were the ulna of the deer and the rib bone of elk or 
horse. ^^ The sldn was again soaked for a short time, and then wrung 
by twisting with a short stick, as among the Thompson. It was 
then stretched on a frame of four poles with lacing, and pushed and 
rubbed wdth a long-handled grainer wdth a stone head, like those of 
the Thompson,^^ until dry and soft. 

If to be smoked (and most sldns were smoked), two methods were 
used. One was identical with the process of smoking among the 
Thompson Indians, the sldn being spread over a framework of sticks 
above the smoke hole.-* The other method was to fold the skin in 
the form of a conical bag, closed at the top. The edges were pinned 
together. A crossbar was placed inside near the closed end and a 
rope was tied to it for suspension. The sldn was kept in shape by 
means of a number of braces and hoops placed inside. The small 
end was hung to the branch of a tree, beam, pole, or tripod over- 
head. ^^ The lower edges of the sldn touched the ground around the 
hole in which a fu'e was made. They were kept in place by small 

2" a, pp. 184-186. 

22 See Thompson, a, figs. 128, 129. 

23 a, fig. 127. 

^ See Blackfoot, c, p. G5; Thompson, a, p. 185. 
25 See Northern Shoshone, j, p. 176 and fig. 3. 



pegs — like a small tent. Sometimes, to prevent the escape of smoke, 
the skin, or part of it, was covered with a piece of canvas, blanket, 
or other old material. This pi-ocess of smoldng in time almost en- 
tirely superseded the former, and is used at the present day. In 
either method the sldn was usually reversed, and the opposite side 
also smoked. However, many sldns were smoked only on the inside. 
The materials used in smoking sldns consisted of rotten wood of 
the Cottonwood tree, and of cones of yellow pine {Pinus ponderosa). 

Sldns to be cured with oil were cleaned and dried, then soaked for 
several days in a basket with brains and water. They were then 
wrung and grained in the same way as already described. Occasion- 
ally, instead of soaldng, the skin was smeared several times with brains 
or with oil until saturated, and then rubbed. At the present day 
skins are nearly all soaked in soap and water, as among the Thompson. 
When the hair was to be retained, only the inside of the sldn was 
dressed. Animals' brains and salmon oil were much used for prepar- 
ing sldns, especially for those dressed in the hair, which were nearly 
always oil cured. As among the Thompson Indians, skins were 
occasionally treated by leaving them in water until the hair pulled 
out, or by burying them in ashes. ^'' Some grainers or scrapers with 
short handles of wood or antler and with small stone heads, and a few 
of a single piece of bone with one end sharpened-" but not serrated, 
were used for softening the sldns of small mammals. This was 
done over the knee. These grainers were similar in shape of blade 
and handle to the large straight grainers, but only about 15 cm. in 
length.^* Some small stone scrapers without handles, some of them 
like rounded knife blades or grainers,-^ were also used. Usually 
only large skins of deer and medium and small sldns of elk and buffalo 
were stretched on frames and rubbed with long-handled grainers. 
Small deer sldns and antelope sldns were held down by the feet and 
worked by pulling over the laiees and toward the body,'" at the same 
time being rubbed with a short grainer held in one hand. Only 
rarely were they stretched and laced on frames. 

Another method of treating these sldns was to draw them back 
and forth over a stick implanted in the ground and provided with a 
stone head. Large, heavy hides, especially of buffalo, in a dry state, 
were pegged to the ground, and treated, it seems, as described b}^ 
Wissler for the Blackfoot.^' Adze-shaped scrapers, with blades of 
stone and iron, and handles generally of wood with hide shrunk over 

-^ See Northern Shoshone, j, p. 177. 

2^ See Thompson specimen. Field Mus. 111742. 

s** See Thompson, h, fig. 352 h, c; Ottawa Mus. Nos. 161, 164. 

-' Similar to Blackfoot, c, fig. 5 a. 

™ See Nez Perc^, h, p. 215. 

31 See Blackfoot, c, pp. 63-70. 


tliem,^- were used in cleaning all large, heavy hides. As long ago the 
Coeur d'Alene did not hunt buffalo or dress buffalo skins, the methods 
of treating large buffalo hides and the adze-shaped or crooked scraper 
were adopted from the Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles. After iron 
became common, iron scrapers replaced those of stone; but a few 
people alwa3^s preferred those made of stone. 

It was considered best, whenever possible, to flesh and clean skins 
as soon as an animal was killed. The sldns were then folded while 
still slightly damp, kept in place by tying or with weights, and dried. 
In this state they were much lighter and easier to handle and carry. 
No decoction of birch leaves was used for soaking skins. Entire 
skins were sometimes dyed in a decoction of alder bark. Before 
undergoing this process, they were soaked in water and dried.^^ 
Instead of alder bark, decoctions made of wolf-moss or of red, yellow, 
blue, and black mineral paints or earths were used. Sometimes 
entire dressed (finished) skins were painted by moistening them with 
water, and then rubbing them over until dry again, with wolf-moss 
or with different colors of dry paints. For this purpose they were 
often stretched or pegged. The dressing of skins was entirely the 
work of women. 

Skins and skin clothes which had become soiled or dirty were 
whitened and cleaned with a white earth mixed with water. The 
skin was then worked with the hands until the dirt came off and it 
was left clean and soft. Sometimes the skin was first beaten with 
a stick, and then worked with the hands in the same way as clothes 
are washed. 

Sewing. — Thread was made of Indian hemp (Apocynum can- 
nahinum) and of sinew from the backs of deer, elk, and other animals. 
Twine and rope were also made of Indian hemp, which grew plenti- 
fully on the St. Joe River and in some other places. Needles were 
made from the small bones of bear's feet and anldes. They were 
cleaned, scraped, sharpened, and smoothed with grit stone and then 
bored. Some needles were also made of syringa and other wood 
of which combs were made. Some awls and pins for clothes were also 
made of syringa and other hard woods. Long thorns were also 
occasionally used as pins. Most awls were made of deer and bear 
bones, and in shape were like those of the Thompson and Shuswap.^* 
Thong of dressed sldn was much used for the coarser kinds of sewing 
and stitching; but as a rule the best clothes were sewed with fine 
thread of sinew or Indian hemp. Embroidery, before the advent 
of trade beads, was done almost entirely with porcupine quills, 

32 See Blackfoot, c, fig. 33 a, b; Nez Perc^, b, fig. 5, No. 6. 

'3 The Shuswap formerly used this method a good deal, and the Thompson to 
a less extent. 

3^ g, figs. 72-74; /(, fig. 357 b, c; Yakima, ?, figs. 56, 57. 



usually dyed two colors. A little quillwork was still done not long 
ago. Bead work embroider}^ was very common until recently, and 
a little embroider}^ with silk thread has been done of late years. 
Seldom is embroider}^ of any kind now done, since the Indians ceased 
maldng decorated bags and fancy clothes for dances. 

Mats. — Mats were formerly much used and were made in at least 
three kinds of weaving. All the best mats were of rushes (probably 
Typlia latifolia) and tule {Scirpus sp., probablj^ lacustre) woven with 
Indian-hemp twine. Long mats of rushes and young tule were used 
in the lodges as floor covers and for couches and seats. They were 
woven in the same manner as the floor or bed mats of the Thompson.^^ 
Another common mat used for spreading food on, or for wrapping, 
was of bulrushes woven in the same manner as the food or table 
mat of the Thompson.'" Some coarser mats woven in the same style '^ 
were made of bark stripped from dead trees, generally willow. A 
few coarse mats of cedar bark were made long ago, and used for 
wrapping. They were like the cedar-bark mats of the Lower Thomp- 
son, but coarser.'^ Lodge mats were of tule sewed with Indian-hemp 
twine, and appear to have been like those used by the Thompson.^^ 
It is uncertain whether the tule or woof element of any sewed mats 
was twisted.^" Tule would probably not be twisted. Berries were 
often spread on lodge mats. A special berry mat was made, although 
probably used for some other purposes as well. It was small, woven 
of the large leaves of an unidentified plant called q'lva'sq'wes, which 
grows near lakes. Mats were hardly ever ornamented. A few, 
however, had the natural colors of the rushes grouped so as to form 
hght and dark bands, as among the Thompson. A few had the loose 
ends cut in several styles, as among the Kalispel. (Fig. 1.) 

Woven Bags. — A great variety of bags were formerlj" made. 
Oblong bags of matting doubled over, and the ends inclosed in 
bucksldn, were common.*^ As among the Thompson, bags of similar 
shape and with inclosed ends were woven of Indian-hemp twine '- iu 
twined weave.*' These bags were used for holding roots and other 
things. Round bags of Indian-hemp twine, some of them with 
narrow mouths,^* were also made in the same weaves as the oblong 
bags. Both round and oblong bags woven of rushes on an Indian- 
's a, fig. 131 d. 

36 a, fig. 131 /. 

" a, figs. 131 e, /. 

38 a, fig. 133. 

3» a, fig. 131 c; Yakima, i, fig. 70. 

<» See Yakima, i, fig. 71. 

^' See Ottawa Mus. VI, M, 75, 77, 88. 

*^ See Thompson, a, fig. 149. 

*^ See Thompson, a, fig. 131 h. 

" See Thompson, a, fig. 150; Ottawa Mus. VI, M, 81. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

hemp string foundation were used for holding and drying berries.*^ 
Some bags, generally in plain twined weave, were made of swamp- 
grass or of a fine rush. Others were woven of the bark of dead trees, 
generally willow, and of the bark of an unidentified bush called 
somxone'lpi?), which grows in the mountains. Some coarse bags of 
various sizes were made of cedar bark. The coarsest ones were often 
made in square or checker weave ; and for the finest ones the best inner 
„^ «p| ^ bark of the cedar was used, twined 

illlnnnnnnrllllnrinnnrilllnnn with Indian-hemp bark either un- 

twisted or twisted into twine. 
The inside bark of the cedar was 
used in the same manner and for the 
same purposes as the bark of Elaeag- 
nus argentea among the Thompson. 
It seems that this bush was scarce 
or did not grow in the Coeur 
d'Alene country. The finer kinds 











Figure 1. — Edges of matting 

of woven bags were sometimes 
ornamented with stripes of the same 
material as the bags, dyed, or by 
introducing other material of a 
different natural color. The edges of 
many bags were bound with buck- 
skin, while others had rims woven 
in different ways to prevent fraying. 
Flatwallets or soft bags of Indian- 
hemp twine tightly woven were 
made in great numbers and of va- 
rious sizes. They were of the same 
weave as those made by neighboring 
Salishan and Shahaptian tribes. 
The process of ornamentation was by what is known as "false em- 
broidery," the material and designs appearing only on the outside of 
the bag.^'^ Some bags had the entire outside covered with false 
embroidery in grass, while others were covered only in places where 
designs were introduced. Grass was usually employed as a field for 
the designs, which were often in other material. Formerly the Indians 
used two or three unidentified varieties of coarse, glossy-stemmed 
grasses growing in the mountains. According to some informants 
Zerophyllum tenax was employed most extensively. Grasses were 
used in their natural green, yellow, and white shades and were also 
dyed yellow, green, and red. Black was rarely used. Porcupine 

« See Ottawa Mus. VI, M, SO.' 

" See Nez Perc6, b, fig. 3; pp. 191, 192, pi. 6, No. 17; Shuswap, e, fig. 219. 


quills, dj^ed and undyed, served to a considerable extent as design 
material, and sometimes also the inside bark of the cedar. In later 
days, corn husk largely took the place of grass and bark. After the 
advent of the whites, the material most in use was yarn, obtained by 
tearing up old or worn-out woolen blankets of various colors. Some- 
times the edges of new ones were also unraveled. The favorite color 
of yarn used as a background for the designs was yellow. Some bags 
were almost entirelj^ covered with it, the designs themselves being 
wrought in blue, red, and other colors. Some bags, both in earlj^ and 
later times, had ornamentation on one side only; but most of them 
had designs on both sides. A few wallets were quite devoid of orna- 
mentation, as among the Thompson and some other Salishan tribes. 

Another Icind of bag, made of Indian-hemp twine closely woven, 
is said to have been round, or at least of a shape rounder than that of 
the wallets. The}^ were of different sizes, none of them very large, 
and were in plain twined weave. As a ride, they were imornamented, 
although in rare cases there was a short bucksldn fringe around the 

No closely woven bags of Indian hemp with hide bottoms, like the 
Thompson "mortar bags," were used; but a kind of winnowing bag 
made of Indian-hemp twine woven rather open was used for cleaning 
pi'wia roots. The mouth was tied, and the bag of roots either struck 
against a smooth rock or beaten with a short stick until the roots were 

Skin Bags and Pouches. — Soft bags, pouches, or wallets of many 
sizes and several shapes were made of dressed hide of deer and elk, 
and occasionally of antelope, moose, or caribou. The common shape 
for ordinary purposes was the same as the flat wallets of Indian hemp. 
Some bags, used more or less for carrying purposes, were of a squarer 
shape. The smaller hand bags of the ordinary form were often 
elaborately ornamented with quillwork designs and fringes of cut 
sldn. The latter were often strung with dentalia, beads, and small 
pendants, such as bone beads, teeth, fawn hoofs, copper beads, or 
hair tassels. After the arrival of the fur traders, colored trade beads 
supplanted most of the old materials for ornamentation. These 
fancy bags were usually embroidered on one side only. Sometimes 
the opposite side was also ornamented around the mouth. A large 
number of bags were also made of the skins of buffalo, bear, and 
other animals dressed in the hair. They varied in size and shape, 
and many were ornamented with long buckskin fringes. Paint 
pouches were of dressed skin, usually rather small; round or flat. 
Many were c[uilled, beaded, and fringed. Some of them resembled 
the paint pouches attached to belts among the Thompson. These 
were also like those of the Blackfoot, but with straight-cut top.^'' 

*' c, fig. 36. 


Tobacco bags were of skiii, richly embroidered with quills or beads 
on both sides, and fringed. In later days many were made of red 
and blue cloth carrying beaded designs. Two or three shapes of 
tobacco bags were in vogue. One common kind, worn with a strap 
over the shoulder, was flat and rather large and square. ^^ Another 
common kind, carried by a string over the arm, was smaller, rather 
deep, and narrow, like that of the Blackfoot;*^ but it seems the top 
was generally cut straight, and pinked. Both kinds had fringes, some- 
times very long, at the bottom only. When cloth came into use 
instead of skin for the square kind of tobacco bag, fringes were made 
about an inch wide (as cloth could not be cut into small strings like 
skin), and the edges of the fringes were sewed, or bound with ribbon, 
to prevent fraying. Most cloth bags had eight of these fringes. The 
outside of the fringes and the carrying strap were often embroidered 
as well as one or both sides of the bag. The tobacco bags carried on 
the arm were always embroidered on both sides. Smaller, deep, nar- 
row tobacco pouches were also used, drawn under and over the belt 
or attached to it. Some were plain, except for a fringe at the bottom, 
and others were embroidered on both sides. Tobacco bags made of 
the skins of marten, fisher, mink, otter, and fawn, dressed in the hair, 
were very common; and it is said that long ago they were more in 
vogue than those of skin without hair. Most of them were fringed 
with skin, and some v/ere further ornamented with pendants. A few 
had quill embroidery around the edges. 

Rawhide Bags and Parfl£)ches. — Before the advent of the horse 
some rawhide bags were in use for storing and carrying dried 
meat and fat. They were made of the skins of deer and other large 
animals, but I failed to learn much as to their shape and details of 
construction. They were unornamented, except that sometimes the 
tail with hair was retained. About the time of the introduction of 
the horse, square and oblong bags of buffalo hide ^° were adopted from 
the Flathead, and became quite common. They had long fringes of 
dressed moose or buffalo hide, and were used as canteens or saddle- 
bags by women when traveling, and hung up in the lodges as recep- 
tacles for odds and ends, women's tools, etc. About the same time, 
or a httle later, buffalo-hide parfleches came into use for carrying all 
kinds of materials on pack horses. Every famUy had numbers of 
these. Both the bags and parfleches were almost invariably painted 
with designs in red, brown, yellow, and occasionally blue and other 
colors. The paints used were various mineral earths powdered very 
fine. Rawhide to be painted was thoroughly moistened. Then the 
outlines of the designs were marked with the point of an awl or a 

<' See Shuswap, e, pi. 13. 

« c, fig. 35. 

^° See Thompson, a, fig. 151; Shuswap, e, fig. 220. 


sharp stick. The paint was then applied with a flat narrow paint 
stick, a small stiff hairbrush, or the finger, while the skin was still 
quite damp. The paint was mLxed with water to the consistency of 
a thick paste, or was spread dry over the marked parts of the skin 
and rubbed in with the paint stick, following the marks. The skin 
was then allowed to dry slowly. After about two weeks, when 
thoroughly dry and stiff, whatever paint remained loose and dry on 
the surface was shaken or wiped off, and the pigment which had 
entered the skin was smeared over with a heated beaver's tail, the oil 
from which entered the skin, made the paint more permanent, and 
gave the uhole surface a glossy appearance. The beaver tail was 
often applied twice to the designs, and once all over the outside sur- 
face. When buft'alo hides became scarce, skins of cattle were sub- 
stituted in the manufacture of hide bags and parfleches. 

Designs were occasionally made on rawhide bags by scraping away 
the outer layer of the skin, but this style was rare. 

A bag of the same construction and shape as the square hide bags 
was made before the introduction of the horse, but it was of heavy 
hide, dressed faii-ly soft, and had short fringes. Bags of this kind 
were sometimes painted along the edges, generally with red and yel- 
low pamt. 

A pail-shaped mortar bag made of rawhide was often employed for 
crushing berries. It is doubtful if it was used before the days of the 

The maldng and ornamentation of all kinds of bags, wallets, par- 
fleches, baskets, mats, mcluding the gathering and preparation of the 
materials, was the work of the women. The men generally skinned 
the animals, made most of the tools, and collected some of the paint. 

Flexible Baskets. — Flexible baskets of at least two kinds were 
formerly made. They were closely woven, round, rather deep in 
proportion to width, and of various sizes. It seems they were usually 
flat bottomed. One kmd was of Indian-hemp twine thi'oughout. 
The twine was heavier than that generally used in wallets and bags. 
This kind of basket seems to have been of the same weave as the 
basket caps, and, like them, was frequently ornamented with designs 
in grass and bark. Probably it was the same kind of flexible basket 
or bag as that made by the Nez Perce and neighboring tribes to the 
south and west.''' The other kind differed from the former in being 
usually of larger size and of coarser material. The foundation or 
vertical elements were of cedar roots, generally split, and the horizon- 
tal elements (or warp) were of Indian-hemp twine. The technique 
of the weave is uncertain, but it is said to have been the same as in 
some soft baskets made by neighboring tribes to the south and south- 
west. None of the oldest people now living have seen any of these 

" b, pi. 6, No. 13 and fig. 4. 


baskets; but their parents saw them, and their grandparents made 

Openwork Baskets. — Some openwork baskets or creels were made 
long ago, and were used for holding fish, fishing materials, and for 
other purposes. They were made of light rods or twigs, generally of 
cedar; and the weave seems to have been a kind of open lattice, 
according to some, while others claim that the technique was a twined 
weave the same or nearly the same as the openwork creels used by 
the Lower Thompson.'^-' 

Birch-bark Baskets. — Baskets made of birch bark were used con- 
siderably and for various purposes, including berrying. They varied 
much in size, but most of them were small. It seems that all of them 
were cut like those of the Thompson and Shuswap.^^ The bot- 
tom was flat and of the same diameter as the mouth; the sides were 
vertical. The bark was nearly always arranged with the grain at 
right angles to the rim, as was common among the Lake and very rare 
among the Thompson and Shuswap. Sewing tln'eads were of spUt 
cedar root, like those used in coiled basketry. The mouth was 
strengthened with one or two hoops of willow or other wood placed 
generally, but not alwaj^s, inside the rim. The stitcliing of the rims 
was of split cedar root or the split small branches of the cedar. Some 
had the stitches wide apart and not very regular, some had zigzag 
stitching,^* and others had the stitches close together. The rims of 
some were ornamented with a kind of beading made of strips of bark, 
rarely of grass, in black and white colors drawn over and under the 
stitching, thus making an ornamentation of black and white spots on 
the rim.'^'^ Flattened quills were also used for tliis purpose. Some 
baskets were ornamented wdth scratched designs, both pictographic 
and geometric. Painted and burnt-in designs, it seems, were never 
used on these baskets. 

Cedar-bark Baskets. — Many baskets were made of cedar bark; 
but usually they were for temporary use, and therefore roughly made. 
Three shapes were in use. One kind was trough-shaped, consisting of 
a single piece of bark gathered up and tied at the ends. To preserve 
the shape, short pieces of wood were placed inside at right angles, to 
keep the bark stretched until dr}^ and set. If required for immediate 
use, wooden pins were inserted thi^ough the bark and left there for a 
time. These baskets were usually small, and appear to have been 
exactly like those made of juniper bark by the Upper Thompson 
(fig. 2) ^^ and used for holding melted fat, marrow, etc. 

Another land of cedar-bark basket was oblong. Two parallel slits 
were cut in each end of a piece of bark of the required size and shape. 

52 a, fig. 131, b, fig. 148. 

52 See Thompson, a, fig. 147; Shuswap, e, fig. 203; Lillooet, k, fig. 82. 

" See Lake Baskets, Field Mus. Nos. 111859-111862. 

55 Probably similar to Shuswap, e, fig. 202. 

56 Ottawa "Mus. VI, M, 72, Field Mus. 111713. 




These slits were in length equal to the proposed height of the basket. 
The bark was doubled up at the sides; and the iniddle end pieces, 
being now continuations of the bottom, were also doubled up. The 
other two cut pieces at each end became a continuation of the sides, 
and were folded toward each other around the middle end piece. The 
three cut pieces at each end were then sewed together. (Fig. 3.) 
None of the bark was cut away, except for trimming the edges. 
These baskets, according to their depths, were used for storage piu-- 
poses, as dye kettles, etc. Many of the shallower ones were used as 
dishes and for catching fat 

The third Idnd of cedar- 
bark basket was much used 

,. ^ . T i-i ,1 Figure 2. — Temporary bark basket 

tor berrying, and, like the 

other two, consisted of a single piece of bark. A rather long, 
flat piece of bark was folded over in the middle, and the sides 
were sewed up with splint. A round hoop was roughly stitched 
inside the rim to shape the mouth and keep it open. The fold of the 
bark formed the bottom of the basket. Sometimes the strip of bark 
was cut narrow in the middle, which was to be the bottom, and 
widened toward both ends. Wlien folded over the basket became 

narrow at the bottom, 
wide at the mouth. A 
carrying strap was often 
attached to it. 

A receptacle for hold- 
ing fishing gear was used 
in canoes. It consisted 
of a single flat piece of 
bark folded over. One 
end was drawn together 
by being tied with a 
string, and formed the 
handle, while the other 
end remained flat. This 
piece of bark was folded 
over near the middle and 
the flat end was bent back toward the handle, forming a cover for 
the contents of the receptacle. It seems to have been the same land 
of receptacle as that used in canoes by the Shuswap. 

Canoe bailers were also often made of bark, but I did not learn 
exactly how they were made. 

No wooden boxes or wooden dishes of any kind were made, and no 
pottery of any land, so far as I could learn. 

After horses became plentiful, and the mode of life of the tribe 
changed, o\ving to the annual buffalo hunting, all lands of woven 

Figure 3.— Method of cutting bark for basket 


baskets, bags, and mats rapidly went out of use, and the art of maldng 
many of them soon became lost. The making of baskets was discon- 
tinued first, and then gradually the making of mats and bags, until 
only a few lodge mats and a few flat wallets continued to be made. 
The latter were made until a late date, as they were handy in traveling 
and there was considerable sale for them among the Flathead and 
Plains tribes. Hide bags of various kinds continued to be made, and 
the women turned to the making of rawhide bags and parfleches in 
large numbers. At last, after buffalo hunting ceased and the tribe 
finally settled down on the reserve, doing hardly any traveling, the 
making of these was also gradually discontinued. 

Coiled Basketry.* — Closely woven baskets of coiled work were 
at one time very common. Both foundation and sewing were of 
split cedar roots and they seem to have differed but little from the 
coiled basketry of other Salish tribes. They were of seven or more 
different shapes and of many sizes. The kind used as burden baskets 
and for general purposes was rather deep in proportion to width, 
with two sides more or less flattened and wider than the other two. 
The flattening of the sides was to prevent rolling when carried on 
the back. They had no well-defined corners or angles, being nearly 
cu'cular or elliptical at the mouth. The bottoms were nearly cir- 
cular or slightly oblong, the arrangement of the coil being of the 
watch-spring type. They had some flare toward the mouth but 
not a great deal. These baskets appear to have been of a type 
common in early times to all the interior Salish tribes, including 
the Thompson. A second kind of basket was entirely circular. 
The mouth was considerably wider than the bottom and was con- 
tracted for several coils at the rim. Some of them bulged in the 
middle, (o, PI. 14, d.) The large baskets of this kind were used for 
holding water, for storage, and for boiling, etc. Some of them 
were provided with a flat piece of bark as a lid. Baskets of the same 
kind but having no contraction at the rim were also common (o, pi. 
70,/) and were used for the same purposes as the others. However, 
the use of a basket depended as much on its size as on its shape, 
if not more so in most cases. A fourth kind of basket was also cir- 
cular, had a great deal of flare, and therefore was very wide mouthed. 
(o, PI. 21, c.) The larger ones were very much used for boiling food. 
A fifth kind was somewhat pail-shaped. The bottom was circular 
and flat and the walls almost vertical to the mouth, the latter being 
very little wider than the bottom. (Similar to o, PI. 69,6.) They were 
of various sizes. A sixth kind of basket occasionally made was low 
and oblong with rounded corners. None of them was very large, 
and most of them were contracted at the mouth. They were used 
as storage baskets for valuables, feathers, and many things, and 

f- See o, pp. 140-142. 


also as work baskets. Some of them had Uds attached with thongs. 
They appear to have been similar to the small "trunk" or " stluq" 
baskets of the Thompson. («, Fig. 143.) Small baskets, practically 
the same as some of the "nut-shaped" baskets of the Thompson, 
were made, but it appears they were called by the same name as the 
larger circular baskets with constricted rims. Some of them had 
lids and they were, used as work baskets, and for storing small odds 
and ends, (a. Fig. 145.) Some of these baskets had handles of thongs 
attached to the rims. Some of the oblong baskets had these thong 
handles at the ends, and some of the wide-mouth kettle and water 
- baskets had thong handles fastened to rods somewhat the same as 
the loops in parfleches. It seems no basketry handles were made to 
baskets, nor feet or stands, nor necks or spouts. I did not learn 
whether any basketry trays, dishes, and cups were made. Still an- 
other kind of basket was the circular mortar or funnel basket, without 
bottom, and with sides very much flared. They were pegged down 
to a flat stone in the manner described for the Nez Perce (6, PI. 
VI, 18.) Roots and berries, and sometimes seeds, were crushed in 
them. It seems a winnowing basket somewhat similar to that of 
the Nez Perce (6, p. 194) was sometimes made, but winnowmg bags 
of cordage were chiefly used in cleaning of roots. (See p. 49.) 
Most baskets were devoid of ornamentation, but some were imbri- 
cated with a grass, XerophyUum tenax, and possibly other kinds as 
well; or with strips of the inside bark of the cedar. It is said that 
no cherry or willow bark was used. The grass was applied nearly 
always in its natural color, but the bark was almost invariably dyed. 
Black was a common color, the bark being dyed a deep black by 
burying it for some time in a kind of black mud. The other prin- 
cipal colors were red and brown; occasionally yellow and some other 
colors were used. Sometimes instead of the inside bark of the cedar, 
twigs or small pliable branches of cedar were split and used with the 
outside bark adhering. It seems beading as well as imbrication was 
in vogue, narrow strips of dyed cedar bark being chiefly used in 
this kind of ornamentation. 

Nets. — In early times the Coeur d'Alene were largely a lake and 
river people, who depended as much on fishing as on hunting. They 
had many nets, large and small, which were made of Indian-hemp 
twine. Netting sticks of the same shape as those of the Thompson 
were in use.^'' Several kinds of woven fish traps were also made. 

Designs on Bags and Baskets. — My information on this subject 
is meager. The Coeur d'Alene I interviewed had forgotten the 
names of designs; and without specimens it was difficult to get accu- 
rate information regarding design forms and groupings of elements. 
Grass for decorating caps was gathered early in the season, while still 

•" a, fis. 134. 



[ETH. ANN. 45 

green, and the stems were cured. These retained their green color 
to a considerable degree. Later in the season the dry grass was col- 
lected. The stems were all sorted, the whitest ones being separated 
from the yellow ones. 

Designs on Flat Wallets. — On woven wallets of the Nez Perce 
type made by the Coeur d'Alene the designs are said to have been of 
exactly the same kind as are to be seen on wallets of the Nez Perce 




Wk m m miM 




Figure 4. — Designs from woven wallets 

(fig. 4)^* and neighboring Salishan tribes. Some designs had names 
and others had none. All the designs were geometric, and each side 
of a wallet generally bore a different set of designs. So much alike 
were all the wallets of neighboring tribes, that a bag made by the 
Coeur d'Alene could rarely be told from one made by the Nez Perce 
or some other tribe. I saw a few wallets among the Coeur d'Alene, 
but obtained very few explanations of any of the designs on them. 

58 h, fig. 6. 




Designs on Beaded Bags. — Designs on beaded, bags were mostly 
geometric, and some of them resembled painted designs on rawhide 
bags. Floral designs have also been fairly common for a long time. 
I saw a few of these bags with both geometric (fig. 5) and floral 
designs, and obtained a few explanations. 

Designs on Rawhide Bags and PAKFL:i;cHES. — Rawhide bags and 
parfleches were adopted long ago from the Pend d'Oreilles and other 
tribes of the Flathead group. The first ones made by the Coeur 
d'Alene were copies of those obtained from Flathead tribes, the 
painted designs also being copied. As the designs did not originate 
with the Coeur d'Alene, the latter did not know the names or mean- 
ings of them. In later times, although Coeur d'Alene women were 
constantly making and painting these bags and parfleches, on the 
whole, they kept to the class of designs originally belonging to these 
bags and common to all the neighboring tribes. As far as known, no 
absolutely new designs were invented by any of the women; but in 















Figure 5. — Designs from beaded bags 

time many variations of details, of groupings, and of coloring were 
introduced, according to the fancies and tastes of the women. So 
much was this the case that every common design and design ele- 
ment had a great many variations caused by modifications of theii* 
shapes or forms, and of different methods of arrangement in the 
field or of combining one design with another. Thus hardly two 
bags or parfleches could be found painted exactly alike. Some of 
the women must have learned or invented names for some of the 
designs, as in later times there were general names for some of them. 
Many, however, had no fixed names. They were merely described as 
to form, etc. Some of the design names remembered are "tents," 
"earth," "mountains," "lakes," "creeks," "trails," "trees," and 
"grass." No realistic designs were painted on any of these bags. 
As most of the old women in the tribe formerly painted bags and 
parfleches, it seems likely that a systematic inquiry would result in 
obtaining explanations of many of the figures. 
41383°— 30 5 


Designs on Bark Baskets. — The only designs remembered on 
birch-bark baskets are "spots," "arrowheads," "straight lines," 
"zigzags," possibly "traUs, " and "mountains." Occasionally small 
figures of men, women, horses, deer, elk, and buffalo were also 
scratched on them. 


Conical Mat Lodge. — The conical lodge or tent of poles covered 
with mats made of sewed tules was the common family house of the 
Coeur d'Alene, summer and winter. In summer the lodge was pitched 
on the surface of the leveled ground. Generally single layers of 
mats were used. In winter it was pitched over an excavation a few 
inches to a foot and a half in depth, and the excavated earth banked 
up around the base. Dry grass, dry pine needles, or pieces of bark 
were placed around the bottom of the mats to prevent decay. Double 
and treble layers of mats were used in the wintertime. These 
lodges varied in diameter from about 5 to upward of 10 meters. It 
seems that the foundation was almost always made of three poles. 
I did not hear of any particular method of tying the poles. In all 
particulars these lodges appear to have been the same as the common 
mat tent used by the Thompson and all interior Salish tribes. From 
one to three related families occupied a lodge. Many were occupied 
by single famihes. 

Skin. Lodge. — It seems that very long ago no skin lodges of any 
kind were used; but some of the Flathead, and possibly also Pend 
d'Oreilles, are said to have used a few made of buffalo and elk hide 
as far back as tradition goes. After buffalo hunting was engaged in 
by the Coeur d'Alene, tents of buffalo skins, like those used by the 
Flathead and neighboring Plains tribes, began to supersede all other 
kinds of lodges, and soon became the only kind used in traveling. 
When buffalo skins became scarce, light canvas tents were sub- 
stituted for the sldn tents. At the present day these and white 
men's tents are altogether used in camping. Some of the buft'alo- 
skm tents were ornamented with painted designs. 

Long Lodge. — The long communal lodge was also used, especially 
at gatherings and at summer resorts, where many people congregated 
temporarily. In fair weather the long lodge used was often a single 
one-sided lean-to, with the fires built in the open along the front. 
Sometimes windbreaks of mats or of brush were extended across one 
or both ends. If the lodge was to be used for a number of weeks, 
or if the weather was cold, and there was a good supply of mats on 
hand, another similar lean-to was built facing the first, and the 
spaces at the ends between the two were filled in, thus making a 
double lean-to lodge. An exit or doorway was left at each end. 
The long opening at the top was quite wide and served as an outlet 



for the smoke. Sometimes, if people were camped in a single lean-to 
and cold windy weather came on, half of the single lean-to was taken 
down and pitched opposite the other half, and a double lean-to thus 
made. However, in warm summer weather the airy single lean-to 
seems to have been the customary type where there was a large 
crowd. Usually single lean-tos were in a straight line, but some- 
times they extended more or less in an arc or half-moon shape. 
This depended on the length of the lodge and the nature of the 
ground. Some of them ranged in length from 30 to 50 meters. 
The construction of these as well as of the double lean-to was the 
same as among the Thompson, ^^ Nez Pertie,®° and neighboring tribes. 
Construction varied sometimes in details, depending on the care 
with which the lodge was built, the length of time it was to be occu- 
pied, and the number, length, and quality of the poles obtainable. 
Some double lean-tos were from 18 to 35 meters in length, and, when 
necessary, accommodated as many people as could lie in them from 
end to end on both sides — from 75 to 100 or more. The people 
inhabiting them lived at other times (or when at home) in mat 
tents and other family lodges. These summer long lodges were not 
excavated, and usually had only a single thatch or layer of mats, 
and occasionally not even that. Some of the more rudely built ones 
were roofed parth^ with mats; and when these were scarce brush 
and boughs of trees, pieces of bark, skins, and old blankets were 
substituted. A large, permanent long lodge of the double lean-to 
type, constructed with great care, was erected at all the principal 
villages as a gathering place or general meeting house for the people 
of the village and as a winter dance house. It was also used for the 
accommodation of visitors. When not otherwise in use, it served 
as headquarters for young men engaged in training during the 
wintertime and was inhabited by them. During most winter nights, 
singing and dancing could be heard in this lodge; and at frequent 
intervals most of the people congregated there, especially evenings^ 
to see the young men practicing their songs and medicine dances or 
playing games. These winter long houses were excavated to a 
depth of from 30 to 75 centimeters, and were made as snug as possible 
with double or treble layers of tule mats, and by banldng up the 
earth around them. The mats were arranged horizontally and 
overlapping, as ui all mat lodges. The long aperture in the middle 
of the roof, which served as smoke hole, was made as narrow as pos- 
sible consistent with its purpose of serving as a smoke escape. These 
winter houses were from 5 to 8 meters wide and from 13 to 25 meters 

^' See a, fig. 142, but often or usually all the middle poles a were placed outside 
of the horizontal poles c. The top horizontal ])ole c (or ridge pole) was of heavier 
material and also the outside or corner poles a. The support poles h were aLsa- 

"» See h, p. 196. 


long. Six "lengths" (of poles) were considered a large house, and 
very few were longer than this. A "length" was generally 4 meters 
or more (about 2 fathoms), but varied a little. Upright poles or 
posts supported the joinings of the "lengths," and were considered 
divisions for the fires and families; each "length" forming, as it 
were, a room on each side. Thus in a large house there were generally 
sLx fires placed opposite the middle of each "length." Each fire 
served two opposite rooms occupied by two families. Occasionally 
small partitions of mats were attached to the uprights, dividing off 
the rooms; but few people cared for privacy. Mats were also 
sometimes arranged inside "the house in different ways to prevent 
or regulate draughts. Some of the largest villages had two or three 
of these houses, but the Indians claim that none of them were ever 
used exclusively as ordinarj^ dwellings. At some of the old village 
sites near Coeur d'Alene Lake there are reported to be marks of the 
sites of several of these houses, with cottonwood and other trees 
almost a meter thick growing in the excavations. In conjunction 
with all, or most of them, are circular depressions marking the sites 
of conical lodges, which, to all appearances, were in use at the same 
time as the long lodges, large trees growing in them also."' According 
to some informants, the village "long house" was under the super- 
vision of the village chief. When not in use, the mats used as covering 
were taken off and placed in a cache until the following winter, or 
taken by the people if required; for it seems that in some cases the 
mats were supplied by the several families, and were their property. 
Young men, and sometimes others, kept the house clean when in use, 
and gathered most of the firewood required. 

When a long house was built, the poles were cut and hauled and 
the excavation dug bj^ all the people of the place at the request of the 
chief or elders. However, there were no very strict rules regarding 
the management of the work and the upkeep of the house. All this 
was considered a community matter and a public duty. As a rule, 
the orders or advice of the chief or elders were taken, and all the 
people assisted more or less, according to their ability or inclination. 
All mat lodges, especially if in windy places, were braced by poles 
laid vertically against the outside here and there. The butt ends of 
some of the poles were sharpened so as to catch in the ground; but 
where stones were handy a fairly heavy stone was placed against the 
butt of each pole, as among the Thompson and other tribes. Some 
people used mats inside the lodges around the heads of their beds. 
The mats were tied to the poles and were intended for protection 
against draught at the base of the lodge, and also, it seems, as con- 
ductors of the draught toward the smoke hole, thus helping to draw 

"• See b, p. 180. 


the smoke out. Screens for these purposes were also used in skin 

Bark Lodge. — Cedar -bark lodges were used at all seasons of the year 
in places where good bark abounded. Both dry and green cedar bark 
was used. These lodges varied in size and accommodated from one to 
four families. They were short and oblong, constructed like the similar 
lodges of the Thompson Indians, covered with mats, bark, or brush. "^ 
When large, the horizontal side poles "^^ were further supported in the 
middle by an additional set of cross poles '^'^ and two fires were used 
instead of one; or, as was more generally the case, one, two, or several 
upright poles ^^ were placed at equal distances apart, or, where re- 
quu'ed, betw^een the gable cross poles, "^ to hold up the ridge poles. **^ 
At the same time the upper ends of other poles were placed under- 
neath the horizontal side poles, as in some lodges of the Thompson. ^^ 
In some of these lodges the gables slanted inward, as was common in 
Thompson lodges.™ The bark is said to have been laid on the poles 
up and down, overlapping sidewise; or, as was much more generally 
the case, the strips were placed close together side by side and another 
strip was laid above over each seam. The corners of the lodge were 
often rounded, so that the gable ends were semicircular. The entrance 
was through one of the gable ends, and in large lodges sometimes 
there was an entrance at each gable end. In small lodges the strips 
of bark were rarely placed horizontally, overlapping like mats, as 
was common in some tribes, but this arrangement required longer 
strips of bark and more poles — a number of poles slanting inward 
being required to lay against the outside of the horizontal poles and 
as many again on the outside of the bark to keep it in position and 
prevent it from curling. This arrangement, therefore, was not favored 
because of the additional labor and weight. Only rarely in a very 
few places (when deemed necessary) was any of the bark stitched or 
fastened together or to the poles in any way by withes to hold it 
in position. The bark was cut in lengths equal to the height of the 
lodge and of as great width as the diameter of the tree allowed. These 
strips, when placed on the lodge with other strips over the seams, 
and a pole resting against the middle of the joint (on the outside) 
remained in place without any kind of fastening. The upper and 
lower full-width strips of bark were equivalent to a double thatch; 
and when winter weather set in all cracks and knot holes were cliinked 
and covered and the house made quite snug. Bark was put with the 
outer side out. Some tribes used it the opposite way. Usually there 
was only a single central fire in these lodges. 

In the summertime bark shelters of the single lean-to type were 
used by small parties when in good bark country. They answered as 

"^ c, p. 106, where back walls are mentioned serving the same purposes. 
83 a, fig. 137. «5 a, fig. 137 a. e^ a, fig. 137 a. «» o, fig. 142 a. 

M a, fig. 137 b. «8 a, fig. 142 b. «« a, fig. 142. 7° a, fig. 138. 


shades against the sun as well as shelters from rain and wind. Occa- 
sionally single families used small bark lodges open on one side with 
the fire outside the entrance. The bark covering on these was often 
placed horizontally, but this Idnd of lodge was not much used. It is 
doubtful whether any tents or completely circular lodges of bark 
were made, although some tribes, as the Lake, used them. 

Brush Lodges. — Temporary brush lodges of poles and branches of 
coniferous trees, chiefly fir and balsam, were used by hunting parties 
and by people traveling in the mountains. Most of them were 
slightly oblong, almost like the bark lodges. A few were conical. On 
hunting grounds where good bark abounded, bark lodges were always 
used as hunting lodges. The bark was renewed as required. Fami- 
Hes traveling short distances in the summer erected simple shades 
or shelters of two or three mats arranged most conveniently. If they 
had no mats they used simple shelters of brush or bark or slept in 
the open under large trees. 

Women's and Girls' Lodges. — Women's lodges, used by women 
during their isolation periods, and lodges of adolescent maidens, 
were chiefly small tents or conical lodges placed at some distance 
from other dwellings and covered with mats, bark, brush, or old skins. 
Sometimes in the summer women used a mere shelter or shade of 
mats or bark. 

Underground and Other Lodges. — No semi-subterranean earth- 
covered lodges, like those of the Thompson, Columbia, and other 
tribes, were used. These lodges are said to have been made only by 
the western tribes along Columbia River. Underground sudatory 
lodges for young men, and underground menstrual lodges for women, 
such as were used by the Nez Perce, ^^ were not in use. Lodges with 
square framework and also those of circular shape with square smoke 
hole were never used. 

Sweat Houses. — Sweat houses were of the common dome-shaped 
type, with a framework of bent willows, such as those used by alj 
the plateau tribes. A hole was dug to one side of the entrance to 
hold the stones. ^^ The covering was of bark or grass, over which 
was laid sod or earth to the depth of from 5 to 12 cm. Temporary 
sweat houses had the sticks farther apart, and were covered when in 
use with robes, sldns, or closely woven phable mats in one or two 
layers. After the introduction of canvas and woolen blankets very 
few earth-covered sweat houses were made, blankets or tents being 
used as covering whenever required. The floor of the sweat houses 
was covered with soft brush or with grass. Most of them were small, 
and could accommodate only one or two persons. A very few were 
made large enough for five or sLx people. 

" b, p. 198. " a, pi. 17, figs. 2 and 3. 


Scaffolds. — Scaffolds of poles were erected near all the more per- 
manent lodges for the storing of saddles, skins, and other goods, to 
keep them out of the way of dogs. Anything of value was covered 
with mats, which were often fastened down as a protection against 
the wind. Spare baskets, mats, poles, and frames for stretching 
skins were also often placed on these scaffolds. Pole scaffolds for 
drying berries and meat were used at the fall berrying and hunting 
camps. They were like those found among the Thompson and other 

Caches and Cellars. — The common cache was a circular pit dug 
in dry ground where the drainage was good. It was the same as that 
used by the Thompson and other tribes. Dried fish, dried meat, 
roots, and other kinds of food were stored in these. Mats, camping- 
outfit, sldns, and sometimes food were cached on small platforms 
built in the branches of large trees or suspended from large lower 
limbs, to be out of the way of rats and mice. Box caches made of 
poles or of bark, erected in trees or on posts or on platforms, were 
not used by the tribe. The Coeur d'Alene claim that box caches were 
used only by neighboring tribes in places where snakes were abun- 
dant. Poisonous snakes were not found in any part of their country. 

House Furnishings and Utensils. — House furnishings, as among 
other interior tribes, were very simple. The parts of the lodge where 
people sat and slept were covered with " bed " or " floor " mats of 
rushes. (See p. 47.) Some other coarser, squarer mats were used to 
some extent as seats and food was placed on them, preparatory to 
cooking. Often a layer of dry pme needles, or dry grass, or fine 
boughs of fir, balsam, hemlock, or cedar, laid regularly, all the butts 
one way, was spread all over the floor of the lodge. If these materials 
were scarce they were spread where the people slept and the bed 
mats were laid on top. No stools or benches were used. Often 
blocks of wood, pieces of tree trunks or large branches, and slabs of 
bark were used as seats at open fires outside of lodges in the mountains 
or in the woods. No special back rests were made. People lounged 
on the beds, using as back rests the roUed-up bedding, rolls of sldns^ 
bundles of any kind, full bags or large stiff baskets placed mouth 
down. Sometimes short pieces of plank, or slabs of stiff bark placed 
on edge and properly supported, were used as temporary back rests. 
Beds were made next to the walls of the house. The sleepers had, as 
a rule, their heads toward the wall and their feet toward the fire. 
If the lodge was very narrow beds were made sidewise along the fire. 
Some people preferred this way when there was plenty of room. 
Beds were made of skins spread over mats and grass or brush, or 
sometimes of mats alone, or of skins alone spread over these materials. 
Skins of buffalo, bear, goat, and elk with the hair on were much used 
as bedding; also skins of deer, sheep, and old robes of any Idnd. For 


bed coverings robes were used; possibly those of buffalo and elk were 
most common. Pillows generally consisted of bunches of dry grass 
tied loosely and covered with sldn, also folded sldns, leather, robes, 
and pieces of robes, or rolls of matting. Often the head of the bed 
was simply raised by heaping up grass or brush under the bedding. 
Sacks of clothes and other soft materials were also used for this pur- 
pose. No pillows of bulrush down were used, and very few of hair 
or feathers. The spaces next to the door of the lodge were used for 
keeping the cooking utensils and for storage. Some lands of food 
stored in sacks and baskets, dressed hide, and many other things were 
placed out of the way in the spaces between the beds and the base of 
the lodge walls. As a rule, dressed skins, clothes, valuables, and odds 
and ends were placed near the head or side of the bed. Some men 
kept theu' medicine bags at the head of the bed or hidden under the 
pillow. Work bags, quivers, and clothes were hung up near the beds 
or in convenient places. For this purpose cords and light poles were 
often attached to the poles of the lodge. Moccasins were hung on 
these or put under the foot of the bed. In some lodges small shelves, 
consisting of racks of light poles, were tied to the poles. Meat and 
other foods were dried and stored on them. Sometimes a framework 
for smoking meat and fish and for drying clotlaing extended across 
the lodge above the fire. Water, cooldng utensils, and the larger 
tools were kept just inside the door. 

The various kinds of bags and baskets used for storage and many 
of the tools have already been described. Circular baskets were 
used as kettles for boiling food. Meat and other foods were roasted 
on sticks before the fire or baked in hot ashes. Small bowls hollowed 
out of knots of trees and others made of bark and basketry were 
only occasionally used. Probably some bark cups were used, but 
no wooden dishes, or wooden kettles and cups. Occasionally the 
cylindrical bark baskets (see p. 52) were used as food bowls, but 
their proper use was to catch fat drippings before the fire and as 
storage vessels for rendered fat and marrow. Food was served on 
mats or eaten out of basket kettles. Parties on short hunting and 
traveling trips, having no mats and baskets with them, spread food 
on twigs and the small ends of branches heaped together. They 
also did boiling in paunches; but as a rule meat was roasted by them 
on sticks before the fire. They carried no bedding, and slept 
wrapped in their robes on a couch of fir boughs or similar material. 

Some small bowls were made of mountain ram's horn. Spoons 
and ladles were of horn and wood. The largest ones were all of 
mountain ram's horn. Smaller ones were made of goat horn or 
buffalo horn. A few may have been made of ewe horn. Large and 
small wooden spoons were used, and most of them were made of 
balsam poplar wood {Populus balsamifera) , Spoons made from the 



skullcaps of deer and. possibly those of other animals were fairly 
common. Tongs and stuTers were made of wood and were similar 
to those of the Thompson." The handles were sometimes painted. 

Fire was made with the coimnon hand drill, hke that of the 
Thompson and other tribes. The hearth stick was of poplar, \\dllow, 
or various other kinds of wood. The top stick was generally made 
of cedar. It seems that the two sticks were not called "man" and 
"woman," as among the Thompson and many other tribes. 

Tinder consisted of very dry cedar bark shredded and teased very 
fine. It was carried in a bag made for the purpose, and in wet or 
damp weather was worn underneath the arm close to or ^\T.thiii the 
armpit. In places where cedar bark was scarce, bark of other trees, 
dry grass, and other materials were used. In permanent camps 
fires were banked, or otherwise attended to, and never allowed to 
go out entirely. Fii'e was carried from one place to another by 
means of cedar-bark slow matches like those of the Thompson." 


Clothing was made of sldns of deer, elk, antelope, and other 
animals, with or without hair. It was of the same general type as 
obtained among other interior Salishan tribes. The men wore moc- 
casins, long leggings, belt, breechclout, sliii-t, and robe; and the 
women, moccasins, short leggings, long dress, and robe. In warm 
weather lighter robes were used. Some people used none at all 
except for sleeping. Often leggings or sliirts, or both, were discarded 
by the men. On warm days some men wore only moccasins, breech- 
clout, and headband. Many had the imcovered parts of the body 
painted, but the paint was always washed off every day. In the 
evening, if chilly, people put on a robe. When the people were 
traveling on foot the robe was carried or worn; when mounted, it 
was placed on the saddle; when hunting, unless the weather was 
very cold, it was left in camp. 

Robes. — Robes were tanned quite soft, and consisted chiefly of 
the sldns of elk, deer, fa\\Ti, buffalo, marmot, ground squLrrel, beaver, 
and sometimes coyote, lynx, aad other animals. The sldns were 
sewed together with sinew or bark thread, and occasionally were 
fringed along all the seams. Fringes consisted chiefly of leather cut 
into fine strings, and of narrow strips of animal sldns with the hair 
on. There were several methods of fringing and ornamenting robes, 
according to the kinds of sldn from which they were made. Ground- 
squirrel robes consisted sometimes of as many as 80 skins sewed 
together. Deerskin robes usually consisted of two sldns, as among 
the Thompson; and these and elk-skin robes sometimes had stripes 
shorn into the hair for ornamentation.'^ Elk and buft'alo robes often 

^3 a, figs. 159, 160. 7* a, fig. 161. ^^ a, pi. 18. 


consisted of single sldns, but some were of two pieces. Many buffalo 
robes consisted of the sldn of a year-old buffalo entire; wliile others, 
made from sldns of larger animals, had the back cut out, because 
it is too thick to be rendered pliable. The sides were sewed together, 
maldng a two-piece robe. All these robes were dressed in the hair. 
All were worn hair side out, excepting some of those with painted 
designs on the inside, which were occasionally worn inside out for 
show. Some robes had crosswise bands of beaded or quilled designs. 
Some of these seem to have been similar to the central bands used 
on robes by the Blackfeet '^ and may have been copied from eastern 
tribes; but others, it seems, were of native invention, several bands 
being used on the same robe. Robes woven of narrow twisted strips 
of muskrat skins were quite common long ago. It seems that they 
were woven on a rigid loom of four poles; and the weave, as far as 
I could learn, was the same as that of some Thompson robes woven 
of strips of rabbit skins." This was the only kind of woven robe 
used. Neither rabbit skins nor goat's wool were used for robes. 
Woven goat's-wool robes were loiown to be made by tribes living 
west in the Cascade Mountains, but not elsewhere. Some large 
robes (the size of ordinary robes) and some small robes (the size of 
large cloaks) were made of hide. They were usually painted with 
designs on one side, and sometimes fringed and ornamented with 
pendants. They were used chiefly in the summertime, and appear 
to have resembled similar robes used by the Thompson.^* Some 
buffalo robes, most of them procured in trade, were used long before 
the advent of the horse; but after the tribe became regular buffalo 
hunters, buffalo robes became very cheap and common, and sup- 
planted nearly all other kinds of robes. 

Men's Clothes. Shirts. — Men's shirts were often short, reacliing 
to the hips or a little below. Usually the sleeve parts reached to the 
elbow. A common land of shirt was similar to a shirt used by the 
Thompson Indians.''^ It consisted of a single bucksldn folded 
double, and a piece cut out for the head to pass through. It was 
sewed up the sides and under the arms or simply at the sides. Some 
had only stitches here and there under the arms, and others were- 
laced with a great many thongs along both sides and under the arms. 
The thongs took the place of fringes. The sewed shirts usually had 
long cut fringes at the sides, and a few very long strings of fringes near 
the lower parts of the arms. These shirts were ornamented in 
several ways, but probably the most common ornamentation was the 
addition of another piece of sldn, which passed over the shoulders 
and hung down in the shape of a triangle at the front and back. 
This piece of sldn was stitched to the shoulders of the shirt here and 
there with thongs. It seems to have been in imitation of a collar 

'f c, p. 123 and fig. 74. " a, fig. 131 g. ^s a, fig. 301. ^^ a, fig. 163. 


or small poncho, and, if not embroidered, was pinked, pimctured, and 
painted with red dots. Long pendants of sldn were often attached 
to the pointed ends and to the edges of the collar piece, both front and 
back; and similar pendants were sometimes included here and there 
with the cut fringes at the sides and arms, and occasionally some 
were attached to the body of the shirt as well. These pendants were 
usually pinked, punctured, and painted with red dots. 

Another common shirt was made of two doesldns sewed together 
heads up. The head and neck sldns were cut off, and this part was 
left open to allow the head to pass through. The sides were sewed 
up, and also the parts of the sldns covering the arms and shouldere. 
The part underneath the arms was often only stitched with thongs 
here and there. This shirt was usually a little longer than the 
single-skin shirt, but appeared of about the same length, for the 
bottom part was cut in a long fringe. As all the seams were also 
fringed, there was fringing on the shirt all around — bottom, sides, 
shoulders, over and under the arms, and sometimes even around the 
neck as well. Frequently bands of quillwork followed the borders of 
all the seams excepting under the arm. Occasionally other bands of 
quillwork, in the form of stripes and triangles, were embroidered on 
the breast and upper part of the back, forming a triangular fields 
point down, similar to the corresponding fields in the clothing of the 
Plains Indians. ^° 

A third kind of shirt, also common, was made of two skins, like the 
last; but it had no fringing along the seams, excepting sometimes at 
the sides. Occasionally also the bottom and the lower ends of the 
sleeves were cut in a fringe or pinked. The shirt was open imder the 
arms, or merely stitched here and there. If stitched, the skin was 
sometimes fringed. A wide band of quillwork followed the seam of 
the skins over the shoulders, from the neck down to the ends of the 
sleeves, over shoulders and arms. For ornamentation a wide band 
of quHled sldn passed at right angles over each shoulder and hung 
down in front and at the back to about the waist. Often these bands 
were stitched or sewed to the shirt, usually at the shoulders, but the 
ends hung loose. As in most shirts, large or small triangular areas 
(apex down) on the breast and back of the neck were worked with 
quills or otherwise embroidered. When there was no ornamentation 
at the back of the neck a long piece of embroidered skin similar to 
the front bands was sometimes attached there. It hung down the 
middle of the back to the lower border of the shirt. 

Other similar shirts had quilled or beaded bands, which crossed the 
shoulders or connected with the shoulder bands, sewed down to the 
shirt their full length. The deer's tail was sometimes left on the 
shirt behind. Probably these shirts were cut as described by Wissler, 

80 d, pp. 47, 48, figs. 1, 2. 


and the sewed-down bands covered the seams, but I did not obtain 
exact information on this point. 

Scalp shirts ornamented with fringes of hair were also in common 
use. Sometimes the bodies of these were painted in two or three 
colors arranged in fields. For instance, the upjDer part of the shirt, 
including the sleeves, might be red, and the lower part yellow. 
Yellow, red, brown, blue, black, and green colors were used. Some- 
times, instead of hair or scalp locks, ermine skins were used as fringes. 
The plan of decoration was the same as in the style just described. 
In some tribes the hair of slaves was used for making fringes on 
shirts, but it is not certain that the Coeur d'Alene did so. 

Some shirts of light-weight skin, used in the summertime, were 
covered with small punctures, painted with dots, and ornamented 
with painted or dyed fringes in the style of the type first described. 

Some entirely sleeveless shirts of buffalo or other skins, dressed 
with or without hair, were in use. They reached to the hips and 
were laced at the sides. They were made of a single piece of skin 
folded over, with a slit cut for the head to pass through, like a poncho. 
Some were fringed at the sides. *^ 

A few sleeveless shirts were also made of two skins of coyote or 
other small animals. The head part adjoined the neck. The tail 
remained attached and hung down in front and on the back. The 
skins were joined by pieces of skin at the shoulders and sides. They 
were laced or tied at the sides. ^^ 

Similar shirts were made of two pieces of skin of large animals in 
the hair.^* 

A fairly common shirt was made of buffalo-calf sldn dressed in the 
liair. Most of these had long sleeves. Long ago only a few shirts 
had full-length closed sleeves, made of separate skins, and sewed to 
the body at the shoulders. A few were sewed to the body of the 
shirt at the elbow; the lower part of the sleeve was sewed up to the 
elbow. The upper arm was formed by part of the skin of which 
the shirt was cut, as in the specimens previously described, and. 
was open or merely laced. 

Most shirts opened only at the neck, where there was an opening 
left for the head, or a slit cut in the skin to allow the head to pass 
through. The opening was closed by pulling a lacing or with tie 
strings on each side of the neck, as in women's dresses. Some shirts 
had a piece of skin cut away to allow the head to pass through. This 
usually made the neck of the shirt lower both at the back and front, 
or sometimes only in front, according to the way the hole was cut. 

'2 See a, fig. 162, but without collar. 

" Thompson specimen, Ottawa, VI, M. 400, and Thompson photograph, 
Ottawa, No. 30985. 

« Thompson specimen, Ottawa, VI, M. 398. 


Few shirts Had slits in the front; the shts were ahvaj^s short. No 
coUars or cnii's were sewed to sliii-ts. No coats, jumpers, or vests were 
used long ago; they came into vogue after the arrival of the fur 

Neck wraps, belts. — Many men, especially in udnter, wore small 
ponchos over theu' shii-ts. Usually they consisted of single skins of 
wolf, coyote, or otter. The head was passed through a slit at about 
the middle of the sldn. The tail hung down the back and the head 
skin hung over the breast.^^ Sometimes pendants were attached to 
the head, tail, and sides of the skin. Some consisted of two skins, 
or parts of two sldns, sewed together so that a tail hung down in 
front and behind, or more rarely at the sides.*'' Neck wraps of long 
pieces of fur doubled over and sewed together were in use.*" They 
were fastened with tie strings at the throat and were used by both 
sexes. Aiinlets of sldn ornamented with quiUwork and feathers 
were used by some men. Belts made of leather wez"e used to hold 
up the leggings. Some belts were worn outside the shirt and others 
inside. Many wide embroidered belts were used, some of them in 
addition to the belt for holding up the leggings. They were worn 
outside the shirt. Some belts were made of sldn di*essed in the hair 
and ornamented with pendent eagle feathers and other decorations. 

Leggings. — Men's leggings were of skin, and reached to the thighs. 
They were fastened to the belt with tie strings, or with loops for the 
belt to pass thi-ough. Some were made rather tight fitting and 
others loose. All were fringed along the outer seams. The fringes 
of some increased in length below the knee. Some leggings were 
made wider below the knee, and others narrower near the anlde. 
Most of them, however, were about of an even width throughout. 
Many leggings had bands of beadwork or qviillwork bordering the 
fringes. When cloth leggings came into use the fringes could not 
be cut, and extended as double flaps along the outside of the legs. 
Sldn leggings also sometimes had uncut flaps embroidered with beads 
or quills, or painted. Garters were much used, and generally passed 
through shts in the outside of the leggings, so that they could be 
tightened without distm'bing the fringes. No trousers were used 
long ago. 

Breechclouts and aprons. — Breechclouts were seldom sewed. Most 
of them consisted of a loose strip of soft sldn cut square at each end, 
and passed between the thighs imder the belt. The ends (some- 
times short and sometimes long) hung down over the belt in front 
and beliind. Some of the same shape had the front and back flaps 
stitched down to the centerpiece, so as to make a place for the belt 
to pass through Hke a draw^ string. Some breechclouts had the ends 

85 a, pi. IS. 

^o b, p. 217 otter-skin collars. 

^ Thompson specimen, Peabody Museum, No. 275. 


cut in fringes. In olden times some of the old men wore simple 
aprons of buffalo skin. They were oblong in shape, and fastened to 
a belt, or tied. with strings around the waist. Some were double, one 
piece hanging in front and another behind. Another kind of apron 
used by old men consisted of two wolf sldns. Most of the sides of 
the sldns were cut off, leaving the backs, heads, and tails. These 
were sewed, heads up, to a belt tied in front. The eyeholes were 
painted red and the tails hung down outside of each leg, almost 
reaching the ground. There was sometimes fringing in the spaces 
between the skins. 

Women's Clothes. Dresses. — The common woman's dress of 
the Coeur d'Alene seems to have been exactly like that described by 
Spinden for the Nez Perce. ^* About three entire large deerskins 
were required; two formed the body of the dress, the other being 
used for filling, to make the sldrt even at the bottom, and to increase 
the flare and length, if necessary. The upper parts of the skins were 
folded down on the outside of the dress, forming a Idnd of false yoke 
at back and front. They were sewed to the body of the dress through- 
out, or stitched here and there with thongs. Pendants and tassels 
were often attached to the edges of the fold. The hair of the tail- 
piece was cUpped in lines, and the end of the tail generally, but not 
always, cut off. Usually the sleeve parts were left open underneath, 
but sometimes they were stitched or tied here and there with thongs. 
Generally three rows of inserted fringe or thongs extended around 
the skirt below the waist. Single rows were also placed on the back 
and front of the dress below the yoke, but only rarely. Beads and 
shells of various kinds were sometimes strung on these thongs. Often 
all or the lower part of the yoke piece was beaded or quilled in Unes 
follomng the contom" of the edge of the yoke, or the dress itself was 
beaded immediately below the yoke. Some women's dresses had no 
folded piece or false yoke, and therefore no tailpiece; but imitations 
of the yoke and tailpiece were made in beading. Almost all dresses 
had fringes along the sides, bottom, and ends of the arms. Most 
dresses reached to the ankles, but some to about halfway between 
the knees and anldes. The sleeve parts of nearly all reached to the 
elbow, and occasionally almost to the wiist. Dresses were some- 
times quilled or beaded with bands bordering the seams and fringes, 
and often with one or two additional bands or lines around the 
sldrt near the bottom. Some had several lines of quill work across 
the breast and back of the body and many had long fringes follow- 
ing the edge of the yoke. 

Another kind of woman's dress was also of three skins; but in 
this case two skins formed the skirt, the third one being folded and 
sewed across the tops of the other two sldns. A slit was cut in the 

88 See h, pp. 219, 220; also d, fig. 18, Yakima. 



middle for the head to pass through. This land had draw strings 
which pulled the dress tight around the neck; *^ or the corners of 
the opening were tied together with strings, as in most dresses. These 
dresses were also ornamented with fringes, quilled lines, and rows of 
thongs. Horizontal lines and triangular and semicircular pieces of 
embroidery were made on the yoke or upper sldn. This kind of 
dress had fringes like others, and some dresses were painted. 

A common dress used in the winter was also of three pieces. The 
upper part was made of a year-old deerskin dressed in the hair; and 
the skirt of two pieces of dressed skin joined to the body of the dress 
at the waist and to each other at the sides. It was fringed like all 
other dresses and was worn hair side out. A few had two pieces in 
front, the upper part with the hair, and the back of a single piece of 
dressed deerskin, with or without hair. Sometimes the back was a 
duplicate of the front. 

Almost all women's dresses were made of dressed sldns of deer, 
elk, and antelope. 

Many women wore belts over their dresses. Some of these were 
richly quilled. Many wore small paint pouches attached to the 
belt.^° These generally were quilled on the outside and had a fringe 
at the bottom. Other Idnds of Ught bags were also sometimes 
attached to the belt or sewed to the sldrt of the dress. ^^ Some 
served the purpose of pockets. 

Bodices. — It seems that no bodices,^^ or short sldrts with long 
fringes, were used by women. These were only used by tribes along 
Columbia River, especially near The Dalles. It is said, however, 
that long ago some old women of poor families, who had not enough 
skin to make dresses, wore aprons of sldn with long fringes. These 
were tied around the waist. Over this they wore only a robe. This 
may have been the same as the bodice used along Coluinbia River, 
or it may have been somewhat different. 

Leggings. — All women wore leather leggings. They reached to 
the knee and were fringed along the outer sides. A few extended a 
little above the knee. Some leggings were closed and had to be 
pulled up over the feet. They were fastened below the knee with 
garters or with a draw string. Others were open on the outside of 
the leg and were fastened with tie strings. Many had beaded 
designs, especially on the lower part; others had cross fringes, one 
above the other, for ornament. ^^ 

5' See Thompson specimen, Ottawa photographs Xos. .35409, 35408. 
«<> See Ottawa Mus., No. VI, M. 386. 

^1 See Thompson specimens with small bags sewed to the dress. Peabody 
Mus., 316, 341, 347; and Ottawa photographs, 27093, 27075. 

'■- See Thompson, a, fig. 185; and Ottawa Mus., No. 139. » 

^2 See Thompson specimen with cross fringes, Peabody Mus. No. 351. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

Children's Clothes. — Cliildren generally went bareheaded in good 
weather and also. often barefooted except when traveling. Some wore 
long skirts and dresses without leggings, and others small robes. Leg- 
gingswereused by somein conjunction withaprons or with breechclouts. 
Many boys went almost nude in warm weather. Ponchos of spotted 
fawn sldn were much used by boys. They were worn loose or confined 
with a belt around the waist. Sleeveless poncho shirts of sldns 
dressed in the hair, Hke some used by men, and tied or laced at the 
sides, were also in use. Usually they consisted of single sldns or 
parts of larger sldns. A common dress of girls consisted of two fawn 
skins sewed together. Some were sewed only on the shoulders and 
laced or stitched here and there at the sides. They were worn with 

the hair side out. All cMldren's clothes 
were dressed quite soft. Lads and young 
women dressed almost like adults. 

Moccasins. — Moccasins were generally 
made of dressed buckskin and were of five 
main Idnds: 

1. A single-piece moccasin, with seam 
around the outside of the foot. This style 
was common to aU the interior Salishan 
tribes, to the Nez Perce, and to some other 

2. A two-piece moccasin, with short 
tongue, seam down the front of the foot, 
and a short crosscut at the toe. This style 
is used by some of the interior Salishan and 
many Athapascan tribes, but among the 

latter the cross seam at the toe is generally longer than among the 

3 a. A two-piece moccasin like No. 2, with short tongue, and a 
seam down the front of the foot from tongue to toe. The seam ends 
in a small gathering at the toe and also at the bottom of the heel, so 
there is no trailer. This kind was also used by the Thompson.^^ 

3 &. A moccasin (which seems to have been often called by the 
same name as the last) differing from 3 a in the form of the tongue, 
which consists of a long triangular piece placed in the nuddle and 
ending in a sharp point at the toe.^'' It was not very common. (Fig. 6.) 

4. A two-piece moccasin with long tongue and round toe, like 
some eastern moccasins.^^ 

5. A two-piece moccasin, the sole being a separate piece, like 
many moccasins used by Plains tribes.^' 

«* See Thompson Indians, a, fig. 169; Nez Perce; h, pp. 216, 217; c, fig. 78. 
'5 See Thompson Indians, a, fig. 171. 

88 a, fig. 172. «8 See Thompson Indians, fig. 170. 

s'' Also c, fig. 88. 19 See c, fig. 79. 

FiGTJKE 6.— Sketch illustrating cut of 



Types Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are said to have been the only lands used 
long ago, and of these probably No. 1 was the most common. No. 5 
came into use after the introduction of the horse, and was probably 
copied from styles of moccasins used by tribes farther east. No. 4 
came in at a later date with, the fur traders and was less used than any 
of the other Idnds. The Coeur d'Alene named it "white man's mocca- 
sin" and "Chippewa moccasin." Most moccasins had trailers of 
various styles. AU moccasins had uppers or gaiters of sldn, folded 
around the ankle and tied with the ends of the moccasin strings. 
Both sexes wore the same styles. Long ago most of the moccasins 
were devoid of ornamentation, but later on some were painted or 
embroidered, especially on the tongue; others v/ere embroidered with 
quills or beads over the entire front and on the sides as well. Summer 
moccasins were made to fit the foot much more snugly than winter 
moccasins. Some winter moccasins were made of sldn of buffalo, 
deer, and elk, with the hair inside. They were of the same cuts as 
others. In early times board lasts similar to those used by the 
Shuswap were in common use. 

Socks. — No woven socks or inside shoes of cedar, sage, or any other 
bark were made. Sage does not grow in the Coeur d'-Alene country. 
In wintertime jjieces of dressed deerskin or buft'alo sldn, with the 
hair on, were wrapped around the foot or roughly shaped to the foot 
by sewing up the front, the heel part being left open. Usually they 
were long enough to reach up over the back of the heel. Otherwise 
dry grass was used inside of moccasins. In summer no fiUmg of the 
moccasin was used. 

Mittens. — No gloves were made long ago, but mittens made of 
various Idnds of skin dressed in the hair were commonly used in cold 
weather, worn hair side out. Some were short, but most of them 
were long. Many were made of coyote sldn. Almost a whole sldn 
was used for each long mitten, as they reached almost to the shoulders, 
and were fastened with a string around the neck. Long mittens of 
coyote and lynx sldns were considered the warmest to wear when 

Men's Caps and Headbands. — In cold weather men generally 
wore round, rather high caps of fisher, fox, coyote, and other furs. 
The tail of the animal hung down behind. Some were made of 
cased sldns, the hair being both outside and in. In mild weather 
headbands of various kinds were worn. Feather headdresses were 
used only at gatherings, dances, when going buffalo hunting, and on 
war expeditions, and were seldom or never worn when traveling in 
the woods or when hunting. A great many different kinds of head- 
bands set with feathers were in use. For these the taU feathers of 
the golden eagle were most frequently used ; but taU feathers of other 
41383°— 30— 6 


eagles and of hawks and occasionally of flickers and other birds were 
fairly common. The headband itself generally consisted of a wide 
band of skin, often embroidered with designs in quill and bead work. 
Pendants of beaded strings, feathers, animals' taUs, ermine skins, 
and twisted strips of otter and other fur-bearing animals were at- 
tached to the sides, and sometimes also to the backs, of many kinds of 
headbands. Some of the most common styles of headdresses were 
as follows: 

1. Headband with a single eagle feather erect at the back. 

2. Headband with two eagle feathers erect at the back. 

3. Headband with a single eagle feather or two hawk's feathers 
erect at each side. This was considered a hunter's style, as among 
the Thompson. ^"^ 

4. Headband with a single eagle feather erect in front. 

5. Headband with two eagle feathers erect in front. 

6. Headband with two eagle feathers in front slanting away from 
each other, or rarely having their butts crossed. ^"^ This was a 
shaman's style among the Thompson, but it seems it was not par- 
ticularly so considered by the Coeur d'Alene. 

7. Headband set with eagle, hawk, or other feathers all round. 
The feathers were placed erect in some and slanting slightly back- 
ward in others. Each was attached independently and some dis- 
tance from the next one. 

8. Headband set with eagle feathers close together all round. 
They were placed erect and, like No. 7, attached separately. Some- 
times they were made to slant slightly outward by use of a light 
hoop. Generally from 20 to 30 feathers were used. This style was 
called a "chief's bonnet" by many of the Thompson. ^"^ 

9. Headband set with eagle feathers all round, erect, and so close 
together that they overlap. The butts only were attached to 
the lower part of the headband individually; the upper parts of the 
feathers were connected with a string so as to form a crown. This 
was the war bonnet or common headdress of the plains. It was 
claimed to be the best for windy weather and for riding. It became 
the common headdress after the advent of the horse, superseding 
entirely many of the others. 

10. A feathered headband with streamers or feather "tails." The 
"tails" with feathers set horizontally were used only with No. 9. 
Those with pendent feathers, like a Thompson style, ^°^ were used 
with No. 8 and others. The tails were easily detachable, and in 
many cases merely an adjunct to the bonnet. 

11. An eagle feather headband or bonnet with ermine skins 
pendent close together all round the sides and back. Ermine-skin 
ornamentation of this kind was used with bonnets like Nos. 6, 7, 8, 

lo" a, fig. 180. 102 Peabody Museum, No. 272. 

"" See Thompson, a, fig. 183, and Field Mus., 111767. i»3 a, fig. 182. 


and 9. Usually with the last named the erniine was jDut only at the 

12. A headband of t\\dsted otter fur, about 2 inches wide, and often 
provided with from two to four long "tails" of the same animal. 

Headbands like Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5 very likely had some special 
significance, and probably were not used by everybody, but I did 
not clear up this point. 

It seems that the headdress of the plains type became common 
after the Coeur d'Alene became buffalo hunters. It appears to have 
been first copied from the Flathead tribes. Later some alterations 
of details took place from time to time through the influence of one 
tribe on another. In later da^'s the Crow style was thought to be the 
handsomest and best, and all the tribes copied it. In still later days 
the Sioux style came into vogue, and many men of aU the buffalo- 
hunting tribes copied it. It seems that the "tails" to bonnets with 
feathers laid horizontally (in pieces of skin or cloth) sticking out 
behind, or double, the feathers in the latter case sticking out to 
both sides, were adopted from eastern tribes. The thick ends of 
the quills were held in place by a thong which was passed up 
and down crosswise through a long piece of hide, so that a short 
stitch held down the butt end of the quill. A thin thread was also 
passed through the quills and they were often sewed do%vn to the 
margin of the strip of skin. The feathers were attached either to 
one side or to both sides. "Tails" like these were generally used 
only on dress occasions and in dances. 

Headdresses of animals' skins set with horns were common. 
Buffalo, antelope, 2-year-old buck deer, mountain ewe, etc., were 
used. The tips of the horns were sometimes pierced, and small 
tufts of hair of natural color or dyed were attached to them.^"'' In 
later days red cloth, colored yarn, and ribbon were sometimes used. 
The sides of these headdresses, and sometimes also the backs, were 
set with fringes or pendants of skin, hair, strips of fur, feathers, or 
ermine skins. The last named were most frequently used, the entire 
skins being attached. Sometimes only the backs with the heads 
and tails were used, and sometimes the sldns were twisted into strings. 
The long, twdsted strips of otter, fisher, or other fur attached to 
some were wrapped here and there with fur of a different color, or 
with beaded strings, hair tassels, or feathers. Headdresses made of 
bead skins of buffalo or grizzly bear were also used. The eyeholes 
were sometimes painted red or had a large bead set in each. Some 
headbands or caps made of the head skins of black-tailed deer, 
mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk, were used by hunters. They 
retained the ears, which stood erect. Other caps were made of head 
skins of animals like coyote or wolf.^"^ The animal's tafl. was some- 

'"^ See Thompson specimen, Field Museum, 111956. 
'05 See Thompson, a, fig. 178. 


times attached behind. Small feathers in their natural color or dyed 
and small tufts of hair were often wrapped around the small ends of 
large feathers used in headdresses. Colored feathers were also 
attached to the ends of strings and fringes of skin. 

A few headbands of rawhide, made like the brim of a cowboy's hat 
and painted with designs, were sometimes used as eje shades in sunny 
weather.^"'' Another kind of headband fairly common was made of 
parts of a buffalo hide having stiff hair, and other similar ones were 
made of the skin of a horse's tail split lengthwise, and the hair clipped 
to within about 10 centimeters of the skin. In these headbands 
the stiff hair stuck out all around the head, and acted as an eye shade, 
although they were not always specially used as such. 

Some boy's caps and headbands were ornamented with the tails 
of hawks, flickers, grouse, etc., spread out like a fan, and attached to 
the front or to both the front and back of the cap. 

Women's Caps. — Headbands of skin embroidered with quills, 
beads, or shells were used by some young women; but most women, 
when fully dressed, wore caps. It seems that the kind in most fre- 
quent use was the basket cap, common also to the Nez Perce ^°'' 
and other tribes. It was fez-shaped, and ornamented at the crown 
with a small fringe of loose strings (or sometimes loops) of skin on 
which were often strung beads and shells. The weave is said to 
have been exactly the same as that employed by the Nez Perce ^°^ and 
other neighboring Shahaptian and Salishan tribes. Among the 
Coeur d'Alene they were made of fine twine of Indian hemp which 
was covered on the outside of the cap with grass (probably Xero- 
pJiyllum tenax) excepting generally the crown or the middle of the 
crown. In most cases grass in its natural yellowish-white color 
formed the backgroimd for the designs, which were made of dyed 
grass, yellow and green being the colors most used. (See p. 55.) 
Sometimes designs were made entirely in natural colors. Wlien put 
on the cap, as a rule the white stems were used as the field color, 
green ones for the designs, and yellow ones as borders to the designs. ■'°® 
In later days colored yarn, respun from shredded woolen blankets, 
was often substituted for the native materials. 

Skin caps were also used by some women. They were all more or 
less conical or pointed at the top; but some were rounded and low, 
somewhat like skullcaps. Some were ornamented with fringes, and 
many had a fringe or tassel at the crown, like the basket caps. Beads 
and shells were sometimes strung on the tassel. Nearly all skin caps 
were further ornamented with beaded or quilled lines and zigzags. 
Zigzag designs were also common on basket caps. The skin caps 

i»6 See Nez Perce, b, fig. 5, No. 4. 
107 b, PI. VI, Nos. 15, 16. 

W8 b, fig. 4. 

ic' See o, pi. 66. 


appear to have been of the same kind in every way as those used by 
Avomen of the Thompson ''° and other Salishan tribes. 

Woven Ponchos, Rain Cloaks. — No woven-bark clothes were 
made or used, except a few ponchos and cloaks that were worn 
long ago by some people in rainy weather. Both kinds reached to 
the hips and were worn over the ordinary clothes. Most of them 
were made of dry bark of willow trees which had been burned (,?), 
and they were woven in the same waj^ as mats sometimes used for 
serving food on. (See p. 47.) Others were made of cedar bark 
and a very few of rushes. In shape the ponchos seem to have 
been like those of sage bark made by the Thompson.'" None of 
the oldest people now living have seen any of these garments. It is 
said that they were used only by a few poor people who had few 
robes or blankets. Others, in rainy weather, if the}^ were temporarily 
without robes, or if they did not wish to wet their robes, covered 
themselves over the shoulders, or sometimes over the head and 
shoulders, with ordinary mats, which they fastened with a wooden 
pin at the breast. 

Fans were made of tails of birds, like the eagle or hawk. Some of 
them had the butt end inclosed in skin, and embroidered or otherwise 

Ornamentation and Designs on Clothing. — Most garments had 
more or less embroidery made with quills. Porcupine quills were 
chiefly used, and were arranged to display their natural black and 
white colors. They were also dyed ; and most quillwork was made in 
three colors — white, red, and yellow. I did not learn with certainty 
the exact methods of applying the quills but it is said that there 
were several ways. They were twisted and wrapped, braided, or 
sewed to the skin. The quills were sewed on straight, with a simple 
stitch, as in the technique No. 3, mentioned by Wissler for the Black- 
foot; "- or they were put on obliquely with the same kind of stitch, 
probably as in the Blackfoot technique No. 5."^ In still other cases 
the}^ crossed each other, probably as in the Blackfoot technique 
No. 6."* The twisted quillwork appears to have been like the Black- 
foot technique No. 10."^ Fringes were occasionally decorated by 
being wrapped with quills, but I did not obtain a very clear idea of 
the method employed. It seems, however, to have been similar to 
Blackfoot technique No. 12."6 

Quill flatteners made of wood, antler, and bone were used. In 
later days the back of an iron knife was often employed. Both 

"» a, fig. 191. 
"• a, fig. 194. 
"'-' c, fig. 15 and p. 56. 
"^ c, fig. 18 and pjD. 56, 57. 
'" c, fig. 19 and p. 57. 

"' c, fig. 23 and p. 59; also specimens Peabody Mus., No. 166, and Field Mus., 

"6 c, fig. 25 and p. 60. 


unsplit and split quills were in use. It seems porcupine quills were 
generally used unsplit. 

In later days beadwork largely supplanted quillwork. Much 
beadwork consisted of designs distributed so that the skin formed 
the background, but solid beadwork covering the whole surface was 
also common. White was the usual color for the background; light 
blue was fairly common; and red and yellow were used occasionally. 
Beads were usually sewed down so as to make a rigid, flat, uniform 
surface. Rather frequently, however, the beads were sewed down 
at regular intervals, giving the surface a ridged appearance."'' Designs 
in both quillwork and beadwork were mostlj^ geometric (fig. 7); but 
floral designs were also used long ago and in later days became most 
common, though never as common as among the Nez Perce. 

Some clothes were painted with designs, generally in red; but 
brown, yellow, blue, and black were sometimes also used. Occasion- 




Figure 7. — Designs in quillworlc and boadworl^ on clothing 

ally the outlines of designs were edged with narrow lines in another 
color. Sometimes on women's dresses and men's shirts rather large 
round circles were painted in red or blue, or occasionally in yellow 
edged with red. These circles were made on the breasts of shirts, 
and sometimes also on the upper arms and other places. Sometimes 
a large circle was painted in the middle of the breast and two 
smaller ones a little lower down to the sides, about over the nipples. 
Occasionally two circles were painted on the back of the shoulders. 
The meaning of these designs seems to be unknown. The same 
painted ornamentation was in vogue among the Thompson."^ 
Dresses were sometimes painted with horizontal lines and zigzags 
near the bottom of the skirt. Quilled and beaded lines on yokes 
of women's dresses, or below and following the lines of the yoke, 
were often parallel, about an inch apart. The lines or bands were 

1'^ See Coeur d'Alene bag, Peabody Mus., Coeur d'Alene, No. 1. 
"8 See a, fig. 191, also Thompson specimens Ottawa, VI, M. 401, Peabody 
Mus., 320, 342, Field Mus., 111784. 


about an inch wide, or sometimes more, and were ' composed of 
oblongs and squares alternating in different colors. Sometimes all 
the lines were placed close together, so that the whole formed a field 
of solid beadwork. Horizontal meandermg and zigzag beaded lines 
were also fairly common on the upper parts of women's dresses. 
Generally there were two or several of these at equal distances, one 
above another. Another ornamentation on dresses consisted of a 
fairly wide beaded line following the tops of the shoulders, and 
another following the edge of the yoke. Narrower vertical lines 
about 5 to 7 cm. apart connected the two all around. Beaded 
Unes, one to four in number, composed of checks and oblongs, were 
often embroidered on the skirts of dresses."'' The lines were 5 or 7 
centimeters apart or more, following the bottom of the dress. On 
some men's shirts and women's dresses there was an embroidered 
or painted triangidar line on the front and back. The end pointed 
downward, reaching almost to the waist. Inside the area inclosed 
by the line there were often small detached designs of dots, crosses, 
or triangles; and on painted shirts, sometimes realistic figures of men, 
weapons, animals, moon, etc. Sometimes the whole area was in solid 
beadwork. Some men's shirts were almost entirely covered with tiny 
spots of red paint, which, according to some, represented blood. 

Robes were painted with straight and zigzag lines and other 
geometric figures, as well as with pictographs of mountains, lakes, 
people, and animals. Some pictographs represented incidents in 
dreams, incidents and feats in war and the chase; and some were 
representations of the guaixiian spirit and of objects connected 
with it. After hunting began on the Plains the old styles of picto- 
graphs fell into disuse to some extent and paintings on robes became 
for the most part pictures, made as realistic as possible, of personal 
encoiinters, battles, etc., after the style of the Crow Indians. Long 
ago designs were also made on robes by scratching off the outer layer 
of skin with a sharp bone.^^° As a rule, they consisted chiefly of 
small triangles and straight lines, made in various forms and com- 
binations. Sometimes long lines were made, with short lines radiat- 
ing from them; triangles, diamond-shaped figures, and squares. Lines 
of triangles, called "arrowheads," were also made, and stepped 
triangles called "mountains." It is said that no designs were made 
on robes or clothes by searing. Elk and deer skin robes very often 
had the hair cut in parallel, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal stripes 
about 5 cm. in width. The hair in the lines was either uniformly 
clipped halfway down to the roots, or it was clipped in steps. '^^ A 

"8 See Pend d'OreiUe (Flathead) specimen. Field Mus., 111909. 
'2° See designs made on buffalo-skin jDOuch of Thompson; a, fig. 300; also /, 
p. 192. 

121 See Thompson, a, pi. 18, and Thompson specimen Field Mus., 111915. 



[KTU. ANN. -1/) 

Fkuiuk 8.— Designs from luiad bands 

few had small spaces of bare skin botwooii the steps which were 
painted red. 

Headbands often hnd painted or embroidered zigzag and triangular 
("arrowhead") designs. Stepped designs also were used. Nearly 
all the women's basket-caps had zigzag designs. A three-pointed 

/iig/.ag was most common. Stepped and 
(•li(H'kered designs also occtiiTed. 

Quilled, b(Muled, oi- painted zigzag designs 
were also common on skin caps. Both 
sharp-pointed and. round-pointed zigzags 
were common; squarc-i)ointcd zigzag also 
ocH'.urrcd. The spaces between the points 
of the zigzags were sometimes filled in with 
small designs, such as dots, circles, triangles, 
etc.'-^ (Fig. 8.) Straight linos, generally horizontal, but not infre- 
quently vertical, and occasionally diagonal; zigzags and triangles 
with both plain and stepped edges; figures composed of small checks, 
diamond-shaped figures, and crosses of various kinds, some of them 
called "stars," were all common designs on nearly all kinds of clothing. 

Fringing, |)itd;ing, and ])unc- 
turing were all common jneth- 
ods of oi-namenting seams, edges, 
and flaps. '-^ Red lines were 
also often painted on s(>anis. 
MonWlIN Cl.OTMINC! . — vVf tcr 
the advent, of the fur traders 
the lril)e began to use cloth for 
making leggings and some other 
parts of clothing, and woolen 
blankets took the place of j'ol)es. 
New garments wei-e also intro- 
duced, such as gloves, coats, 
vests, and trousers. (Fig. 9.) 
These new forms of clothing 
were made by the liulians t hem- 
selves out of dressed skin as 
well as of blankets and cloth. '-■* 
Styles of cutting and oj'nanuMiting the new kinds of garments were 
evolved, and new styles of cutting and ornamenting men's skin shnts 
and women's dresses canu> into vogue. A great variety of clothes were 
now worn— clothes of old style m cut and ornamentation, those of the 
new style, and all degrees of variations between them, resulting from 

132 Sec Thompson, a, fig. 191. 

i?3 jror puncturing of garments; see Thompson, a, 103, 1S4; Lillooct, A', p. 220; 
also/, p. 192. 

>-■' See Thoiniison blanket, poncho, or shirt, Field Mus., No. 111914. 

1''IQUKE 9. — SkoU'U illustral.iug cut of luodorn coat 



modifications of the old-style clothes and of the new styles copied from 
the whites. However, much of the old-style clothing continued to be 
used up to the end of the buffalo hunting. After permanent settle- 
ment on the reserve, when the Indians took up farming, the change 
became very rapid, especially as the surrounding country was becom- 
ing settled. Many stores sprang up, where the Indians could get 
supplies of ready-made clothing. Old-style clothes continued to be 
worn onlj^ at dances and on special occasions. Some few years ago 
the dances were given up under the influence of the priests; and now, 
it seems, no Indian clothing is used at all, the tribe dressing in every 
way much as do the neighboring whites. Moccasins, howevei-, are 
still used a good deal. 

Ornaments. — Throat necklaces and breast necklaces were used by 
both sexes. Most of the former were of the type used by the Thomp- 
son.'^ They were of soft skin padded with sweet-grass, beaver castor, 
hair, etc., and covered with solid bcadwork on the outside. They were 
tied at the back of the neck. Another khid, wider, flatter, and stiffer 
(more like a collar), and covered with shells set horizontally, was used 
by some men. These were like the necklaces worn by many of the 
Flathead, Kutenai. and other tribes farther east. 

The breast necklaces were single or multiple. The former consisted 
of beads or shells strung on a thong or on a string of sinew or Indian 
hemp, which passed around the neck. They were of various lengths, 
and were generally provided with a pendant of large shell or copper 
suspended from the bight of the necklace in front. Sometimes several 
of these necklaces were worn at the same time. One kind of beaded 
necklace used by women reached to the navel. 

The multiple necklace was worn more by men, and consisted of a 
series of thin necklaces of increasing length attached, one below the 
other, to a heavier one. The highest was near the neck; the lowest 
reached down to the waist. There were different ways of making and 
arranging these. '^® Breastplates of long polished bone beads were 
used by men.'-^ They were like the breastplates used by the Flathead 
and Plains tribes, and were first adopted by the Coeur d'Alene about 
the beginning of the nineteenth century. According to some infor- 
mants, the bones were polished buffalo bones made by the tribes east 
of the Coeur d'Alene; while others claim that they were introduced 
by the fur traders and were quite unknown to all Indian tribes long 
ago. The materials strung for necklaces before traders' beads came 
into vogue were dentalium shells (and possibly a larger shell like it) ; 
flat, disk-shaped beads of bone and shell ; hoofs of fawn, entire or cut 
in small triangle-shaped pieces, with notched edges; tubular beads of 
copper formed by rolling and beating sheets or beads of copper over 

'25 a, fig. 200. 127 gee Nez Perce, b, p. 217, and pi. 10, No. 1. 

126 See Nez Perec, b, pp. 217, 218. 


slender round sticks; feathers; quills; certain small round bones of 
animals (and possibly fish); teeth of elk, horse, and wolf (horse and 
wolf teeth were generally used by men) ; and claws of bear and other 
animals (also used by men only). Necklaces of grizzly bear's claws, 
generally set on a band of skin or fur, were used only by men, especially 
warriors. Some of the most common pendants to necklaces were 
abalone shells (procured in trade), certain fresh-water shells, flat pieces 
of copper cut in various shapes, and small, flat polished stones. 
Charms of various kinds were often attached to necklaces. 

Nose Ornaments. — Nose pins were used by many women and by 
some men. They were of three kinds: (1) A single large dentalium 
shell, or two shells fitting into each other. ^^^ (2) A bird's quill scraped 
thin and transparent and stuffed with down, which was sometimes 
dyed. (3) A rod of bone (some of them nearly a finger-length long) 
ornamented with incised designs, and usually polished. '^^ Many of 
these nose pins had tufts of bright-colored feathers glued into the ends, 
the bone pins being hollowed out for the purpose. The scalp of the 
red-headed woodpecker was the kind most used. No nose rings or 
crescent-shaped ornaments were used in the nose; and labrets were 
also unknown. After the tribe began to go to the Plaius for buffalo 
hunting nose pins rapidly went out of style. The Nez Perce and the 
tribes to the south used them, but none of the tribes to the east. 

Ear Ornaments. — Ear ornaments were much worn by both sexes. 
They consisted chiefly of pendants of fresh-water shells, natural color 
and painted, pieces of abalone shell, and dentalium shells. The latter 
often had tufts of the red-headed woodpecker scalp drawn with a string 
into the wide ends, or glued there. Various kinds of beads, and small, 
square, oblong, or triangular pieces of copper, were also used as ear 
ornaments. From one to four holes were bored in the ear from the 
lobe around the helix, and as many pendants might be worn as there 
Were holes. Slender rods of wood {niEtsEtnEtse' sip) Spiraea? (sp.) 
were worn in the ears by children. Pendants were attached to the ear 
with strings. No earrings of any kind were used. 

Hair Ornaments. — Some men used long strips of otter skin and 
ermine skin to wrap around or to braid into the cues of the hair. 
Strings of beads or shells, or of both mixed, were also tied to the hair 
or braided into it. These were used by both sexes, but chiefly by 
women. Pendants of twisted fur were attached to the hair by men; 
and pendent hair ribbons of long narrow pieces of skin, quilied or 
beaded,'^" were worn by both sexes. Similar ribbons of embroidered 
skin were also used for wrapping round the hair or binding it. In 
later days silk ribbons, colored braid, and strips of red and blue cloth 
took the place of most of these. Women wore hair ribbons of short 
pieces of skin embroidered on one side with quUl or bead work. 

128 See Thompson, a, fig. 197. I'o gee Thompson, a, fig. 177. 

129 See Thompson, a, fig. 198. 



They were provided with strings for tying around the braids of the 
hair. Some had oblong flaps of skin about 15 centimeters in length, 
covered with quill or bead work, and fringed at the lower end. To the 
fringe were often attached beads, shells, or elk's teeth. The hair 
ribbons hung down on the outside of the cues and were fastened 
aroimd the hair with tie strings. Generally they were attached to 
the hair near the ears.''" It seems that long ago some of the young 
men also wore similar hair ribbons; but they were ornamented some- 
what differently, and sometimes had feathers attached to them."^ 
It also appears that scalp locks and strings of false hair were some- 
times attached to the hair of men. 

Arm Rings. — Bracelets consisting of strings of shells and native 
beads were used long ago. Later bracelets were made of glass beads, 
and stUl later of metal (generally copper or brass) procured from the 
traders. Strings of deer and fawn hoofs were worn on the legs in 
dancing. Most of them were worn around the knees and ankles of 
dancers; but some were used as belts or aiTnlets, while others were 
held in the hands. Armlets, wristlets, cuffs, and garters of embroid- 
ered skin have already been mentioned. 

Combs. — Combs were all of the fan-shaped type, made of syringa 
{PTiiladelphus lewisii) like those of the Thompson.'^' According to 
SpLnden, Nez Perce combs were also of this type.'^* 

Tweezers. — Depdation was practiced by both sexes. The men 
eradicated their beards and mustaches and the women narrowed the 
hair of the eyebrows and straightened the hair line of the brow by 
pulling out all irregular and straggling hairs. A well-defined hair 
line was admired. It seems that eradication of the pubic hair and 
of hair on other parts of the body was not practiced. Tweezers were 
used for pulling out hair. They were made of wood and horn, and 
appear to have been of the same lands as those used by the Thomp- 
son. '^^ In later days all of them were made of metal. None of the 
oldest living Indians have seen any tweezers excepting those of metal. 

Hairdressing. — The hair was dressed in a great many different 
ways, there being special names for most or aU the styles. At least 
20 different styles were described to me : 

1. Worn loose and full length excepting in front, where it was cut 
in bangs across the forehead from temple to temple. If the hair was 
very long, it was gathered behind and tied at the back of the neck. 
This was the common style for children. 

2. Gathered at the back of the neck and tied in a knot there. This 
was the common style used by lads at puberty.'^® 

''' See Thompson specimens, Peabody Mus., 394, 395, etc. 
"2 See Shuswap, e, fig. 231. 

133 a, fig. 201, 202, 203. "s a, fig. 210. 

i3< b, p. 221. "6 See Thompson, a, fig. 209. 


3. Gathered to the sides and tied in a knot near each ear. This 
was the common style of girls at puberty.^'''' 

4. Cut square across the back of the neck, or sometimes lower 
down, about on a line with the tops of the shoulders. This was the 
style of widows and all people in mourning. 

5. Gathered at the sides and braided full length in a single cue at 
each side. This was a common style for both men and women; but 
the women always parted their hair in the middle, while many men 
parted theirs slightly to one side. 

6. The same as No. 5, but the ends of the cues were tied together 
and worn on the back. This was a common style for women, but 
was never used by men. For women it is said to have come into use 
in the early part of the nineteenth century. Many people say that 
long ago braids of hair were tied together and hung down on the back. 

7. The same as No. 5, but each cue braided for only from half to 
three-quarters of its length, wdiere it was tied, and the ends allowed 
to hang loose. This was a woman's style. 

8. Gathered at the sides and simply tied at each side on a line with 
the neck. This also was a common style for women. 

9. Part of the side hair braided on each side (the lower part next to 
the face and ears) or rolled in wads, more and more hair being caught 
in the braid, until at the back all the hair was in one braid or the 
other. The braids were then untied and folded upward to the back 
of the neck and tied. This was a woman's style less common than 
the others, and used chiefly by young women. 

10. Braided in two plaits on each side. A man's style, used by a few. 

11. Gathered at the sides in two cues, the same as No. 5, and 
strips of otter skin interbraided with the hair or wrapped about it. 
A man's style. 

12. Gathered together loosely at each side (without braiding), 
and tied rather close to the head. This seems to have been called 
the same name as No. 11, probably because of the similar attach- 
ments to the hair. Hair ribbons of several lands, beaded strings, 
strips of otter slcin and ermine skins, braids of scalp locks, scalps, 
etc., were attached to the hair. A man's style. 

13. Simply combed l)ack and tied behind. This style was claiefly 
used by men. 

14. (a) Divided into three parts and gathered at each side and at 
the back, where it was tied close to the head. 

(b) Sometimes the hair at the sides was braided and the hair at 
the back left loose. The hair was full length, not doubled up. A 
man's style. 

15. (a) The front hair was done up in two small braids, one at 
each temple; and strings of beads or shells were interwoven in the 

137 See Thompson, a, fig. 208. 


braids or attached to them. Usually the rest of the hair was loose 
or merely tied at the back of the neck. 

(b) Sometimes the front hair was divided into three parts. If the 
person had a cut forelock it hung down in the middle above the nose 
and the small braids lay just back of the eyes over the temples. 
This was a fairly common man's style of hairdrcssing. 

16. (a) The side hair was cut on a level with the neck or shoidders 
and tied at each side. Rarely was it left loose. The back hair was 
left fidl length and tied close to the head. To it was attached the 
entire head, back, and tail of an otter. Sometimes, instead, hair 
ribbons and beaded strings of various lands were attached to the 
back hair. Tliis was a common style for men. 

(b) Instead of being merely tied, both the side hair and the back 
hair were braided in cues, three in all. Ornaments were attached to 
the braids. Tliis style of hairdressing was rare. 

17. Forelocks were used by many men. Usually the lock was 
narrow and cut even with the top of the- nose. Sometimes it was 
combed down flat over the middle of the brow, but more generally 
it was crimped, so that the end curled up. Occasionally the short 
crimping-rod was worn in the hair. Hairdressing with forelock had 
a special name. Rarely was the forelock braided. The rest of the 
hair might be done up in any fasliion. It seems that women never 
had forelocks, at least not hke those of the men. 

18. The top hair combed back from the brow, then brought for- 
ward and tied in a bunch above the brow or on the top of the head,'^^ 
but not braided or stiffened with clay. The rest of the hair was 
fixed in different ways — tied together at the sides, made into a braid 
at each side, or made into smaU braids at the temples, the rest being 
tied behind the neck or left to hang loose. Tliis was a man's style. 

19. All the hair gathered on the top of the head, and tied there, 
with the loose end upward and protruding or hanging forward. 
OccasionaUy the knot was pointed, and stiffened with red mud or 
paint. This was a warrior's style. 

20. Much the same way as No. 19, but the hair rose in a high 
point above the top of the head. A bunch of dry tides tied together 
was set on end on the top of the head to form a support for the hau*, 
wlaich was bound all roimd it. The ends of the tides protruded 
above the hair. The crown of the head, and all the lower hair next 
to the head, were well satiu-ated with water. A woman then lighted 
the ends of the tides, which burned down with the upright hair until 
the whole point or "horn" became flat and the fu-e went out in the 
wet hair next the head. This style was used by some men when 
dancing the scalp dance. 

"^ See Thompson, a, fig. 207, but -without braiding 


Sometimes the hair was painted red or wlaite by men, all over or in 
parts. Down was sometimes put in the hair. Almost all people of 
both sexes painted the partings of the hair red. The red lines fol- 
lowed the bare skin exposed by the parting. Many people oiled their 
hair regularly with pieces of hard fine tallow or with bear's grease. 
A hair parter of wood was used for parting the hair evenly. The 
points of combs were also used. Loose untied hair was often 
crimped. '^^ Rods of an unidentified reddish wood were used for the 
purpose. The wood was heated, and the lock rolled around it. At 
the present day nearly all the men have their hair close cut, like the 
whites. A few of the old men wear it long or cut across the neck. 
Most of the women wear their hair in two braids tied at the back or 
hanging loose at the sides. 

Perfumes. — Scents were much used by both sexes, and especially 
by young people. Sweet grass (HierocMa odorata) and other strong- 
smelhng grasses and leaves were used. Small rolls of these were made 
up and often inclosed in sldn. They were used as pads inclosed in 
knots or folds of the hair, or simply attached to it. Sometimes tiny 
bags of these scents were made up for attachment to the hair and 
clothing, or to be placed in workbags, workbaskets, and clothes bags, 
to perfume the contents. Sometimes the bags were sewed on to 
wearing apparel permanently. The fragrant leaves from which the 
scent was made were often dried, then powdered fine and poured into 
sacks, wliich were sewed up Hke tiny cushions. They were used in 
the same way as the rolls and small bags with strings attached. 
Powdered scents were frequently rubbed on necklaces, hair ornaments, 
clothes, the sldn of the body, and the hair. A small skin bag about 
4 by 3 centimeters in size, entirely covered on the outside with quill 
or bead work and provided with strings, was filled with scent and 
attached to the back of the hair as an ornament. Slender rolls of 
sweet grass ^\dthout any covering were often wrapped in the hair. 
Besides vegetable scents, beaver castor was much used. Some people 
also used parings from the hard, strong-smelling gland inside of horses' 
legs. The parings were crushed fine and inclosed in sldn bags. 

Face and Body Painting. — The face and body were painted in 
various ways, but I did not find time to go into this matter in detail. 
Painting was in solid masses and in designs. Some of the latter are 
said to have had no laiown significance, beiag merely for ornament, 
while other designs were connected with dreams and the guardian 
spirit." Some designs were considered protective in battle, while 
others were more for good luck. However, some styles of painting 
were mere fashions; and, according to some, this was the prevailing 
motive for their selection. The most common paint was red, but 

"9 Many Shoshoni and Bannock are said to have worn their hair loose and 




• • • • 

yellow was also used frequently; also white, black, and blue. The 
hair on the crown of the head was frequently painted red, yellow, or 
wliite with dry paint. 

Paints were applied dry, mixed with water, mixed with grease or 
oil, and occasionally mixed with gum. Pencils of hard fat dipped in 
paint were used, as among the Thompson. Painting was also done 
with small sticks, brushes, and the finger tips. People helped each 
other much in painting each other's faces and combing and arranging 
each other's hair. As among the Thompson, the jaw of a deer with 
the teeth adhering was used for scraping parallel lines in face paint. 
Stamps were also employed; or the design was first painted on the 
palm, and then pressed against the face. Many women painted their 
eyebrows red. A round spot on each cheek, and sometimes also 
one on the brow, was a common pattern used by women. 

A circle of charcoal or red paint 
mixed with gum was made around 
each eye to aid the sight when there 
was a bright glare of sun on snow, 
sand, or water. It was also used 
for weak eyes. Sometimes a line 
or half circle above the eyes was 
made instead of a complete circle. 
Scars on any exposed parts of the 
body were painted red, as among 
the Thompson and other tribes. 

ScARiFicATioN.-Scarification was 
practiced cliiefiy by young men. '^'^ 

Tattooing. — It seems that tattooing was common long ago, and 
was practiced by both sexes. Most marks were made on the forearms 
and wrists. They consisted of both geometric and realistic figures. 
The former were cliiefiy long horizontal lines (generally from -one to 
four) ; short horizontal hues with spaces between them, or sometimes 
placed one above the other; zigzag Unes, wdth either sharp or rounded 
points; triangles of various kinds; and dots (usually from one to 
four). (Fig. 10.) Sometimes the lines completely surrounded the 
wrist, but usually they were made on the back of the wrist only. 
The realistic figures were chiefly representations of bear, elk, deer, 
snakes, mountains, arrows, and the Uke. The legs were often also 
tattooed, the principal figures being lines and dots. A Une was often 
made around or on the outside of the leg just above the ankles. A 
dot was often tattooed on the instep. Men sometimes also tattooed 
figures of animals on the legs. Tattooing on the body was done only 



Figure 10.— Wrist tattooing 

"» See p. 169. 


by men, and was not common. Long lines were sometimes made 
following the ribs, and small figures of animals were also sometimes 
made on different parts of the body. 

Face tattooing was fairly common among women long ago, but was 
rare among men. The figures were all geometric. Women used short 
single or double lines extending downward from the corners of the 
mouth, two or three vertical lines on the upper lip below the nostrils, 
a dot or a small circle on each cheek, and rarely a similar mark on 
the brow. Men used a line of dots along the top of the brow. From 
one to five radiating or sometimes vertical lines on the chin formed a 
fairly common tattoo; but my notes do not make it clear whether this 
mark was used by men or women, or by both. All tattoo marks had 
names, but now these are nearly all forgotten. Although the figures 
all had names, it is said that most of the geometric designs had no 
significance. It was just fashion to make the marks that way; and 
they were merely considered decorative in the same way as certain 
face paintings and other designs were used for decoration only, and 
followed certain customary forms or outlines. Most of the triangles 
in tattooing were called "arrow-heads"; the vertical lines on the chin 
were called "tail feathers"; and the radiating lines on the chin, 
"eagle's, tail." Realistic designs were often connected with the per- 
son's dreams or guardian.'" It seems that most tattooing was done by 
pricking with a sharp bone or a sharp pin or needle of hard wood. 
Powdered charcoal was rubbed into the wound. Some men preferred 
cutting the skin, especially for making lines. Powdered charcoal, 
red ochre, and white earth were rubbed into the wounds by men. After 
the Coeur d'Alene began to go to the plains to hunt buffalo, tattooing 
gradually fell into disuse, as it was not fashionable among most tribes 
living to the east. A few women have continued the practice in a 
modified way until recently. 


Food. — As among other inland tribes, the food of the Coeur 
d'Alene consisted of the flesh of animals, birds, and fishes, and of veg- 
etable products which were much depended on; but meat and fish 
were of chief importance. No agriculture was practiced. The prin- 
cipal vegetal foods used by the tribe are given below. 


Latin name Coeur d'Alfne name 

1. Camassia esculenta Tendl sxa" ulutxwa (Thompson ski'an 

raw, etxwa camas) (camas in 
the raw state), e'txxoa (camas 
when cooked). 

2. Lewisia rediviva Pursh sp'tt'sm. 

1" See p. 192. 


3. (Probably Z/omah'wTO /caus Wats. ? or {Peu-\ _, . 

cedanum cous Watson). j^ 

4. Root of an unidentified plant said to have] 

a yellow flower and a round and rather yp'dx^p'Ex"^. 
flat root. J 

5. Root of an unidentified plant said to havel , 

a white flower and a small round root. ) 

6. A//t«7rt sp., possibly ^e?/er-i sistc. 

7. A/?iMm sp., probably cernwMm qwEli'ivilc (Thompson kold'wa, 

kala' ua). 

8. Root of an unidentified plant said to haveal , _, 

tall white flower and a small round root. | 

9. Probably Daucus pusillus mo'smEn. 

10. Claytonia sp sqwd'tEm. 

11. Root of an unidentified plant said to have a 1, , , .. 

white flower and a small flat root. j 

12. Pvobahly Frilillaria pudica tc'a'wEx (Thompson tcd'wEx): 

Lilium columbianum. 

13. Probably Sium lineare md'tsEniEts. 

14. Root of an unidentifled plant said to have a 

white flower and a large long root, and 
just one leaf which grows on top of the 

15. Probably Cnicus undulatus Gray mare'opa. 

16. Root of an unidentified plant pitcelu'sa. 

My informants claimed that the roots of Balsamorrhiza sagittata 
and Balsamorrhiza hookerii were not eaten, although one or both of 
these were used by the Flathead. Also they said that the roots of 
Lilium columbianum (Hanson) were not eaten, although this root is 
much used as a food by the Thompson, Shuswap, Okanagon, and 
others. Lewisia rediviva did not grow in the Coeur d'Alene country, 
but was plentiful in Spokan territory, where Coeur d'Alene parties 
went to dig it. ^*^ The piteeZtZsa grew only on the borders of the Nez Perce 
territory, and parties went there to gather it. Some of the unidenti- 
fied species used by the Coeur d'Alene may be the same as some of 
those used by the Nez Perce. 

Latin name. Coeur d'Algne name 

1. Amelanchier sp. (service berry or Junel 

sqeigEts (Thompson: Opuntia 

berry). f^''^' 

2. Prunus demissa Walpers (chokecherry or] , 7 

black wild cherry). I ' " ' 

3. Prunus sp. (red wild cherry) t'scile'pa. 

4. Sambucus sp. (elderberry) stsd'qEq (Thompson: ise'kuk) 

5. Crataegus sp. (black hawberry) sxo"natc. 

6. Crataegus sp. (red hawberry) kwdla. 

7. Cornus pubescens Nutt. (red willow berry) _ stitdsx^. 

8. Rubus sp. (raspberry) nxald'tse (Thompson: currant 

lad' za, xlad'za). 

i« b, pp. 203, 204. 

41383'^— 30 7. 


9. Rubus sp. (probably thimble berry) (orl 

1 X ipo'lpoloEn. 

possibly salmonberry). J 

10. Rubus leucodermis Dougl. (blackberry OT\nietsu'q (Thompson: me' .tcuk, 

black raspberry). J me' teak). 

11. Rubiis sp. (trailing or low blackberry or] 

,, , \ti'UelElu7nx''''{Thoin'pson:ti'lEl.u7n. 

bramble) . J 

12. Ribes sp. (red gooseberry) nt' i' i' emelps . 

13. Ribes sp. (black gooseberry) ya'rtcEn. 

14. i?i6es sp. (wild currant) ^se'rws (Thompson: Oregon grape 

tsa', Okanagon .stse'res) 

15. Shepherdia canadensis l^utt. (soapberry oris xo's^m (Thompson: sxo'sEm, 

buffaloberry) . ) sho.'zEtn). 

16. Fragaria calif ornica C. and S. (straw- Is/so'gom (Thompson: service 

berry). J berry .stsa'gum, .sts'o'gom). 

17. Vaccinium membranaceum (huckleberry or] 

\stdcd' (stk) . 
whortleberry) . ) 

18. V accini U7n sp. (white huckleberry) (sEn) paqpaqa'xEn. 

19. V accini wm sp. (small blueberry) sta'qln. 

20. Berberis sp. (Oregon grape) sqwd'yu (Thompson: berry of 

mountain ash .skd'u, roseberry 

21. Arctostaphijlus uva-iirsi (bearberry) i'ltc (Thompson d'ik, di'Ek; rasp- 

berry .sditsku, .sei'tck). 

22. Rosa sp. (roseberry) tsExwtsExwsxivoiye' pa . 

The berries of Prunus emarginata were eaten only occasionally. 
Shepherdia (or soapberry), it is said, does not grow in the Coeur 
d'Alene country, and, according to some, is not found east of the 
Colville country. It was procured in trade. 

The following berries were not eaten: 

Latin name Coeur d'Alfne name 

Surbus sambricifolia E. and S. (mountain ash' 

berry). ) 

Lonicera involucrata .sa'mpaqsn. 

Juniperus, two sp. (juniper berry). 

Symphoricarpus racemosus Mich, (snowberry). st' smst' Emne" (ixEn) ("dead peo- 
ple's berry" or "dead head"). 
ItdtEptelp ("black plant") 

A blackberry growing in the high mountains,] 
possibly the heath berry. 

(Thompson: sta'ptapt, black; 

stetepuza Ribes, sp.). 

Seeds, Nuts, and other Vegetal Foods 

k'e'puxwa (Thomi)son: .qapux). 

Latin name Coeur d'AlPne name 

Nuts of the hazel tree. Hazel did not grow in 

the Coeur d'Alene country, and the nuts 

were procured from the Colville through 

the Spokan.'^ 

Nutlets of the yellow pine {Finns ponderosa).. stsEice'tcs' (Thompson: .stsikk). 

Nutlets of the silver-barked pine (Finns albi-] ., ,, 
,. , }soun sttc. 

caulis). ) 

Seeds of Balsamorrhiza, one or two sp., pos- 

., , , J r TT 1- ,j \m^i'tcto (Thompson: mi'kto). 

sibly also seeds of Helianthus sp. ' 

<^Any kind of nut. — N. Richard. 


Cambium layer of j'ellow pine {Pinus pondc- 

stsi'xwe (Thompson: stse'xwe). 
rosa). J ' 

Cambium layer of black pine (Pinus contorta] , , , , 

. \stElsamoxlse riEm. 

or murrayana) . I 

Cambium la^'er of the poplar (Popuhis sp.) 

was eaten occasionally. 

Growing stalks of Balsamorrhiza smo"kwacEm. 

Growing stalks of Hcracleum lanatum Mich.) 

(cow parsnip or wild rhubarb). ]' 

Growing stalks of Pewcerfanuw sp. (wild celery), pa'qai. 

The hl&ck tree moss, Aledoriajubatah. Much! .,, , . , 
' ■' ,sa Ic Etcl. 

used long ago. J 

The Opuntia (sxu'wendtc) was known to many of the Coeur d 'Alene, 
but was not eaten. It did not grow in the Coeur d 'Alene country, 
but in the arid country to the southwest and in some parts of the 
plains region. 

Tools and Methods of Harvesting. — The growing stalks of 
Heracleum, Peucedanum, and Balsamorrhiza were merely plucked, 
peeled, and eaten raw. Seeds of Balsamorrhiza were heated with 
hot stones and crushed. Berries were picked by hand into baskets 
of several kinds. Some varieties of berry, when very ripe, were 
gathered by bending the twigs or branches over the mouth of the 
basket and beating them with a short stick, thus making the berries 
fall. Small blueberries were sometimes collected by combing them 
into the basket. 

Roots were dug with root diggers and gathered into baskets. When 
most lands of baskets had gone out of use, woven bags were generally 
employed for gathering roots. Root diggers were of the same sizes 
and shapes as those in use among the Thompson Indians."^ Some 
were round, the wood being used in its natural form. Many others 
were more or less square excepting near the point. The latter kind 
had a better grip in the ground. The curve of the digging stick varied. 
Those used in soft ground were wide and curved, while those used in 
hard ground were rounded and almost straight. The points were 
often hardened by charring. Root diggers were made of the wood of 
service trees (Amelanchie?'), haw trees (Crataegus), or syringa (Phila- 
delphus lewisi Pursh). The handles were of elk antler. None were 
of sheep 's horn, and only a few were made of goat 's horn. Wooden 
handles were hardly ever used. No stone handles like those described 
by Spinden for the Nez Perce were used.''*'* Long ago root diggers 
were occasionally made, both handle and blade, of a single piece of 
elk antler. 

For gathering the cambium and sap of the black pine, sap scrapers 
were used. They were made from the shoulder blades of various 

»3 a, fig. 212. 

1" b, p. 200, PL VII, 33. 


animals, with little alteration.'''^ No double-ended ones were used, 
as among Athapascan tribes and the northern Shuswap.'^^ Sap scrap- 
ers were often drilled at the smaU end for the attachment of a carrying 
string. Scrapers for collecting the cambium of the yellow pine were 
knife-shaped and made from the rib bones of various animals, as among 
the Thompson. For stripping the bark from yellow pine trffes, bark 
peelers of wood and antler were used. In the case of black pine trees, 
after the cut had been made, the bark could generally be peeled by 
hand. In this tree the cambium layer adheres to the trunk, and the 
scrapers were pressed downward along the latter, removing the 
cambium in narrow ribbons, which, if not eaten at once, were col- 
lected, along with as much sap as possible, in large spoons or in small 
bark cups or baskets. In the yellow pine the process is different, as 
the bark is much thicker and stiffer, and the cambium layer adheres 
to the bark, from which, after stripping, it is separated or cut and 
pried off with a knife-like bone instrument. 

Preservation of Vegetal Foods, Cooking, Dishes. — The 
manner of preparing berries and roots for winter use was much the 
same as among the Thompson.'*^ Some roots were strung on strings 
and dried. Others were dried by being spread out, and hung up in 
sacks of rather open weave. Several kinds of roots were cooked in 
earth ovens or pits, after the manner of the Thompson and Nez 
Perce. "^ The pits were circular, and their width and depth depended 
on the land and quantity of roots to be cooked. 

Mo'smEn roots (p. 89, No. 9) were cooked as follows. Hot rocks 
were placed in the bottom of the pit and a layer of mud or wet clay 
spread over the top. The roots were put on top of the mud and 
covered thickly with grass. The whole was then covered with earth. 
An upright stick was left in the middle, the lower end being inserted 
between the rocks at the bottom of the pit, while the upper end 
protruded above the earth covering. This stick was pulled out, and 
water poured down the hole to the hot rocks. The hole was then 
plugged, and the roots allowed to steam until cooked. 

Black moss {Aledoria), camas, onions, and some other kinds of 
roots were cooked in the same kind of pit, but without steaming. 
Hot stones were put in the bottom of the pit, then a layer of grass, 
the roots, grass again, a layer of bark, and over all, earth. A fire 
was built on top, and kept going sometimes for two days. Some 
roots — such as Claytonia, la'c/amx^, and Fritillaria — were simply 
boiled. Camas and pi'vjia roots (p. 89, No. 3) were sometimes simply 
boiled; but as a rule both lands, after cooking, were crushed and made 
into cakes, which were dried. Pi'wia was kneaded into flat cakes 

i<5 See Kamloops, h, p. 411, fig. 3.39. 

i« See Shuswap, e, fig. 235 c; Thompson, p. 233, fig. 214; Chilcotin, e, fig. 275. 

•" a, pp. 235-237. 

1" a, pp. 236, 237; h, pp. 201, 202. 



about an inch thick and of two sizes — a large size, from 1 to 2 feet in 
length; and a small one, of about the size of the hand. Camas was 
mashed and kneaded into cakes of various sizes, most of them large. 
Alectoria, and sometimes also camas, was cooked in pits until it became 
a paste, which, when cooled, was cut into bricks or cakes of various 
sizes. As among the Thompson, bone loiives were used for cutting 
these cakes. Long ago Alectoria was generally cooked by itself; 
but in later times it became the custom almost invariably to cook and 
cake it with w^ild onions. As stated already, pi'wia roots were first 
cleaned in bags, being beaten with sticks or struck against a flat rock 
(p. 49). Large cakes of camas, etc., were dried on frames made of 
slats or split pieces of wood, similar to those used b}^ the Thompson 
for drying cakes of berries on.^*^ The slats were woven together with 
bark, or occasionally with thongs, or other kinds of string. Hazelnuts 
and nutlets of the yellow pine were usually eaten raw. Nutlets of 
Pinus albicaulis were cooked in hot ashes. Soups or thick gruels 
were made by boiling root cakes or dried roots, either of a single 
Idnd or of two or more lands together. Service berries were generally 
spread on mats (often tent mats were used for the purpose) and dried 
in the sun. When cured, they were stored in bags. Often the fresh 
berries were mashed in baskets with wooden pestles like those of the 
Thompson,^'"' and made into cakes, which were dried on layers of 
grass spread on frames elevated on scaffolds of poles. Fresh berries of 
Crataegus were boiled in baskets and spread on thick layers of grass. 
A thin layer of berries was spread first, and then juice poured over it. 
When partially dry, the process was continued until the desired 
thickness of cake was obtained or the contents of the basket used up. 
Sometimes Crataegus and chokecherries were mashed with pestles in 
mortars or on large flat stones, made into cakes, and dried, in the same 
manner as service berries. Often stone pestles and stone mauls were 
used instead of wooden ones, because of the large hard stones in these 
berries. It seems a number of forms were used.^^' Hand hammers 
were also used. Berry cakes and berries were also spread on small 
mats woven of the large leaves of a plant called Vwa'sVwES, which 
grows near lakes. Chokecherries, huckleberries, bearberries, and 
sometimes raspberries and currants, were simply dried without other 
treatment. Service berries and hucldeberries were sometimes -boiled, 
and then eaten; or, like fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, 
chokecherries, they were sometimes mashed and eaten without boiling. 
AU Idnds of berries were also eaten fresh as gathered. At the present 
day sugar is added to some of them, especially to fresh mashed berries. 
Thick soups were made of dried berries and roots boiled together. 

>« a, fig. 215. 

150 LiUooet, fc, fig. 64a. 

^1 Compare Blackfoot, c, fig. 1. 


Preservation of Animal Foods, Cooking. — Meat and fish, when 
fresh, were roasted on spits or sticks in front of the fire. If the meat 
was fat, hark dislies were placed underneath to catch the drippings. 
Fresh meat and lish were also often boiled, and the brew drunk. 
After the meat had been removed, roots might be put m the brew 
and boiled, making a soup. Dried meat and fish were generally 
boiled, but sometimes were roasted before the fire, or eaten raw. 
ISIeat intended for wiiiter use or to be carried a long way was invari- 
abl,y dried either by the fire or in the sun, or both, assisted by wind 
and smolvC. If to be dried quickly, it was cut into thm slices which 
were spread on a low framework somewhat similar to that of a large 
sweat house. A fire was built underneath, and the meat turned as 
reqnu-cd. If there was no particular hurry, strips of meat were 
spread on a large scaffold of poles about 2 meters above the ground 
like those used by the Thompson and other tribes, ^'°'- and there allowed 
to dry in the sun and wind. If rain threatened, the meat was covered 
over w ilh mats. At most times, and particularh* in cloudy weather, 
fires were built underneath. If flies were troublesome, the fires were 
made smoky. Oriotl meat was frequently made into pemmican by 
being pounded with pestles, mauls, and stone hammers in mortars, on 
flat stones, and on rawhides — usualty on a flat stone with a maul. A 
large mat or skin was spread on the ground, and the flat stone placed 
in the middle. The jerked meat was stored in sacks, and was gen- 
erally eaten without further preparation. Sometimes it was made 
into proper penuuican by nuxing it with hot grease (fat or marrow) 
and kneading it into balls or cakes. Bones were crushed on flat 
stones with h;uul hanuuers and mauls in order to extract the marrow. 
Sacks containing penimican were often sealed if intended to be kept 
for a long tinu\ Tree gum was sometimes used for this piu'pose. 
No berries weie used in pemmican, as they were thought to make 
the meat too sweet. Nearly all the bags used for storing and carrying 
meat and fat were made of rawhide. Ordinary dried meat was 
sometimes wrapped in mats. Fat and marrow were often stored in 
bark vessels. Long ago meat was occasionally cooked in pits or 
ovens like those used for cooking roots. Hunting parties of men 
having no baskets or kettles roasted meat almost entirely on spits. 
Occasionally they boiled meat in kettles made of paunches or of skins 
which the3" did not intend to save. Blood soup was often made, 
especially by hunters. The principal meats cured were those of deer, 
elk, and buffalo. Horse flesh was not much used and dog flesh was 
never eaten. 

Fish were split, cleaned, and himg on poles to dry in the sun and 
wind. If the weather were cloudy or rainy, the drying process was 
hastened by fire and smoke. Cooked salmon flesh was sometimes 

»« See Blackfoot, c, fig. 2. 



])()un(l<Ml up, siilnion oil was added, and the whole thoroughly kneaded. 
This kind of penunican was stored in salmon-skin bags, whicli were 
sealed with gum or 'glue. Salmon oil was put up in small salmon- 
skin bags or bottles, which were sealed in the same way. 

Seasons. — The Coeur d'Alene recogni/e five seasons — spring 
(se'tqaps), summer (yalstJc), early fall or autumn (stsaq), late fall 
(stc'e'Kd), winter {sitsitlc"') . 

Months and seasonal employments. — The moons are called by names 
up to 10, the rest of the year being called by the seasonal name of 
"fall." The moons are also called by numbers, the first month 
beginning, it seems, in the late fall (October or November). Proba- 
bly all the members of the tribe did not agree on what constituted 
the beginning of the year or the first month. I obtained the following 
ancient names of months, with their characteristics; and the principal 
occupations of the people in each. 

1. stce'pA ("real late fall month"). Begins in October or No- 
vember, according to the moon; approximately November month. 
Warm weather is finished. People go hunting and also fix theu' 
houses or camps for the winter. 

2. sme'fiun ("snow month"). Most snow falls in this month. 
Most people are away on lengthy hunting and trapping trips. 

3. sqwa'sus, may mean "scorched" or "contracted," because the 
cold seems to scorch people. It is always cold this month. Most 
people remain at home in their lodges. 

4. t'eqwe'panEX (February and March — meaning uncertain). There 
is generally a good deal of cold this month also, and most people 
remain at home. 

5. stcEvd"rEmEn, named from a yellow fiower (probably Ranunculus 
sp.) which blooms at this time of year. Some people trap fish for 
the first time. 

6. se'tqaps ("spring month"). Many warm winds blow in this 
month, and all the people begin to gather food. 

7. sloq'wa'iyol ("bark loose [on trees] ") or .shwaxJcvjaxhellcwa (?) 
(name of a flower which grows in the water at this season). About 
May. Some kinds of roots are dug. 

8. 7/a?^st ("summer month"). People dig camas. 

9. SEla'mp (meaning uncertain). Berries ripen. People are 
chiefly engaged in berrying and fishing. 

10. stsa"ag^ ("early fall month"). It really means "red" or 
"aglow," and is so named because vegetation dries up and changes 
color, putting on red and other bright hues. People fish for salmon. 
The last of the camas and berry crops are gathered in. Toward the 
end of the month salmon turn red and are poor. Horses are very 
fat, and the buffalo hunters start for the plains. 


The rest of the year is called by the seasonal name of "late fall." 
Most people were away traveling and hunting on lengthy trips, 
getting meat and sldns. 

Game and Hunting. — The animals hunted for meat and sldns 
were chiefly deer, elk, and buffalo. Of less miportance were moose, 
goat, sheep, antelope, bear, beaver. Marmot, ground squirrel, otter, 
muskrat, coyote, wolf, fox, and other small game were hunted and 
snared chiefly for their pelts. Birds (such as grouse, ducks, geese) 
were sought for food; and eagles, hawks, and woodpeckers for their 
feathers. In olden times elk were very abundant. Moose always 
inhabited the Coeur d'Alene country, but were nowhere very plentiful. 
Goats were fairly numerous. Sheep did not occur, but parties 
hunting beyond the tribal boundaries in the country of the Flathead 
and on the confines of the Nez Perce got a few. They were also 
obtained in the Rocky Mountains and in some parts of the buffalo 
country farther east. - Caribou were sometimes seen and killed by 
parties who occasionally hunted beyond their tribal boundaries to the 
north. There were none of these animals in the Coeur d'Alene 
territory. Antelopes were very abundant until about 1820 in the 
Spokan country, especially on Spokane Prairie; but they inhabited 
only a small fringe of the Coeur d'Alene country on the west, espe- 
cially around Hangmans Creek, which was their eastern limit. The 
last of them were killed off in this section about 1820; but they 
continued plentiful farther west, in the countries of the Spokan and 
Columbia, until much later. At one time buffalo were plentiful in 
the Flathead country west of the Rockies, right up to the eastern 
flanks of the Bitterroot Range, and many buffalo skulls could be seen 
there. Only two buffaloes were ever known to be in the Coeur 
d'Alene country. These were killed by Indians on a hill near Tekoa 
(eastern Washington) about 1815. Buffalo were sometimes hunted 
before the introduction of the horse by small parties related by blood 
or marriage to the Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead, or led by men 
related to these tribes. They hunted in the Pend d'Oreilles and 
Flathead country with their friends, and were generally absent about 
nine months. 

According to tradition, deer did not inhabit the Coeur d'Alene 
country at one time long ago, and many people did not know much 
about them. The first deer seen was swimming a lake. A man 
chased it in a canoe, and shot it with an arrow as it landed. Many 
people came to see and examine the strange animal, and they wondered 
at its small fine nose and its slender, neat legs. They thought the 
animal was very pretty, but did not know what it was. They sent for 
the oldest person in the tribe. This was a very aged woman, who was 
completely blind and able to walk only by the aid of canes. They 
asked her the name of the animal. She felt it over with her hands. 



After feeling its nose and legs, she said, "This is ts'Eo'lEX'^,'^ and is 
very good to eat." This name was therefore applied to deer at first. 
After a time deer became very plentiful and the common name 
ts'i't was applied to them. 

Bear, beaver, and many other animals have always been fairly 
abundant. At a time, before 1800, when the Coeur d'Alene were 
well supplied with horses, and the Blackfeet were often attacking the 
Flathead, the latter extended invitations to the Coeur d'Alene and 
other western tribes, and welcomed them to hunt buffalo in their 
territory. Then well-equipped and well-mounted parties of Coeur 
d'Alene went hunting on the plains, where they joined forces with the 
Flathead and western tribes. Greater numbers went annually, until 
at last nearly the entrre tribe took part in these excursions. Women 
and children went along with their husbands and other relatives. 
Only the oldest people and a few others remained at home. The par- 
ties left in August, after the harvesting of the principal root and berry 
crops, and after the salmon had been put up. Most of them went by 
a short trail over the Bitterroots, by Old Mission, returning m April 
by Kalispel River where the snow goes off early in the spring, and grass 
for horses is abundant. The Coeur d'Alene claim that they began 
going to the plains buffalo hunting some time before the Nez Perce 
and that long ago the Nez Perc6 hardly ever went east of even the 
Bitterroot Range, although buffalo were close to the range on the east 
side. Flathead and Shoshoni bands hunted in the country east of the 
Nez Perce. 

Weapons of the Chase — Bows. — Nearlj^ all bows were sinew 
backed, and onh' a few simple bows were used. Most bows were 
made of a wood called atse'tcEnalxw^ ("bowwood"). This has not 
been identified, but is said to be a reddish wood, similar to juniper, 
which grows along creeks in the mountains. It is not cedar. The 
Thompson Indians call yew (Taxus) "bowwood." Juniper was 
rarely used. A good many bows were made of mountain ram's-horn 
in a single piece. '°^ Only the largest horns were used for making 
bows. They were split lengthwise and a central piece taken out 
the full length. The horn was made pliable by boiling it or heating- 
it over the fire. Usually the outside of the horn formed the inside 
of the bow. Most of the sinew used on bows was from the legs of 
deer. The sinews were cut off as long as possible and dried. When 
to be used ihej were thoroughly crushed with stone hammers and 
maids until they were cjuite pliable and torn into skfeds. They were 
then glued the entire length of the back of the bow with a glue made 
from salmon skins. After the first layer of sinew was glued on, the 
bow was wound with pa'tden bark (probably bird-cherry [Prunus 
emarginata]; compare Thompson paMa'n) and hung up to dtry and 

"^A Kalispel term. 'Atse'tcsn the heartwood of fir. — G. R. 
'53 See Nez Perce, h, pp. 211, 212. 


set. In a few hours it was taken down and another layer glued on. 
It was thus treated until the sinew backing was considered sufficient — 
from about 5 to 10 millimeters m thiclvness. From 20 to 30 leg 
sinews of deer were required for the best bows. Each layer of sinew 
as put on was cut partly through with a Icnife. The cuts were made 
about 5 centimeters apart and at right angles to the length of the 
bow stave. Care was taken not to mal^ the cuts in one layer at the 
same place as those made in the preceding layers. When dry, the 
bow was painted all over, most frequently with red ochre. If more 
than one color was used the colors were arranged m masses. Very 
few designs, either geometric or realistic, were appUed. The middle 
of the bow, or hand grip, was generally wrapped with pa'tclen bark,^^* 
otter skin, or other hide. Occasionally the hand grip and some other 
parts of bows were ornamented with quillwork. No snake skin was 
used as coverings for bows, as among many tribes, as there were no 
large snakes in the Coeur d'Alene country. Many sinew-backed 
bows were wrapped all over with strips of pa'tclEn bark ^^® to prevent 
their getting wet, as much rain or wet relaxed or loosened the sinew 

Bowstrings were twisted from the shredded sinews of deer's legs 
(back sinews of anunals were used almost exclusively for making 
sewing-thread ^^^). Great care was taken in stretching the bow- 
string; for, if this were not done properly, the string was of little 
value. The common method of stretching was by tying it between 
two trees or stakes and attaching to it weights of stone. Bowstrings 
were not glued, waterproofed, or painted. 

To make some of the best bows took nearly two weeks. This 
included the work on the wood or horn, the work on the bowstring, 
and a little ornamentation. 

Boys' bows were simply of wood, or rarely of a slip of ram's-horn. 
They were not so powerful as those of the men. Only a few of the 
wooden ones had a little sinew bacldng. The horn ones generally 
had no backing. Men's horn bows always had sinew backing, like 
the wooden ones, but not as much. Most boys' bows were neatly 
wrapped wdth strips of pa'tden bark arranged very closely,'^'' and 
glued with tamarack {Larix occidentalis) gum. Coeur d'Alene wooden 
bows were all of the flat, mde kind,^^^ the width averaging that of a 
man's hand spread flat (without the thumb), or about 10 centimeters. 
They were about a meter long, or a httle more. Horn bows were 
narrower and shorter, averaging less than one meter. A few bows, 
especially those used by boys, were about 70 centimeters long. No 
bow points were used. Bows were held nearly horizontal when in 
action, and the release seems to have been primary. 

15* See Thompson, a, iSg. 216; Shuswap, '^e gee p. 19. 

e, fig. 236. »" Thompson, a, figs. 217, 219. 

155 Thompson, a, figs. 217, 219. 



A very few men used double-curved bows procured from the Spokan, 
but they were not preferred. Wrist guards were seldom used, ex- 
cept with the double-curved bow. In shooting the flat bow they 
were not required. The Coeur d'Alene claim that the Flathead, 
Pend d'Oreilles, and Kalispel used the double-curved bow entirely. 
By far the greater number of the Spokan also used this type of bow. 
A few Spokan, perhaps 1 in every 10, used a different kind of bow, 
which was also employed to some extent by tribes west and north of 
them. This bow was of ordinary length, thick and rounded in the 
middle, and small, narrow, and rather flat at the ends. All the 
Flathead tribes covered the backs of their bows \\-ith sinew and 
snake skin. 

Two shapes of bows were used by the Xez Perce long ago — one 
kind was flat like that of the Coeur d'Alene, but only about half the 
width (2 finger widths) ; the other was thick in the middle and smaU 
and thin at the ends, like that used by some Spokan. All the best 
bows of the Nez Perce were also sinew-backed and covered with 
snake skin. After they had begun going to the plains many of the 
Nez Perce adopted the double-curve bow. The tribes on the plains 
immediately east of the Flathead used double-curved bows altogether. 

Arrows. — Arrows were rather long and slender, of about the same 
length as the longest of those used by the Thompson, which were 
nearly 1 meter long. Service wood {AmelancMer) was the principal 
wood employed in making them. Wood of a white-flowered tree 
like dogwood (probably a species of dogwood) was used occasionally. 
Another wood used more frequently than the latter was mitsemiise'elp 
{Spiraea sp.? Compare Thompson niEtmEtstrelp, Spiraea discolor 
Punk.), the largest sticks of which were spht. Rosewood was not 
used, and it is doubtful if Syringa was used, either. Arrow shafts 
were straightened by the hand or the teeth, after being shghtly 
heated. They were also straightened and smoothed with arrow 
smoothers of stone. ^^^ Men's arrows were usually feathered %\ith 
three tail feathers of a hawk, put on flat. Boys generally used tail 
feathers of grouse, three or two, attached either flat or t"\visted. 
Sometimes they used a single feather t^\■isted around spirally. All 
feathers were attached with fine sinew. Long ago many arrow 
shafts were ornamented with notches and incised designs. Rows of 
short or long notches were made, also incised lines paraUel to the 
shaft, incised spirals or zigzags. It seems that these lines and notches 
were partly for ornament, and partly for facihtating the bleeding of 
wounded game. Many diffei'ent styles of painting arrows were in 
vogue, and many colors of paint were used. The two most common 
styles were a red band about 5 cm. wide around the nock, and a 

»58 See p. 42; Lytton, g, figs. 57, 58; Xez Perec, b, pi. 7, Xos. 32, 34. 


similar band immediately below the feathering; and the feathered 
part of the shaft painted red. 

Arrowheads varied a good deal in size, but most of them were quite 
small. Almost all the shapes figured by Spinden for the Nez Perce ^^^ 
were in use. Heads were placed on the shaft parallel with or at right 
angles to the nock, according as they were intended for use against 
game or people. Arrows with detachable foreshafts ^'^'^ were used, 
especially in war. Small game was hunted with headless arrows 
with sharp points. Birds, especially the smaller kinds, were shot 
with a three-pointed arrow, lilve those used by the Thompson."'^ 
A blunt-headed arrow, something like those of the Shuswap and 
Chilcotin,^''^ was used only in some boys' games. For shooting fish 
a plain arrow with sharp point was used. Some of these were shorter 
than ordinary arrows and unfeathered. No crosspieces were used 
on the ends, as among the Thompson, ^''^ for shooting at the heads of 
fish. No arrows with harpoon or detachable points '*'* were ever 
employed, as far as remembered. Wooden arrows, with the points 
of the shafts barbed or notched, were in use, as among the Thomp- 
son. ^''^ A special arrow was much used for hunting ducks and water- 
fowl on lakes. It was made of cedar wood and tipped with a splinter 
from an elk's leg, about 12 cm. long, securely set in the shaft with 
pitch. It was winged with goose-tail feathers attached with wrap- 
pings of pa'tden bark. When shot, it bobbed up, floating in the 
water perpendicularly, and was easily seen and recovered. Most 
of the stone for arrowheads was obtained near tcatkolet and certain 
other places in the Coeur d'Alene country. Some, however, was 
obtained from mountains to the southwest, near the confines of the 
Nez Perce. In later days iron was often used for making arrowheads. 
Some of these were notched at the sides. Very few bone points 
were used. 

I did not learn whether any beaver spears were used long ago. 

Quivers. — Quivers were made of entire skins of otter, fisher, 
cougar, coyote, wolf, deer, and occasionally other animals. The first 
three were most used. No quivers woven of bark were in use,'*^® 
and none of leather and rawhide. No caps or covers were used on 
quivers. '^'^ No double or divided quivers, like those of some eastern 

159 h, PI. 7, Nos. 3-22. 

"0 See Thompson, a, fig. 222 h; Field Mus. 111735. 
1" Field Mus. 111731; Peabody Mus. 441. 
162 Chilcotin, e, fig. 276 d. 
i«3 Field Mus. 111732; Peabody Mus. 440. 

iM Thompson, a, fig. 222 g; Chilcotin, e, fig. 276 a; Field Mus. 111730; Pea- 
body Mus. 442. 

165 See Thompson, a, fig. 222/; Chilcotin, e, fig. 276 c; Field Mus. 111729. 
"6 See Thompson, a, fig. 224. 
>6' See Thompson, a, fig. 225. 



tribes, were used long ago. In later days some of these were found, 
but they may have been procured in trade from the Crow, who made 
very fine quivers of cougar and otter skin with two compartments, 
one for the bow and the other for arrows. Many Coeur d'Alene 
quivers had a pocket or narrow compartment for holding the fire 
drill, as among the Thompson. 

Guns. — The Coeur d'Alene were one of the last tribes to obtain 
firearms. They were practically without guns until after the traders 
came to their country, and were not well supplied until about 1830. 
Even as late as 1850 to 1860 most of them, or at least many of them, 
had only bows and arrows. They claim that all the surrounding 
tribes were using guns before they did. The first guns came from 
the north and east; the Flathead, Pend d'Oreilles, Kalispel, Colville, 
and Okanagon obtained their first guns at about the same time. 
Perhaps the Flathead had guns before any of the other Salishan 
tribes; but the Blackfoot and other tribes north and east had guns 
before the Flathead. Of all the tribes known to the Coeur d'Alene, 
the Chippewa had the first guns, and this at a date long before the 
Blackfoot or any western tribes. After the introduction of guns, 
shot pouches, cap holders, and powderhorns came into vogue. The 
last named were always made of buffalo horn. No wooden ones were 
made or used. 

Methods of Hunting and Trapping. — Deer were run to bay or 
to water with dogs in the same manner as among the Thompson. 
As deer, when closely pursued, run to regular crossing places of lakes 
and rivers, men waited on shore at these places in ambush or on the 
water in canoes. Crossing places were also watched by men in canoes 
in the seasons of rutting and migrating, even when the deer were not 
driven. When a deer took to the water, it was chased and shot wdth 
arrows, or overtaken and speared. Some men preferred to use a 
moderately long stick with a crooked end, or with a hook at the end, 
by which they caught the bucks by the antlers and other deer by 
the neck, and pulled their heads under water. When people who 
were fishing and unprovided with weapons unexpectedly sighted a 
deer swimming, they gave chase, and clubbed it on the head, or 
caught it by the antlers and thrust its head under water until it 
was drowned. Elk, moose, and bear when caught smmming were 
despatched in the same way as deer. 

Moonlight hunting was engaged in during warm weather in the 
same way as among the Thompson. Men sat behind small screens 
of brush near salt licks, and behind screens x)r in trees near springs 
and watering places, where thirsty animals came at night to drink and 
eat water grass. The methods of still hunting, hunting in company, 
and driving, in vogue among the Thompson,"^ were in common use. 

>68 a, p. 246. 



A method of driving practiced by large parties in suitable parts of 
the country in the early spring was as follows. The first night in 
camp, before hunting, each person in the party gave the hunting 
chief a piece of buffalo or other animal's skin with the hair on. 
These pieces were about 15 cm. square. The party busied them- 
selves making sticks with sharp points, one for each piece of skin. 
In the morning the chief directed the men where to go (say, to a place 
about 6 miles to leeward of where he was to go himself). On reaching 
the place, they spread out in a line about 100 meters apart and facing 
the wind. At a given signal they advanced slowly in line, shouting 
from time to time or barking like dogs. Meanwhile the chief, who 
had to go a shorter distance, scorched the pieces of skin in the fire, 
and put them together in a sack. He carried these pieces of skin 
and the sticks to a selected place not far from camp, about 5 miles to 
windward of where the hunters had started. Here he set out the 
sticks with a piece of scorched skin on the end of each in a line 
parallel to the line of hunters. He now went to some eminence near 
the line of sticks and toward the hunters to watch for the deer. 
As the drivers approached, the startled deer ran toward the line 
of sticks ; but when they get near enough to smell the scorched skins, 
they hurried back again, and bunched together beyond the scent of 
the skins. When the drivers arrived below the chief, but still out of 
sight of the deer, the chief called to the nearest to stop advancing, 
as the deer were now stationary and close by. The signal was 
passed along the line; and each man lay down, concealing himself as 
well as possible. The chief now descended, and, advancing directly 
down wind from the sticks, ran toward the deer, shouting and throw- 
ing up his hands. The deer scattered and ran toward the line of 
hunters, who now shot them as they advanced or passed. According 
to circumstances, when the final signal was given, the hunters some- 
times came closer to each other and nearer the deer, before concealing 
themselves, and sometimes they formed a semicircle around the deer. 
Whatever deer were killed were now skinned and cut up by all hands ; 
and the meat that could not be carried to camp immediately by the 
hunters was piled up and covered with snow. Generally the following 
day the women carried this meat to camp. 

"Ringing" deer by a body of hunters advancing toward the center 
of a circle was not in vogue. Possibly the country was in most 
places unsuitable for this method. However, a method somewhat 
similar was employed in places where a long mountain ridge ter- 
minated abruptly in a lake, forming a steep bluff above the water. 
One side of the ridge was chosen for the hunt, which began on the 
ridge, from 4 to 7 miles from the lake. From this point the drivers 
started in extended line, one above another, on the side of the ridge, 
their objective being the bluff. They walked with the wind. Other 



men were stationed along the top of the ridge, some distance back 
from the bhiff, and others in the same way at the bottom. A runway 
or passage was left for the deer to reach the lake along the base of the 
blufi". Canoes were concealed behind the bluff. When the deer 
found that they were entrapped, they ran into the lake, where the 
canoes attacked them, the women paddling, and the men shooting. 
All deer entering the water were soon overtaken and killed. Those 
that tried to pass back on the drivers, or through the men stationed 
at the sides above and below, were also as a rule killed. Any that 
returned from the water when the attack by the canoes commenced 
were met by the men stationed near the foot of the bluff, who ad- 
vanced to the water edge when they saw that the deer had taken 
td the water. 

After the introduction of horses, game — even antelope — was some- 
times run down on open ground, but this kind of hunting was not 
always successful. Buffalo were hunted by parties of mounted 
men advancing on them in a line, usually not far apart, and often 
quite close together At a signal given by the hunting chief, the 
hunters dashed at full speed at the herd of buffalo, stampeding them. 
They shot and speared the animals in the rear and sides of the herd. 
The pursuit and slaughter continued until the party considered that 
they had sufficient meat and skins. Occasionally, in the excitement, 
more were Idlled than the party required, and only the choicest meat, 
fat, and skins were taken. Buffalo were also stampeded over cliffs 
above coulees, and sometimes killed in large numbers by the fall. 
It is said, however, that this method of driving over cliffs was not 
used by the Coeur d'Alene in their own country when hunting elk 
or other kinds of game. Possibly the timbered nature of the country 
and the contour of the hills did not favor its employment there. 

Decoy dresses made of the heads and sldns of animals were used by 
some men in still hunting to approach the game before shooting. 
Headbands and caps set with horns, ears, or side feathers were also 
used. Antelope were frequently approached in this way. 

Deer and elk were called both by direct imitation and with calls 
made of wood. 

Animals, such as deer, were cut up in the same way as among the 
Thompson '^^ and their sldns were also often used as temporary bags 
for carrying meat to camp. It seems, however, that the long stick 
that was put inside the bag for stretching it was not used by the 
Coeur d'Alene. (Fig. 11.) 

Spring pole snares for catching the feet of deer, like those common 
among the Thompson, '^° were not used, but deer fences were erected 
and snares set in the openings. These consisted of ordinary running 
nooses of Indian-hemp rope. The end of this rope was fastened to a 

i«9 a, p. 248. '"» a, fig. 228. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

tree or log or to a stick erected for the purpose, and the noose spread 
in the opening with strings of hght, fragUe bark fastened above and 
at the sides to poles or trees. The deer put its head through the noose, 
and in moving farther away snapped the supports, drew the noose 
tight around its neck, and choked. Snares of this description were 
also used for capturing elk and bear. They were often set on animals' 
trails. Nets, pitfalls, and corrals of brush or poles for catching deer 
and other game were not used. Deadfalls were used for catching bear 

c d 

Figure U. — Sketches illustrating the use of a hide for a bag in which meat is carried 

and several other lands of animals. Spring-pole snares were used for 
catching rabbits. Prairie chicken, grouse, and rabbits were caught with 
ordinary noose snares of twine set on their trails or among bushes. 
Sometimes a small brush house was made, and the snare set at the 
opening; or short wings of brush were erected leading to bird snares. 
The red-headed duck and some other kinds of duck were caught with 
lines and hooks baited with small fish. Large eagles were caught by 
men concealed in a pit screened with brush. When the eagle started 
to eat the bait the man seized it by the feet."'' Young eagles were 

1" Shuswap, e, p. 523; Nez Perc6, 6, p. 215. 


taken from their nests and reared for their feathers. Very httle is 
remembered now of the old methods of trapping before the introduc- 
tion of white man's traps and the taking up of buffalo hunting. Since 
the days when the tribe began to go regularly to the plains ver^y little 
trapping has been done. Few capable men remained at home during 
winter, the trapping season, most of them being absent on the buffalo . 
hunt. Trapping and snaring of game thus fell into disuse, and has 
been httle prosecuted since 1800. 

Fishing — Hooks. — Fish were hooked, gaffed, speared, trapped, and 
netted. The methods of fisliing with hooks and lines appear to have 
been about the same as among the Thompson. ^''^ Lines were made of 
Indian hemp. Rods were of wood of any suitable bushes at hand. 
Fishline reels w^ere made of a single piece of wood, generally oblong or 
square in shape. Lines were also merely hanked and put into the 
fish bag. Fish bags were woven of rushes or other materials."'^ Some 
were of rawhide and others w^ere receptacles or baskets of bark. The 
most common hook was angular in shape, consisting of a wooden or 
bone shank and a barb of bone.'"^ This was the only kind used on 
lines set in lakes, and was also the land used for catching ducks. The 
other land was the "gorge" hook, consisting of two straight splinters 
of bone fastened together. ^''^ Stone sinkers were used on nets and lines 
set in lakes. Many sinkers were simply attached with a double 
hitch,"'® while others were notched, grooved, or bored."'' Floats, it 
seems, were made of tide. Those for lines were very small. Gaff 
hooks, with long wooden handles, were used for feeling salmon in the 
pools and hooldng them out in the dark. It is uncertain whether they 
were used before the advent of iron, as the hooks are remembered as 
always having been of this material. Some tribes may have used gaff 
hooks with heads set with barbs of bone or antler like the angular 
fishhook used on lines. 

Spears. — Two kinds of fish spears were in use. One was of 
the harpoon kind, mth single detachable point, "^ used for spearing 
salmon in shallow riffles and from the banks of rivers; and the other 
was three-pronged with solid head."^ The latter were of various sizes 
for spearing fish of different kinds from canoes or from the edge of ice. 
Spear points were made from leg bones of elk or deer. Harpoon 
spears with double prongs, like many used by the Thompson, ^^° 

'2 a, p. 253. 

'3 See Thompson, Peabod}^ Mus. 156-158. 

^^ See Thompson, a, fig. 234 b. 

" See Thompson, a, fig. 234 a; Nez Perce, b, fig. 5, no. 9. 

'"^ See Thompson, a, fig. 234 a. 

" See Thompson, Ottawa Mus. VI, M, 409. 

" See Nez Perce, b, fig. 5, No. 10; compare Lillooet, k, fig. 87. 

"9 See Thompson, a, fig. 232; Nez Perce, b, fig. 5, No. 11. 

8» a, fig. 231. 

41383°— 30 8 



[ETH. ANN. 45 

appear to have been unknown. Fisliing through holes cut in the ice 
was a common method used in winter. The fisher Lay flat on a woven 
mat, with a robe or blanket over his head; he held the line with a 
fish lure in liis left hand, and a three-pronged spear in his right, ready 
to strike. Fishing with bait and hook and line was also practiced 
through holes in the ice when the weather was not too cold. Large 
trout were speared on dark nights in the lakes from canoes by torch- 
light. As among the Thompson, the torches consisted of bundles of 
split pitchwood, and three-pronged spears were used. Eye shades of 
several lands were worn by the spearmen. (See p. 76.) 

Traps. — Fish traps were of several lands, but I did not obtain 
detailed information regarding them. The screen trap described by 

Spinden was in use.^^^ 
(Fig. 12.) A second 
kind of trap com- 
monly employed was 
used chiefly in creeks 
when they were in 
flood. It appears to 
have been the same 
as the cylindrical 
trap of the Thomp- 
son with "heart," 
and was called moo, 
which is also the 
Thompson name. A 
third land of trap, 
with a trapdoor 
composed of a row 
of slanting sticks, 
appears to have been the same as a common kind among the Thomp- 
son, Shuswap, and Nez Perce. ^^^ A fourth land, said to have been 
circular (possibly cylindrical), was used only for small fish. A 
fifth kind was used, it seems, only for salmon in large streams. It 
was large, and had high walls. The top was open excepting at the 
ends, which were covered over to prevent fish from jumping out. 
These traps were made of coarser materials than others; they were 

■'^ See Nez Perce, b, p. 211. I have seen screen traps used by the Shuswap 
and Chilcotin in small, rather rapid streams and have often seen fish lying on the 
screens. The screens were somewhat larger than the ones used by the Nez 
Perce. They were made of willow rods fastened together with bark and withes. 
They were oblong, slightly depressed in the center, and tilted up at the lower 
end away from the stream. I am under the impression that some of them had 
low brush walls to prevent the fish falling off the sides. Some had corrals under- 
neath to catch any small fish that worked through the screens. The whole 
creek was dammed and the water forced over the screens with great force. 

''2 See Shuswap, e, fig. 245 a, b; Nez Perce, b, p. 211. 

Figure 12.— Fish trap 



set in rocky places and fastened to stout logs, as a considerable volume 
of water flowed through them. Men walked into them and clubbed 
the salmon. It seems they were used only on Spokane River. Weirs 
were commonly employed in conjunction with traps, and there were 
also simple weirs for stopping fish, thus facilitating spearing. 

Nets. — Long nets were set in lakes, and ordinary bag nets were 
used for catching whitefish (Coregonus) and other fish from rocks and 
platforms on the banks of streams. Very large bag nets with long 
handles were used for catching a "sucker" which appears on the 
surface of lakes in calm, warm weather. The nets were dropped 
through the masses of fish from canoes. They were also scooped up 
with small bag nets into the canoes. ^^^ Bag nets were also set as 
traps, as among the Shuswap,'*' and the fish were driven into them. 
Bag nets were not used by the Coeur d'Alene for fishing salmon, nor 
were they used in salmon fishing by the Spokan; but it is said that 
the Nez Perce used bag nets a great deal in capturing salmon in the 
rivers. It seems that all salmon were trapped, speared, or gafi^ed by 
the Coeur d'Alene and also by most of the Spokan. It is said that 
the latter, in a few places on tributaries of the Spokane River, used 
large-mesh nets spread across the stream. These may, however, 
have been intended in large measure as weirs for stopping the fish 
rather than for catching them. The Coeur d'Alene had no salmon 
in their own country, but salmon came close to the borders of their 
territory along Spokane River. Some Coeur d'Alene bought what 
dried salmon they required from the Spokan; but large numbers of 
the tribe went to Spokane Falls and other parts of Spokane River 
where they fished salmon for themselves with the Spokan tribe. As 
the two tribes were usually friendly, this opportunity was generally 
available. It is said that no salmon could pass the falls, and there- 
fore there were no salmon in the Coeur d'Alene country. A long 
time ago (before the introduction of the horse, according to some 
also later) some of the Coeur d'Alene were in the habit of trap- 
ping salmon in the mountains to the southeast, on streams which 
were northern feeders of the Clearwater. This was near the confijies 
of the Nez Perce country. Long ago they also fished salmon at 
several points on the main Clearwater. ^^^ Although the Nez Perce 
claimed these places to be Avithin their territory, they never them- 
selves went there to fish. Long ago, some Coeur d'Alene also fished 
salmon on the Graywater, and beyond Smeda, up to the mountains 
as far as the salmon went. No landlocked salmon frequented any 
water in the Coeur d'Alene country; but trout of several Idnds, white- 
fish, and several other kinds of fish were abundant. It seems that 
sturgeon also occurred. 

'^2 See Shuswap, e, p. 526. 
18* e, fig. 242. 

185 My informant said "the main Snake River," but seemed to mean Clear- 
water River. 



Canoes. — All the canoes were of the sharp-snouted "sturgeon nose " 
type like those used by the Thompson, Shuswap, Lake, Kutenai, and 
some other tribes. All were made of cedar bark. No "dugouts" 
were used. In size, canoes varied from small ones, intended for the 
use of a single person, to large ones, capable of accommodating seven 
people and some cargo. The bark of trees intended for canoes was 
stripped when the sap was running, in May, June, and July, and 
almost all canoes were made during these months. Holes were made 
in the trees, and wedges driven in, on which a man climbed to a 
height sufficient for the length of bark required for the canoe. A cut 
encircling the tree was made at this place and another at the 
bottom. A long, vertical cut was then made down one side of the 
tree, connecting the two cuts, and the bark taken off in a single 
piece. For prying off the bark, peelers of antler and wood were 
used, as among other tribes.'^'' Split cedar root was used chiefly for 
sewing canoes. Paddles were made altogether of fir wood. Cedar 
was considered too light, and tamarack and pine too heavy. They 
were nearly all of one shape, with blades pointed at the ends, widest 
near the handle end.'^'' In some places, where canoes could not be 
made, tule rafts were used, and in other places where both bark and 
tules were scarce, pole rafts were employed. Tule rafts were pointed 
at both ends. They were made of lodge mats rolled in bundles; or 
tules were tied in long bundles which were tightly lashed together. 
A well-made raft resembled a canoe, and was almost as good as one. 
Canoe bailers were made of bark, and were like small baskets. 

Tump Lines. — Before the introduction of the horse, everything 
not transported by canoe was carried on people's backs with tump 
lines. Dogs were not used for carrying loads. Tump lines consisted 
of wide bands of hide that passed over head or chest, and lines of 
hide at the ends for attachment to the burden. The load was rolled 
in matting, put in mat bags, carrying bags woven of Indian-hemp 
twine, or hide bags. Baskets were also much used, especially in 
transportation of loose materials, and were employed mostly by the 

Snowshoes. — When snow was deep on the mountains, people used 
snowshoes for traveling and hunting. They were of types similar to 
those of the Thompson. Three shapes of frames were in use, and two 
or three forms of mesh, dift'ering more in arrangement of the strings 
than in the weaving. 

A common kind was exactly like the common kind used by the 
Thompson.^** Another shorter, rounder kind was less common. It 
had three head strings on each side, and was of the same weave as 

IS" See Shuswap, e, fig. 235, a, b. >88 a, fig. 239. 

18' See Field Mus. No. 111954. 



the first one. It was even rounder than a similar style used by the 
Thompson. ^^^ A tliird land, similar to a Thompson style/^° had four 
head strings on each side, and cross strings in groups of threes, or, more 
generally, fours. A few were made in groups of twos. Like the first, 
this was a common type. The manner of attaching the lacing or 
foot strings of snowshoes seems to have been similar to the common 
Thompson method. ^^° Fillings of snowshoes consisted of babiche or 
rawhide strings made chiefly from bear hide. Occasionally bufi'alo, 
elk, and deer hide were used. No cross sticks were employed on real 
snowshoes, and no frames with sharp or pointed "tails" or "heels." 
Most frames of snowshoes were made of an unidentified wood 
called sqwaxt (?), which grows in the mountains. A few were made of 
maple-wood vine (?). When parties were caught in heavy snow with- 
out snowshoes, and there was no ready means of making proper ones, 
temporary snowshoes were made of brush or saplings tied together at 
the ends, and kept stretched in the middle with cross sticks, which 
served also instead of filling. Most of these were nearly of the 
same shape as a kind of temporary snowshoe used by the Thompson. '^^ 
The sizes of snowshoes were the same as among the Thompson. 

Dogs. — The ancient dogs of the Coeur d'Alene are said to have 
been rather small. Face and ears resembled those of coyotes. Then- 
colors were dark or bluish gray, spotted, or mixed. They were used 
only for hunting, and, it is said, never for purposes of transportation, 
such as carrying burdens or hauling loads. No dog sleds of any kind 
were known. Dogs were never clipped, and their hair was never used 
for any purpose. Theu* flesh was never eaten; and their skins were 
seldom used, if at all. It is said that no regular halter ropes with 
toggles, lilve those of the Thompson,'"- were in use. Leashes for 
hunting dogs were made of rope. 

Horses. — Horses were introduced a long time ago, but were not 
plentiful or much used at first. Some think the tribe had plenty of 
horses, at least about 1760. They were procured in the beginning 
chiefly, if not altogether, from the Kalispel, Pend d'OreiJles, and 
Flathead. The very fu'st horse came from the Kalispel, and the 
following story is related regarding it : 

The first horse came to the Coeur d'Alene country at a place about 
3K miles northwest of De Smet. A large number of people were 
gathered there, digging camas. They saw a man approaching on 
horseback, and became greatly excited. The rider was a Kalispel 
Indian, who remained several days with the Coeur d'Alene. The 
people examined the horse closely, and wondered much at the strange 
animal. As the horse was gentle, many people tried to ride him; 
but when he trotted, they fell off, excepting one man. The Coeur 

'89 Thompson, a, fig. 242; Lillooet, k, fig. 91. '«' a, fig. 243. 

'9" a, fig. 241. "2 a, fig. 227. 


d'Alene obtained their very first horses from the Kalispel, and a httle 
later obtained a few from the Pend d'OreiUes, Flathead, and Spokan. 
A few of the Coeur d'Alene crossed the Bitterroot Mountains in days 
before they had horses, visiting the Pend d'Oreilles and hunting 
buffalo which were at one time quite plentiful in the Flathead and 
Pend d'Oreilles countries between the Rocky Mountains and the 
Bitterroot Range; but no Coeur d'Alene went on the plains east of 
the mountains until after they had horses. When they first went to 
the plains they had plenty of horses; and the neighboring tribes, the 
Spokan, Colville, Columbia, and Nez Perce, were also well supplied. 
They found at this time that the Shoshoni and Flathead had great 
numbers; but the Blackfoot and some other eastern tribes did not 
seem to have many. As an abundance of horses made traveliag and 
buffalo hvmting much easier, the tribes to the east who were not well 
supplied made frequent raids upon the Shoshoni and Flathead, trying 
to steal their horses. At this time the Crow had more horses than 
the Blackfoot and Gros Ventres, but not nearly as many as the Sho- 
shoni and Flathead. When not at war, the Coeur d'Alene and western 
tribes in early times always sold horses to the Plains tribes, but no 
horses were procured by western tribes from eastern tribes. It seems 
certain that in early times the Crow, Blackfoot, and all the near-by 
eastern tribes secured all their horses in trade and in war from the 
Shoshoni and Flathead, who had horses long before they did. Horses 
were considered the greatest wealth a person could have. The 
Plains tribes were still using dogs for packing and hauling when the 
Coeur d'Alene began to frequent the plains; but as they gradually 
became better supplied with horses, dogs were used less and less. 
In later days, when buffalo became scarce on the eastern plains, the 
tribes from that region, w^ho were by this time all well mounted, 
moved farther west into the better buffalo grounds, encroaching on 
the Shoshoni and Flathead. 

Horse Equipment. — Saddles and other equipment for horses must 
have come into use at the time of the introduction of the first horses. 
Certain articles of horse equipment are said to have been borrowed 
from the Pend d'Oreilles, and it seems Hkely that the rest came from 
the same source. Men's saddles were of two lands. One Idnd, per- 
haps the most common one, consisted of a pad of deer's hair inclosed 
in leather. It was made to fit the back of the horse, and the four 
corners of the saddle were generally ornamented with areas of solid 
beadwork or quillwork in two or three colors. '^^ The other Idnd of 
saddle was constructed somewhat like a packsaddle. The sides were 
of wood, and each pommel was made of a forked piece of deer's 
antler, which formed an arch slanting outward. The lower parts of 
the tines were fastened to the sidepieces with thongs, which passed 
through holes in the latter. Rawhide was shrunk over all.'^* 

"3 1, fig. 8. "^ I, figs. 4, 20. 



Women 's saddles had wooden sides and high straight pommels of 
antler or wood with wdde, flat ends. Rawhide was shrimk over all, 
and they were often further covered with leather, which was cut into 
fringes around the ends of the pommels. '^^ Sometimes, instead of 
cut fringes, a strip of dressed skin about 7 to 10 cm. vnde, often 
covered with solid beadwork on the outside, depended from each 
pommel, reaching almost to the horse's back.'^'^ The ends of these 
bands were often fringed. Many women's saddles had a spike of 
w^ood or antler which projected forward and upward from the middle 
of the front pommel. '^^ It was used, it seems, cliiefly for suspend- 
ing the baby carrier when traveling. Some saddles had short sldrts 
of leather which were beaded or fringed along the edges. Stirrup 
leathers consisted of wide straps of heavy bucksldns or elk skin, and 
stirrups were made of slats of wood bent into shape by heating when 
green. Generally buffalo or other skin was shrunk over them. 
(See I, fig. 12, p. 16.) Cruppers were used with many saddles. They 
consisted of wide pieces of skin fringed along the lower side, and 
beaded on the outside. '^^ Collars or "horse necklaces" of similar 
material and design were also used a good deal, especially by women. 
As a rule, they were fringed and embroidered, and many had pend- 
ants that hung on the horse's chest. Saddle blankets consisted of 
pieces of woven matting below and pieces of buffalo or other sldn in 
the hair on top. Some saddle blankets of leather, embroidered along 
the edges and having long corner ends, were also used."'^ Saddle 
covers of sldn, used over the saddle for sitting on, were common. 
Sometimes hght robes were used for tins purpose. 

Bridles consisted of ropes or braided or twisted horsehair or buft'alo 
hair attached to the low^er jaw. Many consisted merely of a strip 
of buffalo hide or other raw^hide. Cinches were made of w^oven 
horsehair or of rawiiide. Lariats, halter ropes, and stake ropes were 
made of horsehair, buffalo hair, or of leather braided or twisted; and 
others were merely long strips cut out of raw buffalo and other hide. 
Women used fringed hide bags ^°° attached, usually one on each side, 
to the fronts and sometimes also to the backs of saddles. Saddle- 
bags were fastened to the saddle behind. These crossed the back of 
the horse, and had a deep pocket on each side and very long fringes. ^°^ 
Things required during the day when travehng and odds and ends were 
carried in them. Qiurts were Hke those in use among the Flathead, 
Thompson and other tribes. They had handles of antler or wood, 
and lashes of raw-hide. ^°- Although the horse and dog travois were 

"5 1, fig. 17. "9 1, fig. 18. 

196 i, fig. 2. ^"0 See Thompson, a, fig. 151; Shuswap, e, fig. 220. 

""i, figs. 2, 17. 201 i^ fig. 19. 

"8 1, figs. 14, 15. ^"^ i^ figs. 23, 24. 


both well known to the Coeur d'Alene, who had seen them con- 
stantly during the many years they hunted on the plains, still they 
were never adopted. Carrying rather than hauling was the method 
of transportation preferred by the Coeur d'Alene as well as by other 
western tribes, because best adapted for travel through rough, 
mountainous country. 

Packsaddles were of wood, both sides and crosspieces. Antler was 
sometimes used for crosspieces; and poplar wood was principally 
used for the sides of both pack and riding saddles. Rawhide was 
shrunk over all.^°^ Large rawhide bags and parfleches were hung by 
loops over the crossbars of the packsaddle, one on each side, and 
goods were transported in them. Robes and sldns were often thrown 
flat on the top of these, and the whole load fastened down with raw- 
hide ropes. Sometimes bulky materials, such as tents and sldns, 
were folded and lashed together in bundles of equal weight, to be 
carried as side packs on horses. 

Horses were often decorated with tassels and bunches of dyed or 
painted horsehair, and tail feathers of eagles, hawks, and other birds. 
Sometimes pendent feathers were attached, one above another, along 
the outside of horses' tails. A feather pendant or a long streamer of 
dyed horsehair was often suspended from the lower jaw. Some men 
made war bonnets of eagle-tail feathers, which were strapped on the 
horses' heads. Horses were painted in various ways, and their 
manes and tails were plaited or clipped in different styles. Some 
men and women rubbed scent or perfume on them. 

Trade. — More or less trading was done by all parties visiting or 
being visited by neighboring bands or tribes. As most things which 
the Coeur d'Alene had were common to all the neighboring tribes, 
trading was generally merely an exchange of articles common to all, 
and depended on the needs and fancies of individuals. However, 
there were a few things which were abundant with some tribes and 
scarce or absent in the territories of others. Thus soapberries 
(Shepherdia) and hazelnuts, which did not grow in the country of 
the Coeur d'Alene, were obtained from the Spokan, who, in turn, 
got them from the Colville Indians, in whose country they were 
plentiful. Bitterroot also did not grow in the Coeur d'Alene country, 
and was procured from the Spokan, in whose country it grew abun- 
dantly. After the introduction of horses, many Coeur d'Alene made 
trips to the district around Cheney and Sprague, in Spokan territory, 
to dig it. The Spokan never raised any objections, as they had an 
abundance, and, besides, they were always friendly with the Coeur 
d'Alene. The Spokan also allowed them to come into their territory 
and put up supplies of salmon, as there were hardly any in the Coeur 
d'Alene country. Some of the Coeur d'Alene, however, preferred to 

2»3 Peabody Mus. No. 194. 


buy dried salmon from the Spokan. A little dried salmon was also 
occasionally obtained from the Paloos. 

Tobacco was imported, as none was native to the country, and it 
seems none was grown. It is not clear from which tribe they obtained 
it, but some think it was procured chiefly from the Spokan. After 
the arrival of the fur traders, tobacco was procured entirely from 
them. Dentalium, abalone, and some other shells used as beads 
were procured chiefly from the Spokan. A few were obtained from 
the Paloos, and possibly from the Nez Perce; but all these shells came 
originally from the tribes along Columbia River near The Dalles, 
who procured them from other tribes living on the coast or to the 
south. In later days fur traders sold dentalia and other shells. 
Fresh-water shells were used to some extent and were obtained at 
home. Flat, circular beads were bought chiefly from the Spokan, 
who procured them from the tribes along Columbia River. In later 
days these also were procured from the traders. They were in vogue 
a very long time ago. Polished tubular bone beads, for necklaces 
and breastplate ornaments, came into use in the beginning of the 
last century, and were procured, it seems, from the Flathead and the 
white traders. It is not known where copper and iron came from 
before the advent of the traders, but some think chiefly from The 
Dalles through the Spokan. 

Long ago a very few slaves were bought from the Spokan and 
Paloos. They were nearly all young boys and girls, and, according 
to tradition, were chiefly Snake and Ute. Occasionally young slaves 
of Umatilla and Paloos extraction were also bought from the Spokan. 
Sooner or later these were bought back by their relatives. Some- 
times the Paloos would come and buy them back directly, but oftener 
the Spokan who sold them would buy them back and sell them to 
their Paloos or Umatilla relatives who wanted them. The Snake 
and Ute slaves were never bought back, as their relatives Hved too 
far away. The Coeur d'Alene hardly ever bought and sold slaves 
among themselves; and very few of them cared to have any, even if 
they could afford to buy them. 

Before the advent of the horse, a good many buffalo robes were 
bought from the Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead. Some sheep's horns 
were also bought. Parties of Coeur d'Alene and Nez Perce alwaj^s 
did more or less trading when they met, but there was no trade in 
any special articles with the Nez Perce. 

It seems that in olden times the Coeur d'Alene did nearh- aU their 
trading with the Spokan, and comparatively httle with other tribes. 
After they began to go to the plains a trade sprang up in special 
articles with several of the Plains tribes. All parties going to the 
plains to hunt buffalo carried small quantities of western products to 
trade, for the Plains tribes were very fond of some of these, and were 


willing to pay rather high prices. Thus salmon oil put up in sealed 
salmon skins, salmon pemmican mixed with oil and put up in salmon 
skins, cakes of camas and other roots, cakes of certain kinds of berries, 
Indian hemp, and Indian-hemp twine were transported across the 
mountains. Some people say that a great deal of Indian hemp and 
Indian-hemp twine was sold to the Plains tribes, fairly large quantities 
of camas cakes, salmon pemmican, etc., and only small quantities of 
berry cakes. The Plains Indians also desired arrows and bows of 
horn and wood, which they considered better than their own; also 
shells, certain lands of beads, necldaces peculiar to the west, and 
greenstone pipes. They were also anxious to buy western horses; 
and most parties drove a considerable number of spare horses along, 
partly as remounts, but most of them for sale. Skins and clothes 
were also traded and interchanged. In exchange feather bonnets of 
the best kind and buffalo robes of the finest sort were obtained. 
The best bonnets and robes of the Plains tribes were considered better 
than those of their own. The feather bonnets most desired were of 
the Sioux style. Some of them were made by the Crow; but most of 
them, including all the best ones, were made by the Sioux themselves, 
and sold by them to the Crow. The buffalo robes desired were of 
the softest tan, and ornamented with a band of beadwork across the 
middle. The Crow robes were most highly valued. Often a horse 
and, in addition, a well-made leather shirt, was paid for one of the 
best kind of robes. Catlinite, and catlinite pipes, were also often 
bought from the Plains tribes. It is said that often when the Coeur 
d'Alene or other western tribes met Plains tribes, the chiefs of the 
two sides held a talk and declared a state of peace and trading for a 
certain number of days. No one on either side was to quarrel, fight, 
or steal horses; but all were to be friends for the allotted number of 
days, and all were to play games and trade as they felt inclined. 
Then the people of both sides intermingled freely and without sign 
of restraint or suspicion. Often, toward the end of the tune, dances 
of various kinds were held, large numbers taking part. The conduct 
of the people during these periods of truce was in great contrast to 
their attitude at other times, when each side was always ready to 
attack or repel an attack. Sometimes, after all had parted good 
friends, less than a day passed before one side made an attack on the 
other. The Blackfoot are said to have been the worst offenders. 
Often the very first night after the truce was over, and each party 
had gone its way, they woidd return and try to run off horses or kill 
stragglers around the camp. For this reason the western Indians, 
for several nights after parting company with their eastern friends, 
corraled their horses, mounted strong guards and were ready to repel 
any attempt at attack or horse stealing. 

The articlep traded for with the early fur traders were flint and 
steel, guns and ammunition, traps, iron, copper, knives, hatchets, 


glass beads, shells of certain kinds, red and blue cloth, and tobacco. 

Furs of beaver, otter, fox, marten, fisher, dressed buckskin, and other 

hides, and foods of certain kinds, were given by the Indians in 



Weapons. — ^Besides bows and arrows, already mentioned, for 
offensive purposes spears, lances, knives, daggers, and several kinds of 
clubs and tomahawks; for defense, .shields and armor were used. 
War spears were usually about 2 meters long, with a point of flaked 
stone either leaf or knife shaped, rather long and narrow. All were 
sharp pointed and double edged. After iron came into use, some of 
them were serrated near the base on both sides. In later days, when 
buffalo were chased on horseback, a longer spear with a narrow point 
was sometimes used for stabbing game. Handles of spears were of 
various kinds of wood, particularly an unidentified wood called 
SEleqa'Iff. Lances for throwing w-ere used both in war and in games. 
They were about 13^ meters in length and resembled large, heavy 
arrows. They were feathered like arrows and had stone and iron 
points. Those employed in games simph" had the ends sharpened. 
They went out of use as a weapon soon after the introduction of the 
horse and the beginning of buffalo hunting on the plains. War 
knives had blades like spear points. They were all of flaked stone, 
somewhat leaf-shaped, set in short wooden or antler handles. After 
iron came into use, all war knives were made of that material, and 
were double edged, like those of the Thompson.-''^ Some daggers 
were made of antler and bone. Xo double-ended daggers were used 
for fighting and for pushing in mouths of bears, as among the Okanagon 
and Thompson. 

War clubs were of at least seven kinds. One kind consisted of a 
roiind stone set in the end of a short wooden handle, and heavy raw- 
hide shrunk over all, which made the club rigid. -'^' U.sually the end of 
the handle was slightly grooved to fit the roundness of the stone, but 
occasionally instead the stone head had a shallow^ socket for the end 
of the handle to rest in. In rare cases it had two shallow grooves 
running at right angles for the attachment of thongs to bind it to the 
handle. In most clubs no thongs were used, the stiff rawhide being 
considered sufficient to hold the head firm. 

A second kind of club was like the first, but with a pliable head. 
The stone was inclosed in a small bag of skin, the lower end of which 
was attached to the handle, leaving the middle part as a pliable neck.^'^'' 

A third kind consisted of a spike of elk or deer antler set crosswise in 
the end of a short wooden handle. Some were double-ended ^^dth 

»* a, fig. 246. 

2«5 See Thompson, a, fig. 247. 

^ See Thompson, a, fig. 248; Xez Perce, b, p. 227, and fig. .5, Xo. 5. 


two spikes of equal length, while others had a shorter back spilve of 
antler, sometimes of flaked stone. -°" Some of these clubs had single 
or double ended heads of flaked stone. -'^^ Rawhide was shrunk over 
the ends of these clubs. In later da^'s ii'ou was substituted for antler 
and stone: but after the arrival of the traders, trade tomahawks of 
iron largely took their place. 

A fourth kind had a double-ended, somewhat oval stone head, set 
across the head of a short wooden handle. The stone generally had 
a shallow groove around the middle for the attachment of thongs to 
connect it tightly to the end of the handle. Hide was usually shrunk 
over the joining, or over the entire club excepting the tips of the head.-™^ 

A flfth type had a spike oi antler or a blade of arrowstone sunk 
and glued into the upper ciui of the face of a wooden handle. Some 
clubs had a groove up and down the handle in the upper half of the 
side opposite the striking head. In this groove was set a row of 
small splintei*s of arrowstone, like teeth in a saw. In later days a 
long, narrow blade of iron was used instead of the stone teeth, and 
an iron spike for the striking head.-'" 

A sixth form used was a one-piece club of elk antler, with a short 
tine, or piece of a tine, at one end sharpened to a point. It was 
probably like similar clubs used by the Thompson.-'' 

A seventh form was made of one piece of wood. It was somewhat 
paddle-shaped, but much thicker, in proportion, than the blade of a 
paddle. It was often ornamented with incised designs, and some 
were polished. It appeai-s to have been the same as a common wooden 
club among the Thompson.-'- Single-piece stone clubs, it would 
seem, were not nuule. but a few made by tribes along Columbia 
Kiver were obtained in trade. As far as known, no clubs of whale- 
bone were obtained in trade. 

It is claimed that all these kinds of clubs were in use before the 
advent of ihc horse; and tradition says that all are very ancient, 
excepting perhaps the fmirth kind, which, according to some, came 
into vogue about the time of the introduction of the hoi^se. Some 
claim that the lifth kind is older than the fourth, but tradition is 
not unite clear as to whether it is equally as ancient as the other 
kinds described. Clubs were ornamented with skin fringes, feathei"s, 
hair tassels, and painted designs. Iron tomahawks became common 
after the arrival of the tradei-s: also musket clubs and other clubs of 
supposedly white manufacture were obtained, as well as a few swords, 
machetes, and bayonets. When these trade weapons became common 
the use of most of the old-fashioned clubs was abandoned. 

Points of arrows and speai-s were not poisoned in any way. 

-*^" See Thompson specimen. Peabody Mus. 3S3. ="' See Peabody Mus.. Xo. 379. 
="* See Thompson, a. tig. 299. =>' a. fig. SI. 

^ See Nez PerciS, b, p. 227. ^'^ „, fig. 251. 



Armor. — Long ago several kinds of armor wci-e used. A sleeveless 
shirt or tunic ol" heavy elk hide, reaching hclow the hips, was in 
vogue. If possible, it was soaked in water before being used in 
battle. A short vest of wooden rods woven or fastened together 
with thongs or with Indian-henii) twine was in use. It reached from 
the shoulders to the hips, and had spaces for the arms.-'" The com- 
mon wood used was Spiraea sp. (?). The outside was generally 
covered with dressed skin, which was ornamented with feathers and 
painted designs.-'^ Some elk-skin tunics also had painted designs. 
Cuirasses made of slats of wood were not used. 

Three or four kinds of shields were in use. One kind was oblong 
and about 13^ meters in length. It was made of a single piece of 
heavy elk hide.-'^ It was sometimes moistened with water when 
about to be used. One side often carried i^ainted designs. Tlie 
second kind was circular or slightly oval, and about 60 centimeters in 
width. It consisted of from one to three thicknesses of heavy 
buffalo, elk, or other hide, stretched while moist over a hoop, and 
dried. The skins were sewed to the hooj). When two ov tliree 
thicknesses of skin were used, the hoop was taken off when the skins 
were quite set, and the edges all around were sewed together. Some 
shields were circular and small, made of the thickest hide from the 
thigh of the buffalo, furthei- (hick(Mied and hardened by scorching in 
fii'e. After the introduction of the horse this shield was the only 
one used; and it continued in use until after the inti-oduction of fire- 
arms, when all kinds of shiekls became useless. According to tradi- 
tion, small wooden shields were also used long ago, but nothing is 
now remembered of their shape and construction. None of the oldest 
living Indians have seen any of the old-style shields and armor, 
excepting the small hardened buffalo-lude shield. Although this 
type is said to have been in use before the advent of the horse, some 
think it is not as ancient as the others. All other kinds of shields 
and armor gradually went out of use after horses were employed, as 
they were not adapted for riding. 

Forts and Defenses. — Long ago there were many forts. Most of 
them were stockades consisting of a row of posts, set deeply in the 
ground, as close together as possible. Sometimes they surrounded 
small groups of houses; but usually they were built near a camp as a 
place of refuge in case of attack, or as a safe retreat at night when 
most of the men happened to be away. The walls were about 
3 meters high, and provided with loopholes at the proper height for 
shooting arrows. Shelters made of mats were erected all around 
the inside of the walls for the accommodation of the people. Some 

2" See Thompson, a, fig. 254. 

2" Sec Thoiripsoii speoiinen, Peabody Mus., No. 378. 

2'5 See Thompson, a, fig. 255. 


of the smaller stockades had the whole enclosed space roofed with 
mats. Pits and trenches were sometimes dug inside for the greater 
safety of noncombatants. The shape of all the stockades appears 
to have been circular, and all were provided with zigzag entrances 
just wide enough to admit one person at a time. These entrances 
were closed with wooden bars. 

Another land of fort was made of logs laid horizontally one above 
another, somewhat after the manner of a log cabin. Logs were also 
laid across the roof, and the whole building covered, first with brush 
and then with earth. The walls were about 2 m. high and had 
loopholes between the logs. Pits were dug in some of them and some 
had underground jiassages leading to the edges of banks or concealed 
places among rocks or trees. The entrances to these buildings were 
low and narrow, admitting a person only on all fours. Most buildings 
had a small hole left uncovered in the middle of the roof to admit 
light, to serve for ventilation, and as a smoke hole when fires were 
lighted. In shape, these fortresses appear to have varied, many 
being oblong, others square. None of them were very large. This 
type of fort had the advantage that it could not be set afire by an 

Temporary defenses consisted of breastworks and circular inclo- 
sures of logs laid one on another to a height of more than 1 meter, 
and covered with brush and earth. Sometimes a trench was dug 
along the inside of the wall. Other temporary defenses consisted of 
a fence of poles made like a corrfil, with brush and earth thrown against 
it. Still others were circular or semicircular inclosures made of stones 
piled up to a height of more than 1 meter. Loopholes were left here 
and there between large stones. In wooded parts of the country 
they were made entirely of brush piled up to about the same height 
and partially covered with thick bark and earth. The nature of the 
breastworks depended a great deal on the environment, configu- 
ration of the ground, material at hand, and the number of people 
engaged in making them. Many were semicircular, some were com- 
pletely circular, and others formed straight lines and zigzags. 

War Dress. — War dress varied a great deal, as each man attired 
himself according to his own inclinations and dreams. Some men 
went into battle with only a breechclout, moccasins, and headdress, 
while in olden times suits of armor were worn by many. Most war- 
riors wore a special headdress of some kind, which varied among 
individuals according to their guardian spirits, dreams or tastes. 
For war the hair was usually done up in special fashions (see p. 85) ; 
and all warriors painted their faces and exposed parts of the body 
in designs of different colors, often according to their dreams. 
Others had styles which they considered lucky or which they had 
adopted from past usage. Feathers, skins, pieces of skins, and hair 



of animals considered as guardian spirits were often attached to the 
hail- of the head, and to clothes, sliields, and weapons. These as 
well as the designs painted on the body were supposed to lend power 
to the wearer and to protect him. The medicine case was often 
carried in battle, and many men wore scalp shirts and scalps or 
scalp locks. Besides the common eagle feather war bonnets, others 
made of the head sldns of animals, set mth horns, and entire skins 
of large birds, were used. A common "medicine sldn" was that of a 
small owl noted for keenness of sight. The entire sldn was fastened 
to the back of the hair, with the owl's face looldng backward. Per- 
sons who had this owl for their guardian spirit and who wore its 
skin thus in their hair were protected from being attacked unawares. 
They were also exempt from any danger of attack from beliind. Some 
men attached scalps to the hair; and long feather streamers hung 
from the hair or from the backs and sides of war bonnets. Some men 
took charms out of their medicine bags before battle and attached 
them to their hair. As already stated, war horses were often painted 
and decorated. White horses were preferred, and therefore were of 
most value among the Indians, because they showed off the paintings 
and decorations better than horses of other colors. Red was the 
common war color; but yellow, black, blue, and wliite were also used. 
War customs and war dances will be described later on. (See p. 187.) 

Wars. — In olden times the Coeur d'Alene had occasional wars 
with the Spokan, Kalispel, Pend d'Oreilles, Flathead, Nez Perce, 
and Kutenai; and in later times, after they began to hunt buffalo 
east of the Rocky Mountains, they fought with the Blackfoot, Crow, 
Sioux, and other eastern tribes. There are no traditions of wars 
with the Paloos, Cayuse, Columbia, and other western tribes. The 
following narratives wHl illustrate some of these wars, and at the 
same time throw some light on certain customs of the people. 

Wars with the Spokan. — Usually the two tribes, the Coeur d'Alene 
and Spokan, were friends. They traded and played games with each 
other. However, once long ago they were at war with each other for 
a time. A Spokan chief had given his daughter to be the wife of a 
Coeur d'Alene chief. He had done this as a mark of esteem and 
of good will to this chief and to the Coeur d'Alene tribe, and also 
to cement their friendship. The girl went with her husband to his 
home. Afterwards her husband had bad luck gambling. He blamed 
Ids bad luck on his new wife and hired a man to kill her. When the 
Spokan heard of this, they were yevj indignant, and declared war on 
the whole Coeur d'Alene tribe. Those members of both tribes who 
lived near the limits of their respective territories deserted their 
homes and retired to their more distant tribespeople, so that a wide 
strip of intermediate country was left virtually uninhabited. The 
war lasted two or three years, and was detrimental to both tribes, 


and especially to the Coeur d'Alene, who depended on fishing salmon 
and digging bitterroot within Spojcan territory. All trading was 
also stopped. A Coeur d'Alene chief ^'^ went to a salmon-fishing 
place on the Little Spokane. Coeur d'Alene parties had been in the 
habit of going there annually to fish and play games with the Spokan. 
It was the fishing season, but no one was there. The chief felt very 
sorrowful when he saw the place look so deserted. He thought of 
the many good times and all the fun the Coeur d'Alene and Spokan 
had so often had together at this place. He returned home, and called 
the other Coeur d'Alene chiefs to a council. Six chiefs met him. 
He>.told how he had gone to the fishing place, and how he had sat 
down and had been overcome with sorrow when he viewed its loneli- 
ness, and had thought of the mirth and happiness that used to be 
there. Now there was no fishing there, and there were no games. 
All was as if dead. He said he wanted peace, and intended to give 
his daughter to the Spokan chief to make peace. All the other chiefs 
agreed with him. The girl was advised that she was to be made a 
sacrifice for peace, and that there was a possibility that the Spokan 
would kill her. She said she was willing to do as her father and the 
other chiefs advised, even if she should lose her life. She dressed 
herself in her best clothes, and the chiefs gave her a load of fine 
robes and valuables to carry as presents to the Spokan. Some' 
Coeur d'Alene men followed her, keeping out of sight. They were 
sent to learn her fate. One night, after traveling several days without 
seeing any one, she had a dream in which she was told that she would 
see people on the morrow. The following morning, shortly after 
leaving her camp, she saw in the distance a flock of flying cranes 
making a great noise. She thought people must have startled them, 
and she went in that direction. After a time she met a Spokan woman, 
and sat down to chat with her. She told her the errand she was on, 
and added, "If the Spokan kill me, I do not care; for I have been 
sent as a sacrifice by my father and the other Coeur d'Alene chiefs, 
who all desire peace and a renewal of the friendly relations that formerly 
existed between the tribes. They are sorry that there is no more 
intercourse between us." The woman told her to sit where she was. 
She would go and see the people. This place was not far from Che- 
welah. A large number of Spokan were encamped there. Wlien the 
Spokan chief learned of her mission, he sent out some young men to 
invite her in and to carry the presents she brought. After making a 
speech to all the people, he distributed the presents among them, and 
told them that he would take the girl to wife. She was a good girl, 
and henceforth lived with the Spokan. Shortly afterwards the chiefs 
of the two tribes met, and a permanent peace was arranged. This 

21^ Some informants say it was the chief who killed his wife,, but most informants 
say another chief. 



was the last war with the Spokan. Since then the two tribes have 
always been the best of friends. 

Wars vyith the Kalispel. — Long ago there were several short wars 
with the Kalispel, and the two tribes sent war parties into each 
other's territories. Once, in one of the last wars with the Kalispel, 
the great-grandfather of head chief Saltis of the Coeur d'Alene 
was camped with some other men at Sawmill, a place near De Smet. 
He had three cliildren — one a grown-up lad, and the others a little 
boy and girl. The Kalispel had invaded the country. They found 
this camp, attacked it and mortally wounded the men. The lad ran 
with his brother by his side, and carried his sister under his arm. 
His brother was shot. When he looked at his sister, he saw that she 
also had been killed by a shot. He continued running to some bushes, 
where he hid. Presently two of the enemy came along, riding the same 
horse. The halter rope was dragging along the ground. As they 
passed, the lad seized the end of the rope and jerked the horse, dis- 
mounting the two men, who ran off. The lad then mounted the horse 
and rode away. The men shot arrows at him, wounding him slightly, 
but he escaped. There were several Pend d'OreUles and Flathead 
among this Kalispel war party. These tribes were all allies, and they 
often had joint war parties. 

Wars with the Pend d'Oreilles.^" — Long ago there were some- 
times wars with the Pend d'OreUles, who generally were the 
•aggressors and invaded the Coeur d'Alene territory. The Coeur 
d'Alene never sent war parties into the countries of the Pend d'Or- 
eUles and Flathead. Once, at a time when the Pend d'OreUles and 
Flathead had their first guns, but the Coeur d'Alene as yet had none, 
a war party of Pend d'OreUles, including a number of Flathead, led 
by a famous chief called QutEna'lq^ entered the Coeur d'Alene coun- 
try and attacked a camp of about a dozen people who were gather- 
ing camas at a place about a mUe east of De Smet Mission. A fight 
took place, and most of the Coeur d'Alene were kiUed. A woman 
and her two little sons were taken captive. In the fight one Flat- 
head had become separated from his friends and for a tune was 
unable to find them. The Pend d'OreiUes, thinking he had been 
killed, said, "We wUl kUl the woman to make even the loss of our 
friend." They dismounted, and stabbed the woman with a very 
large knife, the kind used by the Flathead, which was different from 
the knives of the Coeiu" d'Alene. Before stabbing her, they made her 
tell where the other camps of her tribe were located. They did not 

2" The narrator hesitated to tell this story. He suggested that if it were 
printed it might hurt the feelings of some Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead. He 
believed that these evil doings of the past should be forgotten, and that people 
should not continue to tell them to their children; that anything which might 
cause bitter feelings to a people or wound their pride should be avoided. 
41383°— 30 9 


kill the little boys, but gave them each a piece of buffalo gut, and 
told them to go home. This happened on the trail, a few miles to 
the east of De Smet. Later some Coeur d'Alene men happened to 
come along, and, findmg the woman still alive, bandaged her wound. 
She asked to be taken to the little spring near De Smet. They 
carried her there and left her. She got well. This woman was the 
great-grandmother of the narrator of this story, Nicodemus Qwaro'tus, 
my chief informant among the Coeur d'Alene. One man escaped 
unhurt from the Coeur d'Alene camp. He crossed the hills by a 
short route to St. Marys River and informed the people he met of 
what had haj^pened. At once six or seven men started back with him 
to alarm other camps, and to try to intercept the invaders. Mean- 
while the Pend d'OreUles attacked a camp about 7 miles from De 
Smet, near the present Government sawmill. The people there were 
also digging camas. During the previous night a man in this camp 
dreamed that the camp would be attacked by Flathead, and accord- 
ingly had left. When he heard the shots he ran away as fast as 
possible. During the attack one man escaped from the camp with 
his two sons and one daughter. He carried the children under his 
arms. They ran along a creek unobserved, but later, on crossing a 
piece of flat, open ground, were seen and attacked. The little girl 
was shot with an arrow, and he himself was badly wounded. -^^ The 
man told the lad, "I am badly wounded; save yourself." He ran 
away some distance and then returned, as he did not want to leave 
his father. Again his father entreated him to run, and he ran off 
and hid in some bushes. The enemy dispatched the man and 
pursued the lad. As the bushes were thick, the enemy dismounted 
and left their horses loose in the open. The chief called out to the 
lad that if he lay still, they would not kUl him; but his guardian, the 
Coyote, told him, "Do not fear, they can not kill you. Run, and 
you will be safe." He ran out of the bushes to where the horses were, 
took one by the rope and tried to mount it. He failed because the 
rod armor he wore had slipped down too low on his hips. He jerked 
it up with his teeth and managed to mount. The warriors ran out 
of the bushes and shot arrows at him, one of them striking his backside. 
Then they pursued him; but he whipped up his horse and escaped. 
Afterwards the Coeur d'Alene marked the bark of a tree at this place 
to commemorate the exploit. All the people in the sawmUl camp 
were killed excej^t this lad and the man who had the dream. 

The following year a small party of Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead 
returned to the Coeur d'Alene country. Among them was QutEna'lq^, 
who had been chief of the war party that slaughtered the Coeur 
d'Alene the previous year, and two other chiefs called P'oqjj'oqcine'na 

2" Another version has it that the man carried one child under his arm and 
the lad carried the other. Both children were shot with arrows and killed as 
they were being carried. 

<^A Coeur d'Alene, but not a chief. — G. Reichard. 


THE COEim D'AL^NE 123 

and CitEmu's. The latter two wanted Qutsna'Tq^ to make peace, 
and had accompanied hun for the purpose of aiding in the matter. 
They went to the main camp of the Coeur d'Alene at Coem* d'Alene 
City. The Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead were not afraid to travel in 
small parties in an enemy country, as they had guns. The Pend 
d'Oreilles party camped near the Coeur d'Alene, who now began to 
gather in great numbers at Coeur d'Alene City. After much talk, 
the Coeur d'Alene chiefs agreed to make peace; and after all the 
terms had been arranged, they and the Pend d'Oreilles chiefs began 
to smoke the peace pipe brought by the latter. Just as they started 
to smoke, the lad who had escaped from the fight at Sawmill, and had 
been wounded, spoke up, addressing the Coeur d'Alene chiefs, and 
objecting to the making of peace. He said to them, "It is easy for 
you to make peace, for you have had none of your near relatives 
slaughtered; but what about my slaughtered relatives?" Then he 
addressed the Pend d'Oreilles chiefs, saying, "It is all right for you to 
make peace with us; but I can not make peace with you, for you 
have killed my parents, and my brother and sister. To-morrow I 
will see if I can make peace with you." This broke up the peace 
proceedings. That day the Pend d'Oreilles moved camp a mile away, 
that they might have the shelter of a very large fir tree, as it was 
raining. On the following morning they were sitting around theii- 
fires at' this tree, and a large number of Coeur d'Alene encircled them 
on the outside. The chiefs were about to speak of peace again. 
QutEna'lq^ was seated with sinew and awl, sewing his gun case. The 
lad who had spoken the previous day was hidden behind some of the 
people. He began to play with his bow and arrows unseen by the 
Pend d'Oreilles. Suddenly he drew his bow and shot from his hiding 
place. QutEiia'lq"' looked up when he heard the twang of the bow- 
string, and at the same moment was pierced through the stomach 
and killed. He exclaimed, "I thought this was going to happen!" 
Now the Pend d'Oreilles and Coeur d'Alene fought, and many were 
killed. Chief P'oqij'oqcine'na was killed. Chief CitEmu's escaped 
with some others. The Pend d'Oreilles party lost all their horses and 
guns. The Coeur d'Alene divided the horses; but the guns they 
broke up, and made loiives out of the metal, as they did not know 
how to use them. According to some, this Pend d'Oreilles peace 
party was about one-third Pend d'Oreilles, the rest being Kalispel and 
Flathead. Some people say a majority were Kalispel. The following 
year a large Flathead party came to the Little Spokane River; and 
their chief called aU the chiefs of the Coeur d'Alene, Spokan, Kalispel, 
Pend d'Oreilles, Colville, and Kutenai to meet him there. He wanted 
to make a peace between all these tribes, and have their differences 
settled once and for all. All the chiefs went, and many followers 
with them. There was a great assembly. The Flathead chief made 


a great speech, and said that the peace pipe must be filled and 
smoked. One Flathead said, "No. How can we smoke the peace 
pipe? The Coeur d'Alene broke it. There is no peace pipe. How 
can it be smoked? " The Coeur d'Alene said they were willing to 
smoke, as they could make an honorable peace now, for Flathead blood 
had been spilled as well as Coeur d'Alene blood. Any peace arranged 
before would have been one-sided and dishonorable. Many speeches 
were made, and the conference lasted a number of days. At last 
everything was arranged amicably, and the pipe was smoked by all 
the chiefs of these tribes. They agreed that there should be an 
everlasting peace between them; that none would fight the others 
and that all would be friends and allies. This pledge has never since 
been broken. 

Wars with the Kutenai. — Coeur d'Alene parties sometimes went 
to the Lower Kutenai country and attacked the people there, but the 
Kutenai never retaliated by invading the Coeur d'Alene country. 
Probably the last fight between them happened as follows: At the 
time when guns were first introduced among the Coeur d'Alene, two 
brothers had a gun between them. One day they quarreled about the 
gun, each wanting to hunt with it. At last one brother said to the 
other, "Well, you may have the gun as your sole property. 1 will go 
and get a gun in war." At that time the Kutenai, Pend d'Oreilles, 
and Flathead had a great many guns, but the Coeur d'Alene had 
hardly any. The brother arrayed himself for war, and, taking a 
canoe, went down the river to the lake, where he saw a number of 
people ashore. He hailed them and told them he was going to fight 
the Kutenai. Many men said they would join him. At last the 
party numbered about 100 men, and they held a war dance. They 
crossed the lake and portaged their canoes on their heads, taking 
turns carrying them. Afterwards they cached their canoes and went 
on foot until they reached Pend d'Oreille Lake. Here they made new 
canoes and crossed the lake. There were many loons on the lake, 
and they made a great noise when they saw the canoes. Someone 
said, "Stop those birds from crying!" One man who was a shaman 
tried and failed. Then another tried and succeeded. When they 
arrived at the head of the lake they cached their canoes and proceeded 
on foot. At last they reached a place on the Kootenay River where 
there was a large camp of Lower Kutenai. The partj^ counseled as 
to whether they should attack the camp by daylight or wait until 
early morning. They decided to wait. At daybreak they rushed the 
camp and surprised the Kutenai, who were unable to put up a fight 
and fled. Some jumped into the river and swam away; others hid 
in the water, holding on to bushes, wliich concealed them; and some 
reached their canoes and crossed the river. Many Kutenai were 
Idlled; and the Coeur d'Alene captured all the valuables in camp, 



including several guns. In the camp was a buffalo-skin tent, which 
was thought to be empty, as no one had attempted to escape from it. 
It was occupied, however, by a sick man who had a gun. A Coeur 
d'Alene went to look in, and the Kutenai shot him in the thigh, 
wounding him badly. The brother who had started the war party 
then killed the sick man and took possession of his gun. 

Wars with the Nez Perce. — The Coeur d'Alene probably had 
more wars with the Nez Perce than with any of the SaUsh tribes, and 
each invaded the other's territory. These wars, however, were not 
frequent. Once during a war with the Nez Perce a band of Coeur 
d'Alene was camped on Hangman s Creek, at a place about 3 miles 
west of De Smet, gathering camas. Some Nez Perce had been killed 
some time before in a fight, and the Nez Perce had declared that they 
would exterminate the Coeur d'Alene. As it was war time, the band 
at Hangmans Creek had partially fortified their camp and were 
constantly on the alert. A large war party of Nez Perce went there 
and surroimded them. They assaulted the camp, but were repulsed. 
The parties fought for two days, many Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene 
being killed. The headman of the Coeur d'Alene said to his friends, 
"The Nez Perce far outnumber us. We can not hold out against 
their nimibers, and probably to-morrow the last of us will be Idlled. 
To save ourselves 1 will try a ruse. " He was a strong, athletic man. 
At midnight he left the camp and ran in the dark swiftly from place 
to place in front of the Nez Perce fines, giving the war cry "Wa-a-a!" 
in a loud voice. At the same time the people in the Coeur d'Alene 
camp began to shout and to make a great noise. They also called 
out challenges and insults to the Nez Perce. The chief standing in 
front of the Nez Perce, but unseen because of the darkness, spoke 
loudly to them in their own language, saying, "Nez Perce, we do not 
want to be always bad friends. We will give you a chance to go 
home; and if you don't go, then at daybreak we shall slaughter you. 
AQ the Coeur d'Alene warriors from St. Joseph's, Coeur d'Alene City, 
and other places are now here, and we shall give you battle at day- 
break." The Nez Perce held a consultation. They believed that 
the man had spoken the truth, for there appeared to be great joy and 
shouting in the Coeur d'Alene camp. They left that night, and the 
Coeur d'Alene escaped. 

Wars with the Blackfoot and other tribes east qf the Rocky 
Mountains. — The Plains tribes had no fixed boundaries. The3^ 
had their homes in certain places; but they traveled hundreds 
of miles, looking for buffalo, and changing their headquarters from 
time to time. The Coeur d'Alene never visited the real homes of 
any of these tribes, as they were far to the east; but they often met 
them when they were buffalo hunting in the intermediate country, 
and they knew the general direction of what was considered to be 


the country of each tribe. The Flathead loiew much more than the 
Coeur d'Alene regarding the comitries from which these tribes came. 
As all these eastern tribes were encroaching on the western tribes 
and on one another, there was almost constant warfare between them 
and the western Indians, as well as among themselves. On the other 
hand, the western Indians were allies, and did not fight among them- 
selves. The western part of the plains, stretching from the Flathead 
main camps to the Yellowstone and easterly for a very long distance, 
was at one time practically an intertribal hunting and battle ground. 
No one lived there permanently; but all the tribes hunted and fought 
in it, and tried to claim hunting rights by force of arms. Nearly 
all parties who traveled or hunted in this region were perforce large, 
for small parties were hable to be cut off and exterminated at any 
time. Long ago most of this western strip of the plains country 
belonged to Flathead and Shoshoni tribes, who hunted there, usually 
in small parties. The Blackfoot and Crow invaded the country in 
large numbers, and for a time drove out the Flathead and Shoshoni. 
Many of the bands of these tribes who formerly lived east of the 
mountains were practically wiped out, and others retreated to the 
west and south. The Shoshoni especially were severely handled, and 
for many years no Shoshoni were seen on the northwestern plains 
north of the Yellowstone. The Flathead were also much reduced in 
numbers during these wars, which had lasted many years. There- 
fore they made peace with all the western tribes, and invited them 
to join them as partners in buffalo hunting in their former territory. 
After this the Coeur d'Alene and other western Salish tribes began 
to go in ever-increasing numbers to join the Flathead in hunting and 
war. Many Kutenai and Nez Perce also went annually. All these 
tribes made their rendezvous in the Flathead country, and moved 
from there eastward, northward, and southward for buffalo hunting 
in three or more large parties, keeping more or less in touch with 
one another during their travels. Being equal in numbers, and su- 
perior in horses and weapons to most parties of the Plains Indians, 
they had Httle difficulty in holding their own. These conditions con- 
tinued until the buffalo became nearly extinct. The Coeur d'Alene 
generally went with the Spokan, and both often with the Kahspel 
and Pend d'Oreilles. Sometimes part of them went with the Flat- 
head, and at other times with the Nez Perce. Most fighting occurred 
with the Blackfoot, who were considered the worst enemies of the 
Salish tribes, but also with the Crow, and in later days with the 
Sioux. The Snake, Bannock, and Ute were almost always friendly 
with the Salish tribes, and were aligned with them against the eastern 
tribes. Only one short war between the Salish and Shoshoni is 
remembered. This was with a tribe of Snake inhabiting the Yellow- 
stone country. The final fight in this war was between them and a 



large force of combined Flathead (or Pend d'Oreilles), Spokan, and 
Coeur d'Alene, who, after a fierce battle, captured nearly all the 
horses, baggage, and buffalo meat of the Shoshoni. So much of the 
buffalo meat was taken that it could not be transported, and most 
of it was left there. The Snake who escaped were nearly all on foot. 
After this some other Snake acted as intermediaries, and peace was 
made. No Blackfoot, Crow, or other eastern tribes, or Shoshoni, 
ever came to the Coeur d'Alene country. The Blackfoot and Crow 
loiew little about taldng horses and transports through moimtains. 
They were used to traveling \dth travois in a flat country. When 
their war parties went into the Rocky Mountains in search of Snake 
or Flathead, they were always afoot, and as a rule met with little 
success. Once, long ago, a large party of Blackfoot invaded the 
Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead countries. A battle was fought which 
lasted two days, and the Blackfoot were driven off. A number of 
men were killed on both sides. About this time or a little later a 
party of Blackfoot and another Plains tribe, possibly the Gros Ventres, 
attacked the Pend d'Oreilles and were driven off with considerable 
loss. Either this fight or another one occurred at sniyelemen (now 
Mission in the Pend d'Oreilles country). At a still later date a large 
war party of Crow attacked and defeated the Shoshoni, and, following 
this up, attacked the Flathead, who, however, routed them and drove 
them south. Once, at a time when the SaHsh tribes had many 
horses but very few guns, and the Blackfoot a good many guns but 
not many horses, a large party of Flathead, Pend d'Oreilles, KaUspel, 
Spokan, and Coeur d'Alene, \\'ith a few Sanpoil and Columbia, were 
traveUng in a flat country along a large river, possibly the Yellow- 
stone, on their way to hunt buffalo. At the same time a war party 
of 32 Blackfoot were returning from an unsuccessful raid agaiast the 
Crow or Shoshoni. They camped on a hill not far from the river, 
and were tired, for all were on foot. That night one of the party 
dreamed, and woke up the others before daybreak. He told them, 
"You must not go down to the river. I dreamed that down there 
the ground was red with blood, and it was your blood. I saw the 
sunrise that will come in a short time, and it was very red. In its 
glow I saw many people, and then I saw your blood on the river." 
They laughed at him, and all of them went down to the river except 
the man who had dreamed and his brother. They went farther up 
the hUl, and sat down to watch. It was just daybreak when the 30 
left and went to the river at a place where a creek came in. There 
was a flat near the stream strewn with bowlders and bearing a little 
timber. The plateau ended in a bluff above this place, and the Flat- 
head and others were in the habit of driving buffalo over this bluff 
whenever they had the opportunity. The Blackfoot party had just 
reached the river when the two men on the hill saw many people 


approaching on horseback. This was the Sahsh party, and they soon 
noticed the Blackfoot in the hole and surrounded them. The Black- 
foot threw up a breastwork of rocks and trees, and a battle ensued. 
The Salish shot bullets and arrows at the Blackfoot until there was 
no further response. Then they rushed to the breastwork, and found 
that the Blackfoot were all liors de combat. They drew out all the 
bodies one after the other, and examined their wounds. One very 
large man was shot only on the tip of the shoulder, and still he ap- 
peared to be dead. They watched him; and when he showed signs 
of reviving, they killed him with a knife. Some wounded men had 
crawled under the rocks and into underground passages which had 
been made there at a former time, probably for concealment. These 
places were searched and the bodies pulled out. One wounded man 
almost escaped. A Flathead searcher pursued him, and Idlled him 
after a hand-to-hand struggle. They counted 30 bodies. After 
scalping them and taking all their best clothes and weapons, they 
left the bodies lying where they were. Among the weapons was a 
number of guns (perhaps 10 or more), which were considered a great 
prize at that time. The bones of these Blackfoot remained at this 
spot for several years afterwards, scattered among the rocks by wolves, 
and mixed with old buffalo bones. The two Blackfoot brothers who 
had been watching made good their escape during the fight, unob- 
served by the Salish, and reached their own country. 

Wars with the whites. — The Coeur d'Alene were on the whole 
always friendly to the whites. They never made any aggressions 
against the fur traders and first white settlers. During the Cayuse 
wars (1845-1850) and the Yakima wars (1855-56) they were neutral. 
Owing to some dissatisfaction over the treaty made with Governor 
Stevens, which they claimed the whites had not kept, and probably 
for some other causes, the Coeur d'Alene joined the Spokan in the 
war of the latter (1858). In tliis war it seems they never attacked 
any of the traders and settlers, but only the soldiers who invaded 
their country. In May, 1858, a large force of Coeur d'Alene, led 
by their head chief, Saltis, participated with the Spokan and a few 
Colville and other Salish, in the defeat of Colonel Steptoe's command 
of 200 dragoons and 30 Nez Perce scouts near Steptoe Butte. It 
seems that there were no Yaldma and Paloos in this battle, as claimed 
by some authorities. The Indians pursued the remnants of the 
column to the Snake River. In September of the same year the 
Coeur d'Alene were also engaged in two attacks on Colonel Wright's 
force of about 1,000 men; and they took part in the battles of Four 
Lakes and Spokane Plains, in which the Indians were defeated. In 
the latter engagement they fought all day, and a few days afterwards 
again engaged Colonel Wright on his way to Coeur d'Alene Mission. 
When the soldiers reached there the Coeur d'Alene submitted and 



their allies dispersed. The Indians claim that strong influence to 
submit was brought to bear on them by the priests and others; but 
the cliief reason was that they were entirelj- out of ammunition and 
had no way of replenishing it. They considered it foolish to continue 
the war with bows and arrows against rifles and artillery. In 1877 
the Coeur d'Alene refused to join Chief Joseph, and a large body 
under the same Chief Saltis turned out to drive the Nez Perce out 
of the settlements and protect the white settlers. The tribe was 
neutral during the Bannock war of 1878. By 1880 very few of them 
went to the plains; and by 1885, the buffalo being practically extinct, 
the last of the Coeur d'Alene settled permanently on their reserve. 
Internal fights. — Occasionally long ago there were blood feuds 
between families of the Coeur d'Alene. One of these came about in 
the following way. Very long ago a Flathead or Pend d'Oreilles chief 
sent his daughter to marry a Coeur d'Alene chief called Hinwa'xEne 
(full name HinwaxEniv' d?) . He directed her how to go, telling her to 
descend Coeur d'Alene River. She made a mistake and went down 
St. Joe River. A man called Ctliltcsq'wa'iltx"' ^ was on the river in a 
canoe. He saw a woman approaching who wore a leather dress 
painted red, and loiew she must be a' stranger. When she saw him 
she sat down on the river bank and he came to her in the canoe. 
They began to talk, but, not understanding each other's languages, 
they had to resort to signs. She told the name of her father, that he 
was a chief of the Flathead (or Pend d'Oreilles), and that he had sent 
her to marry a chief of the Coeur d'Alene called Waxsne' . He an- 
swered that he was glad, because he was WaxEue' , and she must come 
with him. This man lived at Xwa'ret,^ an old Indian village near 
Harrison, and he took the girl there. After staying four days the 
girl noticed that her husband's friend, who often came to visit him, 
always called him Ctl'iltcsq'wa'Ulx^, and she had heard people ask him 
to go to WaxEne's house. This aroused her suspicions. After this, 
one day she saw the chief's daughter playing, and asked her the name 
of her husband. The girl answered, "Your husband's name is 
Cililtcsq'wa'ilix"' " She then asked the girl what her father's name was, 
and she answered, "My father's name is WaxEne' ." Then she told 
the chief's daughter that she had been sent by her father to marry 
WaxEne' . The girl told her father; but the latter said nothing for a 
time, for Ciltltcsq'wa'ilix'^ was one of four brothers. The whole family 
were noted as bad men and great fighters. Now, it came to be 
wintertime; and, ice having formed on the river, most of the people 
began to prepare for a great elk hunt. The chief, Waxsne', arranged 
with four men to kill Cililtcsq'wa'ilix^ as soon as most of the people had 
left. The people were hardly out of sight when they killed him. An 
old man who lagged behind heard the dogs yelping furiously and 

^ He lived at St. Marie's. — G. Reichard. " Harrison. — G. Reichard. 


turned back to see what was the matter. The chief told the four 
men, "We must now kill CUiltcsq'wa'ilix^'s three brothers, or they will 
kill us." He persuaded the old man to help. The brothers had 
gone with the elk-hunting party. The old man went on to the camp 
of the elk hunters and told stories, keeping the people up very lat^, 
and making them very sleepy. When all were asleep, he went out 
and told the four men who were waiting where the brothers slept. 
They went in and killed them all. Then they went at once to another 
camp, where the uncle and other relatives of the brothers were, and 
killed them also. The father of the brothers was an aged infirm man, 
and lived at another place. They induced the people with whom he 
lived to desert him, saying that they were going hunting and would 
be back soon. They left him firewood, but no food, and he died of 
starvation. When the four men returned to the chief, he feasted 
them and gave them presents. The girl became the wife of WaxEne' 
and lived with him. As all the males of Cililtcsq'wa'ilix^'s family were 
killed off, there was no one to avenge their death on WaxEne' and his 


Dice and Guessing Games. — A great many games were played. 
A favorite one among women was the game of dice played with 
beaver teeth, which were tossed down on a blanket, robe, skin, or mat. 
The game and the dice seem to have been the same as among the 
Thompson.^'' The manner of counting is said to have varied a little 
in difl^erent places. The dice consisted of four pieces, making two 
pairs. One pair was marked with straight transverse lines; the other 
with zigzag lines. 

A card game was in vogue long ago; but particulars of this game 
and the marks on the cards are now forgotten. The cards were gen- 
erally made of stiff hide of young deer; but some were of wood split 
very thin, and others were of birch bark.^^° Each card was marked. 
Sometimes the designs represented dreams. As far as remembered, 
the cards were marked in pairs; but the number of pairs or cards in 
the set is uncertain. Some say the numbers varied in different sets. 

The stick game played by the Thompson with marked sticks ^^^ 
was unknown; but a guessing game was in vogue, played with six or 
seven unmarked sticks of about the same length and diameter as 
those used in the stick game of the Thompson. The sticks were all 
of an even length except one, which was longer than the others. 
They were held in the hands with all the ends arranged evenly on the 
side exposed toward the person who had to guess. One was selected 
and pulled out. If it was one of the short sticks, the guesser lost; 
and if the long one, he won. 

219 a, p. 272, and fig. 256.^ 22' a, pp. 272, 273. 

22" See Thompson, a, p. 276, and fig. 264. 



The hand game or lehal was very common and was played in the 
same way as among the Thompson, -^^ but 22 sticks were used as 
counters instead of 10 and 12, as among most other tribes. Knuckle 
covers ^^^ were used by many in playing the game. They were made 
of otter, weasel, coyote, and other skins, and were fringed. Singing 
always accompanied the game, and time was beaten with short sticks 
on a log or board placed in front of the players. 

Hoop or Ring Games. — A number of hoop or ring games were 
played. A favorite game was the ring and pole game of the Thomp- 
son ^^* and other tribes. Among the Coeur d'Alene the logs for 
stopping the ring from rolling too far were from 10 to 15 centimeters 
in diameter and generally placed about 5 meters apart. There were 
many different ways of playing, such as standing with the toe to a 
mark or not moving forward when tlirowing the lance or stick, erect, 
and taking one step forward when throwing, erect and two steps for- 
ward, sitting, kneeling, kneeling and one hand on the ground, and so 
on. The lance or stick was thrown so as to stop the ring and make 
it fall over on the stick. Points were counted according to the beads 
that rested against the stick. All rings had two blue beads, which 
counted the greatest number of points. The other beads were of 
various colors. In early times bone beads were used, also colored 
quills, or, instead, wrappings at the various spaces on the ring. The 
sizes of rings and throwing sticks were about the same as among the 
Thompson. Besides different methods of throwing, there were several 
ways of counting and all had names. Each bead and combination of 
beads and the positions of the ring on the stick had names, as well as 
almost every inch of the throwing stick. No other game had nearly 
as rich a nomenclature as this game. In most ways of playing, 
besides counting the beads and their positions against the stick, the 
part of the stick the beads rested against was also counted. Thus 
most sticks had divisions marked on them with rings and wrappings. 
People bet and gambled much in this game, and there were often 
disagreements and quarrels. Elderly men known to be honest and 
disinterested were appealed to or asked to act as referees or arbitrators 
to settle all disputes in the game. These referees used slender sticks 
or pointers, with which they righted ring and stick, thus ascertaining 
accurately the positions of the beads. Their decision was final. 

Another ring and stick game was common. The ring was usually 
about 30 centimeters in diameter, or slightly more, made of a stick 
bent into a circle, the ends joined, or, more generally, two sticks bent 
and joined. A web of thong or bark twine filled up the inside of the 
ring like a net, leaving a circular hole in the center about 3 cm. 
in diameter. (Fig. 13.) The Indians claim that the weaving of the hoop 

222 a, pp. 275, 276. 

223 See Thompson, a, fig. 263; also Peabody Mus., No. 367. 
22< a, p. 274, fig. 260. 


was generally done as sketched. It seems that some hoops varied in 
the number of meshes and therefore in the size of mesh. Two persons 
roiled the ring back and forth to each other while two others, one on 
each side, took turns at throwing the stick or spear at the hoop. The 
persons throwing generally stood. As a rule, two played against 
two and turns were taken at rolling and spearing the hoop. The 
object was to throw the spear through the central hole. This won 
the game. Points were also coimted according to the mesh that 
was hit — the nearer to the center, the higher the points. These 
meshes had different names. If a person hit the same mesh twice in 
succession he had to withdraw from the game or allow himself to be 
prodded in the backside by the other players with their sticks. (This 
was also a forfeit or punishment in ring games of the Thompson.) 
The stick or spear used in this game was more than a meter long, 

sharp-pointed, and made of a slip of a young tree 
with from three to seven stubs of branches left 
on the upper part to prevent it going entirely 
through the meshes. 

A game with feathered lances or sticks, like 

large arrows, was also common. These were 

about a meter in length and like war lances for 

throwing; only they had no attached heads, the 

Figure i3.-Netted hoop points being simply sharpened. I did not obtain 

any particulars of this game, but it seems that the lances were hurled 

at targets and marks of different kinds. 

A ring-and-dart game like that played by the Thompson ^^^ was 
much played by boys. The ring was about 15 cm. in diameter and 
made of tule or strips of bark wound around a core. The darts were 
feathered and like those of the Thompson. Both this game and the 
preceding one have been out of use for a long tune. 

Arrow Games. — A number of arrow games were played. In 
some of these rings and disks were used. One kind of disk was 
about 8 inches in diameter, made of a coiled stick wrapped with bark. 
It was round in section, and thick. It was set going and arrows were 
shot at it from the side as it passed, the object being to hit the disk 
as it rolled. 

Another similar game was played with a ring or rolling target made 
of two sticks woven together side by side with bark. In this case 
the ring was wide in section and was shot at from behind as it sped 

AiQother arrow game was to shoot at a target consisting of a circle 
marked on the face of a hard sandy bluff. Sometimes the target 
consisted of several rings marked one inside the other. 

Yet another arrow game was like ninepins, only the pins were shot 
at. The pins or targets were made of grass wrapped tightly with 

225 a, pp. 274, 275, fig. 261; also Peabody Mus., Nos. 363, 364. 



twine. They were from 25 to 30 cm. in length and about 10 cm. 
in diameter. These grass targets were set up one or more at each 
end of the shooting ground. Sometimes rows of them were used. 

Another arrow game was to shoot an arrow into a sandy mound 
or bank and use it as a target, the object being to hit the nock of the 

A boy's arrow game in which blunt arrows were used was men- 
tioned as having been at one time in vogue, but it has been out of 
use for a very long time and I obtained no details regarding it. 

Ball Games. — A number of ball games were played. The most 
common one was played with bats having crooked ends and was the 
sanae as the ball game played by the Thompson "*' and other tribes. 
The bats were very much like hockey sticks.^" In some forms of the 
game, netting was used on the sticks ^^^ and the ball was caught 
in this and thrown forward. It seems that the netted sticks were 
used chiefly in winter, when there was snow on the ground and the 
ball hard to advance without lifting and throwing. According to 
the rules of the game, the baU must not be touched with the hands, 
but it might be kicked as well as hit with the bat. Some players used 
guard sticks --'' in this game. Balls were made of deer's hair sewed 
tightly in leather. No wooden balls were used. 

It is uncertain whether the ball game played like baseball, as de- 
scribed for the Thompson,-^" was in vogue very long ago, but a form 
of this game was played at one time. Another ball game was 
like one very common among the Lower Thompson. ^^^ The ball 
was thrown up and all tried to catch it. The one who caught it 
ran and the others tried to catch him before he reached the goal. 
When caught or slapped with the hand, he had to throw the ball up. 
Women often participated in these games. Some of both sexes 
played on each side when there were sides. Occasionally one sex 
played against the other. Usually men played together in one place 
and women in another; or the same plaj^ground was used by both 
sexes in turn. Ball games were played by the tribe until lately. 
Nowadays the 3^oung men of the reservation have a good baseball 
team, and play against white teams from neighboring towns in Idaho 
and Washington. 

There are some indications that a ball-and-hoop game similar to 
that played by Thompson children ^'' was at one time in vogue, but 
I did not ascertain this with certainty. 

A ball game was played on smooth ice. A- small ball was rolled 
at a mark. If it missed the mark, the game was lost. Sometimes a 
ring instead of a baU was roUed at a mark. 

226 a, pp. 277, 278, figs. 265,' 267, 268. 230 a, p. 277, figs. 265, 266. 

227 See Thompson, a, fig. 267 a. 23i a, p. 278. 

228 See Thompson, a, fig. 267 b. 232 a, p. 279, fig. 269. 

229 See Thompson, a, fig. 268. 


The ball-and-pin game was common, and was the same as among 
the Thompson. ^^' The pin consisted of a sharpened stick or bone, 
and the ball of grass, tiile, or bark. In the early summer balls for 
tliis game were often made of the growing heads of the cow parsnip 
(Heracleum lanatum Michx.) before the flowers came out. It is 
said that some of the ball and other games that were in vogue long 
ago have now been forgotten, and even the names of some games are 
no longer remembered. 

Sports. — Many lands of athletic games and sports were at one 
time practiced. Favorite winter sports, engaged in by old and young 
of both sexes, were coasting and sliding. Coasting slides were made 
on open parts of hillsides, and the toboggans consisted of pieces of 
rawhide and bark, which were bent up in front. Sliding was practiced 
on good smooth ice, after a hght fall of dry snow, and was much 

Tugging or pulling games were common. In one of these, hooks 
made of eagle bones were used, two men pulling against each other 
until one bone broke. Pulling with the middle fingers and pulling on 
a rope was practiced. Sometimes teams of men took part in rope 

Wrestling contests were common among men, and women also 
wrestled occasionally. A wrestling match between women often fur- 
nished great amusement to the spectators. 

All the Indians could swim. The arms were worked dog fashion, 
and they struck out with the right foot. Sometimes there were 
swimming races. Nearly all the men could dive, and some men 
could dive right across St. Joe River. 

Foot racing and canoe racing, and in later days horse racing, were 
common. Jumping for distance and height were both practiced, and 
also the standing jump, running jump, and vaulting. 

A catching game was in vogue, called "making slaves." Two goals 
were marked at opposite ends of the playground with stones, poles, 
pegs, or scratches in the earth. On the clapping of hands by a 
"chief," who sometimes stood in the middle, the game commenced. 
The object was to touch the hands of any person of the opposite side, 
and then return and reach one's own goal without being caught by 
him. The person caught was considered and called a "slave" or 
"captive of war," and was conducted over to the enemy lines by the 
person who caught him. The game continued thus until one side 
was out. Women often participated in this game. 

A kicking game ^^* was in vogue among men, especially at gather- 
ings where there were many young men. There were contests in this 
game between men of different villages and of different bands. 

233 Peabody Museum, Nos. 362, 403. 

^''i This game was also common among the Thompson. 


Sometimes there were intertribal contests. Often 30 or more men 
played on a side. They formed in two rows, facing each other, and 
after taunting each other, at a given signal by the "chief" of the 
game they rushed forward in close formation and kicked each other 
until one line fell back. Sometimes the two opposing rows were 
drawn up close together or within striking distance and lines made on 
the ground close behind each. At a signal they began kicking, and 
wliichever side pushed the other back over their line won. Wlien a 
man was forced back over his own line by his adversary he was out 
of the game. Sometimes this game resulted in fighting. Once a 
party of Coeur d'Alene were digging pitcelu'sa roots, which were 
obtained only on the borders of the Nez Perce country. A party of 
Nez Perce were also gathering roots near by. While the women were 
out digging roots the men of the two parties had games and sports. 
They had been playing lehal and other games all day. In the evening 
a young Nez Perce gave the challenge for the lacking game, calling 
loudly, "Hu ha, hu ha, hu ha!" The Coeur d'Alene accepted and 
went to play. The contest was very stubborn, neither side being able 
to push the other. At last some of the young men began to quarrel 
and fight. One Coeur d'Alene took a stick and struck a Nez Perce 
over the head, knocking him senseless. The chief ran up and stopped 
the game, otherwise there might have been bloodshed. Tliis happened 
about 18G0. 

Cat's-cradle was played a great deal, especially to amuse children. 
The figures made were the following: Coyote, skunk, beaver, bear, 
beaver and bear, owl, magpie, geese, snake, salmon, sun, man and 
sun, man and dog, two men, woman roasting ducks, fish trap, tent, 
skin stretched on a frame, shoulder blade, and some others. The 
knee and mouth were brought into use in maldng some of the figures. 

All the above-mentioned games and sports were in vogue before 
the introduction of the horse, except horse racing. After horses had 
become common, sham battles and war maneuvers were sometimes 
practiced on horseback under the direction of chiefs. 

Dancing was a favorite amusement, and also singing. Cries of 
animals and birds were imitated by children for amusement, and also 
the actions and speech of certain individuals and of old people. Play 
acting and mimicry of animals, persons, and mythological characters 
were in vogue. Sometimes the actors dressed up for the occasion so 
as to make the acting more effective (see p. 163). Many Idnds of toys 
were made for children, including miniature canoes, board baby- 
carriers, bows and arrows. Dolls were used by nearly all girls. 


According to tradition, a sign language has been used from the 
earliest times. The old sign language is said to have been somewhat 
different from the modern form, but the Coeur d'Alene do not 


remember that earlier type. The old style of sign language was used 
by all the interior Salishan tribes known to the Coeur d'Alene, and 
by neighboring tribes of other stocks. It was imderstood over a 
large area, and may be called the old plateau sign language. It 
varied slightly between tribes, and was a little different at the extreme 
boimdaries of the country. The present-day sign language is said to 
be the same, or almost the same, as that used on the plains, and has 
been employed by the Coeur d'Alene since the middle of the eight- 
eenth century, ever since they began to go in large bodies to the plains. 
It seems that, besides the plateau form of sign language, there was 
at one time a northern form used by the Blackfoot, which differed a 
little, and also an eastern form used by the Crow; and possibly there 
were some other forms. However, they did not vary considerably 
from one another. It is said that the Crows were considered the 
most proficient in the use of sign language, and possibly the form used 
by them was the richest. However this may be, the Coeur d'Alene 
claim that the plateau and Blackfoot, and all other forms, were 
modified by the Crow form, whose sign language was finally adopted 
by all the tribes. This is said to be the form used at the present day 
by all the Salishan tribes east of Columbia River, and also by the 
Kutenai, Blackfoot, Gros Ventres, Crow, Shoshoni, Bannock, Nez 
Perce, and others. Salishan tribes who did not go much to the plains 
probably continued to use the older or plateau form of the sign 
language untU the Chinook jargon came in. It is said the Coeur 
d'Alene did not have much trouble in talking by means of signs with 
people of any tribe. Some time after the arrival of traders the 
Cbiinook jargon began to supersede the sign language along the 
upper Columbia River and west of it, and later along Fraser River 
and in other parts to the north, west, and south, but it never took 
much hold east of the Colville and Lake tribes. Even at the present 
day very few Coeur d'Alene understand or speak the Chinook 
jargon. For comparison with what is probably part of the old 
plateau form of the sign language as remembered by Thompson and 
Shuswap, and with the eastern sign language, I collected a few of the 
signs used by the Coeur d'Alene representing the form now and 
lately used in the eastern parts of the plateau and the adjoining parts 
of the plains. I might have obtained a complete vocabulary had I 
wished, as the sign language is still used considerably by elderly Coeur 
d'Alene in speaking with some Spokan and members of other tribes. 
Sign language was much used in talking with strangers, in trading 
and hunting, and as gestures accompanying speech. 


1. Bear. — The same as Thompson sign No. 1 (see a, p. 283). The 
sign is made with the fists in front of the chest, or perhaps more 
generally at the sides of the head. (The sign is no doubt imitative 
of the movements of the bear.) 


2. Deer (in general). — Index finger held, in front of body, pointing 
outward, and wandering motions made with it from side to side. 
(Imitative of the movements or manner of deer traveling about.) "^^^ 

3. Buck deer. — Four fingers of each hand held near sides of head, 
fingers slightly apart and pointing upward, hands moved forward 
and backward, at the. same time describing curves. Sometimes the 
whole head and shoulders are moved uniformly with the hands. 
(Imitates antlers and movements of a buck.)^^^ 

4. Young tuck. — The same sign as the Thompson sometimes make 
for "doe," but the two fingers on each side moved around as in the 
"buck" sign.-^' 

5. Doe. — The sign for "woman" (No. 15) and then the sign for 
"deer" (in general) (No. 2). 

6. Raven (or Crow?). — Hands held out in front of sides and pointing 
slightly sidewise; fingers extending slightly downward or drooping, 
and both hands moved up and down from the wrists at the same 
time. (Imitates flapping of wings as made by ravens.) ^^^ 

7. Eagle. — Almost the same sign as the preceding, but the hands 
flopped farther from the body and a little more motion put into the 
arms; one hand is then pushed downward with a sweep. (Imitates 
the flying and swooping of an eagle.) ^^^ 

8. Snake. — A wriggling zigzag motion made with the hand or 
forefinger pointing downward and outward. (Imitates the move- 
ments of a snake crawling.) ^*° 

9. Salmon (or FisJi). — Hand held rather stiffly in front of body, 
edge up, and fingers close together, then moved forward in short 
rapid zigzags with a movement chiefly from the wrist. (Imitates 
the movements of a fish, especially swimming upstream.) ^'^^ 

10. Lake trout. — The same sign as the preceding, then the right 
index finger pointed to the tip of the left elbow, and shaken or made 
to describe a small circle. (The last part of the sign seems to refer 
to the spots on lake trout. Sometimes the circle is made against 
something of a yellowish or grayish color.) See "color" sign. 

2'5 This sign is often used by the Thompson for ''iinalarmed deer or similar 
game traveling around feeding." 

236 This sign is also used by the Thompson for ''buck deer." 

23~ Also used by the Thompson for "young buck," especially for a 2-year-old 

238 This sign is used by the Thompson, who differentiate between raven and 
crow. The sign is made more slowlj^ if a raven is meant, and generalh^ an 
imitation of the raven croak (kro) accompanies it; for a crow the movements 
are faster and the crow cry (ka, ka) is generally given. 

-^' The Thompson sign for "eagle" is only a little different from this. 

2'"' The same sign is used by the Thompson. 

S'*! See Shuswap, e, p. 568, No. 103. 
41383°— 30 10 


11. Man. — Index finger held almost horizontally in front of chest 
and pointing outward. ^*^ 

12. Old man. — Hands clutched and drawn downward close in 
front of face, and then the sign for "man" made. (The first part of 
the sign is imitative of the drawing down of the face and wrinkles of 
old people.) 

13. Man on horsehack (or riding). — Left hand held out in front 
edgewise, fingers close together; sign of "man" made with the right, 
then the first and second fingers of the latter parted and straddled 
over the upper edge of the left-hand fingers. (Imitative of riding. )'^^ 

14. Chief. — Right index finger pointed upward directly in front 
of the brow. (Probably has some connection with "high" or 

15. AVoman. — Hands raised to near top of head, palms backward 
and fingers toward thumbs, then parted and drawn over or in 
front of ears with a sweeping motion downward to fronts of shoulders 
and outward. (Imitates parting of the hair or hairdress of women.) 

16. Wife. — The same sign as the preceding, then the right fist 
lowered with a slight jerk at the right side. (Imitates sitting down 
at your side; inz, the one who sits by you.) 

17. Robe. — Hands closed and passed by each other close to and 
in front of breast. (Imitates putting on of a robe or blanket.) ^** 

18. Spoon. — First and second fingers of right hand, backs down, 
and points inclining upward to the left, then moved in motion as 
if scooping up something. (Imitates the hollow of a spoon and 
dipping.) ^'*^ 

19. Knife. — The right hand held edgewise and moved across the 
top of the left backward and forward (imitating cutting).^*® 

20. Gun. — Right arm placed across the breast, with the index 
finger pouiting out past the left arm a little above the elbow or at 
the elbow. (Imitates a common Indian method of carrying a gun 
in front of the body, with the muzzle sticking out to the left.) 

21. Shooting a gun. — This sign is not clear, but I understood it to 
mean "shooting a gun." Right arm and finger the same as in pre- 
I ceding sign, but higher up, near the left shoulder; one or both eyes 
' closed, then the right hand pushed downward quickly a short distance 

(probably in imitation of closing the eye when taking aim, and the 
sudden discharge or recoil of the gun).^*^ 

2« See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 7. 
2« See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 8. 

2" The same sign is used by the Thompson for "robe" or "putting on a robe." 
2^5 See Thompson, a, p. 283, Nos. 10, 11. 

2^^ Used by the Thompson as a sign of "cutting up or slicing something," 
also nearly like a Thompson sign for "knife." 
2" See Thompson, a, p. 285, No. 56. 


22. Bow and arrow. — Same sign as Thompson, No. 55.^^^ 

23. Tipi or lodge. — The two index fingers placed across each othef 
at the first joint, witli tips raised more or less upward. ^''^ 

24. Rain. — Hands held a little above the head, bent and hmp from 
the wrists, all the fingers toward each other and drooping; hands 
then moved or shaken up and down. (Imitates frequent dripping. )'^° 

25. Snow. — The same sign as the preceding, then a small circle 
made with the index finger (toward something white, if there is a 
white object handy). 

26. Sun. — Thumb and forefinger spread and extended upward to 
the right above the level of the head, and then stopped suddenly. 
(Probably imitates the course or high position of the sun in the 

27. Moon. — The same sign as for "sun" is made, and then the 
hands brought over each other in front of the body, a little distance 
apart and palms down. (May possibly contain the idea of "small" 
[or "narrow"], or covered sun.) 

28. Star. — Lips half opened, and sign of "sun" made forward and 
then upward with a swinging motion. (May be imitative of distri- 
bution or scattering. Some Indians say it means literally almost the 
same as sajdng "sun thrown away.") 

2Q. East.— Index finger pointed to the east, point curved upward, 
and a half circle described upward toward the body. (Seems to 
imitate rising or coming out in the east.) -^' 

30. Sunrise. — The sign of the "sun," and then that of the "east"; 
or the sign of "east" made with the spread thumb and forefinger. 
(See "Sun." Imitates the rising of the sun.) '^°^ 

31. West. — Index finger with point curved downward, pushed 
from the body downward toward the west. (Imitates setting or 
going down in the west.) -^^ 

32. Sunset. — Sign of the "sun," and then that of "west"; or the 
sign of the "west" made with the spread thumb and forefinger. 
(Imitates setting of the sim.) ^^^ 

33. Noon. — Sign of "sunrise" made. When the motion toward 
the body reaches near the riglit ear, the finger is straightened and 
pointed sharply and directly upward. (Imitates the high position 
of the Sim at noon or overhead.) -" 

2^8 See Thompson, a, p. 285. 

2" Used by the Thompson for "tipi" or ''conical lodge." 

2^" Also used by Thompson Indians. 

«i See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 13; p. 286, No. 75. 

252 See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 13. 

253 See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 14. 
25* See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 12. 


34. Cross trails. — Forefinger of each hand brought out from sides 
and crossed over each other out in front of the body. (Imitates 
coming together and crossing.) ^^^ 

35. Lake. — Circle described with both hands in front. (Imitates 
"roundness" or more probably "surrounded" [by earth].)^^^ 

36. Bushes. — Hands brought together facing each other, a little 
distance apart, with fingers extending upward; then hands moved 
up and down a little.^" 

37. Thick hrush. — The same as the pi'eceding, but the hands very 
close to each other. (Imitates thick growth or things standing 
thicldy together. The movement of the hands seems to indicate 
that the things are not in one place, or in two rows.)^^* 

38. Cold. — Clenched hands held more or less closely together in 
front of body, then arms and hands made to tremble or shake. 
(Imitates drawn-up feeling and sliivering.) ^'^^ 

39. Hot. — There are several methods of expressing "hot" or 
"heat" of different kinds, viz: (a) Sign made for "no," and then 
that for "cold"; (b) sign made for "good," and then sign for "sun"; 
(c) breath blown slightly as if panting; (d) the breath blown slightly 
as if panting, and then the sign of "sun" made (this is if the sun is 
very hot, or a person is hot from the heat of the sun). 

40. Tohacco. — Left hand held palm up in front of the body, hand 
lax, and palm slightly hollowed; right index finger placed across it, 
then the index finger and thumb brought together, and small circular 
motions made with them in the hollow of the palm. (Imitates crush- 
ing or mixing in the hand of tobacco preparatory to putting it in the 
pipe.) 260 

41. Cigarette. — Both hands held close together horizontally, points 
of fingers of each hand almost touching; then fingers of both hands 
describe motions over the thumbs toward the body. (Imitates 
roiling of the tobacco in paper.) 

42. Smoking. — Hand held in front, fingers closed excepting fore- 
finger, which is arched upward with the back outward; the finger 
is then brought to the mouth and back again several times. (Imitates 
pipe and puffing smoke.) ^" 

43. Small. — Right thumb placed underneath the point of the 
index finger, a little back from the end (sometimes both curved 
slightly toward each other) ; hand held out in front of the breast or 

"5 See Thompson, a, p. 286, No. 74. 

256 See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 6. 

257 See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 4. 

258 See Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 5. 

259 See Thompson, a, p. 287, No. 84. 

260 ^ Thompson sign for "tobacco" is very similar to this one. 

2*1 A Thompson sign for "pipe" is the same as this one. The sign for "smok- 
ing" is different. 


face; sometimes also a small or short breath was blown, or the mouth 
was puckered. (Imitates something "tiny.") -*'^ 

44. Big. — Hands held close to each other, palms facing, and fingers 
bent almost to touching; then the hands suddenly drawn asunder, 
describing half circles toward the sides of the body. (Seems to 
imitate something held which expands -"^^ and can no longer be held.) 

45. Very hig. — The same sign as the preceding, but the circles or 
sweeps of the hands are more extended.-''^ 

46. Color. — Pointing to something of the desired color, and then 
maldng a small circle opposite it with the forefinger. 

47. Bad. — Hand makes waves in front of the head, is then pushed 
outward and afterwards downward with fingers extended. (Possi- 
bly implies "pushing aside or away from one.") 

48. Good. — Right hand pushed past front of mouth or lower part 
of face in a sweep or wave. Sometimes the sweep is made slightly 
inward toward the body. (Possibly implies " retainment, " the 
opposite of 47.) 

49. No good or very had. — A wave of the hand inward toward 
the breast, then outward and downward, as in the sign for "bad." 
Sometimes the fingers make a slight snappy noise as they move out 
and dowTi. (Probably imphes "pushing away" and "disgust.") 

50. Good looTcing. — Right hand drawn over the face to the cliin 
(without touching), and then swept outward, palm down. (Imphes 
"good face.") 

51. Glad. — Hand drawn up in wriggling motion from opposite the 
abdomen to the breast, and then outward. (Suggests a feeling of 
satisfaction or good feeling rising up to the heart or breast.) ^^^ 

52. Dumh. — Hands placed flat on the mouth, and then on the ears. 
(Probably implies "closed in" or "shut" mouth and ears.) '^^ 

53. Deaj. — Hands placed flat on the ears.*''' (Probably imphes 

54. Dead. — Right hand passed downward on left side between 
the body and left arm, the forefinger pointing to the ground. (Seems 
to have some connection with going down to the ground.) 

55. The chief is dead or dead chief. — The same sign as the preceding, 
and then the sign for "chief." 

56. /or Me. — Forefinger put on nose. The breast struck with 
the forefinger is also used.-®^ 

262 \ Thompson sign for something very small or a very small quantity was 
made like this one. The mouth was puckered. See also a, p. 287, No. 81. 

263 Also used by the Thompson. 
^^ Also used by the Thompson. 
^^ Also used by the Thompson. 

26' Used by the Thompson for "dumb" or "deaf and dumb" (can neither 
speak nor hear). 

26" Also used by the Thompson. 

2w See Thompson, a, p. 284, No. 33. 


57. Thou. — The right arm and forefinger extended and pointed 
toward a person's breast. ^''^ 

58. Ye. — Right hand pushed out in front of left side, then drawn 
across in front and downward to the right. Often the left hand is 
touched or tapped lightly by the right before making this sign. 

59. All. — Right hand held in front of breast, palm downward, 
moved around horizontally.^™ 

60. Ye all. — Same as "Ye" (No. 58); but the hand continues in a 
wide sweep to the right in horizontal plane, palm down. 

61. Yes. — Hand with forefinger extended carried across the body 
to the left, and then struck a little downward. 

62. No. — Hand drawn up and pushed out to right, back outward, 
and fingers thrown downward; or the hand extended a httle in front 
of body, and then carried with a sweep to the right and downward. 
(Seems to be connected with the idea of pushing something aside.) 

63. Good-looTcing woman. — Sign of "woman," and then sign of 

64. Good-loolcing wije. — Sign of "woman," then sign of "good- 
looking" and then sign of "wife." 

65. (/) thinTc woman not good-looTcing . — Sign of "woman," then of 
"good-looking," then of "thinking," and then of "no good" (No. 49) 
or "no." 

66. To tMnTc (or likel). — Fists held one above the other in front of 
the breast. 

67. Thou art no good. — Sign of "no good," and then finger pointed 
to the person. 

68. Good man. — Hand brought to breast, and then pushed out- 
ward with fingers upward. Also the sign of "man" made, and 
then that of "good." 

69. Enow or / Tcnow. — Thumb and forefinger raised to near throat 
and then thrown outward. (Seems to imply holding or gripping 

70. DonH hnow. — Hand held in front, back incHning downward, 
fingers spreading, then hand shaken from side to side. (Seems to 
imply shaking off something.) 

71. Don't hear or understand. — Forefinger held opposite right ear 
and shaken, hen hand thrown outward to right side and downward. ^^ 

72. Untrue or tells a lie. — First and second fingers forked or spread, 
then pushed past front of mouth; then fingers snapped shghtly, and 
hand pushed outward and downward. (The first part of the sign 
seems to imply talk which is "double" or not direct.) 

73. DrinTcing or to drink. — Points of bent forefinger and thumb 
placed touching or almost touching, the two forming a circle, then 

269 Also used by the Thompson, a, p. 284, No. 35. 
2™ Also used by Thompson, a, p. 284, No. 38. 
2'i Also used by Thompson, a, p. 285, No. 53. 



drawn to the mouth. Often at the same time a motion of swallow- 
ing is made with the throat or mouth. ^^^ 

74. Whishy. — Sign of "drinldng" made first, and then the sign 
of "bad" made, or of "crazy." 

75. Jumping. — The hand pushed out in front upward and then 
downward, forming a curve, pakn down.^^^ 

76. Running. — Like the "bear" sign, but the elbows held well 
back and moved alternately, as a person does when running. 

77. Falling or Jail down (also capsize). — The hands placed close 
together, then carried to the right side and downward; at the same 
time the hands are turned over.^"* (Seems to imitate something 
turned over or capsized.) 

78. To fall from a horse. — Sign of "man on horseback " or "riding," 
then right hand thrown down to the right side. 

79. Stop. — Hand held in front, palm forward, and forefinger bent 
out, then pushed gently outward and downward a couple of times.^''^ 
(Seems to imitate pushing back something.) 

80. Loolc. — Fingers of both hands brought up to level of the eyes, 
then the index fingers extended outward in front. ^^^ 

81. Thou hole. — Sign of "look," and then both index fingers 
pointed to the person. 

82. Come. — Hand extended some distance in front of the body, 
index finger extended sKghtly and bent; then the hand swept inward 
toward the body. (Seems to be imitative of hooking or bringing 
something toward one.)-"'' 

83. Don't come. — Same sign as "come," and then hand thrown off 
to the right side. Otherwise the sign of "come" made, and then 
the sign of "no." 

84. Wallcing. — Hands and arms s\\'ing alternately outward and 
inward in front of sides several times. 

85. Meeting. — Two index fingers brought together in front on a 
horizontal plane until the points touch.^^* 

86. Two meet. — The spread first and second fingers of right hand 
held in front of head, points up, and then the two fingers brought 

87. Where from, or where have you come from? — Right hand extended 
and shaken in wavering motions in front of the body or toward 
the individual. 

2" This is like the sign for "drinking" of the Thompson, a, p. 283, No. 11. 

"^ Like the Thompson sign for "man jumping." 

"< See Thompson, a, p. 286, Nos. 65, 66. 

"5 See Thompson, a, p. 285, No. 42. 

2'8 See Thompson, a, p. 285, No. 49. 

2" Compare Thompson, a, p. 286, No. 75; Shuswap, e, p. 567, No. 88. 

"8 Compare Thompson, a, p. 286, No. 71. 


88. Came from, or / came from {certain place or country). — Finger 
pointed in the direction of place or country where the person came 
from. When hand in proper direction, finger pointed downward 
with a shght jerk; tlien the hand drawn back to the front of the 
body, and finger pointed down near feet. The raising and stretching 
of the arm much or httle defined to some extent whether the place 
was distant or near; but, as several places and tribes were often 
located in the same general direction, the name of the place or tribe 
was often said, or the sign for the tribe given. When considered 
necessary, places were also differentiated by defining in signs the 
nature of the place, whether by a lake or a river, a falls, or in moun- 
tains, valley or plains. 

89. White man, or whites. — Right hand raised to left side of brow, 
inclining slightly inward, palm down, fingers close together and 
somewhat extended; hand drawn across horizontally to right side of 
brow, as if maldng a cut. (The origin of the sign is unlcnown, but it 
is thought by the Indians to imitate the wearing of hats by the 

90. ThinJc the whites are good. — Same sign as preceding, then sign 
of "thinldng," and then sign of "good." 

91. Think whites are no good. — The same sign as preceding, only 
the "no good" sign made instead of sign for "good." 

92. Don't nice whites. — Sign for "whites," then sign of "think," 
then sign of "no." (The same sign seems to be used for "think" 
and "like," at least in some cases.) 

Tribal Names in the Sign Language 

93. Coeur d'Alene. — The sign of "bow and arrow" and shooting 
horizontally. Sometimes the sign of direction of the Coeur d'Alene 
country was also added. Sometimes the left hand, in making the 
sign for "bow," was held edge up, with the thumb pointing down, 
and fingers all close together, the arm held horizontally and arched. 
The arm was also sometimes moved from left to right. The meaning 
of the sign is "flat bow" (or "the people who use flat bows, shooting 
them horizontally"). Some of the Plains tribes used the simple 
signs of "bow and arrow" and "west" or "sunset" for the Coeur 
d'Alene, meaning "Bow and arrow people of the west." This name 
is supposed to have been given them because at a time when all 
the other buffalo-hunting tribes had at least some guns the Coeur 
d'Alene were stUl using bows and arrows. The terms "Flat bow" 
or "Wide bow" were applied to the Coeur d'Alene in the sign language 
because of the universal use of flat bows by them, and because, of 
all tribes, they used the widest bows. The terms "Awl-heart," 
"Pointed-heart," etc., were not used by any Indians for the Coeur 


d'Alene in the sign language. Some of the traders, however, may 
have used signs with these meanings. 

94. Flathead or Salish proper. — Right hand placed on the right 
side of the head slightly back of the temples, with fingers extending 
upward to top of head. Sometimes the hand was merely touched 
to the side of the head. Supposed to mean "pressed the side of the 
head" (lience "Flathead"), but the origin and true meaning of the 
sign are unloiown. 

95. Pend d'OreiUes. — With both hands sign of paddhng, first on 
one. side of the body and then on the other. This means "Paddlers" 
or "Canoe people." Sometimes the sign of "lake" (\vith reference 
to Flathead Lake) was added to the sign of "paddling," because at 
one time a large nimiber of the tribe hved near Flathead Lake; i. e., 
"Lake paddlers" or "Canoe people of the Lake." The Pend 
d'OreiUes were called "Paddlers" or "Canoe people" because they 
used bark canoes, while the Flathead did not, and because they were 
the most eastern people of the region who used canoes. The terms 
"Ear drops," "Ear pendants," were never used for the Pend d'OreiUes 
by any Indians in the sign language. 

96. Ealispel. — This tribe was called "Paddlers" or "Canoe men," 
just hke the Pend d'OreiUes. When it was desired to differentiate 
them from the latter the sign of "river" was added; viz, "River 
paddlers " or "Canoe men of the river." They were so named because 
of theii' habitat on Pend d'OreUle River and because they were canoe 
people Hke the Pend d'OreiUes and used the same kind of bark 

97. SpoTcan. — First the sign of "salmon" or "fish" was made, 
then the fingers were raised to the mouth and a motion of swaUowing 
made. The sign means "Salmon eaters," or "People who eat 
salmon." The Spokan were so named because they were the only 
tribe of the Flathead group having salmon in then- country, and they 
were the most eastern tribe of the region using salmon extensively 
as food. 

98. Colmlle or Chaudiere. — Sign of direction of location of country 
was made, then the sign of "faUs" by pushing the hand down, fingers 
perpendicular, then the signs of "fish" or "salmon" and "catching" 
up with the hands. Sometimes the sign of "river" was made first 
of all. The meaning is "Salmon fishers at falls." The term has 
reference to Kettle FaUs, the main salmon place of the ColvUle, and 
to the fact that the CohoUe caught more salmon than any other 
tribe of the region. The term "Kettle Indians" was not used for 
the ColviUe in the sign language by any of the Indians. 

99. LaTce or Senijextee. — The sign for "Lake trout" was made, or 
the sign for "fish," and then of "a spot of yellow." The meaning is 
"Lake-trout people," so named because it is said that comparatively 


few good salmon reached their country, and the tribes depended for 
food on lake trout, which were abundant. 

100. Sanpoil, OJcanagon. — My informant was not quite sure of the 
signs for these tribes. 

101. Similkameen. — The sign of "eagle" was made for this people; 
"Eagle people." Said to be so named because eagles were formerly 
very plentiful in the Similkameen country, and eagle-tail feathers 
were formerly exported from there. 

102. Thompson or Couteau. — My informant thought the sign of 
"snow" was formerly made by some people for the Thompson; 
"Snow people." Why so named is quite unknown. It may be 
derived through folk etymology from the name of the tribe. They 
were also sometimes called "People of the big river to the north- 
west." The sign for "knife" was also made for them; "knife 
people," but this term was used chiefly by the fur traders. The 
liver to the northwest is either the Thompson or Fraser River. 

103. Shuswap. — My informant was not sure of the sign for 
the Shuswap, but a term sometimes used meant "People who Hve 
(or go down) in the valley on the other side of the high country to 
the north." 

104. Lillooet. — My informant was not famiUar with any sign 
for this tribe, but thought the sign for "ax" was probably applied 
to them because the Okanagon group of tribes caU them "ax people." 

105. Wenatchi. — Fists brought together in front of breast, thumbs 
adjoining, then each turned upward and backward as if breaking 
something. Said to mean "bent or nearly broken" or "bent or 
broken in the middle," but with reference to what is uncertain. The 
sign may be derived through folk etymology from the tribal name. 

106. Columbia, Moses Columbia, or Columbia Cayuse. — Hands 
placed together, points of fingers and wrists almost touching; then 
right hand pushed hard along middle of left, as if pushing something 
through. Said to mean "wedged" or "pressed in," or "wedged or 
divided in the middle," but with reference to what is unknown. 
The sign may possibly be derived tlirough folk etymology from the 
tribal name. 

107. Yakima, Klickitat. — Both hands held over temples, fingers 
meeting at top of head. Often the hands are pressed down on the 
head. Means "pressed or flattened heads." Said to be so named 
because the Yaldma formerly pressed the heads of all infants; and 
they were the nearest tribe to the Coeur d'Alene having this custom. 

108. Paloos. — The common sign for the Paloos was the same as 
for Yakima, but with the sign of "location" or "direction" added. 
There was another sign for the Paloos which my informant had 


109. Nez Perce. — Forefinger of right hand pointed across the 
nostrils or point of the nose. Sometimes the forefinger was simply 
held for a moment horizontally across in front of the nose. The 
meanings of the signs are "Pierced noses." They were so named 
because long ago nearly all the Nez Perce had their noses pierced, 
and they wore nose-pins of shell and bone to a greater extent than 
any other tribe. 

110. Wallawalla, Umatilla, Cayuse. — My informant said he did 
not know any signs for these tribes. Usually they were called 
by the same sign as the Nez Perce, with signs of location added 
to differentiate them. 

111. Chinook, ^Yasco. — My mformant said there was an old sign 
name for the Chinook and Wasco, both being called by the one name, 
but he had forgotten it. 

112. Coast Indians. — First the sign for "water" or "drinldng" 
was made; then a wry face was made, as if something bitter had been 
tasted. Sometimes the sign for "sunset" was added, or for "west 
beyond the mountains." The meaning is "bitter-water people." 

113. Shoshoni. — The sign for "snake" (^dz, "Snake people") was 
made for all the Shoshoni. Different tribes were differentiated by 
signs of location. The origin of the term is unlvnown. The Flat- 
head are said to have used different signs for certain tribes of Shoshoni 
besides the general one of "snake." 

114. .Kutenai. — The sign of "robe," and then that for "deer," 
was made for the Kutenai, meaning "deer robes." They are said 
to have been so named because they used deer robes extensively in 
early times. There was a special or additional name occasionally 
used for the Lower Kutenai, but my informant was uncertain of 
what it was. The fur traders sometimes used the term "Flat bow" 
for the Lower Kutenai. 

115. Cree. — Hand pushed down over nose, or the finger points 
drawn down over the nose, as if scratcliing it. Sometimes the two 
signs were combined. Said to mean " bloody noses " and "striped 
or scratched noses." The origin of the sign name is obscure. Some 
Coeur d'Alene suggested that the name may have arisen from some 
of them painting their noses red or in stripes. 

116. Gros Ventres or Atsina. — Two signs were used for this tribe. 
In one, the two forefingers were crossed near the outer joints, with 
points extending upward. This means "tent" or "tent poles." 
This is the oldest sign name for the tribe; but why they were so 
designated is unknown. Some tliink it was because they had inferior 
tents long ago. The other sign was made by bringing the hands 
together in front of the breast, palms inward, and points of all the 
fingers touching. The hands were then pushed forward and down- 
ward without being parted, making a curve in front of the belly. 


This means "big bellies." The origin of this name is also unknown. 
In later days this sign name almost entirely superseded the former, 
and it was the only one used by the fur traders. 

117. Blackjoot. — The hand put to the mouth, and from there up- 
ward and outward, then swept down to the right and drawn across 
the ankle, as if cutting it. The full meaning of the sign seems to be 
uncertain, but it has some connection with "mouth" and with "foot," 
or possibly "moccasin." It may mean "Blackfoot speaking." 
Another sign was made by pointing at the right foot, and then mak- 
ing the "color" sign opposite something black or dark. This means 
"black foot" or "black feet." The term was used as a general one 
for all the Blackfoot tribes, and as a special one for the Blackfoot 
proper. The first sign was used as a general term for the Blackfoot 
tribes and may refer to the Blackfoot language; but the Indians 
differ in opinion as to the exact meaning of the sign. 

118. Blood. — The sign for "blood" was made for this tribe, and 
the signs of "blood" and "Blackfoot" combined; viz, "Blood 

119. Piegan. — The sign of "robe" and "small" (viz, "small 
robes") were made for the Piegan. Rarely the sign "Blackfoot" 
was added. 

120. Arapaho. — The right index finger placed vertically alongside 
the right nostril. My informant thought this was at least one sign 
for the tribe, but he was not quite sure. Meaning unknown. 

121. Cheyenne. — The same informant thought the common sign 
for the Cheyenne was "striped arrows," or "striped arrow shafts," 
or "feathers of arrows." The sign of "arrow" was made, and the 
sign of "bars" or "stripes" across the head of the arrow. Supposed 
to be so named because long ago they had stripes on their arrows 
different from stripes on arrows used by other tribes. 

122. Crow. — The sign of "raven" or "crow," meaning "raven 
people" or "crow people." The origin of the name is unknown. 

123. River Crow. — Sign of "man" and sign of "blue" (viz, "blue 
men"). Why so named is uncertain; thought to be because they 
may have used blue paint more extensively than other tribes. 

124. Sioux. — The right hand held out flat in front, and then drawn 
from left to right across and opposite the throat. Means "cut- 
throats." The origin of this name is also unl?;nown. . , 

Counting, Greeting, Signals 

125. Counting. — In counting, the Coeur d'Alene begin with "one" 
by putting the right index on the point of the little finger of the left 
hand, and continue to the thumb, which is "five"; then they reverse 
hands, and count beginning with the little finger of the right up to 
nine or ten. When the meaning of "ten" is to be conveyed, both 



closed hands are placed alongside each other and shaken once. Two 
shakes means "twenty," three shakes "thirty," and so on. 

126. Greeting. — As a sign of greeting and good will or respect, on 
meeting one another, people clasped or placed together their right 
hands, but did not shake the hands nor press nor squeeze them, as 
most whites do. Another common method of greeting, probably 
most common among women, was the making of what may be called 
the "good will" or "blessing" sign, which is the same as that used 
by the Thompson. ^''^ It was made with both hands, from the head 
or the shoulders, down the front of the body or front of the arms, to 
the legs. This was usually repeated two or three times, but some- 
times done only once. Often it was begim with one hand on each 
shoulder of the person, and the hands continued to touch the person's 
body as they were drawn down. This sign was also made to a person 
as a greeting from a little distance off, as the whites do sometimes by 
lifting the hat or waving the hand instead of going up and shaking 
hands. The person making the sign generally uttered the word 
"htoic" ^^° from one to four times. These forms of greeting, it is 
said, were the only ones used between the Coeur d'Alene themselves 
and between them and Salish and some other tribes. With a number 
of Plains tribes and some Shoshoni a different form of greeting was 
used. The right arm was passed around the person's neck and the 
left hand placed on his right shoulder. The cheeks were then pressed 
or rubbed, and often a snapping noise was made with the mouth at 
the same time. In later days the handshake of the whites superseded 
all the old forms of greeting. 

127. Signals. — Signs similar to those used b}^ the Thompson and 
other tribes were used on vacating camps and on traUs as notices to 
other parties. Signals and calls were also frequent and were much 
like those of the Thompson. When hunting in bushy and timbered 
parts of the country, esi^ecially when dri-ving game, whistling and 
cries were used to regulate the pace of the hunters or drivers and to 
keep them in line. If the distance between the drivers was small, 
each man wliistled in a low tone now and then as he walked along. 
If farther apart, each cried softly "Ho, ho!" Often when the men 
were in line, and ready to start, the hunting chief from his position 
gave a whistle or cry as a signal to start. Each man took it up in 
turn and at once started. Sometimes the hunting chief would signal 
by whistle or cry at almost regular intervals, the cry being passed 
along. In tliis way h§ knew the position of the drivers, how they 

"9 a, p. 287, No. 86. 

280 The Thompson almost invariably utter this word when making the sign. 
Tlie word is also used to children when a person is weU pleased with them or when 
they do something deserving of pity or praise. Men among tlie Thompson 
hardly ever use the expression, but it is commonly employed by women, especially 
old women. 


were keeping in line, and how they were progressing. The hunters 
themselves, hearing the signals, knew whether one or more persons 
were too far ahead or too far back, and they went faster or slower 
accordingly. Sometimes by agreement the hunting chief gave a 
signal at short intervals, so that all the others could hear. As long 
as he continued, the line kept advancing. When he stopped, the line 
stopped. When he began again, it advanced again. When a person 
saw game but could not shoot it, he gave a loud whistle (but not 
shrill) as a signal to his companions that game had been seen and to 
look out for it. Besides whistling and the calling of "Ho!" dog and 
owl cries were used in hunting. 


Social Organization. — The social organization of the Coeur 
d'Alene seems to have been almost the same as that which obtained 
among the Thompson. ^^^ There was no hereditary nobihty, no class 
with special pri^dleges. Clans, gentes, phratries, or societies did not 
exist. The tribe was divided into geographical divisions and bands 
in the same way as were the Thompson. In some cases the people of a 
band occupied but a single winter camp, while others occupied several 
small contiguous camps. However, as a rule, one of these was larger 
than the others, and was considered the main camp of the band. 
Each band had headcpiarters in a well-defuied locality. The division 
consisted of a group of bands occupjring a certain large area, defined, 
and separated more or less definitely from other bands of the tribe by 
natural boundaries, such as moimtain ranges. Thus, for instance, 
the people of Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe Rivers would naturally con- 
stitute separate divisions of the tribe, as their respective territories 
were situated quite apart, a wide intervening stretch of mountainous 
country separating the two. The band consisted of a greater or lesser 
number of famiUes more or less closely related, being descendants of 
people who had made the territory their headquarters for a long time. 
Each family, no matter in what part of the tribal territory it might 
temporarily be Uving, belonged to some particular band, and therefore 
had a locality that was considered to be its home, and which it claimed 
as such. Each family generally wintered witliin the territory of the 
band to which it belonged, although it did not necessarily winter in 
the same spot every winter. Occasionally families wintered in the 
territories of other bands where they had friends or relatives. Some 
people claimed the right to winter in the territory of any one of two or 
three different bands, because they were descended from people of 
all these places. A family might winter at the father's or husband's 
"\allage, or again at the mother's or wife's. People having close relsi- 

281 a, pp. 289-302. 


tives in different bands sometimes wintered wdth one and sometimes 
with another, or spent half the winter in one and the other half in 
another. Often they wintered with one set of relatives and summered 
with another. With these many mixed famihes, it was largely habit 
that decided in which village they lived most of the time. As a rule, 
how^ever, one band or village w^as preferred. In time it became their 
real headquarters; and their cliildren usually continued to hve in this 
place. There was considerable intercourse and relationsliip through 
intermarriage between all the bands of a division, but considerably 
less betw^een bands of different di\isions. However, as the perma- 
nently inhabited part of the Coeur d'Alene country was not very 
extensive, and the territories of the several di\isions and bands were 
connected by easy waterways, there was probably more intercourse 
and relationship betw^een them than was the case in some other tribes. 
Neighboring bands had much intercourse with one another in the 
wintertime; less in the summer w'hen there was much more traveling, 
and distant bands were often visited. Before the advent of the 
horse, the Coeur d'Alene spent a good deal of time travehng, fisliing, 
and hunting along the rivers and lakes of their country, although 
parties also w^ent on distant hunting trips in the mountains during 
the fair season. At certain seasons considerable numbers of people 
congregated at famous camas and other root-digging grounds. They 
also went to the Spokan for salmon fisliing, trading, and sports. 
These journeys were made on foot, for there were no water routes 
leading to these places. On the wiiole the people were fairly sedentary, 
and most of them lived the greater part of the year on their home 
grounds, although they had no permanent houses or villages, unless the 
long communal dance houses at the larger tillages may be so called. 
Being a semisedentary people, and li^ing in a country wiiere wood, 
bark, and vegetal materials of many kinds abounded, the Coeiu: 
d 'Alene developed the arts of fishing, canoe maldng, and textile w'ork 
in weaving of mats, bags, and baskets, probably to a greater degree 
than any of the neighboring tribes. 

With the introduction of the horse the social and economic life of 
the tribe became materially changed. In fact, it seems that it wrought 
a greater change in their customs and material culture than in any 
other tribe. Fishing and canoe travel were gradually forsaken for 
buffalo hunting and travel by horse. Since the forested country was 
not well adapted for horses, most of the tribe moved to the more open, 
grassy districts. This drew them away from the lakes, and in great 
measixre from fishing, canoes, bark, and wood, materials which they 
w^ere accustomed to use. They could not follow the old hfe on the 
water and in the forests, and at the same time keep horses. Besides, 
as raismg and herding horses and buffalo hunting necessitated much 
travel, the people had no time for their former industries. Further- 


more, many of their utensils were unsuitable for the new style of Ufe. 
Objects made of wood, bark, and basketry were either too bulky, 
cumbersome, or fragile; therefore they were largely dispensed with. 
Bags of sldn, leather, and rawhide took the place of basketry and 
woven bags because they were better suited for travel by horse. 
Instead of the former small hunting parties, consisting of people of 
one band or part of a band, hunting now became largely a tribal 
business, and demanded a different organization. The easier method 
of maldng a Uving offered by buffalo hunting, as well as the pleasure 
and excitement of traveUng and mingling \vith strangers, wliich it 
afforded, were great inducements. Once horses were plentiful, inter- 
course became easy and general between all members of the tribe, 
and buffalo hunting as a tribal affair could be engaged in. The old 
system of claiefs of bands and divisions became obsolete, and only 
tribal cliiefs continued to be recognized. There were really no more 
bands or divisions. The change from a tribe consisting of many 
semisedentary bands with as many headiquarters to a single, almost 
entirely nomadic community, mth a single center, was in time almost 
completed. The old communal dance houses were abandoned and 
dancing was conducted entirely in the camp circles. An impetus was 
given to trading. While formerly trade was chiefly with the western 
tribes, now much trading was also done with those to the east. Com- 
modities were exchanged more rapidly, and came from greater 

Again, in later years the Coeur d'Alene, hke other tribes, had to 
adapt themselves to another great change, brought about by the 
failure of buffalo hunting and the settlement of the country by the 
whites. Tliis forced the tribe to become farmers and stock raisers. 

Chiefs. — Chieftaincy was of exactly the same land as that of the 
Thompson,^^^ and not necessarily hereditary. Cliiefs were elected, 
and everyone was ehgible, whether a chief's son or not. Each band 
and village community, and also each large camp, had a cliief. In 
places where the people of several bands congregated for root digging 
one of the band cliiefs present was elected chief of all for the time 
being. If all were about equal in popularity, then the chief who had 
the largest following in camp was elected, or the senior chief was 
chosen. If no cliief was present, some good man was elected as 
camp chief, and he continued to act until the camp broke up. Chiefs 
of bands were often called "small chiefs." On their election, if 
wealthy enough, they gave a feast and some presents to the people of 
the band, who thereafter were called their "cliildren. " Sons of 
former chiefs were often elected, but with equal frequency they "were 
not. If too young when the chief died, or if deficient in chief-like 
qualities of goodness, liberality, wisdom, and honesty, they were 

282 a, p. 289. 


never chosen. As a rule, the best man in the band was appointed. 
People were ashamed if they had a chief much inferior to others, or 
if their chief was wicked or fooUsh. If a chief turned out to be bad or 
foohsh, he was deposed, and another one elected. But very few 
chiefs were deposed, as care was generally taken to choose a good 
man; and most men, when they became cliiefs, were careful of their 
conduct, and tried to live up to their position. From time to time 
most chiefs gave small feasts, and sometimes presents, to the members 
of their band. It seems that each division had a head chief. It is 
not quite clear whether he was a specially elected man or simply one 
of the band chiefs. It would seem, however, that the latter was 
the case. It would also seem that he generally belonged to a band 
which was considered the head band of the division, either because 
of numbers or because it was considered the original or parent band 
which occupied the traditional original headquarters, and from which 
the other bands of the division had sprung. ^^^ Of the three, or pos- 
sibly four, chiefs of divisions, it seems that one was head chief of the 
tribe. As formerly the Coeur d'Alene City chief was generally, if 
not always, head chief of the tribe, this may indicate that this dis- 
trict is the original center of the tribe. When they began to give up 
the old style of hfe for that of buffalo hunting, and to live as a single 
community, the system of "small chiefs" or band cliiefs passed 
away and chiefs of divisions only were recognized. At one time 
there were three of these, but possibly at one period there were four. 
Later, with reduction in numbers caused by epidemics, and the begin- 
ning of reservation hfe it seems that the number of chiefs was reduced 
to two — a head chief and a subcliief. T\Tien the head chief died 
the subchief became head chief and another man was elected from 
the tribe to fill his place. It is said that about 1820 there were three 
recognized chiefs of the tribe, the head chief StMa^am, with head- 
quarters at Coeur d'Alene City; Xwtstceni"tsa ("walking robe"), 
with headquarters at Mission; Cilciltco' sqet ("revolving sky or 
cloud"), chief of St. Joe division, who died about 1848. ^Tien 
Stela"am died, Andre Seltis (Saltis) became head chief. He was 
no direct descendant of Stela' ^ am, but was elected on account of liis 
wealth and intelligence.^** He was chief of the tribe in 1858 dming 
the Spokan war with the whites, in which he took part, and in 1877 
diu-ing the Nez Perce war. He died in 1902. At this time Pete 
Wa'iyi'lcu^ (called "Wild Shoe" by the whites — a corruption of his 

-^ Information of this kind sometimes leads to a knowledge of the original 
site of the people as a tribe, and shows the manner in which they spread into the 
surrounding country, gradually enlarging their boundaries by offshoots. There 
are strong traces of this to be found among the Lillooet, Thompson, Shuswap, 
and Okanagon. 

-81 Information furnished by Gladys A. Reichard. 
41383°— 30 11 


Indian name) was second chief, and he became head chief. He died 
in 1907. Pete Tci'yarpa' (full name Tci'yarpa'sqEt, "rolling on the 
clouds") was elected second chief when Wa'iyi'lcu' became head 
chief; and he became head chief on the latter's death, and is head 
chief now. Some other former head chiefs of the tribe were Pete or 
Pierre T'enfenemi'lstcen (?) (the name seems to have some connection 
with "horns" or "head"), who was son of a former band chief of the 
St. Joe division; AnastEmElpo' (?) (full name TEmplpo'sEmEn, "no 
heart"), who a long time ago was a chief of the Coeur d'Alene River 
division; Sqonxwd'lqo or xwEltspo'sEvnEn ("deep thinker," literally 
"many hearts"), another chief of olden times. The last name is 
probably a Spokan form. There were no female cliiefs, and women 
had no direct voice in the election of chiefs. However, the influence 
of some women was powerful in moulding pubHc opinion. A 
woman who had chief-hke qualities, who was good, intelligent, 
sagacious, and liberal, was called sq'o'md^lt. Such women were highly 
respected, and their opinions treated with consideration. Some of 
them occasionally made speeches before the people and chiefs. 

Councils. — Each band chief had a large stone pipe which was the 
"band" pipe, and the chiefs of divisions had "chief's pipes." The 
head chief of the tribe had the "tribal" pipe. All important matters 
concernuig the welfare of the band were arranged at councils or meet- 
ings of the elders and heads of families, presided over by the chief. 
In smoking ceremonials and in making agreements, bargains or 
treaties, if the band pipe was smoked, it was only binding on the 
band to whom the pipe belonged. When the tribal pipe was smoked, 
the contract made was binding on the whole tribe, and therefore this 
pipe was smoked in ratifying agreements and making important 
treaties with strangers and enemies. All chiefs used criers, who were 
generally elderly men and good speakers. When the chief wanted to 
assemble the people or tallv with them on any matter he sent out the 
crier to inform the people that a general meeting would be held on the 
morrow. The crier went out in the middle of the camp circle and 
gave the information in a loud voice, so that all might hear. If some 
of the lodges were too far away or were scattered, he went on foot or 
on horseback, stopping in front of each lodge door, and gave the notice. 
Councils, meetings, and all public functions were held in the communal 
long house or dance house, maintained at all large villages of bands, 
at all times when the majority of the people were at home. During 
fine weather or when in camp, meetings were held in the open air or 
under a temporary shelter erected for the purpose. Sometimes they 
were held in the chief's house or in the largest tent. After the old 
band and village system was broken up often a large skin tent was 
erected especially as a meeting and dance lodge ; or a circular lodge of 
poles, open on the sides and roofed with brush, bark, or mats, was 



used. These were erected in the middle of the camp circle. The cnief 's 
lodge still continued to be used occasionally for small meetings. It 
seems that the chief's lodge occupied no particular position in regard 
to other lodges in a camp. In the ancient villages doors of lodges 
were in any direction most convenient for access to water and for 
shelter from winds. Thus doors generally faced the streams. In 
temporary camps doors faced either inward (if the lodges were in 
a circle), or to the east if there was no circle. There were some excep- 
tions, however, especially in favor of a southerly direction. 

Camp Circle. — In camping on the plains a large camp circle was 
formed, and at night the horses were kept inside. This was often 
necessary as a precaution against horse stealing. When camped on 
friendly ground in conjunction with allied tribes, each tribe might 
camp in a circle of its own, contiguous to the others, but when 
camped on unfriendly ground, where there was considerable chance of 
being attacked, all camped in one circle. If there were two tribes 
about equal in numbers, each occupied half the circle. The lodges 
were never mixed. It seems that sometimes positions of tribes in a 
camp circle were taken according to the geographical position of their 
homes. For instance, when they camped with Kahspel, the latter 
took the north side of the circle, and the Coeur d'Alene the south. 
When camped with Nez Perce, the latter took the south side and the 
Coeur d'Alene the north. Coeur d'Alene and Spokan would take 
the west side; and Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead the east. Oratory 
was highly developed, as among all the neighboring tribes. 

Tribal Regulations. — It seems that there were seldom any 
attempts at coercion on the part of the chiefs; and they did not 
interfere in purely personal matters, except in an advisory way. 
There was no real police. The influence and advice of the chiefs and 
public opinion concerning matters of procedure and ethics were 
sufficient to keep order. The orders of the chiefs, especially if the 
result of discussion and agreement at a council held beforehand, were 
received with great consideration, and hardly ever combated. Some- 
times a number of young men or others were chosen to carry out cer- 
tain orders, or some elderly men were appointed to see that they were 
carried out. These men, it seems, were appointed only for special 
occasions. Customs regarding murder, theft, adultery, and rape were 
the Same as those which obtained among the Thompson and Nez 

War Chiefs. — As already noted, all hunting and war parties had 
chiefs. Hunting chiefs were elected by hunting parties the first 
night in camp, or the night before hunting began. Often a man was 
recognized from the start as hunting chief. The most experienced 
hunter was chosen. His authority lasted only during the hunt. 

' 2S5 b, pp. 244, 245. 


War chiefs were elected in like manner, and continued in authority 
to the end of an expedition; but there were also many permanent 
war chiefs, who were elected as war chiefs of bands and divisions. 
They were men who had warlike qualities, experience, and had 
distinguished themselves in war. At all times they received respect, 
being treated like other chiefs; but they had no authority excepting 
in war time. In some cases men who were war chiefs were afterwards 
chosen to be "peace" chiefs or chiefs of bands. The band chief 
exhorted the people as to conduct, morals, and industry and regulated 
in large measure the procuring of the food supply of his band. He 
was also leader in many ceremonies, and, on the whole, acted as 
an advisor and teacher of the people, to whom he was supposed to give 
a good example at all times. He also in large measure conducted the 
business between the band and strangers, and he often had to act as 
host to foreign visitors. Band chiefs also kept count of the days, 
moons, and years by cutting notches in sticks. 

Companies. — As already stated, the introduction of the horse and 
the adoption of buffalo hunting led the people away from their old 
habitat and ways of living and forced on them a changed tribal organi- 
zation. The bands seem to have become completely merged in the 
tribe. The tribe could not be on the move for about nine months of 
the year, traveling long distances and hunting buffalo in a country 
where they were subject to attack at any time, without being fairly 
well organized for traveling, camping, hunting, and protection. Thus 
it came about that the system of chiefs and many of the former regu- 
lations of the tribe were changed to suit the new conditions or environ- 
ment. The chiefs and councUs obtaiued more power, in which all the 
people acquiesced. At the same time it seems that force was not 
employed much more than under the earlier system. The men of the 
tribe became divided in companies, each one of which had special 
duties to attend to. It seems that certain rules came into vogue in 
traveUng — the women and families and pack animals, on the whole, 
occupying the center, groups of warriors traveling in the front, rear, 
and on the borders. Scouts were stiU farther off, but I did not 
obtain full information regarding the system. It seems that a con- 
siderable body of warriors rode just in front of the main body of the 
people, many of the leading and elderly men among them. Men 
who knew the country best acted as guides and rode well in front, 
but some young men or scouts were with them or preceded them. 

Young men, most of them unmarried, were divided into two or 
three companies. Some of them rode near the chief and occasionally 
acted as his messengers. One group of young men acted as scouts; 
another acted as horse guards and took the horses in charge. They 
saw to their pasturing, took them out, and brought them in again. 
A group of older (?) men assisted in the camping, and it seems that 



there were groups having particular duties in connection with hud'alo 
hunting, war, or defense. The men in each group wore generally 
those best adapted by age or experience to do the work assigned, and 
men naturally fell into one group or the other. It was not obligatory 
to be in any particular company, and a man might join one group or 
another as he washed. However, men were sometimes assigned to 
one group or another hj the chiefs or asked to perform certain 
services. It seems that no one thought of refusing; and young men 
especiallj'' were eager to be in the group of scouts or horse guards, as 
the case might be. They considered it an honoi- to do the chief's 
bidding and perform important service, especially' where there was 
danger. It seems that most, if not all, companies had captains who 
were old, experienced men. Most of the older men had little to do 
in traveling, except to look after theii' personal belongings and fami- 
lies and to help in making their own camp. Young men drove the 
pack animals. The number of men in the companies varied. If 
there was a shortage in any one, or if more men were required for an 
emergency, the chiefs regulated it. I obtained an understanding of 
the system only in a very general way, and received very lew details. 
It seems that there was also a soldier or warrior company of middle- 
aged men. This company contained the bravest and most reliable 
men in the tribe. The defense of the camp was intrusted to them. 
As far as I could learn, none of these groTips had any functions like 
those of the military societies of the plains. Men were graded to 
some extent, however, according to their deeds of valor. Only those 
who had done certain deeds were supposed to wear eagle feathers in 
certain ways and carry certain ornaments, bands, and ceremonial or 
symbolic objects. This custom, being well developed among the 
Shoshoni, Flathead, and Kutenai, may possibly have been copied 
from them, if something similar was not already in vogue among the 
Coeur d'Alene before they began to go to the plains. Among these 
men of valor was a small company who had counted coup on an 
armed enemy in the thickest of battle, and had returned unscathed. 
They wore certain feathers and other ornaments. They were believed 
to be invulnerable, and were expected to act as leaders in battle. 
They were middle-aged or elderly men. However, it seems that this 
class had existed under the old system also, and the members were 
known as those who required no protection; therefore they used no 

It seems that a fairly perfect system of cries, whistles, and other 
signals was evolved whereby people were at once advised of any 
important happening. There were dog cries, crow cries, owl cries, 
and certain whistles or signals when strangers were sighted, or when 
buffalo were seen. When these calls were heard, the chiefs and the 


men of each company at once knew what to do, and acted accord- 
ingly. There was thus Httle confusion among the people. 

Slavery. — Slaves were of two kinds — captives made m war and 
those purchased from other tribes. The latter were all procured in 
trade from western tribes, chiefly the Spokan, and none of them were 
of interior Salish origin. It is said that most of them were boys, 
girls, and young women of the Snake, Ute, and Paiute. Many of 
them were probably captives made in war by Nez Perce, Cayuse, 
Wallawalla, and other tribes to the south, who at one time were 
almost constantly at war with the Shoshonean tribes west of the 
Rocky Mountains. None of these slaves were repatriated, and 
very seldom were they resold. They became members of the tribe 
and lost their own language. A very few slaves were from the 
Umatilla and other tribes to the south and southwest, but they were 
generally bought back through the Spokan or Paloos, or sometimes 
directly from Coeur d'Alene parties who went to the intertribal 
dances at the mouth of the Snake. Captives were generally girls 
and young women of non-Salish tribes with whom they were at war. 
As a rule, they were sold back to their friends or exchanged at the 
end of the war. If not, they were usually later given their liberty 
and in most cases they returned to their own country. It is said 
that the Coeur d'Alene did not favor maldng captives and generally 
killed all their enemies or allowed those to escape whom they did not 
want to kill. Shoshonean slaves never tried to escape, but slaves 
and captives of other tribes sometimes ran away. Slaves were 
kindly treated, and most people regarded them as affectionately as 
their own wives or children. When a slave boy died his owner has 
l)een known to show as much grief and weep as much over him as if 
he had been one of his own children. When a slave woman bore 
children to her master she became the same as a free member of the 
tribe; and no one watched her or tried to retain her in captivity. 
When her children grew up they were treated with as much respect 
as other children and were never openly called "slave children." 
Some of them became capable men, and they would resent being 
treated differently from others. Until they came to be considered 
members of the tribe, the hair of slaves was kept short. 

There are several cases remembered of Coeur d'Alene women hav- 
ing been made captive and enslaved by Kalispel and Pend d'OreUles, 
but in nearly all cases they eventually returned to their tribe. In one 
case, very long ago, a woman never came back. She was treated well 
and became a member of the Pend d'Oreilles tribe. At a later date 
two women enslaved by the Pend d'Oreilles escaped after a time. 
A man took pity on them, and hid some food, moccasins, and thread 
and awl, telling them where they would find them. Then at night 



he ferried them across the river and gave them dii'ections how to go. 
They hid in the daytime and wallced at night, always avoiding trails. 
The people searched for them one day, and then gave it up. They 
reached home in safety. 

Only a very few of the Coeur d'Alene kept slaves, and this long ago. 
After the tribe began buffalo hunting they rarely bought am^ slaves 
and very rarely took any captives in war. Slaves were of little 
value to a people who were not fairly sedentary, and they could not 
easUy be kept captive. 

Personal Names. — I did not collect many data on names. As 
among the Thompson, names fell into several classes. Names of 
males and females were distinct. 

One class of names consisted of dream names, often obtained 
directly from the guardian spirit at puberty, or received at a later age 
in dreams. Other dream names were taken from incidents of dreams. 
These names were believed to be connected in some way with the 
guardian of the individual. Some men took the name of theii' 
guardian for a personal name. 

The second class of names may be designated as nicknames. Some 
were derived from physical peculiarities of the individual, or from 
incidents in his career. 

Names of these two classes originated with the individual himself, 
and could become hereditary by being passed on to his descendants. 
Often, however, they died out with the person who acquired them, 
and whose property they actually were. 

The third class of names were inherited. These were the property 
of families and had passed down in them for generations. In many 
cases their origin is unknown. Many of them are difficult to trans- 
late because the original forms and pronunciations had become 
altered, were archaic, or were derived from languages of other tribes. 
A peculiarity in this class of names was that most of them had regular 
name suffixes, not more than six or seven in number, whereas most 
other names did not have these suffixes. Nevertheless, it seems 
that many of them originated in just the same way as other names. 

Among the Coeur d'Alene names with these regular suffixes are 
not as common as among the Thompson; but probably at one time 
they were more frec^uent. There seems to have been a tendency for 
several generations back to discard them and to adopt striking 
names derived from dreams and exploits, which were more high- 
sounding and at the same time easy to translate and explain. Some 
of the Coeur d'Alene names, with name suffixes analogous to those of 
the Thompson, are at first hard to recognize because of the tendency 
to clip off the ends of many long words. This tendency is common 
to the Flathead and all tribes of that group, as well as to the more 
eastern Kutenai and the Coeur d'Alene. For examples see Htnwaxane' 


WaxEne' for HinwaxEm'lst (p. 129), and names of chiefs (pp. 153, 154), 
where -posEruEn is shortened to -po. and -a'sqst to -a. It seems that 
among the Coeur d'Alene there occur some Spokan forms of names 
acquired through intermarriage. 

I noticed the following suffixes in old hereditary names which are 
the same as those used by the Thompson. ^^^ 

1. -itsa ("robe," "blanket," "skin"), in both men's and women's names, as 
among the Thomjison, most common among men. (Thompson forms, -itsa, 

2. -qain ("head," "top," "eminence"), in men's names. (Thompson forms, 
-qain, -qsn.) 

3. -alst, -list, -ast ("stone"), in men's names (often shortened to -l). (Thomp- 
son forms, -e'llst, -dst.) 

4. -a'sqEt, -sqEt ("cloud," "sky," "day"), in men's names (often shortened 
to -a). (Thompson forms, -e'skst, -a'sqEt.) 

5. -kwa ("water"), in women's names. (Thompson forms, -koE, -ko, -a'tko.) 

I did not find the suffix -InEl ("bow," "belly," "rounded"), 
common in women's names of the Thompson, but it may occur. Of 
the nine chiefs' names mentioned on pages 153 and 154, one has the 
suffix -I'tsa and two the suffix -a'sqEt. The name XwistCEni'tsa (trans- 
lated "walking robe") occurs in slightly different forms among the 
Okanagon and Thompson. A name similar to Cilciltco' sqEt also occurs 
in all these tribes. The names Tsmplpo'sEmEn and XwEltspo' SEmEn 
are used by the Okanagon and Spokan as well as the Coeur d'Alene. 
It seems quite possible that certain names may have originated inde- 
pendently in these different Salish tribes; but most Indians think 
that each hereditary name, especially those with the name suffixes, 
is of but one origin, having originated in one tribe or another, and 
been introduced into other tribes by intermarriage. Therefore they 
say that persons who bear the same name in two tribes have inher- 
ited it from a common ancestor, and that they must be related, 
however remotely. There was hardly any stealing of names, and 
only rarely were names exchanged, bestowed, or sold; and when they 
were^ they were usually lately adopted dream names or nicknames 
belonging to the individual, and not names which had already become 
hereditary and belonged to families. 

Some other Coeur d'Alene men's names are Sikwa, T Emltcd{lc) . 
("no hand"), Tcdele' melstcEn ("runs on a horn"), Tsu'lEmlxwEtsut 
("buffalo-bull moimtain"; this name occurs among the Thompson, 
and has probably been derived from the south), Locf e' taste'' eso 
("lying in the brush"), Tpoxe'wES ("painted stomach"), Ttseleie'tsa 
("pierced [with arrows] robe [or skin]"; slight variations of this 
name are found among the Okanagon and Thompson), Ntce^e- 
tqe'in{dst) ("first shot" or "ffist dayhght"; a name similar to this 
occurs among the Thompson). 


a, p. 291. 



Some women's names are Sai"mdsd, Yaromi' , Siyd"E, Xwa'm- 
CEuma' , Xaxae'tcEn (a similar name occiars among the Thompson), 
StEwelEmcEna' , WilEwilEma' , Siyaxta', Si"pal, TclEmtd'l, XiVEotsti', 
Tc'd'dne (a similar name occurs among the Thompson and Shuswap), 
Boxwal al da'renc ("moon fell"), Qaxpi'(tsa) ("turned-up robe or 
blanket"). (A Spences Bridge woman has this name, and it also 
occurs among the Okanagon.) Women's names are as a rule harder 
to translate than men's. 

It is said that parents sometimes received names in dreams which 
they were told to give to their children. 

Descent was reckoned in both the male and female lines, and 
children received names from both sides of the family. Slaves took 
Coeur d'Alene names given them by their masters and these names 
became the property of their descendants. Horses and dogs were 
named in the same manner as among the Thompson.-^' Most of their 
names were nicknames. 

Property. — The institutions of the tribe were on the whole paternal 
and almost the same as those of the Thompson. -^^ Male relatives took 
precedence in the inheritance of property. In the family the male 
elders ruled, although the women had the right to advise and express 
their opinion in almost all matters, and often their advice was asked. 
The father and elder male relatives generally instructed the boys; 
and the mother and elder female relatives the girls. The father, 
grandfather, or uncles, or all of them, frequently admonished and 
lectured the children and members of the family on morals or ethics 
and behavior, and encouraged the children to be industrious and to 
persevere in obtaining loiowledge and powerful guardian spirits. They 
also advised them to perfect their physical and mental qualities, so 
that the boys might become noted warriors, hunters, chiefs, or 
shamans; and that the girls might become women of good quality and 
thus obtain the best husbands. 

The woman generally followed her husband and lived among his 
people. Levirate prevailed, as in other Salish tribes. A woman's 
effects "were distinct from those of her husband's, and each was the 
absolute owTier of his or her own personal property. The husband 
and wife often gave presents to each other and to their children. 
Personal property consisted of tools, weapons, clothes, bedding, 
lodges, horses, dogs, baskets, mats, etc. Food was family property, 
and in charge of the head woman of the house. Lodges were often 
family property, especially skin lodges, but many of them belonged to 
the women. Mat lodges generally belonged to the women, as men 
had nothing to do with the gathering of the materials and the making 
of them. In the case of skin lodges, the men provided the hides, but 

287 a, p. 292. 288 a, pp. 293, 294. 


only in this way had any claim. If the husband bought a ready-made 
skin lodge, as was sometimes the case, it belonged entirely to him. 
When several families lived together the food for immediate use was 
pooled, each woman replenishing the general supply from her stores 
or caches. Meat obtained by the men of the lodge was pooled in the 
same way, or it was handed over to the women. 

Large game, such as deer, were cut up in the same way as among the 
Thompson. -^^ Himting parties generally divided the game in 
the following manner: The skin, brisket, and one side piece of the 
animal belonged to the man who had killed it. The other side piece 
went to the hunting chief. The rest of the carcass was the common 
property of the hunting party, and was divided equally among all the 
hunters by the chief. In small hunting parties of friends the division 
was about equal. A man hunting alone owned the whole aninial, but 
he often gave part of it to his neighbors or friends. In buffalo hunting 
parties, as a rule, each hunter owned all he killed, and he took as many 
of the skins and as much of the meat as he wanted or could handle. 
Whatever was left was the property of whoever wanted it, and all 
could help themselves without restriction. When only a few buffalo 
were killed, and the people were short of food, the meat was divided 
by the chief like other game. 

Land was communal or tribal, and the same applied to rivers and 
lakes. The whole country was considered the property and food 
preserve of the tribe. However, parts of the country in proximity to 
villages of bands were seldom used by outsiders, for they depended 
on this territory for the gathering of roots and berries, and for every- 
day fishing and hunting. Besides, these grounds were under the 
control of the band chief. Nevertheless the more distant parts of 
each band territory were considered tribal, and not band territory; 
and even the "home ground" of each band was free for any member 
of the tribe to use, as long as the chief of the band was notified and 
his regulations were followed. Every part of the tribal territory was 
free to aU members of the tribe for travel and later on for pasture, and 
also for gathering of food, hunting and fishing, when traveling from 
point to point. 

Each band chief was in charge of the "home territory" of the band, 
and regulated the gathering of roots and berries therein. As each 
important kind of fruit ripened, he sent persons from time to time 
to inspect the crop at different places. When on any ground a suffi- 
cient quantity of berries was ripe, he declared the ground open for 
berrying, and the women went in companies and gathered the crop. 
This gave all the women an equal chance, and prevented jealousies, 
quarrels, and the picking of immature berries. The same regula- 
tions governed the digging of camas and all important roots. Some 

289 a, p. 248. 


of the large camas and berry grounds distant from the settlements 
of any band were in charge of chiefs of divisions and were opened 
by them at the proper time for digging or picking. These places 
were free to all members of the tribe, and people from all bands 
resorted thither. All, however, had to obey the orders of the divi- 
sional chief, or, if he were not present, of the camp chief. It seems 
that there were no restrictons regarding times for fishing and hunting, 
for these matters regulated themselves by the seasons, the weather, 
and the habits of the different kinds of game and fish. It seems that 
there was no private or family property in fishing places, eagle chfTs, 
etc., and it is very doubtful if deer fences were privately owned. In 
some cases these appear to have been band property. 

Skins and meat of trapped animals, when the traps or snares were 
private belongings and the trapper was unassisted, belonged to the 
■ man who trapped them. 

As mentioned already, the long lodges used as meetinghouses, dance 
houses, and guest houses, were the property of bands, and were 
erected and maintained by their common labor. 

The division of labor between the sexes appears to have been just 
the same as among the Thompson and Nez Perce. ^^° 

Festivals. — Feasts and ceremonies at which presents were given 
were of three kinds. In a simple feast, one family or the members of 
one lodge invited their immediate neighbors to a small feast, which 
generally lasted one evening or an afternoon and night. As a rule, 
no presents were given. Often, at a later date, one of the invited 
families gave a similar feast to the neighbors, the former hosts being 
invited. Several of these suppers might be given by famiUes in turn 
in a single locality during the winter. Story telling and a few games 
were the chief amusements at these feasts, and rarely singing and 

Another kind of feast was on a large scale, and in some localities 
took place once during the winter. The band chief gave this feast to 
the members of his band, if he felt he had an abundance of food and 
wanted to have a social time. A few members of neighboring bands 
often attended. The festival generally lasted a day and a night, and 
occasionally part or all of a second day and night. The people 
plaj^ed games, made speeches, and told stories. Sometimes dancing, 
singing, and exhibitions took place. One or more persons dressed 
up and acted parts of a narrative or story that was told, or they simply 
dressed up to cause amusement, especially to the children, imperson- 
ating animals and people, or acting like clowns. Occasionally they 
sang comic songs. During the festival the chief might give a number 
of small presents to male and female members of his band, a joke 
often being made with each present. Sometimes in return one of the 


a, pp. 295, 296; h, p. 246. 


leading families of the band would invite the chief to a feast at a date 
a little later, and whoever desired might come. Sometimes other 
members of the band assisted the head of this family with presents of 
food for the feast. No return was made, however, of the chief's 

The third festival of this kind was something like the "potlatch" 
of the Thompson, ^^' and was on a larger scale than the other festivals 
mentioned. A man, a family, or a community singled out another 
man, family, or community, and invited them to a feast, which 
lasted from one to three or four days and nights. Speeches, singing, 
dancing, and games took place at intervals. The host or hosts gave 
presents of sldns, horses, and the like to the guests. Generally the 
following year the people who had been guests returned the compli- 
ment by inviting their former hosts to a feast of the same duration, 
and returned gifts to them of a value about equal to what they had 

A feast of first fruits was held, and will be described later (p. 185). 

Feasting also took place at burials, and on a smaller scale at births. 
Many people, however, never gave feasts at births. 

Dancing was much in vogue, and most public dances were accom- 
panied by more or less feasting and playing of games. Dances and 
other customs, partly religious and partly social, described in 
the chapter on "Religion." 

Musical Instruments. — As an aid to singing at feasts and dances 
several lands of instruments were in use. Of these, the drum was 
most important. All the old-style drums were circular and had sldn 
on one side only. They generally had sides about 10 cm. deep and 
were about 50 cm. in diameter. Many were painted with designs, 
either geometric or realistic, or a combination of both.-^^ Drumsticks 
consisted of a stick with the head wrapped in skin, or a stick with 
the end padded with deer's hair, inclosed in sldn.^^^ Drums and drum- 
sticks were sometimes ornamented with deer hoofs and with feathers. 

Rattles were used which consisted of a bunch of deer hoofs attached 
to the end of a wooden handle.'^* Others made of strings of deer 
hoofs were also attached to the legs of dancers. Round and elongated 
rattles, consisting of pebbles inclosed in rawhide ^^^ and rarely of 
wood(?), were also used to some extent, and held in the hands when 

Notched sticks or rasps, over the notches of wliich other sticks were 
rubbed, were in common use.^*** Time beaters of wood were also 
in common use. Some were simple sticks, while others were carved 
and ornamented. 

2M a, pp. 297-299. 293 gee Thompson, a, p. 385, fig. 315 b. 

292 See Thompson, a, p. 385, fig. 315 a. 294 gee Nez Perce b, p. 230. 



Long flutes, or flageolets, were made of elder, and sometimes of 
other hardwoods, and appear to have been shnilar to those m use 
among the Thompson, Okanagon, and Nez Perc6.^^^ They generaUy 
had six holes. The air passage near the mouth was partly stopped 
with a small ball made of pitch and deer's grease. They were sus- 
pended from a leather string worn around the neck. Often the 
string was richly embroidered and ornamented. Young men used 
them for serenading girls at night, but they were also used for giving 
signals on horse-stealing raids. Another kind of flute was shorter, 
and made of the wing and leg bones of large birds, such as geese, 
swans, or cranes. It had from three to sLx holes and was used for 
calls or signals, and imitations of cries of birds. ^^^ It was also used 
by young men and young women for serenading. Another bone 
whistle was quite short and had no holes. It was used simply for 
signaling. It seems some other kinds of bone and bark whistles 
were used long ago; but I obtained 
no particulars. 

Pipes. — Smoldng was almost 
xmiversal among men, but long ago 
women rarely smoked. Smoking 
formed a part of all important 
ceremonies at meetings, some cere- 
monies being opened and closed with 
smoking. Pipes were made of 
steatite, which was plentiful in 
the Coeur d'Alene country. The 
common colors were black, gray, figure i4.-Pipe 

and brown. Brown steatite was exported to other tribes in whose 
countries it was rare. Catlinite and pipes of the same material were 
procured from the Flathead and other tribes to the east. The 
western tribes often traded green soapstone, and pipes made of the 
same, to the Plains tribes for red soapstone and pipes made of it. 
The ceremonial pipes of the Coeur d'Alene, caUed "chief's pipes" 
and "peace pipes," were large, and in later days were nearly all 
made of catlinite. Formerly most of them were of brown soapstone. 
Long ago the tubular pipe was common and continued to be used 
until after the arrival of the fur traders. Pipes of the elbow type, 
however, were in use before the fur traders came, and before the 
tribe began to go to the plains. In later days this type of pipe 
entirely superseded the tubular pipe. Some of the pipes were orna- 
mented with a serrated flange. (Fig. 14.) It seems that pipes with 
simple bowls without shanks were also used to some extent, including 
those of disk shape. Stems of pipes were of wood. The smaller ones 
were generaUy round and the larger ones flat. Stems were oma.- 

285 See Nez Perce, 6, p. 231. 

M« See Thompson, a, p. 313, fig. 284 a. 



merited to a considerable extent with incised designs, painting and 
wrappings of quills. The tobacco used was wild tobacco procured 
from the neighboring tribes. Kinnikinnick, consisting of bearberry 
leaves and red willow bark, was mixed with tobacco in smoldng by 
most people but not by all. 


Twins. — I did not receive full information regarding birth and 
childhood. Old women acted as midwives. Some women, for a short 
time before childbirth, lived in the menstrual lodge. There were 
probably some restrictions on pregnant women long ago, especially 
as to what they should eat and touch; but it seems that after the 
tribe began to hunt buffalo most of the old customs gradually broke 
down and little is now known about them. My informants claimed 
that they had never heard of any twin ceremonies in the tribes, or of 
any behefs that twins were connected by dreams of the mother with 
bear or deer, or that twins had any particular guardian spirits or 
powers.^'^ Neither were the parents of twins compelled to live apart 
from the people. Some people considered a family lucky that had 
twins; or thought twins lucky, and that was all. The Coeur d'Alene 
name for. "twins" is derived from the numeral "two." It is thought 
that twins were less frequent among the Coeur d'Alene than among 
other tribes, although there is one notable case on record of a woman 
who had first girl twins, then boy twins, and then girl twins again, 
and no other children before or after. 

Carriers or Cradles. — Infants were put in a bark carrier. Most 
of these were made of birch bark. In shape they were like the 
Thompson birch-bark carrier,^^^ only much higher at the head. The 
depth of the carrier at the head rendered the use of hoops for holding 
up the cradle cover unnecessary, and none were used. Bedding 
consisted of fine rotten wood (like sawdust), which was gathered, 
dried, and worked up fine. This was renewed as often as required. 
A piece of soft fur was put under the baby's head, -shoulders, and 
back. A soft robe of fur formed the covering, and the baby was 
strapped in by flaps with lacing, which passed over the covering. An 
outside covering placed loosely over the carrier was used when abroad 
to protect the infant from wind and weather. When the baby was 
from two to three months old the bark carrier was discarded and 
replaced by a cradle board. These, at least for many years back, 
have been all of the same type as those used by the Spokan, Pend 
d'Oreilles, and Nez Perce. ^^^ About one-third of the board was 
beaded and extended above the infant's head. In earlier times 

2" See Thompson, a, pp. 310, 311; Shuswap, e, pp. 586, 587; Lillooet, k, p. 263. 

298 a, p. 306, fig. 280. 

2S9 See Nez Perce, b, pp. 225, 226. 



cradle boards were much lower or shorter than those of the present 
day, and some of them were pro\dded with hoops. 

The navel-string pouch and strings of beads and other ornaments 
were often attached to the carrier, especially at the head. Ham- 
mocks were often used for babies in the lodges. They were made of 
skin and suspended on two ropes passing through hollow seams. 
Cross sticks were placed between the ropes near the head and foot to 
keep the ropes sufficiently apart. When the baby became older and 
began to walk the board carrier was discarded and a carrying bag 
or skin carrier was used when the weather was mild. These carriers 
were similar to those used by the Thompson, ^°° and the child's head, 
arms, and legs protruded. In cold weather the same carrier was used, 
but the mother folded the baby in the robe she wore. More often, 
however, the carrier was not used at all in very cold weather, the 
mother preferring to fasten the babies on her back in the folds of the 
robe only. The bark carrier, the board carrier, and the skin carrier 
or baby bags have all been used together in the way described as far 
back as tradition goes. In later times, after the tribe engaged in 
buffalo hunting, the bark carrier went out of use, because bark could 
not always be obtained when wanted and because this kind of carrier 
was usually too fragile. Baby bags were used to some extent until a 
much later date, but finally they went out of use also. This was 
probably because they were not necessary in horse travel. Finally 
board carriers of the high type which better protected the child's 
head, and the robe alone, were used in carrying young children. I 
did not learn definitely whether any conduits were used with cradles. 
The Nez Perce are said long ago to have used bark carriers like those 
of the Coeur d'Alene for infants. 

Head Deformation. — During the life of the child on the board 
carrier (generally from two or three months old to about a year) its 
head was fastened down with a pad of stiff skin attached by means of 
strings. The pad rested on the forehead. It was tightened when 
the child slept and slackened when it awoke. Male and female 
children w^re treated alike, and this practice was formerly universal 
in the tribe. It is said, however, that the intention was not to flatten 
the head but merely to keep the child's head in place and prevent its 
wiggling and thus hurting it, especially when the mother was carrying 
it. The strings were never pulled tighter than was necessary to ac- 
complish this object. Some claim that the pad was tightened only a 
very little, or not used at all, when the baby was on the board in the 
lodge; but when the mother was traveling with the baby awake the 
pad was tightened a little; and when the baby slept, if she was stiU 
traveling, it was tightened more. The use of these pads, it is thought 
by some of the Indians, caused a slight flattening of the head behind, 

'<" Ottawa Mus., Thompson specimens 147, 149, 150, 151. 


while other Indians consider that the shape of the head was not altered 
by them, excepting perhaps a very little in exceptional cases, probably 
when mothers used the pads in a careless manner. It is said that 
long ago the Nez Perce also used pads like those of the Coeur d'Alene- 
for holding the heads of infants steady; but whereas the Coeur 
d'Alene never tightened these pads more than was necessary, many 
of the Nez Perce tightened them intentionally to flatten the heads of 
infants. Infants' heads were thus flattened intentionally by many 
families of all the Shahaptian tribes, tne pad-strings being pulled 
very tight. The custom of fostering children was fairly common. 

Whipping Ordeal. — It is said that a long time ago, when all the 
Indians were living in the ancient way, there was a whipping ordeal 
each winter, through which nearly all the children and young people 
had to pass. In many places it was held several times during the 
winter. This ordeal was thought to make the children hardy and 
good. It seems to have been the same kind of whipping ordeal as 
was practiced by the Thompson ^°^ until recently. 

Puberty. — There were a number of ceremonies similar to those of 
the Thompson at the time of attaining of puberty of both sexes. 
They formed part of a course of training undergone at this time of life 
by adolescents, that they might become healthy, strong, industrious, 
and capable men and women. Most of these ceremonies, especially 
those of girls, have not been practiced for so long that very little of 
them is remembered now. When the Coeur d'Alene turned buffalo 
hunters most of them dropped out of use. It appears, however, that 
they were similar in extent and character to the ceremonies practiced 
by the Thompson. Possibly there were not quite as many restric- 
tions, and the Coeur d'Alene resembled in this respect, perhaps, the 
Shuswap and Okanagon. However, according to Coeur d'Alene 
informants, tradition says that there were a great many, although 
none of them could tell much about them. Girls, on attaining the 
age of puberty, lived apart in small tents made of brush and mats, 
where they were attended and instructed by their mother, aunt, or 
grandmother. Their hair was done up in a knot near eaeh ear; and 
they wore scratchers and combs on a string around the neck. During 
the training period, which lasted several months, they had to prac- 
tice various kinds of work to make themselves efficient, and to follow 
certain customs to insure for themselves good luck in after years. 
They had to bathe and sweat to make their bodies clean and strong. 

Boys at puberty had their hair tied in a knot at the back of the 
head. TJie parents generally arranged their children's hair during 
their training period, as the children were not supposed to touch the 
hair. The reason given for the tying of the hair in knots by both 
sexes at this period was to assure its growth, so that the hair would 

3«i a, pp. 309, 310. 



be thick and long in after years. The period of training for boj^s was 
longer than that for girls, and appears to have been conducted in the 
same manner as among the Thompson and Nez Perce. ^°" The impor- 
tance to boys of gaining a guardian spirit was much greater than to 
girls; and it seems that training was always continued by boys until 
this object was attained. All persons training, whether male or 
female, obtained "power" or "mystery" in some degree. A person 
who went through no training would not be efficient in physique or 
in skill. Neither would one be as hardy, energetic, and industrious as 
a person who had trained even a little. Considerable importance was 
attached to mental training in certain ways. To attain success, 
persons had to concentrate the mind as much as possible on the object 
of their desire. They tried thus to obtain a vision. Emotions, such 
as anger, disappointment, sexual desires, should be suppressed. The 
youth should enter into a state of calm and expectancy. With the 
guardian spirit the novice generally obtained a song. Some obtained 
more than one song from their guardian spuits. Sometimes the song 
was heard and no one seen. Some obtained several guardian spirits 
and several songs, generally one from each. Some men could get 
en rapport with their guardian spirits at will, and were informed by 
the latter of things that would happen. Some could tell what 
people said about them behind their backs, and they could read 
people's thoughts and judge their intentions. Many of these men 
became shamans. 

The old people made boys and girls bathe in cold water every day. 
This was to make them strong, hardy, and able to endure cold. It 
was also believed to make them healthy, immune from colds and 
siclvuess. and able to recover quicldy from wounds. 

Tattooing. — The first tattooing on boys and girls was generally 
done at the age of puberty. Some of the designs tattooed, espe- 
cially those on boys, were records of their dreams or visions in the 
same way as were some face and body paintings. Some believed 
that they had a protective influence, or formed a sjmrpathetic bond 
between the individual and his guardian. Some marks were pic- 
tures of the guardian spirit himself (p. 193). 

Scarification. — Scarification was practiced by all young men dur- 
ing their training at puberty. Cuts were generally made on the arms 
and legs, and sometimes on the insteps, and backs of the hands and 
fingers. Some men training to be shamans or warriors cut their 
bodies as well. Sometimes a long slash followed each rib; or, again, 
many short horizontal cuts, occasionally close together, one above 
the other, were made on the upper arms or elsewhere. Some youths 
rubbed charcoal, or white or red ochre, into the wounds, which, when 
they healed, were similar to tattoo marks. Others who did not do 

SOS a, pp. 317-321, b, 247-250. 
41383°— 30 12 


this, in after years, whenever clothes were not worn on these parts, 
painted all their visible scars red. Burning with live coals taken 
from the fire was also practiced, as well as burning with dry stalks 
of tule, which were lighted and allowed to burn out on the skin. 
Cutting is said to have been intended to let out bad blood, to make the 
person healthy, light-footed, active, and to prevent laziness. It also 
helped to inure the youth to the sight of his own blood; so that in 
case he was afterwards wounded, he would not faint or be alarmed. 
It helped him to be brave. Burning was for the purpose of enabling 
him to stand severe pain without flinching. Young men generally 
used their sweat house as a sleeping place when training in the 
mountains. Sweat houses were generally individual, as among the 

Marriage. — There were no restrictions on marriage except be- 
tween blood relatives. Parents (or families) tried to select husbands 
and wives for their children from families of good standing. Good or 
distinguished men, and capable, industrious women had no difficulty 
in obtaining the best wives and husbands. Friendship was cemented 
between families and feuds and quarrels sometimes settled by inter- 
marriage. In the same way intertribal peace was made and sus- 
tained by intermarriages between the families of the chiefs. The 
forms of marriage were similar to those of the Thompson :^°^ 

Marriage by proposal of the man's family, followed by gifts of 
goods given by them to the woman 's family. 

Marriage by betrothal, the girl's family taking the initiative, and 
betrothing their daughter to the man. When she came of age, or 
on a prearranged date, she became liis wife with or without presents 
from his side. 

Marriage by touching or direct choosing, and proposal by the man 
himself, as in the marriage dance, the man proposing to the girl by 
touching her or dancing with her. (See p. 191.) The union was 
consummated with or without presents from his side. Only rarely 
did the girl 's side give any presents. 

This occurred occasionally, however, in what may be called a 
fourth form of marriage. A family selected a distinguished or wealthy 
man. Unknown to him, they sent their daughter to marry him and 
gave her presents for him, to make her all the more acceptable. Her 
parents considered it an honor to have the man as a son-in-law and 
to have her family connected with his. The man might refuse to 
take the girl to wife, but this very seldom happened. 

Marriage by elopement was very rare. 

Marriage gifts were not kept by the parents or persons receiving 
them, but were at once given to the other members of the family, 
who distributed them among themselves. Skins and robes were the 


a, pp. 321-325. 



most common marriage presents. As far as remembered, there was 
no conveyance ceremony, whereby the bride was conducted back 
on a visit to her people, and presents interchanged.^"'' As a rule, 
there was httle or no feasting at marriages. In recent years it is 
customary for both the bridegroom's and the bride's people to give 
feasts to each other. Sometimes only the man's people give a feast. 
Friends now give presents to the newly married couple; but this is 
considered a modern custom adopted from the whites. 

Serenading of girls by song or on flutes and whistles was common. 
Marriage was seldom or never proposed in this way, however, the 
serenading being done as a matter of courting, prompted by sexual 

At least two common methods of proposing marriage were in vogue. 
Marriageable giris generally slept on straw or hay near the fire in the 
center of the lodge. When a girl saw a lad approach her, she stood 
up near her bed and turned her back to him. He sat down on the 
straw and talked with her, finally telling her he wished to marry her. 
She never answered. Then he turned over some of the straw of her 
bed and began to burn it. She put her foot backward and stamped 
out the fire without looking at him or spealdng to him. He squeezed 
her foot or tramped on her toes. If she said, "Why do you tramp on 
my foot?" he knew he was accepted, and left. Again in a day or two 
he visited her; and if she looked at him this time, it was a sign that 
he was certainly accepted and that she had not changed her mind. 
He then told his parents, and they and his other relatives began to 
save up property for the marriage gift. If the girl did not talk to the 
man, or look at him, or put her foot out, or attempt to stamp out the 
fire, then the man knew that he was refused. 

Another custom was similar to a Thompson method of proposal. ^°^ 
The lad went at night stealthily and sat on the edge of the girl's 
blanket as she lay in bed. If she tried to pull it away and said notliing 
during the time he remained there, it meant that she refused him. 
If she made no attempt to pull the blanket away, he felt encouraged, 
and continued to sit there. He never spoke. At last she asked him 
why he sat on her blanket. He then knew he was accepted, and told 
his parents. As far as remembered, there was no custom of tapping 
a girl with an arrow, thus proposing marriage to her.^"^ 

On the death of a woman's husband she became the wife of his 
brother, who now became responsible for the subsistence of herself 
and children. For this reason all the belongings of the deceased were 
taken by his brother and di\aded among his family, leaving to the 
widow only her own personal property. 

See Thompson, a, p. 323. ^oe gee Thompson, a, p. 324. 

a, p. 324. 


805 n r. 324. 


If she refused her husband's brother, who was obhged to marry and 
sustain her, his responsibilities ceased, and she was no longer con- 
sidered part of her late husband's family. She had to leave, and could 
marry whom she chose. Her cliildren were taken by her husband's 
brother or liis relatives. Infants remained with the mother untU 
old enough not to need her. , Then she had to relinquish the child to 
its father's family. 

Separation between husband and wife was uncommon. Elopements 
occasionally occurred. In this case the husband had the right to 
Idll his wife and her paramour. 

Women lived apart from their husbands during menstruation, and 
appear to have been at these times under restrictions similar to those 
obtaining among the Thompson.^"'' 

Mother-in-Law Taboo. — It seems that formerly there was a strict 
taboo forbidding a man to speak to his mother-in-law; also in many 
families women did not speak to their fathers-in-law. These customs 
are said to have been in vogue long before the tribe commenced to 
go to the plains, and were not adopted from any eastern tribes. The 
restrictions regarding spealdng obscene conversation before relatives 
were similar to those of the Arapaho. 

Burial. — The Coeur d'Alene disposed of their dead by burial in 
the earth or in rock slides. Corpses were never cremated or deposited 
on scaffolds or in trees. People were buried in the nearest suitable 
place. Only rarely did people bring the body from a distance and 
bury it beside relatives' graves or in family or communal burial 
grounds. Only bodies of chiefs or prominent men were sometimes 
thus treated. An instance of this was that of a great hunter called 
OslcEltco'ls, belonging to Mission. He was accustomed to hunt far 
to the southeast of St. Joe River, in the Clearwater country, at the 
extreme end of the Coeur d'Alene hunting grounds. He died in these 
distant mountains after 10 days' illness. He was a tall, heavy man, 
and the people tried to carry his body home through the long stretch 
of rough mountainous country. Horse after horse gave out, and at 
last they had to bury him in the mountains. Bodies of warriors who 
died on distant expeditions or in enemy country were not burned, as 
was often done by the Thompson and Shuswap. The body was buried 
in some hidden place, or under the camp fire of the lodge in which 
the man had lived. A fire was built over it to destroy the signs 
of burial. The camp was then struck; and many people and horses 
passed over the grave, treading the ashes of the fire as well as those 
of other fires in the camp. This rendered it impossible for any enemy 
to detect the burial. Burial under the camp fire rendered it much 
less likely that the body would be discovered and dug up by wolves. 
Sometimes a person was buried and a fire built over the grave. 

307 a, pp. 326-327. 


Other similar fires were made near by to give the impression that a 
party had camped there, ^^^len the fires were out the party rode or 
drove their horses over the fire places. These methods of burial 
were always employed by parties hunting on the plains.- 

When a person died the body was tied up with cords, Icnees to chin, 
and wrapped in a robe. It was seldom washed or painted before 
burial. Occasionally the face was painted red, and very rarely also 
the body or parts of the body. If the deceased had been fairly wealthy 
or had wealthy relatives the bodj^ was wrapped in a good robe. 
Sometimes the body was dressed and further wrapped in a good robe. 
Poor people simply wrapped the body in an old robe, in poor skins, 
or in mats. 

As soon as a person died a messenger was sent to announce the 
death to the neighbors and to all relatives living at a distance. The 
corpse was prepared for burial as soon as death was certain. A pole 
was placed over the body and sewed inside the robe, the ends protrud- 
ing. This was used for carrying the corpse. It was long enough so 
that one or several men at each end could bear it on their shoulders. 
When all was ready the corpse was taken outside and suspended from 
the branch of a tree until all the relatives had arrived and the people 
had gathered for the funeral. When all had come it was taken down 
and carried to the grave. Before the body was deposited in the 
grave the latter was swept out with a branch of rosebush, as among 
the Thompson.^"" If this was not done it was believed that some one 
else would die soon. The corpse was put into the grave on its side, 
or occasionally in a sitting posture. It seems that it was not placed 
facing in a particular direction. Very little of the dead person's 
property was buried with him ; in many cases merely the robe he was 
wrapped in. Occasionally a few small things, including food, were 
put into the grave by mourners. Long ago most burials were in 
rock slides, and those in the earth had heaps of rocks put over the 
grave. Graves were circular and about 3 feet in depth above 
the corpse. Slender poles were also commonly erected at graves — 
generally single poles, or two poles, including the pole the corpse had 
been carried with. Sometimes three poles were erected over the 
grave hke the foundation poles of a tent. Goods consisting of some 
of the property of the deceased, and presents given by friends at the 
funeral, such as blankets, were suspended from them. Often small 
quantities of food and small presents were placed on the grave. In 
the case of women, roots and berries — fresh ones, if in the proper 
season — were placed at the grave immediately after burial. This was 
supposed to satisfy the spirit of the deceased and prevent her from 
visiting the berry and root patches, thereby spoiling the crops or 
interfering mth the diggers and pickers. Often one or more horses 

303 a, p. 328. 


bcloiiging to the doccased or his relatives were l;illod and the skins 
hung- at the grave. If the skins wore roqnirod, tlion only tho hoofs 
wore hung there. Canoes, like other pieees of property, were some- 
times deposited at the grave. No tents of mats or skins, wooden 
boxes, fenees or (igures were erected over graves. Grave poles were 
always peeled, and i)ainted red. Oeeasionally onl}' parts of them 
were painted. None of them were earved in any way. It seems 
that there was no enstoni of rebundling by taking up the bones some 
veai-s afterwards and rewrai)ping them, as among the Thompson.''"" 

Human l)ones, when found, were plaeeil in branches of trees by 
tl\e pei^son tinding them, or occasionally buried where found. Hunters, 
when they fo\ind animal's skulls, often placed them on the branches 
of trees. 

Neighbors w ho came to funerals gave small [)r(>scnts, such as food, 
to the bereaved relatives to help them and to show s^nnpathy and 
pity. Some of the presents went with the dead, being deposited at 
the grave; the food was used to feed people who attended the funeral. 
If the relatives themselves fed all the people they might run short 
of t'ooil supplies if tlu\v were poor people. These presents were 
absolute, and no value was returned. Good-hearted neighbors, Nvho 
\ olimteered their services without paynient, cooked and served food 
for the funeral assembly. Aft(>r the burial the property of the 
deceased was divided up annuig his relatiTes as they saw fit. At a 
\i\lcv d:\ic it became a custom for the relatives to set aside part of 
the piopcfty of the dci'cased to be given to the people who attended 
the funeral, partly to "stay their grief" and partly as a present for 
tlicir kindly ollices. The people divided the property received in 
whatever way they saw fit. 

After a person's death no miniatm-e deer wexe made and shot at, 
as among the Thompson.'"^ Init strings of deer hoofs were suspended 
acrc>ss the loilge, and shaken from time to time. It seems that tliis 
was to frighten away the ghost. The lodge was fun\igated by 
burning leaves, grass, and roots in the lire, making a dense smoke. 
The people, especially relatives, fumigated themselves several times 
by standing in the thick of the sntoke as long as they could endure it. 
The principal plants nscil in finnigation were sweet grass [^ILirochla 
odorata) and an unidcntitled plant called mart' lUFtstafst^'?). In many 
cases the loilgc in whicii att adult person died was burned and a new 
one erected in anotlier place. Sometimes the lodge was taken down 
after being fmuigated, shifted to another place, and ftmiigated again 
after being ptit up. 

Fersons burying or handling the corpse liad to fast for several days 
and bathe thentselves in running water. 

sw (I, p. 330. s"' <J, p. 332. 


The men who dug the grave, the people who arranged the corpse 
for burial, and the men who carried it to the grave received no pay- 
ment from the relatives of the deceased. They were generally 
neighbors who volunteered their services to help the bereaved. 
There was no paying-off ceremony,^" as no one received payment for 
any services rendered in connection with the dead. At the present 
day there is a regular gravedigger, as among the whites, who looks 
after all the funeral arrangements. Before and after the burial, 
most of the assembled women joined the sorrowing relatives in crying 
and in singing mourning songs, which were ex terapore and all of the 
same tune. As among the Thompson, orphans were made to jump 
over the corpse of their deceased parents, and, if they were too young 
to do this, they were lifted over. 

On the death of a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, or wife, 
the hair of mourners was cut straight across the neck by relatives. 
Widows and widowers usually cut their hair a Uttle shorter than 
parents, and the hair was always cut shorter for adults than for 
children. The hair cut off was biirned. The tails of horses belong- 
ing to a man who had died were often docked. It seems that no 
thongs were worn around the neck, ankles, and wrists by widows 
and others, as was the custom among the Thompson."^^ Rose twigs 
were worn on the body by widows and other mourners in the same 
way as fir boughs and rose twigs among the Thompson.^^" Widows 
and wddowers slept on beds of brush in which were placed a few rose 
branches. They washed themselves every day for a certain tune 
with water in which rose branches had been boiled. They also 
bathed in running water morning and evening. They did not eat 
meat of any kind for four days; and during the whole period of 
mourning they ate only common food, and that sparingly. They 
should not eat much at a time, nor eat food of which they were 
particularly fond. They should turn their thoughts away from any 
delicacy, and restrain their appetites. 

Widows were not allowed to pick berries, for by so doing the crop 
would be spoiled. The behef was that the ghost might follow the 
widow to the berry patches and harm other pickers, and blast the 

The period of mourning and purification for widows and others 
appears to have been generally shorter than among the Thompson, 
but it varied with different individuals. 

The burial customs of the Nez Perce are said to have resembled 
very much those of the Coeur d'Alene; but there w-ere some differ- 
ences. For instance, among the Nez Perce the faces of corpses were 

2" See Thompson, a, pp. 334-335. "3 a, p. 333. 

"2 a, p. 333. 


nearly always painted, and they clothed and decked out the corpse 
much more than was done by the Coeur d'Alene. They also biu-ied 
much more property in the grave. 


Conception of the World. — Coeur d'Alene beliefs regarding the 
world were very similar to those held by the Thompson.^^* Some 
people thought the earth was surrounded by water on all sides, while 
others thought there was water on two sides only. According to 
some, the edges of the earth were mountainous all round, or on two 
sides only according to others. Vague ideas were held regarding the 
shape and origin of the earth. Some thought it was oblong, and others 
that it was circular; while still others held no definite ideas on the 
subject. Some people believed there was only water before the earth 
was made. Many considered the earth as animate, a transformed 
woman. She was sometimes spoken of figuratively as "mother," and 
the sun as "father." The earth was given its final form by the 
culture hero Coyote in mythological times. At the time the Indians 
were few, and they had a severe struggle to exist, owing partly 
to their own ignorance of arts, adverse physical conditions on the 
earth, and the prevalence of monsters who preyed on them. Coyote 
destroyed or transformed the monsters and changed the face of the 
country to benefit the Indians. He also taught them many arts, 
such as the use of fire. He also introduced salmon into many parts 
of the country, told the Indians to eat them, and showed them how 
to capture and cook them. 

In mythological days the climate was difl^erent from the present. 
According to some, there were much wind and heat. According to 
others, there was also much thunder. Again, others say there was no 
raij;i and snow; it was hot, dry, and windy, but there was little or no 
thunder. One tale relates how the wind, once blew much stronger 
than it does now, and often hurt people. Coyote made snares. At 
last, by making an exceedingly small one, he captured the wind and 
broke its power. He made it promise never to blow again so strongly 
as to hurt people. ^^^ 

A belief was held that hot and cold winds (or heat and cold) were 
made by people who kept these winds in bags. The hot-wind people 
lived in the far south and the cold-wind people in the far north. 
When the former felt cold they squeezed their bag and a warm wind 
rushed over the earth northward. When the cold- wind people be- 

^" a, pp. 337-342. In regard to the deity Amo'tqEn En, see p. 184. 
2'5 See for this and the following Folk tales of Salishan and Shahaptian tribes: 
Memoirs American Folk-Lore Society, vol. 11, pp. 119, et seq. 



came too warm they in turn squeezed their bag and a cold wind 
rushed southward. The Indians who hved in the country between 
were thus troubled with successive hot and cold winds. 

There is another tale which relates that Heat and Cold were 
brothers, the former good-looking, and the latter ugly. Once when 
his brother was away. Cold got angry at the people and said he would 
kill them. He made such cold weather that the people began to 
freeze to death. Heat, hearing that the people were dying and that 
many were already dead, hurried home to save them. He made the 
weather so hot that he killed his brother. Since then heat can always 
kill cold, and ice and frosts and snow melt away and die. As long 
as the two brothers hved together at home the qualities of the one 
counterbalanced those of the other, so that the weather was always 
temperate and there was no danger to the people; but if one went 
away then the remaining one had the power to cause extreme heat 
or extreme cold. 

Another version of this tale is that the two brothers lived part of 
the time with the people; and it was then always fail', temperate 
weather, because the influence of the one covmteracted that of the 
other. At a certain season, however, Cold went away on a journey; 
and as Heat alone remained, his influence was much felt, and there 
was then summer. At another season Heat always left for a journey, 
and Cold remained, whose influence became great, and the people 
had winter. Cold was of an erratic, ugly disposition; and one time 
when his brother was away he became very angry at the people and 
caused extremely cold weather. Many froze to death; and all would' 
have perished had not Heat rushed back, as warm weather now 
sometimes does in the spring after a protracted winter, to save the 
people, and made the weather so hot that he killed his brother. 
Since then cold has not had the power to kill people except very 
rarely, when they were foohsh; nor has extreme cold had the power 
to remain longer than a few days at a time. 

^. did not hear of any beliefs relating to the origin of hght and 
darkness, clouds and fog, although I inquired for them. It seems, 
however, according to some tales, that the wOrld at one time was always 
dark, and that people had to grope about. To make things better, 
they thought they should have a sun and a moon. They chose Robin 
to be the sun, and he went up into the sky. He was sometimes so 
hot that the people were nearly burned up, and had to submerge 
themselves in the water during his day's course in the sky. Those 
who could not reach water died. The people deposed Robin and put 
in his place a one-eyed man called SEntaqo'tsElts xa tc'd'xqEW, son of 
Tc'dxqen the one-eyed one. Since then it has never been too hot. 


When Coyote had finished his work on earth the people chose him 
to go up into the sky and be the moon. He served as moon for some 
time; but at last he became unsatisfactory, because he always divulged 
what he saw on earth, and many people were ashamed, for they did 
not like their deeds to be kno\vn. When Coyote had gone to be the 
moon the old man or Chief Spoxwanl'tcElt traveled around on earth, 
inspected Coyote's work, and set right many tilings that Coyote 
had left undone. This Old-Man Chief is said to have been altogether 
helpful to mankind. My informants said that he was for the 
Indians what Christ was for the whites. TVTien he had finished his 
work he went up into the sky and became the moon in place of 
Coyote. Some think that he sent Coyote to be the moon after Coyote 
had finished his work as transformer, but later, seeing that Coyote 
was not quite satisfactory, he himself took his place. Afterwards 
a toad jumped on the face of the moon and remained there. Before 
this the moon was very bright — equal in brightness to the sun. 

A moon halo is called "the moon makes a house"; and a sun halo, 
"the sun makes a house." Eclipses of the moon are said to be caused 
by the moon covering his face or eyes. 

Once the sun killed some of Coyote's children, and in revenge 
Coyote lulled the sun and cut out his heart. At once the earth 
became totally dark. Coyote tried to go home in the dark, carrying 
the heart; but it always got in his way, so he trod on it. Seeing that 
he could make no progress, he put the heart on the sun's body; and 
at once the sun came to life, and there was bright light as before. 

The rainbow is called "Coyote's bow." 

Thunder is the noise made by the large wings of the Thunder Man 
who lives on the high mountains. At one time he used to Idll people 
by throwing stones like large arrow stones. A man went to his house 
and tore up his dress, which was made of feathers. After this Thunder 
Man could not kill people and merely thundered when it was going 
to rain. 

Rain and snow are made by the "chief above" or "Sky Chief," 
who showers them on the earth as required. Earthquake is simply 
called "the earth shakes"; and it seems that no cause is ascribed for 
it, except that some people think the "earth mother" is moving. 

Most stars are considered to have been transformed people of the 
mythic period. 

The morning star is called "bringing the day"; the evening star 
7i Entc^ Enqe'nanxwun (meaning uncertain). The Milky Way is called 
"dusty road." 

The following story is told regarding the constellation Great Bear. 
There were three brothers who had a brother-in-law, a grizzly bear. 
The yoimgest brother loved their brother-in-law, but the two elder ones 



disliked him. One day when they were out hunting they told their 
youngest brother they would kill the bear. He would not agree to 
this, and followed him, who had already gone hunting, to warn him. 
The other two brothers started in pursuit and overtook them. They 
were about to shoot at the bear when the youngest brother called 
out, "Brother-in-law, they are going to kill you!" As they were in 
the act of- shooting all were transformed into stars, and may now be 
seen as the four stars forming the corners of the Dipper. Some people 
say that the four stars in the square are the bear and the stars form- 
ing the handle of the Dipper are the three brothers. 

It seems that the Pleiades are called "Cluster." They are said 
to have been a group of people. To the side is a small star, and 
behind it a large red star. The small star is called "Coyote's child "; 
and the larger one, "Badger." The latter stole Coyote's favorite 
child. Coyote pursued them. Wlien he had nearly overtaken them 
they were transformed into stars. It seems that some people include 
the Pleiades in one name with these stars. 

A group of stars forming a circle, with one to the side (probably 
Auriga), are said to have been a group of women cooking camas in a 
pit in the ground. The roots were nearly cooked, and the women 
sat around it, ready to take out the roots. Skunk went there with 
the intention of spoiling the cooking.^'® As the women quite en- 
circled the oven, he could not get near, so he sat dowTi a little distance 
off to await a chance. As all were in this position they were trans- 
formed into stars. The Thompson call what seems to be the same 
group of stars "cooking in an earth oven," and say that these stars 
were women cooldng. 

Another group of stars is called "the canoe." Five men were 
making a canoe. A man was working at each end and one on 
each side. The fifth one was standing between one of the side and 
end men. As they were in this position they were transformed. 
The Thompson call the stars of Orion "bark canoe"; and another 
group of stars, "canoe with men in it." 

Another group of stars is claimed to have been a lake, with a bird 
called fdq^tul ("snow goose"?) on it. Some hunters shot it, and as 
it died it spread out its wings over the water. All were transformed, 
including the bird with its wings outspread. This is probably the 
same group as that called "lake with swan on it" by the Thompson, 
also called by them "lake" or "swan." 

A group of stars consisting of three in a line is said to have been 
three persons running a race. These are probably the same stars as 

'■^ See taboo against men approaching an oven when the roots were cooking 
(p. 185). 


those called "following each other" by the Thompson. Another 
group of two stars is called "racers" or "runners" by the Thompson, 
who say they were men running a race. 

Dwarfs. — The Coeur d'Alene believe in a race of dwarfs who 
inhabit the forests and live in trees which they go up and down with 
great celerity. People have watched them ascending and descending 
trees. They always go head first. They are formed just like people, 
but are very small. They appear to be all red, and most people 
tliink they dress in red. They carry their babies upside down on 
board carriers. People whom they approach lose their senses. 
Sometimes when they come out of their stupor they find themselves 
leaning against a tree upside down. Sometimes they missed parts of 
their clotliing and, on looldng around, would see them hanging from 
the ends of branches liigh up in the trees. These dwarfs were fond 
of pla3dng tricks. They took away food and hid it, and occasionally 
took whole bags of camas and fastened them to the ends of branches 
up in trees. They never kept any articles they had taken, and 
never killed or hurt people. 

Another Idnd of dwarfs, often called by the same name as the first, 
but differing from them in appearance and disposition, are of the size 
of small boys. They live in cliffs and rocky places up in the moun- 
tains and were formerly numerous in parts of the Coeur d'Alene 
and Nez Perce countries. They dress in squirrel sldns and use small 
bows and arrows. They often shout when they see people, and in 
this way have often led hunters astray. One was found dead by a 
party of Nez Perce about 1895. They heard some one scream and, 
going in that direction, found the body. 

Tree Men. — Other beings seen formerly in the Coeur d'Alene 
and Spokan countries are called stc'Emqestci'nt. They have a strong 
odor, dress in buffalo sldns, and have the power of transforming 
themselves into trees and bushes. Once a number of people were 
dancing in the Spokan country near a small lake close to Cheney. 
Suddenly they smelled something, and one of them exclaimed, "That 
is stc'Emqestci'nt!" They looked around and saw four men standing 
a little apart from one another and wearing around their shoulders 
buffalo sldns, the hair side out. Immediately they disappeared and 
four bushes remained where they had stood. These four bushes 
could still be seen lately. Possibly the power of the people's glance 
killed them or prevented them from transforming themselves back 
into men. However, there are trees which have been in one spot a 
very long time, but they are stc'Einqestcl'nt just the same, although 
they seem merely trees to people looldng at them. In other places 
trees and bushes change places or are sometimes absent and some- 
times present. Often when these beings were seen and people 



approached them they disappeared, and only trees or bushes could 
be found. 

Giants. — Giants were formerly common. They have a very strong 
odor, like the smell of burning horn. Their faces are black, some say 
painted black, and they are taller than the highest tents. When 
they saw a single tent or lodge in a place they woidd crawl up to it 
and look down the smoke hole. If a number of lodges were together 
they were not so bold. Most of them dress in bearsldns, but some 
use clothes of other kinds of sldns with the haii- on. They live in 
caves in the rocks. They have a great liking for fish, and often stole 
fish out of the people's traps. Other-wise they did not bother people 
much. They are said to have stolen women occasionally from other 
Indian tribes, but there is no tradition of their having done tliis in 
the Coeur d'Alene country. 

Land and Water Mysteries. — There were many "land mys- 
teries" and "water mysteries." In character they were tlie same 
as those inhabiting parts of the Thompson, Shuswap, and Lillooet 
countries.^'^ The locations of these mysterious powers were usually 
in mountain peaks, waterfalls, lakes, and sometimes in trees. Offer- 
ings were made to propitiate them or to obtain theii" help. Occasionally 
these powers showed themselves, and when they did so it portended 
evil. The "mystery" of each locality had a well-defined form of its 
own, no two being alike. In one lake the form of "mystery" seen 
was half mammal and half human; in another lake, half human and 
half fish; in another place it was entirely of mammal form, being 
like a huge buffalo; and in another place it was like a huge fish. As 
a rule, "water mysteries" arose out of the waters of lakes, and were 
rarely seen on land. People who saw them died shortly afterwards. 

The "mysteries" of some lakes have underground passages leading 
from under the water to holes in the tops of mountains. 

Once a long time ago some women were gathering service berries at 
a place called Golxe' Estem{1)^ , a long way up the St. Joe River. Among 
them were four sisters. One day when it was very hot the women 
said they would s^\^m in the river. When they were swimming one 
of the sisters saw in the deep water what she thought was a large 
fish. She proposed to swim out to it, and said, "Let us see who can 
reach it first!" When the four sisters reached the spot where the 
fish was, it v.-ent down, and immediately all the sisters sank and 
were seen no more. The other women who were watching said, 
"That was no fish, it was the tongue of a water mystery." Near 
this place is a mountain with a little "mystery" lake on the top 

317 o, pp. 338, 339, 344, 345; e, pp. 598, 599; k, p. 276. 

'' One of the many "lost lakes" in Coeur dMlene folklore. — G. Reichard. 


called Tvxe'stEmiJ)} Shortly after the drowning of the sisters some 
people were up on this mountain and discovered the hair of the 
sisters on the shores of this lake. They reported this to the parents 
of the girls, who went there and took the hair away. After this 
people loiew that there was a water passage between the river and 
the lake on the top of the mountain. 

Near the head of St. Joe River is a lake called Hinqa'mEmEn ("swal- 
lowing"). When people look at it sticks jump out of the water. 
The Indians are afraid of this lake and never go near it. Once two 
brothers were traveling on a ridge above this lake. The elder 
brother said to the younger, "Go and bring me some water from the 
lake, I am very thirsty." The younger brother said, "I am afraid. 
No one ever goes near this lake." The elder answered, "You must 
go, for I shall die of thirst. You must bring me some water." The 
lad hurried to the lake, drew a little water quickly, and then ran 
back up the hill. The water followed him uphill. He hurried to his 
brother, put down the water bucket beside him, and then ran down 
the opposite side of the hill. The elder brother watched the water 
rise to the top of the hill, then it stopped a moment, and disappeared 
down the hill, catching his brother halfway down. Then it rose to 
the top of the hill again, and receded to the lake. When all was 
quiet he went over and found his brother dead. He had evidently 
been drowned by the water when it caught up with him. 

In Coeur d'Alene Lake there is a "mystery" in the shape of a water 
buffalo. Once a man was traveling in a canoe along the edge of the 
lake. At one place a bush grew alone near the water. As he was 
passing this place in the dark, all at once his canoe stood still, and, 
paddle as he might, he could not make it move. He could see nothing 
in the dark and began to feel along the sides of the canoe. He felt 
a horn holding the canoe on each side and then knew it was the 
water buffalo. He gave it a present and begged it not to harm him. 
Then the canoe was allowed to proceed. After this, people, when 
passing this place in canoes, always propitiated the "mystery" by 
praying to it not to harm them and not to make the lake windy. At 
the same time they deposited offerings, which they put down near 
the bush. 

There were also "mysteries" at other parts of Coeur d'Alene Lake 
to which the Indians made payments and asked for good weather on 
the lake and good luck in fishing. 

It seems that people did not paint their faces specially when they 
passed by mystery lakes in the mountains, as the Thompson often 
did. At some of the high summits where trails pass and in passes 

'■ Now Grizzly Elk. — G. Reichard. 



in the mountains in the eastern part of the Coeur d'Alene territory, 
each passer-by puts down a stone. Thus at some of these places 
large heaps of stones have accumulated. These places were abodes 
of "land mysteries." Indians who neglected to do this were generally 
visited by bad luck in their undertakings or by sicloiess. 

The Soul. — I obtained very little information about behefs regard- 
ing the soul and the future state. My informants said that long ago 
the Indians had no knowledge of what the whites call the "soul." 
Besides the body, people knew of nothing else belonging to a person 
except a shade, which they beUeved survived after death. Some 
thought there were two of these, one of which remained near the body, 
the other going off to some place, they knew not where, to a land where 
all shades finally lived together. Many, however, beheved only in 
the one shade, which became a ghost after death. It remained near 
the grave, or wandered about the places where the person had been 
in his hfetime. After a greater or lesser length of time it disap- 
peared altogether and no one knew where it went. 

Ghosts of drowned people haunted the water for a time. Ghosts 
of persons who had been dead but a short time liked to visit people. 
If repelled, they gave up their attempts, and afterwards appeared 
only in lonely places and near graves. Sometimes they harmed peo- 
ple and cast sicloiess on them. Some people's ghosts resembled 
them when alive, while others differed slightly. Some people be- 
lieved that ghosts were just like people, but that they had no heads. 

It is said that in the earliest time people did not die. After a time 
death was introduced into the world by a woman, and since then all 
people have died, and their flesh has rotted, leaving only bones. 
After a time even these decay and disappear. It seems that there was 
no belief that Coyote or others brought back the dead. 

Nowadays the Christian idea of a reunion of the dead is held by 
some, but the Indians say that this has been learned from the priests. 
The form of the belief held seems to show that it is modern. I 
learned of no belief regarding animal underworlds or spirit worlds. 
There was no belief that infants, children, or other people were reborn. 

Prayers and Observances. — The prayers and observances of the 
Coeur d'Alene were of the same character as those of the Thomp- 
son.^'^ The Chinook wind was supphcated for mild weather. People 
prayed to the rain to come or to stop, as it best suited their interests. 
They had a rain song. The snow was supplicated by hunters who 
wished it for facilitating the tracking or procuring of game. Dancing 
and singing often accompanied prayers and supplications. The rain 
and aU powers were called "chief" when addressed in prayer. Pray- 

s'8 a, pp. 344-350. 


ers to land and water mysteries, and offerings of payments made to 
them, have already been mentioned. 

Prayers were offered by some families once or twice each day, gen- 
erally in the morning when rising, and sometimes also at night on 
retiring, by one or two of the elders of the family, and were addressed 
to Amo'tqEn, or sometimes also to the day and to the sun. 

Most chiefs, elders, heads of families, and elder brothers prayed 
and admonished and instructed more or less regulai'ly the children 
and others regarding the proper conduct of life. Elderly women did 
the same. 

It seems that the chief deity prayed to was Amo'tqEn,^^^ who is 
said to Hve on the highest mountains, whence he looked out over all 
the earth. He could see all lands, and understand what was required 
for the benefit of the Indians. He was supplicated to pity the people 
and to attend to their necessities. He was asked particularly for 
plenty of game, berries, and roots. 

Before hunting, hunters often fasted and sweat-bathed; and in the 
sweat house they prayed to the animal they were to hunt and to other 
powers, such as the spirit of the sweathouse, that they might be 
successful in procuring game. When animals were killed they were 
often thanked. 

Much respect was paid to bear and beaver, as these animals were 
thought to know, see and hear everything. They knew what peo- 
ple said and thought about them. If a man intended to hunt 
them they knew it. They allowed themselves to be killed only out 
of pity for the people. Skulls of bear and beaver were therefore 
always elevated on poles or put on trees. When a man killed a bear 
he blackened his face and sang the "Bear song," which had an air 
of its own and resembled a mourning song. He praised the bear in 
the song for giving himself up, and at the same time bewailed his 
death. This custom has not been practiced for about three genera- 

It seems that there was no first-salmon ceremony and no ceremony 
when the first tobacco of the season was smoked or gathered. This 
may be accoimted for by the fact that neither salmon nor tobacco 
were indigenous to the Coeur d'Alene country. 

In contrast to the Coast Indians, it appears that there were no 
ceremonies regarding the capture or eating of any kind of fish among 
the interior Salish tribes, with the exception of the Lillooet and to a 
less extent of the Lower Thompson. It also seems that none of the 
tribes had any special ceremonies when eating game or flesh of any 
kind of animal. 

^'^ See Thompson, A'motEn, a, p. 345. 



As among the Thompson, men, especially unmarried men, were 
not allowed to come near the earth ovens when the women were cook- 
ing certain kinds of roots. ^'° Among the Coeur d'Alene this referred 
more particularly to camas. The roots would spoil or would not 
cook properly if a man came near. As far as I could learn, there was 
no belief regarding lizards following people. ^^^ 

Four was the common mystic number among the Coeur d'Alene 
as among the Thompson and other interior Salish tribes. 

Dances and Ceremonies, First-Fruits Ceremony, or Harvest 
Dance. — The Coeur d'Alene, like other interior Salish tribes, had 
first-fruits or harvest ceremonies. When the first important berries, 
such as service berries, were gathered, before any were eaten the chief 
of each band who had supervision over the berry and root crops of 
his territory, called his people together, and in their presence offered 
a long prayer to Amo'tqEn, thanking him for the berry crop, and tell- 
ing him that his children were now about to eat them. The chief 
then held out on a tray or mat, or in a basket, an offering of the ber- 
ries in season to Amo'tciEn. The direction of the chief's prayer and 
offering was generally toward the highest mountain in ^dew. After 
this the people often danced for a short time, and after that they had 
a feast of the berries. Exactly the same kind of ceremony was per- 
formed when the fu'st important root crop was gathered, such as 
camas. If the people were in a large camp and belonged to several 
bands the chief of the camp made the offering. These ceremonies 
have been out of use for a very long time. 

Praying Dance. — A dance considered distinct from the sun dance, 
and called hj a different name, was almost the same as the common 
rehgious or praying dance of the Thompson, Shuswap, and Lillooet.^^^ 
The manner of dancing in cii'cles, and the steps, motions, and signs 
made in the dance, appear to have been just the same as among the 
Thompson. The deity prayed to was Amo'tciEn, who was addressed 
directly as Amo'tqEn or Amu'tEp, and also as "chief." 

The "marrying dance" was not associated with this dance, as was 
generally the case among the Thompson and Shuswap, but instead 
was attached to the scalp dance. It seems doubtful if the praying 
dance among the Coeur d'Alene had any connection with beliefs in 
the dead, the return of souls and of Coyote, as it seems to have had 
in a number of tribes, such as the Lillooet, Shuswap, Thompson, and 
Kutenai. However, very Uttle is now remembered about the dance. 
The connection with the dead seems to have been less pronounced 
among the Thompson than among the Shuswap and Lillooet. 

320 a, p. 349. 321 gee Thompson, a, p. 348; Shuswap, e, pp. 619, 620. 
322 a, pp. 351-354; e, pp. 603-605; k, pp. 283-285. 
.41383°— 30 13 


Elements of what may have been sun worship appear to be con- 
nected with the dance in all the tribes. The Coeur d'Alene claim that 
long ago the dance was generally held but once a year, about the time 
of the winter solstice or a little later. Some years it was performed 
oftener and at irregular intervals. No musical instruments were 

Sun Dance and Sun Worship. — The sun was much worshipped. 
The people prayed to him constantly for good health, good luck, 
success in undertaldngs, and for protection. After Amo'tqEU, the 
sun was probably the deity prayed to most. Symbols of the sun 
were much used in early times as designs in embroidery and in paint- 
ing on clothes and utensils, especially on shields and weapons of war- 
riors. Bands and also smaller groups of people performed the sun 
dance at frequent intervals. People in some places danced it once or 
twice a year, and others almost every month. People might dance 
it at any time they desired. The sun was prayed to directly in this 
dance and the dancers made all the signs or motions in the dance 
toward the sun. The sun dance with torture of the prairie tribes was 
known but never adopted by the Coeur d'Alene. 

Horse Dance, Thanksgiving Ceremony. — It is said that a 
dance was performed by some of the bands long ago, and in later 
years by most of the tribe, at the end of the harvest, when all the 
crops of berries and roots had been cured. The people had all their 
salmon and other supplies stored and were ready for the fall hunting. 
Amo'tqEnwas given thanks in this dance and ceremony for the plentiful 
and successful harvest; and prayers were offered, it seems, to him 
and to the sun — to the former to give a bountiful harvest the next 
year, to the sun for success in the hunting which was about to begin. 
According to some people, one of the chief aims of the dance was to 
hasten the fattening of the horses before starting on the annual 
buffalo-hunting expedition to the plains. I did not obtain full 
details regarding this dance. 

Medicine Dance. — An important dance among the Coeur d 'Alene 
similar to ceremonies of other Salish tribes ^^^ was the medicine dance. 
The participants sang the songs obtained from their guardians and 
imitated them by cry and action. This dance was for several pur- 
poses, such as to overcome the bashfulness of young people; to find 
out how adolescents had progressed in their training, and to learn 
if they had received songs from their guardian spirits and the nature 
of their powers ; to bring people together in a friendly way and induce 
closer fellowship between them and their guardian spirits; to 

323 See Shuswap, e, p. 610; Lillooet, k, pp. 285, 286, 



bring the people as a whole in closer touch with one another, with 
the guardian spirits as a whole, and with all animals and everything 
in nature; to learn who had powers over certain things, such as the 
weather; and who could through their powers be of most service to 
the people when help was required at any time. 

Songs sung by some shamans produced warm or cold weather 
according to the qualities of their guardian spirits. Others made 
game plentiful or drew it near. Persons who had these powers could 
be called upon for help when the weather was bad and game scarce, 
and their singing and dancing in the medicine dance helped to pro- 
duce favorable conditions. The dance was supposed to benefit the 
people in some way, to make life easier and to drive awa}^ sickness. 
It was held several times a year, but chiefly in the winter, by each 
band independently. As far as described to me, the dance is the same 
as the guardian-spirit dance of the Nez Perce described by Spinden.^^^ 
It seems that no musical instruments were used in this dance either — 
only singing. 

War Dances and War Ceremonies. — A dance was held before 
going to war, and also, if possible, before an attack. Usually, how- 
ever, it was held before going on the warpath. As there was almost 
constant war between the western Plateau tribes and the Plains 
tribes, it was invariably danced previous to starting for the plains on 
the annual buffalo hunt. Originally it seems to have been the same 
as the war dance performed by the Thompson and northern Salish 
tribes, and similar to an older form in vogue among the Nez Perce. 
In later days the step of the dance and some other details were mod- 
ified, probably under the influence of the Flathead and eastern tribes. 
In the old form the guardian-spirit element was more pronounced 
than in the modern form, which lacks this element almost entirely. 
It seems also that the oldest form of the dance was to a greater degree 
imitative of battle than the modern dance, which is reduced more 
to a set form for all dancers, and allows less freedom of action to the 
individual. The Coeur d'Alene continued to dance the war dance 
for exhibition and for €»xercise until about 1900, w^hen it was discon- 
tinued owing to the influence of the priests. They say that the late 
form of their war dance was identical with that of the Nez Perce and 
Flathead, and the same as is still danced on Fourth of July cele- 
brations by the Yakima, Columbia, Sanpoil, Nez Perce, and others 
at Nespelim and on the Yaldma Reservation. The Nez Perce, in 
dancing the old form of the war dance, kept time vvdth notched sticks 
or rasps only, but among the Coeur d 'Alene both rasps and drums 
were used. Only the members of the war party participated. In late 

32* b, pp. 262-264, 


days, when the dance became largely for exliibition only, nearly all 
the men danced. 

Wlien the tribe thought of going to war a war council was held of 
chiefs, war chiefs, and leading men invited by the head chief, or the 
head war chief. Wlien the council decided on war, blankets were 
hoisted, like flags, on the tops of all the tents of the men who had 
formed the council. Generally the first blanket was hoisted on the 
councU tent. The people then knew that war had been decided on. 
Later the people of each tent who intended to join raised a blanket 
in the same way. All the people then gathered to talk with the chief 
who was to organize the war party, and to hear what he had to say. 
The chief (?) took a blanket and beat time on it with a short stick, 
at the same time singing a war song. Others took hold of the blanket 
and did likewise, joining in the song. The party turned around slowly 
in a circle contra-sunwise as they sang. Each one who joined by taldng 
hold of the blanket pledged himself as a member of the war party. 
When there was no room for any more to hold the blanket another 
blanket was brought into use. This was kept up for hours, until all 
who wished had joined. When this ceremony was over a council 
was held, at which chiefs were elected to take charge of the party, 
and matters of organization and conduct of the war were discussed. 
During this discussion the big pipe was constantly passed around 
contra-sunwise, every one smoking a few puffs as his turn came. It 
seems that every party had a war chief, and some parties had two or 
more, one of whom, however, was the head. One of the chiefs, gener- 
ally the leader, always carried the pipe. Some parties elected one or 
more shamans to accompany them. The war dance was repeated 
at intervals, sometimes for several days. 

If an individual decided to go to war and wanted companions he 
took a robe and beat time on it with a short stick. He sang his war 
song, stopping in front of every lodge. Those who wanted to join 
took hold of the robe and sang and beat time with him. A war 
dance was held after all the houses had been visited and all who 
wished had joined. Those who did not care to go simply looked on. 

Occasionally no war dance was held before starting. The above 
was a common way for men to make up expeditions to go on horse- 
stealing raids against other tribes. Sometimes the men went around 
on horseback from house to house instead of on foot. There appears 
to be no memory of any dance held by the women during the absence 
of a war party, as was customary among the Thompson. ^-^ Before a 
war party left they often went through a farewell ceremony. All the 
men of the party beat time on blankets, a number of men holding 

325 a, p. 356. 



one blanket. They traveled around the lodges in the nighttime, 
following a course contrary to that of the sun. They stopped before 
each lodge, singing twice. The women followed behind and joined 
in the singing. Sometimes it was daybreak before the round was 

Scalp Dance. — When a war party returned without trophies of any 
kind there was no celebration. If they had killed an enemy the 
party shot off a gun when about a mile from camp. Sometimes four 
shots were fired, wliich meant that they had been successful. If the 
number of shots was other than one or four they denoted the number 
of scalps taken. When the people heard the shots they went out to 
meet the party and escorted them into camp. The warriors marched 
with faces blackened and bearing the scalps on the ends of slender 
poles or on their lances. The poles were set up at the houses of the 
men owning the scalps, where they remained until the scalp dance 
was performed. Shortly after the arrival of the party the chief 
annoimced when the scalp dance would be held, always within two 
days after the arrival of the party. The people assembled in an 
open space, or, if it was cold weather, in the large dance house. After 
a short dance by the warriors, into which were introduced actions and 
gestures in imitation of the experiences of the war party, the war 
chief related the events of the expedition. He was followed by the 
warriors who had taken scalps or done deeds of valor, such as counting 
coup, or being the first to approach close to the enemy. Each 
recounted his particular exploits and explained in detail the manner 
in which each enemy had been killed. In pauses during the narratives 
the drummers beat rapid taps on the drum, as if in approbation. 
They did the same after each notable exploit had been narrated. The 
people joined in applause and shouting. Meanwhile the women rela- 
tives of the warriors, and any others who cared to join them, formed 
themselves into a mimic war party. They elected chiefs, dressed in 
the clothes of the warriors, did up their haii* and painted their faces, 
donned war bonnets, and took up weapons. They took possession of 
the scalps which the warriors had exhibited in the recounting of their 
deeds and bore them on the ends of poles at the head of the proces- 
sion, which was led by their mock war chief. If there was only one 
scalp the leader carried it. After they had marched around with 
much acclamation and shouting they formed a circle ready for the 
dance. The six greatest warriors of the band took each a small 
drima; and all sat together at the east or south side, outside the cii'cle. 
Occasionally they sat down in the middle of the circle. The men and 
all the rest of the people formed a large circle of spectators away from 
the dancers. The chiefs beat the drums and sang the scalp song. 
The women then danced in a circle against the sun's course and con- 


tinned for about two hours. All of them joined in the song while 
dancing. In the afternoon the dance was repeated for about the 
same length of time. Wlien it was over the persons owning the 
scalps took possession of them. Some men exhibited them suspended 
from poles in front of their lodges, taking them down in a day or 
two. Others attached them to their hair or clothes and wore them 
for a short time. Some men preserved the scalps entire and wore 
them at dances, while others used the locks for fringes of scalp shirts. 
In later days they were chiefly used as arm fringes on shirts. They 
were used rarely or not at all as fringes for leggings. 

If the war party had taken captives an additional dance was per- 
formed called " to-scalp-dance-them. " This dance was held at the end 
of the regidar scalp dance, and was exactly as described by Koss and 
quoted by Spinden.^^^ The men formed two rows facing each other, 
with the women between in two rows facing each other. The cap- 
tives, chiefly young women and sometimes boys, had to march up 
the middle, carrying the poles with the scalps. During the whole 
dance the captives had to pass back and forth between the rows of 
women, who taunted them, jeered at them, pulled and pushed them, 
and struck them with their fists and with sticks. If a captive cried 
much, the women might draw a scalp across her mouth or eyes or 
down her face. It might be that of the woman's husband, child, or 
other relative. Wlien the dance was finished the men, who meanwhile 
had taken no part in the abuse of the captives, took possession of 
them and each one escorted his slaves to his lodge. They were now 
treated kindly and their wounds and bruises were washed and dressed. 

If an adult man was brought back as a captive he was held a pris- 
oner until the end of the dance and then Idlled, usually without torture. 
It was rare, however, for a man to be captured, as it was preferred to 
kill him in battle and scalp him. Men who did not care for the cap- 
tives they had taken sold them to other members of the tribe or to 
strangers. Sometimes they allowed them to escape after a while. 
Most captives were held, however, and adopted into the family as 
wives or children. Occasionally the head of some noted enemy was 
brought to camp entire, and rarely also his feet and hands. These 
were carried at the scalp dance on the ends of poles, and preceded the 
scalps borne in the procession, always being carried in front of all 
the other trophies. If a noted enemy was killed close to the camp 
the whole body was carried in dressed as it was and set up on forked 
sticks for exhibition. It happened rarely that at the end of the 
"to-scalp-dance-them" dance one or more of the captive women 
or boys were Idlled by the excited women in revenge for relatives 

82« b, p. 267. 



Icilled in the expedition. The scalp dance sometimes lasted for 
four days. 

TsuwiKT Dance. — A Nez Perce variety of the scalp dance, called 
tsuhutkt or tsuioiJct (a Nez Perce term), appears to have been adopted 
by the Coeur d'Alene and danced occasionally. It was never much 
in vogue. No doubt it is the same as that referred to by Spiaden.^-'' 

Tribal and Intertribal War Dances. — At certain periods a 
great war dance was performed, which may be called a tribal war 
dance. A common rendezvous was named and people came from all 
the bands of the tribe to attend it. In form it was the same as the 
ordinary war dance, but was performed for exhibition and not for 
war purposes. It was also an occasion for maldng the exploits of 
war parties, of bands, and of individuals ioiown to the whole tribe. 
In this way it was Kke a grand review. The dance lasted several days, 
with intervals of rest, feasting, and games. Other dances, such as 
the scalp dance, marrying dance and medicine dance, were often 
associated with. it. 

Intertribal dances of a similar nature were also held, the most 
famous place being at the mouth of Snake River. Here annually all 
the neighboring Shahaptian and Salishan tribes met in times of 
peace for a great exhibition. It seems that the Spokan and Columbia 
attended this dance regularly, and often Coeur d'Alene parties 
accompanied the Spokan. Intertribal games took place at the same 
time, the meeting generally lasting about two weeks. Besides war 
and scalp dances, many other dances were performed for exhibition 
at this gathering, and warriors recounted their deeds. 

Marrying Dance. — A marrying dance, in which men chose wives, 
was similar to that of the Thompson, Shuswap, Lillooet, Okanagon, 
Yaldma, and Khcldtat.^^^ Among the Shuswap and Thompson the 
dance was often associated wdth the prajTng dance; but among the 
Coeur d'Alene it is said to have been generally combined with the 
scalp dance, although there is no apparent connection with it. All 
the young women arose first and danced in a circle. Then the young 
men formed in a circle on the outside, dancing in the opposite direc- 
tion. Each man carried a short stick. During the progress of the 
dance, when a young man came opposite the girl he desired, he 
placed his stick on her shoulder, and leaving his line danced alongside 
of her. If the woman refused him, she threw off the stick, and he 
had to fall back into the men's line. If the woman allowed the man 
to dance with her and the stick to rest on her shoulder imtil the end 
of the dance, she accepted him; and they were considered married, 
and so declared by the chief at the end of the dance. 

32' b, p. 267. 

82S See Thompson, a, pp. 324, 353; Shuswap, e, pp. 591, 604; Lillooet, k, p. 268. 


Festival or Gift Dance. — A common ancient dance was per- 
formed at social gatherings of bands or families. The dancing 
appears to have been individual, the dancers being generally apart 
and dancing in one spot. Women danced more frequently than men. 
It seems to have been the same as the "stle'i" dance of the Thomp- 
son, used at festivals and potlatches.^^^ 

Woman's Dance or Round Dance. — In late years the dance 
called "squaw or woman's dance," or "round dance," was often 
danced at gatherings. It served for amusement only. The women 
go in a circle sidewise with a hmping step. A woman may take up a 
male partner to dance with her, holding his arm or hand. Usually 
she has to make a small gift to the man she takes up. The dance is 
looked upon as distinctly a woman's dance, and is said to have been 
introduced from the east about 1870. Some claim that it is of Cree 
origin and others say that it came to them from the Crow. 

Weather Dances. — As already stated, people danced when they 
wanted a change of weather; and there was a rain song, a snow song, 
etc. Usually this kind of dancing was done by small parties, espe- 
cially hunting parties, and was led by some shaman or other individual 
who through his guardian spirit was supposed to have control over 
the weather. He generally sang his own song and the people gen- 
erally joined in the singing. 

Game Dances. — Similar to the weather dances were the game 
dances, and often the two were combined. If the people found it 
hard to get buffalo or other game they engaged a shaman or other 
man whose guardian was the buffalo, or who had power over the 
animal to be hunted. He sang and the people usually danced and 
sang with him. The dancing differed somewhat for different kinds 
of game. Sometimes prayers were offered at these dances. Usually 
at the end the shaman foretold where and when the animals would 
be met with, and the hunters acted on his advice. 

Guardian Spirits. — Guardian spirits appear to have been about 
the same in character as among the Thompson ^^° and were acquired 
in the same way. Almost everyone, both male and female, had one 
or more guardian spirits, but as a rule those of the men were more 
powerful than those of the women. A person partook to a greater 
or less degree of the qualities of his guardian. No parts of animals 
were guardians, but often parts were employed as symbolic of the 
whole. Sometimes a part of an animal had more power than others, 
and therefore was spoken of as a supernatural, but it was not inde- 
pendent in power of the animal itself. As among the Thompson, 
the sun was a powerful guardian of warriors but was hard to obtain. 

S29 a, pp. 385, 386. s^" a, pp. 354-357. 



Thunder, eagle, and certain lands of hawks and owls were also guard- 
ians of warriors, but less powerful than the sun. 

Every man had one or two "medicine" bags in which he kept 
skins, feathers, bones, or other parts of his guardians, and also charms 
of stone and herbs. Many men wore some of these charms when 
on journeys, on hunting trips, and especially when going to war. 
They were worn as necklaces and pendants or were attached to the 
hair, clothes, or weapons. Some of them were worn concealed. Men 
who had a small, sharp-sighted owl for their guardian attached it to 
the back of the hair facing backward as a protection against being 
attacked from behind. (See p. 119.) Some men never displayed 
any parts of theii- guardian animals, but kept them in their "medi- 
cine" bags. 

Medicine bags were of two lands. One land was of soft leather, 
and rolled up into a cyhndrical-shaped package. It was generally 
kept near the head of the bed, or under the pillow. The other land 
was a cylindrical case of rawhide, often fringed, and ornamented with. 
painted designs similar to those on parfleches.^^^ It was suspended 
in the lodge near the owmer's sleeping place, where he kept his shield 
and weapons. Alany men carried these cases in battle. Some used 
both lands of medicine bags. When going on a war expedition they 
carried the rawliide case containing those objects or parts of objects 
considered most potent in war. The remainder of the charms were 
left at hom.e in the other medicine bag. If a man were lolled in battle 
and his medicine case taken, the "medicine" therein was beheved to 
be of no value to the person obtaining them, and might even do liim 
harm if he tried to use it in any way. 

The rawhide medicine case came into use about the time when the 
people began to go to the plains, and may have been adopted from 
the Flathead or the Plains tribes, all of whom used it. Probably it 
came into use among aU the tribes only after the introduction of the 
horse, since it is especially adapted for travel by horse. 

Men painted images or representations or symbols of their guardian 
spirits and pictures of their most important dreams on their clothes, 
robes, shields, and weapons. 

Pictographs of battles, and of important events or experiences in 
a person's life, were also painted on robes, wliich in consequence 
were treated with great care. Pictiu-es and symbols of guardian 
spirits were also often painted or tattooed on the body. It was 
believed that these pictures had offensive or defensive power derived 
directly from the guardian spirit. (See p. 169.) Thus a man 
who had an arrow tattooed or painted on liis arm, if the arrow was 

S31 See N(;z Perce, b, fig. 5, No. 3. 


one of his guardians, believed that his arm was made more efficient 
for shooting. In the same way a mountain tattooed or painted on 
the arm rendered it strong, provided the mountain was a guardian 
of the person. Likewise the reproduction of a bear or deer on the 
arm gave the person sldll in bear and deer hunting, provided these 
animals were the guardians of the hunter. Most of the painted de- 
signs on slaields had a protective meaning. Some of the common 
figures were mountains, arrows, sun, eagle, hawk, and owl. War 
horses were often painted with representations of guardians and 
dreams, and the horse itself was a guardian of some men. Tents 
also were painted with pictures and symbols of guardians and drearris, 
or with geometrical designs.^^^ 

Rock Paintings. — Rock paintings were common in some parts of 
the country, but I did not hear of any petroglyphs. The nearest 
rock paintings to the present location of the Coeur d'Alene are said 
to be at Chatcolat. There was no belief that spirits or "land mys- 
teries" made certain rock paintings. All were made by people. 
Besides being records of dreams, objects seen in dreams, guardian 
spirits, battles, and exploits, they were supposed to transmit power 
from the object depicted to the person making the pictures. Young 
men during their puberty ceremonials made rock paintings, but girls 
very seldom did. From time to time older men also painted dreams 
on cliffs. 

Images of Guardian Spirits. — Men formerly carved images of 
their guardian spirits. These were generally stone figures of animals, 
birds, and men, or parts of them. Usually they were small and kept 
in the medicine bag. Occasionally they were kept in view in the 
lodge. Most figures were of human form, not because the men who 
made them had guardians of human form, but because almost all 
guardian spirits could assume human form; and most men preferred 
to represent them in manlike form. Sometimes a guardian spirit 
would appear in dreams to his protege in human form only and, were 
not he himself to reveal his identity, liis protege would not know 
what he was and what his name. He might say, "I am the coyote," 
"I am the grizzly bear that runs," "I am the grizzly bear that walks," 
and so on. Sometimes he might say, "I am the one who helps you," 
and then add some description of himself as an animal, so that his 
protege knew liim. 

Some stone images did not resemble any known animals, because 
they were representations of beings, or of parts of beings seen in 
dreams. Some resembled mythical beings, "mysteries," and animals, 
which Indians had never seen alive, but only in dreams and visions. 

33- Compare also war dress (p. 118). 


Some were even of a composite character, such as half animal and 
half human. Human figures were made full size; arms and legs, also 
busts, consisting of head and neck, or head and upper part of body. 
Most figures were made in an erect posture, but some in other atti- 
tudes. Many were made nude, and some were carved clothed. 
Others, not made this way, were clothed by painting and by adding 
decorations such as feathers. Usually the image was made to cor- 
respond to the figure and dress of the guardian spirit as he usually 
appeared. These stone images were regarded with considerable 
reverence, and were thought to possess a mystic power beneficial to 
the owTier, but sometimes injurious to others. Therefore these figures 
were never bought or sold, or treated as mere ornaments or works of 
art. In fact, they were seldom or never handled except by the owner, 
and when he died they were placed in his grave or deposited near by. 
They were inherited only in a few cases — for instance, when son and 
father had the same guardian. Then the image would be of some 
service to the son as he would "know" the guardian it represented. 
A long time ago these images were common. They were not generally 
carried aroimd on hunting expeditions, but were left at home in the 

Other images were made rather for ornament. They were generally 
set up in view in the lodge, and may have been house ornaments. 
It is doubtful, however, if this was their only purpose. It seems, at 
any rate, that they were not considered real images of guardian 
spirits, although some people thought they were connected with 
them. It is said that even they were considered "mystery," and never 
sold. In rare instances some of them were given to friends who were 
not afraid of them. As a rule, they were larger than the images of 
guardian spirits, perhaps about 12 or 15 cm. in height. No images 
of any kind were treated as family property ; they were the sole prop- 
erty of the person who made them, in the same way as the medicine 
bag. If the owner died in a distant place without his medicine bag 
and without the image of his guardian, his relatives placed these 
objects in the forest or burned them. In a few similar cases the image 
was kept and placed in or by the grave of the next one of his family 
who died, even if it was a mere child. A few images of both kinds 
were carved of wood or antler; but most of them were of stone. 

Shamanism. — Shamans were about the same in character as among 
the Thompson.^^^ Almost the only difference between them and other 
men was that they made a profession of curing people who were sick. 
They received payment for their services. If the person they treated 
died, they received no payment; and no payments were made except 

332 See Thompson, a, p. 376 and fig. 297; Shuswap, e, p. 603;/, pp. 173, 191. 


in cases of what seemed to be complete cures. Many men had quite 
as much power as most shamans, but did not use it professionally. 
On the whole, however, shamans were supposed to have more power- 
ful guardians than most other men ; and they were credited with hav- 
ing greater knowledge of the dead and of disease than other people. 
Their process of treatment was chiefly by incantations. They sang 
their individual shaman's songs which had been obtained from their 
guardians, and they blew on their patients and made passes over them. 
It seems that they never danced when treating people, or put on 
masks and looked for souls, as among the Thompson. Some shamans 
occasionally prescribed herb medicines to be drunk, or salves to be 
applied, but this was usually only when their guardians advised them 
to use these. They also occasionally prescribed painting in certain 
colors on certain parts of the body of the patient. Rarely did these 
paintings take special forms, but usually consisted of just a simple 
application of some paint. As a rule, the painting was done accord- 
ing to instructions received in dreams. Sometimes, too, shamans 
prescribed certain foods. Horses and dogs were treated by shamans 
in just the same way as people. Most shamans had the power of 
driving away ghosts, and some of them could bewitch people and in 
this way cause their death. Occasionally they were killed for doing 
this. Shamans were generally men, but some were women. A few 
of the latter were as skillful as the men or even more so. There were 
no differences in the methods employed by men and women shamans. 

Ethical Concepts. — Ethical concepts ^^^ and ideas of beauty ap- 
pear to have been about the same as among the Thompson. 

Charms and Beliefs. — I did not learn much about these matters. 
Charms or fetishes were in common use. Generally they were small 
smooth stones which had been picked up and kept because they 
showed some peculiarity in shape or color. Some had natural or 
artificial holes, others were inclosed in skin and suspended aroiuid the 
neck. Usually they were worn out of sight. Some were considered 
very lucky and were transmitted from generation to generation. 
Besides stones, claws and teeth of animals were used, and also roots 
and plants of various kinds. Some of the latter helped persons to ob- 
tain wealth or success in love. Some stones were picked up and used as 
charms because they bore a resemblance in shape to an animal or 
bird. To make the resemblance more striking, they were sometimes 
carved or filed a little. It seems that there were no charms for 
locating game, as among the Thompson; neither were beliefs held hke 
those of the Thompson — that throwing stones at certain lakes would 
cause wind; that burning beaver hair or killing frogs would make rain; 

» a, pp. 366, 367. 



that telling coyote stories would make snow or cold; and burning 
lightning wood would make cold weather. However, wood of trees 
struck by lightning was never burned except by accident, as it was 
believed that one of the people who burned it or used it as firewood 
would die. Some people believed that toads had the power of maldng 
rain at will. 

Medicines. — As among the Thompson, a number of medicines 
made from herbs were used as tonics, or salves, but I did not have 
opportunity to inquire into this subject. The scent root called 
xasxas was dried and powdered fine, then mLxed with animal grease 
and used as a salve on sores. As among the Thompson, mother's 
milk was used occasionally to anoint sore eyes. 


Tribes of the Group. — The tribes of the Okanagon group are 
(1) Okanagon, (2) Sanpoil, (3) Colville, (4) Lake. 

Tribal Names. — The names "Okanagon," or "Oldnagan, " 
"Okanagon Lake," "Okanagon River," are derived from the Indian 
name of the tribe. The name "Sans Foil, " given to the tribe by the 
fur traders, seems to be simply a French adaptation of their Indian 
name, and does not originate from any peculiarity of the tribe in 
being "without hair." They were also called Sanpoil and Sinpoee, 
corruptions of their own name. The Colville are named from the 
Colville River and Fort Colville, places in their territory; but formerly 
they were generally called "Chaudiere" or "Les Chaudieres" by the 
fur traders. They were also known by translations of this term; 
such as "Kettle Indians," "Pot Indians," "Bucket Indians," and 
"Cauldrons." The origin of the name is not clear; but evidently it 
has some connection with Kettle Falls and Kettle River, places in 
their territory. They were also sometimes called "Shuyelpee, " 
which is a corruption of their own name. The Lake tribe were often 
called "Sinijixtee " and " Sinatcheggs, " corruptions of their own name. 
The name "Lake" was applied to the tribe because of their habitat 
on the lakes to the north, viz, Arrow Lakes, Kootenai Lake, and 
Slocan Lake, in British Columbia. 

The tribes call themselves as follows : 

1. OJcana'qen, or OTcandqe'nix, or OJcina'qen} 

2. Snpoi'l, or Snpoi'lix, Snpoai'lEXEX. 

3. Sxoie'lpix, or Sxuie'ylpix, SxweilpEX. 

4. Snai'tcElcst, Snrai'tCElcstEX, Snai' .tcsJcstEX. 

The suffix -ix, -ex, stands for "people" (equivalent to -ic of some 
tribes and dialects). "OTcaiid'qen" is said to be derived from the 
name of a place on Okanagon River, somewhere near the Falls, so 
named because it was the "head " of the river; at least, in so far as the 
ascent of salmon was concerned, very few salmon being able to reach 
above this point. According to tradition this place represents the 
ancient headquarters of the tribe. Some Okanagon and Sanpoil 
informants stated that the name is that of a place at or near Okanagon 

1 other forms of the name used by Sanpoil and Lake are Okanaqaf n and .sokEnSqai'nEx. 




Falls, where there was at one time an important salmon fishery, the 
place of their origin. On the other hand, the head chief of the 
Canadian Okanagon told me that the name is the former name of a 
place on the Okanagon River, near the mouth of the Similkameen, 
where at one time were located the headquarters of a large band of 
the tribe, most of whom in later times spread farther north. Duiing 
a period of wars the people there constructed breastworks of stones, 
and with reference to this the place became known as salilx^ and 
the old name dropped out of use.^ According to the same informant, 
the old dividing line between the Okanagon and Sanpoil people was 
about Okanagon Falls. From there north the real Okanagon dialect 
was spoken. The original center from which the Okanagon people 
spread was the country between Okanagon Falls and the mouth of 
the Similkameen. The suffix -qen, -qain, etc., means "head," 
probably with reference to some physical featm-e of the country. 

Snpoi'l or Snpol'lix is said to be the old name of a place on Sans 
Foil River or in its neighborhood, the original home of the Sanpoil 

Sxoie'lp is said to be the name of a place near or a little below 
Kettle Falls, which was considered to be the original home of the tribe. 
According to some, the name means "hollowed out," with reference 
to rocks there. 

Snai'tcEkst is from ai'tcEkst, the name of a fish, said to be the lake 
trout {Sahelinus namaycush?). The Lake people are said to have been 
named after this fish, on account of its importance, in contrast to the 
Colville people below them on the Columbia, who had salmon in 
abundance. Some salmon reached the Lake country, and the 
people caught a considerable number in some places; but they were 
fewer in number and inferior in quafity to those in the Colville 
country. The Okanagon tribes call themselves collectively "N^si'- 
lixtcEn" or " Nse'lixtcEn," which means " Sahsh-speaking "(from 
Sa'lix, Se'lix, or Si'lix, "Salish or Flathead tribes;" and -tcin, -tCEn, 

Names Given to the Okanagon Tribes by Other Tribes. — 
The names applied to the Okanagon tribes by other tribes and the 
symbols used in sign language to designate them are the following: 

2 See p. 264. 



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Names Given to Other Tribes by the Okanagon. — The terms 
in the following hst were all collected from SanpoU (Nespelim), 
Lake, and Okanagon. I obtained none from the ColvUle. 

Lower Fraser TlEmsni'sx. 

Lillooet Nxelaml'nex ("ax people"). 

Shuswap Sexwa'pmux, Sexwa'pniEx. 

Thompson LukMEm.e'x"^, Le^kEtEmil' .x, NEkEtEme'x". 

Wenatchi Snpsskwa'uzEX. 

Wenatchi (Chelan division) SIceWuex ("Chelan people," possibly liter- 
ally ' ' Lake people ") . 

Columbia Snkaa'usEmEX, Snqee'us. 

Bands along Columbia River below] 

the Tskotva'xtsEnux or Moses-\ Naia'qHcEn, Nid'qEtcEn. 

Columbia band. J 

Old Salish tribe at The Dalles NckEtEmi'^x'', Le^kEtEme'^ix. 

Spokan Spoqai'nEX, Spdqei'riEx. 

KaUspel Skalsspi'lEx, Kalspl'lEm, Skalespe'lEm. 

Pend d'Oreilles Snia'lEmEn. 

Flathead Sa'lex, Sa'lix. 

Coeur d'Alene Ski'tsox, Ski'tcox, S'ki'tcu.x. 

Paloos StBqa.mtcl'nEx ("people of the confluence").* 

Yakima Sia'kEmax. 

Iflickitat ^ Called by the same name as the Yakima, 

and also by the name of The Dalles 

WaUawaUa Xskeiu'Esx. 

Umatilla J 

Nez Perces Saha'piEnsx, Saa'ptEUEx. 

Cay use Same as Wallawalla and Umatilla. 

Wishram Same as The Dalles tribes. 

The Dalles tribes in general Sweie'mpamEx.^ 

Wasco Sweie' mparriEx, Swdsao'pax. 

Chinook TsEnu'k. 

Shoshoni or Snake Snazqe'ntxEmox, Snaskl'ut ("snake people"). 

Upper Kutenai Skalsi' ulk.'' 

Lower Kutenai Sloqale'q''ax. Ste'lltExJ 

Blackfoot StEkwai'xEHEx ("black-footed people"). 

Sioux, Cree, and Plains tribes in Xnox'tu'sEm ("cut-throats," "cut heads 

general. off"). 

' Either the confluence of the Palouse with the Snake or the latter with the Columbia, probably the 

< The Handbook of American Indians gives "tlakdi'lat" as an Okanagon name for Klickitat. 

' Compare Xiua'liwaipam, a Klickitat name for themselves. 

« Said to be named fi-om the Upper Kootenai River. By some the name is thought to mean "upper 
water" or "water above," with reference to the position of the Kootenai River above the Pend d'Oreilles, 
Kalispel, and Lake tribes (from skalt, "above" or "at the top;" and si'ulk", "water"), thought by others 
to have some connection with skal or skalis (as in the name Kalispelem), derived from a word for 
"young camas" (according to Revais), and thus may mean "camas water." The term sfcefaa'a/fc ("water- 
people") is given in the Handbook of American Indians. (Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 1, p. 742.) 
The interpretation is probably derived from ske'lux or ska'lux ("man," also "people," "Indian") 
and sa'rdk. ("water"); I.e., "man's water" or "people's water" or "Indian water." The Indians do 
not favor this interpretation. (It would mean: "human water."— F. B.) They claim that the name 
of the people is from the river, and not the river from the people. 

' Said to be named from Kootenai Lake and River (all the Lower Kootenai, from Bonner's Ferry down). 

te;t] the okanagon 203 

Dialects. — The differences in speech between the four tribes are 
very slight. The variation in pronunciation and vocabulary is suffi- 
ciently marked to identify the division to which a speaker belongs. 
The chief differences between Colville and Lake consists in the 
slower utterance of the latter.^ 

The Colville use the term Salixtci'n for all the Sahshan languages 
of the interior, including Coeur d' Alene, Shuswap, and Thompson. 

Habitat and Boundakies. — In climate, natural features, flora, 
and fauna, the territories inhabited by the Okanagon, Sanpoil, and 
Colville are very similar to those of the Upper Thompson and 
neighboring Shuswap bands. The climate is slightly moister (rain- 
fall 25 to 37 centimeters in most places), the valleys are wdder, and 
the surrounding country less mountainous. The territory of the 
Lake tribe has much more precipitation. It is heavily forested and 
very rough and mountainous, occupying the heart of the Selkirk 
Kange. Inhere are long stretches of lake and river waterways, 
smooth, and well adapted for fishing and canoeing. Large falls and 
rough water also occur in places. As may be expected, the flora 
and fauna differ considerably from the drier, less mountainous, and 
more open country inhabited by the other tribes. 

The Okanagon tribes were surrounded by other tribes of the 
interior Salish, except on that part of the eastern confines of the Lake 
tribe where they bordered on the Lower Kutenai. Formerly the 
Okanagon had for their western neighbors the Stuwl'x or StEwl'xEmux 
(an Athapascan tribe). The international boundary line cut the 
territories of the Okanagon and Lake at points which divided the 
populations of these tribes in about halves. The territories of the 
Sanpoil and ColviUe were entirely in what is now eastern Washington. 

Divisions, Bands, Villages, Place-names. — The Okanagon had 
at least two recognized divisions; under present conditions the 
Similkameen may be considered as a third division. 

1. The Upper Okanagon or Lake ^ Okanagon, occupying the 
country around Okanagon Lake, Long Lake, and Dog Lake (or Lac 
du Chien). The Nicola Okanagon, with headquarters at Douglas 
Lake, belong to this dixdsion. At the present day whites often 
class the latter people as a separate division of the Okanagon, or still 
more frequently class them erroneously as part of the Nicola Indians 
(the Tcawa'xamux or Nicola division of the Thompson). 

2. The Lower Okanagon, or River Okanagon, in the country along 
Okanagon River below the former di"v4sion. These people were often 
called "Real Okanagon" by the Thompson and also by other Okana- 

9 A similar difference prevails between the eastern and western Shuswap. Like the Lake tribe, the 
former were largely a canoe people. They occupied a country very similar in climate and natural features, 
contiguous to the Lake tribe and just north of them. 

« This division is called Sli'qutEmui ("Lake people") by the Thompson; and they often call themselves, 
in distinction from other Okanagon, Sdlti'qut, Lake people. 


gon. It seems that the Okanagon below the Falls did not constitute 
a separate division. 

3. The Similkameen of Similkameen River. This is a modern 
division only very lately beginning to be recognized. For this 
reason, and also because of the growing ascendancy of the Okanagon 
language] and blood in this part of the country, 1 have included the 
Similkameen among the Okanagon. The Thompson still claim the 
Similkameen valley down as far as between Hedley and Kereme- 
ous, and there is no doubt that the Thompson language has pre- 
dominated throughout all the Upper Similkameen up to the present 
time, and Thompson blood is probably predominant there yet. 
However, the Similkameen country originally belonged to neither 
tribe. In olden days it was occupied by the Stuvn'x or Nicola- 
Similkameen Athapascan tribe. When describing the Thompson 
Indians 1 have included in their territory the Nicola valley, which is 
dominantly under Thompson influence. The other part, nowadays 
under strong Okanagon influence, 1 include in the Okanagon territory. 

At the present day the Okanagon of British Columbia include 
seven bands, with as many chiefs. Of these bands, four belong to 
the Okanagon and three to the Similkameen. 

1. Spa' xamsn or Spd'zEmEn, or (Headquarters at Spd'xamEn '" or Douglas 

Douglas Lake band. [ Lake, on the Upper Nicola River. 

2. Nkama' pslEks, or Komaplix J Headquarters Nkama'pElEks, at the head of 

band.'i I Okanagon Lake. 

3. PETiti'ktEn, orPentictonband.l^^^^q"^^*^''^' ^* t^« f°°* °^ Okanagon Lake, 

[ near Penticton. 

4. iVA^ami'p, orOsoyoosband'^-JHe^^q^^^t^^^ Nkami'p, on the east side of 

[ Okanagon River and head of Osoyoos Lake. 

{Having a number of small settlements be- 
tween the bovmdary line and Keremeous. 
Probably the chief settlement formerly was 
near the latter place. 

c A -n \ 1 „i„ u„„A [Headquarters near Ashnola, south side of the 

6. Acnwwx, or Ashnola band ^. .,, ' 

[ bimilkameen. 

7. Sndzdi'st, Tcutcuwl'xa, ot\^^.^^ settlement close to Hedley. 

Upper Similkameen band. J 

It seems that in the early half of the past century there were more 
bands. Some of these may have been subdivisions without chiefs. 
One of these divisions was farther up the Similkameen River, with 
headquarters around Graveyard Creek, Princeton, and the mouth of 
the Tulameen. It was called the Zu'tsamEn ("red paint") band, 
from the name of a place called Vermilion or Vermilion Forks by the 
whites. ^^ In the Okanagon Lake country there were probably at 

'" For explanations of place-names see under villages, No. 1, p. 206. 
1' Sometimes called "Head of the Lake band" and "Vernon band." 

" Sometimes called " Fairview band." • , 

" This band was called the Vermilion band by the traders. They were nearly all Thompson, and num- 
bered at one time one hundred or more people. Some descendants are now living in the village NlkaixElox. 



least two or three other bands. One of these seems to have been 
located near the middle of the west side of Okanagon Lake. The 
headquarters of another band was probably on the east side of the 
lake, with headquarters around Mission and Kelowna. Formerly 
many people lived around Long Lake and Duck Lake; but it is not 
clear whether they were a separate band. The people living there 
at present belong to the NJcama'pElEJcs band. The Lower or River 
Okanagon had also several bands. The main winter camps of most 
of them seem to have been on the west side of Okanagon River. I 
obtained no list of ancient villages of the Okanagon mthin the 
United States, and only incomplete lists of ancient and modern 
villages in British Columbia. 

The following were the inhabited -vdllages of the Similkameen 
people in 1904. Detached single houses are not included. I visited 
most of them, and found groups of log cabins at all the places. Most 
of the villages, perhaps all of them, are built on or near old camp 

Upper Similkameen Band : 

1. Nlkai'xElox'^* About 11 miles below Princeton, north side 

of Similkameen River; 3 houses.''' 

2. Sndzdi'st ("striped rock")'"-- On the north side of the river, a little east 

of Twenty-mile Creek and the town of 
Hedley; '^ 10 houses. 

3. TcutcuivV xa or TcutcawV xa^AOn same side of river, a little below No. 2; 

("creek" or "little creek")./ 3 houses. 
Ashnola Band: 

I On the south side of the river, near the 
mouth of Ashnola Creek; 3 houses and the 
chief's house a little above. 

5. Nsre'pus a sxa'nEx^^ ("where] 

the stone sticks' up or is^^ ^'^^^ '^^1°^' ^°- ^' '^"^ °° *^^ ^°''*^^ ^^^^ 
Dlanted") " °^ ^^® river; 2 houses. (See also No. 18.) 

Lower Similkameen Band : 

6. Ker.EOTi/e' MS ("crossing or swim-1 On the north side of the river, near Kerem- 

ming place" [for horses]). J eous; several houses. 
7; KekerEmye'aus ("little swim-] 

ming place" [or crossing for [Across the river from No. 6; 1 or 2 houses, 
horses]) . J 

8. Nkurau'lox {" ground") On the same side, about 4 miles below No. 6. 

9. Smela'lox On the same side, about 10 miles below No. 5. 

" Said to be a Thompson name. 

'5 The number of houses given in each case is the number recorded in my notes. 

"A Thompson name (from snaz, "a goat's-wool blanket" [these were generally ornamented with 
stripes], aad-aist "rock," from the appearance of a big stratified rock bluff behind the village, often called 
"Striped Mountain" by the whites). 

" There were 6 houses and a church at SnazSist proper, 2 houses west of Twenty-mile Creek, 1 across the 
river, and the chief's house — 10 houses in all. 

'- This is an Okanagon name. It is often used by Okanagon-speaking people as a general name for the 
Hedley district or vicinity. The Thompson-speaking people use the name of No. 2 in the same way. 

"Also .n.sre'pus l.sza'nex. So named from a large bowlder which protrudes from the ground near the 
trail at this place. The name is Thompson. 


10. Skemqai'n ("s o u r c e" o rjShort distance below No. 8, on same side of 

"head"). J river. 

11. Ntleuxta'7\ On south side of river, opposite No. 10. 

Old Similkameen village 
sites in Washington: ^o 

12. Nasli'tok Just across the international boundary in 


13. Xe'fulox (" ground") A little below No. 12, near a lake. 

14. Kwaxalo's A little back from Similkameen River, below 

No. 13. 

15. TsEltsalo's Below No. 14. 

16. Skwa'nnt Below No. 14. 

17. Ko'nkonelp Near the mouth of Similkameen River. 

18. Tsakei' sxEnEmitx^'^ On a creek along the trail between Keremeous 

and Penticton; 1 or 2 houses. 

The following were the chief villages of the Upper Lake Okanagon 
division at the same date, and some others which are old villages not 
now occupied: 

Douglas Lake Band: 
1. Spd'xamEn or Spa'xEniEn ("a 

^At Douglas Lake on the Upper Nicola River. 
A large village. 

shaving," "paring, "22 or 
"shaved," "bare," 
2. Komkona'tko or KomkEna'tku'^^ 
("head water"). 

At Fish Lake on the headwaters of the Upper 
Nicola River. A small settlement. 

I Near Guichons, at the mouth of the Upper 
Nicola River, where it falls into Nicola 
Lake. A fairly large viUage; 

4. Kwiltca'na ("red ").^^ At the mouth of Quilchena Creek. 

Komaplix or Head of the Lake Band: 

5. Nkama' pElEks or Nkoma'pE-] 

lEks ("bottom, root, or neck ^ear the head of Okanagon Lake, about 8 
, „. 25 miles north of Vernon.-' 

6. SntlEmuxle'n ("jDlace where] Black Town, a little north of the head of 

slaughtered").-' J Okanagon Lake. 

7. Tse'kEtku {" lake") At a small lake a little north of Black Town. 

8. NkekEina'pElEks ("little end] At the head of Long Lake, a little over a mile 

or head of the lake"). j from Vernon. 

9. TsElo'tsus ("where drawnl At the narrows of Long Lake. No perma- 

together"). J nent camps now. 

™ There are no permanent camps at any of these places now. 

21 Said by some to belong to the Ashnola band. 

" With reference to the open rolling country devoid of trees. 

2' The Thompson and Okanagon names respectively. 

2^ So called because of dense patches of willow, cottonwood, and other deciduous trees along the river, 
near this place. 

" Said to be so named because of red bluffs on the side of the valley a short distance up the creek. The 
Thompson name of the village up the creek means "red face or bluffs." This small village is counted as 
belonging to the Douglas Lake band, but the Thompson claim the country all along the creek, and the 
people are mostly of the Thompson tribe. 

™ With reference to the end or head of the lake. 

2' There were several old camps at Nkama' p El Eks. This name was frequently used in a general sense 
for the district around the head of Okanagon Lake. 

'* So named because a number of people were massacred here many years ago by a Shuswap (?) war party. 



10. StEkatElxEne'ut ("lake on side") -Little above Mission ? on opposite side. 

11. TsxElho'qEin-^ (with referencel ^ ,, ,.t t, .^..^ 

to a little lake at side of big ^ear the lower end of Long Lake about 19 

s miles south of Vernon, 

one) . J 

tr, HT I I i„ c<i„ „ . ^,v,^„+i f Place near Kelowna, and also general name 

12. Nxoko stEu (arrow-smooth- ,. . j , „ ■, ^t- ■ 

,,s 3Q < for the district around there and Mission. 

[ No permanent camps now. 

13. SkEla' ("grizzly bear")- Kelowna, near the present town. No per- 

manent camps now. 

Penticton Band: 

14. StEkatkolxne'ut or StEkatEl-\Q^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^j the lake from Mission. 

xEne'ut ("lake at the side ).J 

15. Pentl'ktEn ("place at end ofl 

lake" or "place where the>Penticton, near the foot of Okanagon Lake, 
lake is gathered in"). J 

Nkamip Band: 

16. SxoxEne'tk" ("swift rough wa-1 Lower end of Dog Lake. No permanent 

ter or rapids ") . J camps now. 

17. Nkaml'p^^ ("at the base or bot-1 On the east side of the upper end of Osoyoos 

tom"). J Lake. 

(Near Playnes or the old customhouse just 

18. Soi'yus ("gathered together - ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ American line. No perma- 

or "meeting ). [ nent camps now. 

The main camps of the tribe in the Okanagon Valley (within British 
Columbia) are said to have numbered at one time about 18. In Mr. 
HUl-Tout's list ^^ of Okanagon villages the Enderby village (No. 1 of 
his list) is included. Tiiis village is Shuswap and has never been 
Okanagon. The present-day villages are situated on small scattered 
reserves. The upper Okanagon have some 15 reserves under the 
Okanagon Agency and eight (belonging to the Douglas Lake band) 
under the Kamloops Agency. The Similkameen have 17 under the 
Okanagon Agency. I collected no hst of old villages from the Lower 
Okanagon. These people are nearly all on the Colville Reservation 
in Washington, where they have received allotments. 

I obtained the following names of old village sites on Okanagon 
River south of the Canadian line: 

MilkEmaxi' t'^k or MilkEmixi'tuk ^' A name for the district around the mouth 
(" water"). of Similkameen River and of the river. 

2' The people of this place are counted as belonging to the Nkama'pElEks band, but originally, with Nos. 
9, 12, 13, and possibly others, they composed a band by themselves. 

3" Said to be so called because of a hill where people obtained stone for making arrow smoothers. 

3' See Gibbs, "Konekonep" Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 1, p. 724), probably either Nkami'p or 
Ko'nkonelp (see No. 17, p. 206). 

52 Hill-Tout, "Report on the Ethnology of the Okana'k' En." (Journ. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., vol. 41, 
p. 130.) 

'3 See Gibbs. "Milakitekwa" (Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 1, p. 861). The other band name given 
by Gibbs (Kluckhaitkwu, ibid, 715) the Indians think is StlEzai'tk'^ or StlEiai'tk^ the name for a district 
and river east of the Spokan (?) or east of the Okanagon. The Intietook band mentioned by Ross 
(Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 1, p. 611) is with little doubt a corruption of the Indian name for the 
Okanagon Lake division, from the name of Okanagon Lake. The word means "lake." 


SmElkamml' n Probably at the mouth of Similkameen River. 

Sdli'lx" '* ("heaped house" '^) Near the mouth of Similkameen River. 

TEkwora'tEm '^ On Okanagon River, close to .sdll'lx^. 

Okina'qen '' (" head") An old name for .sali'lx". 

The Sanpoil are in two divisions: (1) Snpol'lEXEx (Sanpoil or 
Sanpoil proper); (2) Snespi'lEx (Nespelim). The name of the 
former division is said to be derived from that of the district around 
Sans Poil River; and the name of the latter, from Nespl'lEm ("having 
prairies or fiat open country"), the name of the country around 
Nespelim River. Possibly the names were also applicable to main 
camps in these districts. By some the two divisions are looked upon 
as separate tribes, and the Sanpoil considered the head tribe. It 
seems, however, that the Nespelun are only a branch of the Sanpoil. 
I obtained no lists of bands and camps of this tribe. It seems that 
most of their settlements were north of Columbia River, the maia 
ones being along the Sans Poil and Nespelim Rivers. Some were on 
Okanagon River, but very few on Columbia River. The Sanpoil 
country south of Columbia River was chiefly a hunting ground. It 
seems that the tribe refused to make treaty or sell their lands to the 
United States Government, although willing to abide by its regula- 
tions and accept its protection. The reasons for this attitude appear 
to have been that the tribe did not want to be under any obligations 
to the whites by accepting compensation entailing supervision, or 
payments that might be construed as charity; and further that they 
revolted against the idea of selling their country. Their country 
was the same to them as their mother. 

I did not learn if there were any divisions of the Colville, nor have 
I any lists of their former bands and camps. A leading band located 
at Kettle Falls or near the mouth of the Kettle River is said to have 
been called Snoxielpi'tuk,^^ which also appears to be the name of 
Kettle River. The Colville are said to have had several very large 
camps along the Columbia and on the Lower Colville River. It is 
uncertain whether there was any grouping of bands into divisions 
among the Lake. My informants did not know of any. I obtained 
what is probably a full list of the old villages and main camps of this 
tribe within British Columbia. These were from north to south 
along Columbia River and Arrow Lakes as follows : 

'< See Genealogy of Douglas Lake Chiefs, p. 267. 

35 Said to be so named from breastworlcs of heaps of stones erected at this place. 

3» See Gibbs, "Tkwuratum" (Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 2, p. 761). 

37 See Gibbs, "Kinakanes" (Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 2, p. 115). 

38 Compare the tribal name. 



2. NkEma'pElsks ("base or bot' 
torn end," with reference to, 
the end of the lake) 

1. SkExi'kEntETi On the creek opposite the present town of 

Revelstoke. This place is said to have been 
the headquarters of a rather large band, 
which was reenforced at certain seasons by 
people from lower down the Columbia. It 
was noted as a trading, trapping, hunting, 
berrying, and salmon-fishing center. 
'At the head of the bight in Upper Arrow 
Lake, above Arrowhead, near the mouth of 
Fish River. Called "Comaplix" by the 
whites. Said to have had a large popula- 
tion. It was a special!}' important center 
for fishing, berrying (especially huckleber- 
ries), and root digging. 

3. Kospi'tsa ("buffalo robe") At the upper end of Arrow Lakes, where the 

town of Arrowhead now is. This also was 
a salmon-fishing place, and a noted center 
for digging roots of Lilium cohanbianum. 

4. Ku'sxEna'ks Now called Kooskanax. On Upper Arrow 

Lake, a little above Nakusp. 

5. Neqo'sp ("having buffalo")^'.. Now Nakusp, near the lower end of L^pper 

Arrow Lake, on the east side. A noted 
fishing place for salmon and lake trout. 

6. Tci'iikETi: A little below Nakusp; a center for hunting. 

Some fine caribou grounds were near this 

7. Snexai'tskEtsEm Near the lower end of Upper Arrow Lake, 

opposite Burton City. This was a great 
berrying center, especially for huckle- 

8. Xaie'kEn At a creek below Burton Citj'. A center for 

the catching of land-locked salmon or 
little red fish. 

9. Qspi'tles At the mouth of Kootenai River, just above 

the junction with the Columbia. A great 
man J' people lived here formerly, most of 
them on the north bank of the Kootenai, 
within sight of the Columbia. Some old 
and modern burial grounds may be seen in 
the neighborhood. 

10. SnskEksle' um At a creek on the west side of Columbia 

River, close to Trail. This was a center 
for gathering service berries. 

11. Nkoli'la Close to Waneta, on the east side of Colum- 

bia River, just above the mouth of the 
Pend d'Oreilles River. Manj' people are 
said to have lived here formerly, and 
there are some very old burial grounds 
near by. 

" There is no tradition of buffaloes occurring here. 


The following were old villages and camps along Slocan River and 
other places within British Columbia : 

12. SnkEini'p ("base, root, or] 

bottom," with reference to>At upper end of Slocan Lake, 
the head of the lake). J 

13. TakElsxaitcEkst ("trout as- On Slocan Lake, below No. 12. 

cend"? [from ai'tcEkst, a va- 
riety of large trout, probably 
lake trout]). 

14. Sihwi'lEx On the lower part of Slocan Lake. 

15. Ka'ntcd'k On Slocan River, below the lake. 

16. Nkweio'xtEn On Slocan River, below No. 15. 

17. SkEtu'kElox On Slocan River, below No. 16. 

18. SntEkEli't.k" Near the junction of Slocan and Kootenai 

Rivers. This was a noted salmon-fishing 
place. Salmon ran up the Slocan River, 
but could not ascend the Kootenai because 
of the great Bonnington Falls. Salmon 
were formerly plentiful throughout the 
Slocan district, and many jieople lived at 
all the villages. 

19. Kali' so On Trout Lake. Its waters drain into the 

north end of Kootenai Lake. 

20. N EmV mEltEvi On Caribou Lake, to the west of the narrows 

between the Arrow Lakes. The country 
around here was famous as a caribou- 
hunting ground. 

Besides the above, there were a number of smaller villages or 
camps, all more or less permanent. It seems that there was an old 
village near the site of old Fort Shepherd, on the west side of the 
Columbia, a little north of the international line, and old burials are 
reported near here. Some informants, however, had no knowledge 
of a village having been here. 1 did not obtain a full list of the Lake 
villages in Washington. There appear to have been about eight main 
villages on the Columbia, all very populous. Three of the chief ones 
were — 

21. NtsEltsEle'tuk*^ At or very near Marcus, Columbia River. 

22. Stce'xEllk" On the Columbia, below Northport. 

23. NtsEtsErri'sEm At or very near Northport. 

The other villages were chiefly near Northport, Bossburg, and 
Marcus. The last-named place was considered the southern bound- 
ary of the tribe. There were also some people on the Lower Kettle 
River. The Lake also had important temporary camps within British 
Columbia at Christina Lake, Ksluwi'sst (now Rossland), and 
TcEaulsxxi'xtsa (now Trail), all west of the Columbia, and at 
Kaia'mElEp (now Nelson) on Kootenai Lake. The Lake division 
claim that their eastern boundary was at a point on the lake some 


Compare Kutenai name for the Lake, p. 200. 


seven or eight miles east of Nelson. They sometimes had a berrying 
camp here. 

I collected a few place names from the Lake division, which are 
given below. 

1. Ti'kH ("lake" or "large lake"). Arrow Lakes. 

2. Ntoxe'Hk" ("straight or smooth]^ , , • -d- u i +u a t i 

• ^ ° ? Columbia River belo'U' the Arrow Lakes. 

water ). J 

3. Sxone'lk" ("swift, rapid, orj^^j^^^^^i^ ^.^,^^ ^^^^^, ^^^^^^^^ 

rough water ). ) 

4. Nta'lltExi'tk" {"ta'lltEx^^ or te' II-) 

tEX water," "water of the>Kootenai River below Kootenai Lake. 
siaZZ; people [?]") . J 

5. Msa'^-i/iau'-i'te" ("portage or car-] Bonnington Falls and neighboring parts of 

rying place for canoes").^- j Kootenai River. 

6. Skalesl' ulk" *^ Kootenai River above Kootenai Lake, 

especially the part in Idaho next to the 
Kalispel tribe, between Bonner Ferry and 
Jennings; but the term is also extended to 
include the Upper Kootenai River in 

7. Sloke'n General name for the Slocan River and 

Slocan Lake district. Probably from the 
name of a locality within the district. 

8. Nkole'latk" Lower Pend d'Oreilles River (from the name 

of a iDlace at the mouth). 

9. Stlaxa'tk" or StlExai'tk^ Spokane Falls, and in a general sense also 

Spokane River. Some Okanagon claim 
that this is the name of Pend d'Oreilles 
River, or a river east of the Spokan. 

Population. — According to the Indians, the population of the 
tribes long ago was at least about four times greater than it is at the 
present day. Probably the Lake tribe alone must have numbered 
2,000 or more. A conservative estimate of their 20 village communi- 
ties in British Columbia, allowing an average of 50 persons to each, 
would give 1,000; but this is probably a very low estimate, as some 
winter camps are credited with a population of from 100 to 200 
people. The villages in Washington are said to have been larger 
than those farther north, although fewer in number. The lower part 
of the tribe, although occupying a small area in comparison with the 
tribal territory in British Columbia, is said to have numbered as 
many people as the whole 20 villages in British Columbia. This 
would give the numbers of the tribe as at least 2,000. According to 
the Indians, the Colville tribe numbered more than the Lake, and 
may be safely estimated at, say, 2,500. This tribe is said to have had 

" Compare Lake name for the Lower Kutenai, p. 202, said to be so named because the water came 
from the Lower Kutenai country. 

" The Lalie portaged canoes and goods at this place, the river being unnavigable. 

*3 Cowoare si' ulko, etc. (name for "water" in some Salish languages), and place names in skal, skales 
(see No. 19, p. 210), etc.; Calispel Lake, name of Kalispel tribe, and interpretations of sia/ si'ulkas "water 
above" (from skalt "above or at top," or from a word for "young camas"). • 


the densest population. The Okanagon are said to have been a large 
tribe, probably outnumbering the Colville. Their population may 
have been from 2,500 to 3,000. The Sanpoil were the smallest tribe 
of the four, and may have numbered about 1,500. This would give 
an estimated population of from 8,500 to 9,000 for the Okanagon 
group; but probably their real number at one time was greater, pos- 
sibly 10,000 or more. The late population of the tribes, taken from 
the returns of the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs for 1903 
and from the American Report of the Department of the Interior 
(Indian Affairs), 1905, was as follows: 


Upper Nicola or Spahamin band 192 

Okanagon or Nkamaplix band • 239 

Penticton band 147 

Osoyoos or Nkamip band 65 

Similkameen, Lower and Upper bands (Chuchuwayha, 

Ashnola, and Shennosquankin) 181 

Total under Okanagon and Kamloops Agencies, 

British Columbia 824 

Okinagan (north half) 548 

Okinagan (south half) __: 144 

Total on Colville Reservation, Washington 692 

Total of Okanagon tribe 1, 516 

Sanpoil : 

Sanpoil 360 

Nespelim 41 

Total Sanpoil on Colville Reservation, Washington 391 

Colville on the ColviUe Reservation, Washington 330 

Lake on the Colville Reservation, Washington 305 

Arrow Lake band under the Kutenai Agency, British Colum- 
bia (on a small reserve near Burton City) 26 

Mouth of Kootenai band, etc. (not on reserves) 11 


Total population of the Okanagon group " 2, 579 

Accordmg to all accounts, the decrease in the population of these 
tribes has been much greater, and began at an earlier date, than among 
the Shuswap and Thompson. About 1800 the Colville and Lake 
were decimated by smallpox, which reached the SanpoU, but spared 
the Okanagon. About 1832 all the tribes were decimated by an 
epidemic, probably smallpox. The Okanagon suffered almost as 
severely as the others. It appears that the Shuswap and Thompson 

" It seems that there are a few Okanagon, and possibly also Colville, not on reservations, who are not 
included in the Canadian and American Indian returns. The 11 people at the mouth of the Kootenai, 
here enumerated, are not included in the Canadian report. I counted 11 people living here in 1908 and 
1909, the remnants of the old band of this place. Since then I hear that some of them have died, and 
others, owing to nonrecognition of their rights by the Canadian Government and to recent pressure of white 
settlement at this point, have followed the example of other members of their band (previous to 1908), and 
have gone to the United States, where they have been granted land on the Colville Reservation. See for 
later statistics, p. 315. 



escaped all the epidemics until 1857 and 1862. The Indians ascribe 
the great decrease in their numbers to these epidemics and, to a less 
extent, to other diseases brought in by the whites at a later date. 

Migrations and Movements of Tribes. ■*" — It seems that there has 
been a gradual extension of the Okanagon northward and north- 
westward during the last two centuries. The origmal home of the 
tribe is said to have been the Okanagon River in Washington (accord- 
ing to some, near Okanagon Falls). '^^ Long ago the Okanagon Lake 
country was chiefly a hunting gTound for the tribe. Deer, elk, and 
sheep were abundant. Caribou were plentiful in the hills to the east, 
and a few moose and possibly antelope were to be had. Bear and most 
kinds of fur-bearing animals were also plentiful. Fish could be 
procm'ed in the lake all the year round. The mam winter villages 
were located farther to the south. 

It seems that about 1750 the Shuswap controlled the coimtry right 
to the head of Okanagon Lake, where they met the Okanagon. They 
also hunted in the country east of Okanagon Lake south to a point 
due east of Penticton, including a large part of the headwaters of 
Kettle River. They crossed the Gold Range to near the Arrow Lakes, 
claiming the country as far east as the head of Caribou Lake and the 
middle of Fire Valley, where they met the Lake tribe. In the country 
west of the Lake they hunted on a strip of the higher grounds from 
Stump Lake and the head of Salmon River, extending almost as far 
south as Penticton, across the heads of all the streams falling into 
Okanagon Lake and Similkameen River, includmg Chapperon and 
Douglas Lakes. '*^ They had no permanent villages in this region, 
but lived near Kamloops Lake, on South Thompson River, and on 
Salmon Arm. 

The Thompson hunted south and west of this region, as far as the 
upper and middle Similkameen, and beyond to the south. 

The Okanagon had some villages along Okanagon Lake, but it 
seems that the tribe used only the countr}^ contiguous to the lake on 
both sides, and did not range back more than a few miles. They had 
no foothold in the Nicola, and none in the Similkameen except below 
Keremeous. The people who lived at the head of Okanagon Lake 
were of Okanagon and Shuswap descent, with slight Thompson and 
Stuwi'x admixture. The Nicola-Sunilkameen country west and 
south of the Shuswap hunting grounds was at this time still held by 
Stuwi'x, who, later on, became strongly niLxed with Thompson. 
They were the permanent inhabitants of the Nicola-Similkameen 

" In regard to this subject consult James n. Teit, The Middle Columbia Salish, edited by Franz Boas, 
University of Washington Publication in Anthropology, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 83-128; and maps by Franz 
Boas, territorial distribution of Salish Tribes, accompanying 41st Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn. 

^' See p. 199; also Genealogy of the Douglas Lake Chiefs, p. 265; and Dawson, Shuswap People of 
British Columbia, p. 6. The early fur traders claimed that the original home of the Okanagon was 
in Washington. 

'^ See Genealogy of Douglas Lake Chiefs, pp. 265 et seq. 


valley, but parties of Thompson from Thompson River traveled and 
hunted all over the Stuwl'x country, and made it their home for parts 
of the year. Some of them occasionally wintered there, either alone 
or in the Stuwl'x villages. 

After the introduction of the horse there seems to have been con- 
siderable drifting of Okanagon from farther south into the Okanagon 
Lake country. Toward the end of the eighteenth century the Okan- 
agon from the upper part of Okanagon Lake (who were considered 
close relatives by Shuswap, Thompson, and Stuwl'x through inter- 
marriage) began to invade the Shuswap hunting grounds to the west. 
They already had free access to these grounds through their blood 
relationship, but now they settled there, attracted by the fine grazing 
for horses, good elk hunting, and facilities for trading. By this time 
they must have attained considerable prestige as traders and as wealth- 
iest in horses. Very soon they made a large permanent settlement 
at Douglas Lake, and thereafter the Shuswap, it seems by agreement,^* 
retired from the country aroimd Douglas Lake and south. When 
the Okanagon settled there the country around Nicola Lake was 
inhabited by one or two small bands of Stuwl'x. It seems that one 
of these had headquarters at the ©utlet of the lake and the other 
at the mouth of Upper Nicola River near Guichons. The upper 
band may have numbered about 50 or 60 persons and the lower band 
about the same or less. The country of the upper band especially 
was used by large bands of Thompson at certain seasons for hunting 
elk and deer, and for fishing. Sometime in the very early part of the 
nineteenth century the upper band was practically exterminated 
by a large war party of Shuswap.*^ Thereafter the Douglas Lake 
Okanagon began to take their place. Some Thompson parties 
continued to come there hunting and fishing, until about 1870; 
and the people of this place {Ka'tEml'x) are considerably mixed 
Thompson. No doubt they contain also slight Stuwl'x and Shuswap 
elements. The Stuwl'x tribe is said to have extended to the region 
near the mouth of the Similkameen River, but they were driven out 
by the Okanagon. This may have happened about 1700.''° Later 
the Okanagon gradually extended up the Similkameen to Keremeous, 
but above that point the Stuwl'x and Thompson held the country. 

I did not hear of any movements resulting in extension of bound- 
aries among the other tribes, except perhaps the Nespelim. Ac- 
cording to tradition, the Nespelim were a part of the Sanpod. It 
seems likely that they originated as an extension of the Sanpoil 

The Lake tribe seem to have been a long time in their present 
habitat. It is possible, however, that they may have been a northern 

" See Genealogy of Douglas Lake Chiefs, pp. 265, 266. 

" See Smith, Archaeology of the Thompson Eiver Region, pp. 406, 407. 

" See Genealogy of Douglas Lake Chiefs, p. 204. 



offshoot of the Colville, whom they regard as theu- nearest of kin. 
Some of them even say that they were originally one people whose 
home was at Marcus. An Okanagon chief told me he beheved the 
Spokan w^ere of Flathead ancestry, and that the Okanagon probably 
came from the Flathead country long ago, as their language was 
closely related to the Flathead, and was called by the same name as 
the Flathead language. 

Intercourse and Intermarriage. — The Lake tribe had most 
intercourse with the Colville and intermarried mostly with them. 
They also had a considerable amount of intercourse with the Shuswap 
and some with the Lower Kutenai. There was, how^ever, much less 
intermarriage with Shuswap and still less with the Lower Kutenai, 
the Okanagon, and hardly any with other tribes. 

The Colville had a great deal of intercourse wdth all the neighboring 
tribes, particularly with the Lake and Kalispel. They intermarried 
more or less with all the tribes — Lake, Okanagon, SanpoU, Spokan, 
and Kahspel, and even others farther away. It seems, however, 
that there was no intermarriage with non-Salishan people untU after 
the arrival of the fur traders, when some intermarriage took place, 
chiefly with Iroquois and French. 

The Sanpoil had most intercourse with the Okanagon and ColvUle 
and intermarried principally with the former, only slightly with the 
Spokan and Columbia. Although for about 35 years Joseph's band 
of Nez Perce has been hving on the Colville Reserve in close asso- 
ciation with Nespelim, Columbia, and others, there appears to have 
been little intermarriage between these tribes. Some of these Nez 
Perce are partly of Wallaw^alla, UmatUla, and Cayuse blood. A few 
people of Yakima descent are on the reservation, descendants of 
refugees among the Sahshan tribes after the Yakima and Spokan 
wars with the whites. Among these are some sons and descendants 
of Chief Kamiakin. 

The Okanagon had much intercourse with the Sanpoil and con- 
siderable with Columbia, Wenatchi, Shuswap, and Thompson. They 
also intermarried \vith all these tribes, and sometimes also with Lake, 
Colville, and Spokan. As stated before, the northern portion of the 
tribe intermarried with the Shuswap and Thompson, and no doubt 
also to some degree with the Stuvn'x. There has been a slow^ per- 
meation of Okanagon blood and language into the SimUkameen and 
Nicola districts by way of Similkameen River and Douglas Lake, and 
to a less extent into the Spallumcheen valley (Shuswap) from the 
head of Okanagon Lake. Some of this blood, through intermarriage, 
has reached as far as Kamloops, Spences Bridge, and even Lytton. 
The Okanagon may have supplanted the Stuvn'x on the Low^er Simil- 
kameen River; they may also have absorbed some remnants of the 
latter; above Keremeous the process has been that of absorption. 


The opinion generally held seems to be that some time previous to 
the introduction of the horse the Stuwt'x were driven away from the 
Lower Similkameen entirely. Afterwards the lowest point held by 
them was around Keremeous. At some later date those living near 
this place retired farther up the river, died out, or were absorbed by 
the Okanagon. Anyway, they disappeared, and henceforth the 
Stuwi'x, along with the Thompson, occupied the river only above 
this point. 

During the first part of the nineteenth century the Stuwi'x and 
Thompson languages were used exclusively above Keremeous, the 
Thompson preponderating. Later the Stuwi'x became extinct and 
Thompson alone was spoken. Thi'ough continued uitercourse and 
intermarriage with the neighboring people of the Lower Similkameen 
and of Okanagon Lake, Okanagon is now gradually pushing out the 
Thompson language, and is liable to supplant it in the whole valley. 
The infiltration of Okanagon blood has been very gradual and does 
not keep pace with the spread of the language, which is making rapid 
headway. The Stuvji' x-Thompson inhabitants are becoming Okana- 
gonized more through contact than through intermarriage. This 
process has been facilitated by the changed mode of life of the Thomp- 
son, whose habits have become more sedentary and who do not often 
visit their friends in Similkameen and seldom intermarry there. On 
the other hand, the Okanagon are in closer proximity to the Upper 
Similkameen people and, therefore, in constant contact with them. 
As already stated, the people of the upper end of Okanagon Lake are 
mixed with Shuswap, and also slightly with Thompson and probably 
. with Stuwi'x. The Douglas Lake Band, in all their settlements, 
intermarried with the Okanagon Lake people, on the one hand, and 
with the Thompson-Stuwi'x, on the other. They have therefore con- 
siderable Thompson and some Nicola, Stuwi'x, Shuswap, and Simil- 
kameen blood. 

As all the Okanagon bands intermarried a great deal, foreign blood 
received at one end of the tribe was often transmitted to the other 
end, and thus there is a Httle Thompson and Shuswap blood through 
almost all the tribe. 

A few instances of intermarriage with distant tribes have been 
reported. About three generations ago a Similkameen man married 
a woman who came from a tribe in the far south. Some of her 
manners and some of the food she ate were considered peculiar. For 
instance, she was fond of grasshoppers. She may have been a Paiute 
or a member of a Californian tribe, probably a slave who had been 
sold. Another instance is that of a Similkameen young man, who 
while on a trading trip to Hope, married a young woman there be- 
longing to the Lower Fraser tribe. The following year he took her 



back because she was unacquainted with the mode of life of his tribe 
and quite unable to adapt herself to it. 


Work in Stone, Bone, etc. — The tools used by the central tribes 
for working stone and wood appear to have been the same as those 
employed by the Thompson.^ Arrow-flaldng tools, sandstone arrow 
smoothers, adzes of flaked arrowstone, of greenstone, and of iron,'- 
chisels and scrapers made of antler, bone, and stone, awls of bone and 
later of iron, fire drills, were of the same style as those of the Thomp- 
son. Greenstone or jade celts, some of them long, were used. They 
were most abundapt in the western part of the country, and some 
people claim that they were made by the Columbia, who procm-ed the 
stone along Columbia River. Some of them may have come from the 
Thompson, and others may have been of local manufacture. Stone 
hammers and pestles were made by all the tribes and were used a great 
deal. The long pestle,^ for use with both hands, was more common 
than among the Thompson. Some of the stone hammers were well 
made. The shapes appear to have been similar to those of the 
Thompson and neighboring tribes. One kind had a large deep base. 
The handle narrowed gradually toward the top, which was pointed. 
Another land was similar, but the top was small and rounded 
and had a knob. Another form had a shallower base and a rather 
wide flat top.* Some rough hammers consisted merely of river 
bowlders as near the desired shape and size as obtainable. They 
were pecked a little around the handhold to give a grip, and the base 
was flattened. Small hammers ^ were made for fine work and for use 
by girls. Stone mortars of various sizes were used by the Lake tribe, 
and probably also by other tribes. Wooden mortars were also 
employed. Both kinds were round. Some mortars had much larger 
pits than others; some were deep, and others shallow. Flat stones 
were used as anvils. According to information received in Similka- 
meen, stone mortars were not used there, and it is said that none have 
been found by Indians in that district. Stone pestles and hammers 
are also seldom found, and it is beUeved were rarely made there. 
Those formerly in use are said to have been procured from Thompson 
Indians, or to have been brought in by them. If this is correct, it 
shows a dift'erence between the old Similkameen Indians and the 
Thompson and Okanagon.^ Arrow smoothers are said to have been 

I a, pp. 182-184. 

- See Thompson, a, p. 183, Cg. 123. 
3 i, figs. 30, 35, 36. 
* Compare Nez Perc6, 6, pi. 8. 

' See specimen No. 222 in the Teit collection at the Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Mass. 
8 This would agree with their Athapascan origin. The people of this stock, at least in the north, had 
few stone utensils of this class. 

41383°— 30 15 


rarely used in Similkameen, except by Thompson Indians resident 
there. Instead a flaked stone, with a notch at one end and a thumb 
hold at the other, was employed for scraping arrow shafts. A few 
of them appear to have been hafted with a small piece of wood for a 
hand grip, after the manner of the slate fish knives of the coast. I 
have not learned of the use of this tool (fig. 15) '' by other tribes. 
Heavy chisels of antler, preferably the butt parts of elk's antler (PL 1), 
were used for felling and splitting trees. Wedges of hard wood, and 
occasionally of stone, were also used for splitting w^ood. They were 
driven with hammers, mauls, and mallets of stone, antler, and wood. 
Black soapstone for pipes was obtained in the SimUkameen Vallc}' , 
below Keremeous. 

Paints and Dyes. — As far as I was able to learn, the principal 
paints, dyes, and stains were the same as those of the Thompson. 

Red, black, white, blue, yel- 
low, and green were the colors 
used, red especially being 
very common. Flowers of 
Delphinium, roots of Litho- 
spermum, roots of Oregon 
_ grape, alder bark, and wolf 

o moss were all employed. 

Figure 15.-Arrow smoother CactUS gUm waS USed for 

smearing over paint. It seems that the Okanagon,Sanpoil, and Colville 
did more painting than the Lake tribe, who hved in a moister climate. 
Large quantities of good red paint were obtained at Vermilion, in the 
Upper Similkameen Valley. It formed an article of export, and the 
place was much visited by Thompson Indians. It seems that the 
SimUkameen people in early times did not do as much painting and 
dyeing as their neighbors. 

Dressing of Skins. — The method of skin dressing and the tools 
used were the same as those of the Thompson and Shuswap. Small 
chisel -like scrapers of stone, bone, and antler were used for small skins 
and for certain kinds of work. None of them had serrated points. 
Long straight scrapers with stone heads were employed for rubbing 
large skins.* Most skins were smoked. Those intended for moccasins 
were always smoked. 

Mats. — The varieties of rush and tule mats in vogue among the 
Thompson ® appear to have been made in considerable numbers by 
all the tribes. As among the Thompson, sewed tule mats ^^ were used 
as lodge covers and also occasionally berries were spread and dried on 

" Some of the rounded notched arrowstones in archeological finds on the Thompson may have been 
scrapers of this kind. 
- * See Thompson, a, p. 185, fig. 127. 

9 See Thompson, a, pp. 188-190. 

i« See Thompson, n, p. 189, fig. 131, c. 


Thompson Eiver Salish. 



Interior Salish. 



them. Mats were used as seats and bedding;" others as food plates 
and for wrapping around goods. '^ They were Uke those of the 
Thompson. Mats were seldom made of willow bark, elaeagnus bark, 
and sage bark. Cedar bark was not used for mats, it seems, not even 
by the Lake tribe. The Similkameen people made a great many mats 
of dry rushes, and sewed tule mats as well. At the present day mats 
are seldom made. 

Ornamentation on mats was effected in the same way as among the 
Thompson. Different natural colors of the material were sorted out 
and woven into the mat in alternate stripes. Mats were also made 
of composite materials of different natural colors. ^^ Sometimes dyed 
material was used, the common colors being different shades of red, 
brown, and blue.'"' An overlay of dyed material was also occasionally 
employed, laid on either straight '^ or in zigzags. The twine in the 
weaving of some mats was arranged in zigzags instead of straight 
lines, a form of ornamentation frequent among the Thompson.^® 

Weaving. — It is said that the Lake tribe made woven rabbit skin 
blankets and that also goat hair blankets were woven on a loom. 
(See also p. 328). 

Woven Bags. — All the varieties of woven sacks used by the 
Thompson were also made by the Okanagon. The materials used 
were rushes, yoirng tules, willow bark, elaeagnus bark, clematis bark, 
and Indian-hemp twine. A great many bags of different shapes were 
made of twine. The Similkameen people obtained their Indian hemp 
at a place below Keremeous; but it grew abundantly in many low 
places in the territories of the several tribes. Bags were made in 
close and open weaving. Common methods of weaving were the 
same as those of the Thompson. '■' Bags made in plain twining were 
also common. A few were decorated by the methods employed in 
mat ornamentation. Sometimes strips of braiding were introduced 
at intervals in the weaving;'* and a few bags were made entirely of 
braids woven together, or, more rarely, sewed together. 

Braids were of vegetal material and of hair. 

There was almost, if not quite, as great a variety of shapes and 
styles of bags as among the Thompson. All the forms used by the 
Thompson about which I inquired were known to one or another of 
my informants. Oblong bags made of various lands of matting, with 
ends inclosed in skin, were common. The mouths were laced or tied."* 

" See Thompson, a, p. 189, fig. 131, d. 

12 See Thompson, a, p. 189, fig. 131, c and/. 

" See specimen in Ottawa collection, VI. M. 78. 

» See ibid., VI. M. 78. 

" For straight overlay, see Ottawa collection, VI. M. 73. 

18 See Ottawa collection, VI. M. 76. 

1' 0. p. 189, fig. 131, d, ft, !. 

1-" See Ottawa collection. Cat. No. 90. 

i» See Thompson, a, p. 202, fig. 149. 


Other common bags had. the backs longer than the fronts, the exten- 
sion of the former making a cover.^" Rush and twine bags for drying 
and storing berries and roots, especially service berries and huckle- 
berries, were also common. ^^ Some of these were round and had 
narrow mouths. ^^ Rush bags and creels for holding small fish and 
fisliing material were in use. Some of them had hoops around the 
mouths. Two shapes of stiff woven bags were used as mortar bags 
for crushing seeds. One was just like the Thompson bag used for 
the same purpose, while the other was much wider mouthed. Both 
had stiff rawliide bottoms, and were used in place of stone and wooden 
mortars, which were hard to transport. Woven bags were made in 
great numbers by the SanpoU, the chief materials being Indian-hemp 
twine, rushes, the inside bark of the willow, and elaeagnus bark where 
obtainable. Elaeagnus bushes are said to have been much scarcer in 
their country than in the territories of the Okanagon and Thompson, 
and therefore this bark was seldom employed. The cliief materials 
used by the Lake tribe in maldng woven bags seem to have been 
Indian-hemp twine and the inner bark of the cedar. Some cedar- 
bark bags were of very large size. A few bags are still made by most 

Flat Bags — Bags of the so-called "Nez Perce" type,^^ made of 
Indian-hemp twine, were manufactured by all the tribes. The Lake 
tribe claim that they made them formerly in considerable numbers, 
and state that they were made also by the Lower Kutenai. They 
were seldom ornamented in any way. Ornamentation on these bags 
was introduced from the south over a century ago, but was never 
fully adopted by the Lake tribe, who continued to make almost all 
their flat bags plain until they discontinued maldng them, about 
1870 or 1875. The Lower Kutenai are said to make a few still. 
The Colville, Sanpoil, and Okanagon made a great many bags, and 
ornamented them with bulrush in natural green, yeUow, and white 
colors, and also with flattened porcupine quills. Sometimes the 
rushes and quills were dyed. The ornamentation was generally in 
the nature of an overlay, showing only on the outside. Designs of 
different kinds were executed in these materials. The other tribes, 
especially the Okanagon, made some of their flat bags plain, hke the 
Lake tribe. The Similkameen people made almost all their flat bags 
plain and obtained ornamented ones from the tribes to the south and 
east. A few of these bags are still made by the Nespelim and Sanpoil, 
but the other tribes no longer make them. Most of the flat bags used 
by the northern and central tribes nowadays ai-e procured in trade, 
and are of Shahaptian make. 

» See Thompson, a, p. 203, fig. 152. 
21 See Ottawa collection, VI. M. 80. 
» See Thompson, a, p. 202, fig, 1.50. 
23 See Thompson, a, p. 190, fig. 132, and Shuswap, e, p. 497, fig. 219. 



Skin Bags. — The tribes made skin bags in all the styles in vogue 
among the Thompson. Most of them were ornamented with fringes 
and porcupine quilhvork. It is doubtful if the square tobacco bag 
with eight bottom pendants was made. This type appears to be 
confined chiefly to the region along Fraser River, and was gen- 
erally made of cloth. -^ The Coeur d'Alene, however, claim to have 
made this style in cloth. As cloth could not be cut in fine fringes 
like buckskin, eight or ten coarse fringes were made, and their edges 
bound with ribbon. 

Rawhide Bags and Parfl:&ches. — The square, stiff hide bag with 
long side fringes ^^ was common among all the tribes. The Colville, 
Sanpoil, and some of the Okanagon made and painted these bags in 
considerable numbers, but they also procured some in trade from the 
Kalispel and other tribes. The Lake and Similkameen people made 
only a few, and seldom painted them. The latter obtained their 
painted ones from the Okanagon and Columbia, and the Lake obtained 
theirs chiefly from the Kutenai. Very few are now made by these 
tribes; but the Kutenai, Kalispel, and Nez Perce are said to make a 
great many still. A few mortar bags for crushing seeds were made 
entirely of rawliide and were like the woven ones in shape. Par- 
fleches of buftalo, horse, and other hide were made and used to a 
great extent by all the tribes except the Lake. They came into use 
shortly after the introduction of the horse. The Lake tribe used 
them very little, because they were almost entirely a canoe people. 
The Similkameen people did not paint parfleches, and made many 
of them without removing the hair. Most parfleches made by the 
Okanagon and Sanpoil were painted, as were all those procured in 

Another Idnd of parfleche was used sparingly by the Okanagon 
and perhaps by other tribes. It was square in shape, made of the 
entire sldn of an animal doubled over. The tail part formed the 
cover, and separate pieces were sewed on for side pieces. The 
parfleche was made of scraped rawhide, except the tail or the point 
of the tail, wliich had the hair left on for ornament. Usually they 
were unpainted; but sometimes red Hnes were made along the seams 
and borders, and rarely also a few figures were painted on the front. 
They were used for pacldng on horses, in the same way as the common 
parfleches. Possibly they may be a modification of an old type of 
bag used for storing dried meat and fat, which antedated the intro- 
duction of the horse. The loops and holding stick inside may have 
been a later adaptation for horse travel. Before the days of horse 
packing, the sticks and loops woidd have been unnecessary in the 
common envelope parfleche also. 

" See Shuswap, e, pi. 13, fig. 1. 

« See Shuswap, e, p. 498, fig. 220, and Thompson, a, p. 203, fig. 151. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

Bark Basketry. — Baskets of birch bark were made by all the 
tribes. A few rough temporary vessels of bark of juniper, cedar, 
willow, spruce, balsam, and white pine were occasionally used. 
These were folded of one piece, and the mouth was kept open by hoops. 
The birch-bark baskets of the Okanagon and Sanpoil appear to have 
been made and shaped like those of the Thompson. Hoops were placed 
both inside and outside of the rim, or only on the inside. Birch-bark 
trays somewhat oblong in shape were also made occasionally, as 
well as birch-bark cups. Possibly the birch-bark baskets of the 
Lake tribe differed a little in form. The baskets were of all sizes, 
from a cup to that of a large bucket. The best ones are said to have 
been sewed very regularly at the ends and rims. Quills were occa- 
sionally used in stitching the latter. A zigzag sewing of spUnt was 
common on the poorer baskets.'^ Among the baskets which I saw 
among the Lake tribe the grain of the bark was generally at right 

angles to the rim instead 
parallel, as usual 
among the Thompson, 
Shuswap, and Okana- 
gon." The sewing was 
of splint (cedar, spruce, 
etc.), and sometimes of 
bark and bark twine. 
The Lake baskets which 
I saw had overlapping 
side flaps, each being 
sewn separately, so that 
there were two parallel seams on the side of the basket. The 
rimrod was notched and sewed with a zigzag stitch, while the side 
seams were made of straight stitching. (PI. 2.) The Stuwi'x of 
Similkameen made many bu-ch-bark vessels of good workmanship. 
They seem to have been the same in details as those of the Thompson, 
but some people claim that they were made more neatly than most 
baskets of the Thompson and Okanagon. 

A deep, flat-sided basket, generally of birch bark, was sometimes 
made by the Lake tribe, and used for carrying berries, etc. The 
back and front were wide and the two sides were very narrow. 
Rods extended up each side and around the rim. (Fig. 16.) The 
Kutenai commonly used such baskets, the Colville and perhaps the 
Kalispel more rarely. Most baskets were plain. A few had designs 
formed by scraping off the outer layer of bark, and others had designs 
made by scorching and painting. 

26 See Field Mus., Nos. 111859-ni862. 

2' The few Kutenai birch-bark baskets that I have seen all had the bark parallel to the rim, like the 
Thompson baskets. 

Figure 1G.— Birch-bark basket 



Coiled Basketry.* — Coiled basketry was made by all the tribes 
long ago. iUl the bands of the Lake made coiled basketry, and 
many individuals of nearly all bands of other tribes. Certain bands 
of some tribes in whose territory basketry material was scarce made 
httle or no coiled basketrj^, but procured baskets from neighboring 
bands or tribes, who lived in a country where good basketry materials 
abounded. Thus the Okanagon made comparatively few baskets 
and procured a good many from the Thompson and Columbia. 
The Athapascan Stuwi'x were the only people who made no coiled 
baskets but procured them from the Thompson. Some Thompson 
who intermarried and lived with them made baskets. The Sanpoil 
made a good many baskets, but probably not sufficient for their re- 
quirements, as they also procured some from the Colvunbia. The 
Colville made baskets and also procured some from the Lake. As 
among the Thompson, cedar roots were preferred for baskets, 
and most were of this material. In places where good cedar roots 
were difficult to obtain spruce roots and juniper roots were used 
instead. The Sanpoil claim that good basketry material was scarce 
in their country, and they depended on collecting the rootlets of 
uprooted cedar, spruce, and juniper brought down the Columbia by 
the freshets, and which happened to strand on the shores of the river 
within their coxmtry. All the Lake coiled basketry was made of 
cedar and spruce roots, as there was an abundance of these trees 
in their country. The Sanpoil say that long ago there was no imbri- 
cation on baskets and that the process was introduced among them 
about the beginning of the last century. As imbrication commenced 
to be general about the time the first whites (fur traders) appeared, 
some Indians think the art has been learned from the whites, but 
this seems quite unlikely. It seems grass in its natural color was 
principally used in imbrication. Grass was also dyed, and simple 
designs were made. Other materials used in imbrication were the 
inside bark of the willow, cherry bark, stems of tule, and rarely 
cedar bark. The materials used by the Okanagon and Cohdlle 
appear to have been the same as those in vogxie among the Sanpoil. 
The Lake say that very long ago there was no imbrication, and 
they do not know exactly how or when it developed. Most people 
think it came from the south, and some think it must have been 
learned from the Lower Kutenai, but this again is quite unlikely. 
Imbrication, they say, has been used by themselves and the Lower 
Kutenai for at least three generations, but was never fully adopted. 
About 1860 when the making of coiled basketry had almost ceased, 
most baskets were plain. The Lake appear to have used grass 
entirely for imbrication. The grass stems were collected in the 
high mountains. Occasionally they were dyed. They say patterns 

' See 0, pp. 140-142. 


were made entirely or almost entirely in black and white. The 
former color was dyed grass, according to some, and a different 
material according to others. (My informant had forgotten exactly 
what it was.) The same materials are said to have been used by the 
Lower Kutenai, Colville, and perhaps other tribes. The Lake say 
that an old woman residing in 1909 near Burton City is the only 
Lake they laiow of still living who has made coiled baskets; but 
all the other old women have seen their mothers and grandmothers 
making baskets. With the passing away of the past generation of 
old women basket making ceased excepting among a very few, such 
as the old woman mentioned. At the present day, as far as I could 
learn, no coiled baskets are made by any of these tribes. Baskets, 
however, are stUl used in some places; but they are almost altogether 
of Thompson, Columbia, and Klickitat makes. The Lake say their 
baskets were of some six or seven shapes and of many sizes. All 
were more or less circular, excepting one Idnd, which was oblong 
with rounded ends. They were long and rather low, and used for 
storing of provisions, clothes, small tools, etc., in the lodges. Angu- 
lar forms were never known until quite lately. From descriptions 
by two women and a sketch made it seems they resembled the smaller 
of the older " stluq" type or storage basket made by the Thompson. 
(a, fig. 143.) It is claimed that this type was in use about 1800. 
Burden baskets usually were not very large, and were shaped some- 
what like a paU or kettle (o, fig. 26 J). Some had straight sides 
like a birch-bark basket (o, fig. 26 e), while others were smaller 
at the bottom and larger at the mouth (o, fig. 26 a). Some were 
made almost completely circular, but those most used for carrying 
purposes were a httle flatter on two sides to prevent rolling. Some 
appear to have resembled a very old style of burden basket among 
the Thompson, which was quite similar to a kind still used by 
the Wenatchi. The baskets used as kettles were quite circular 
and somewhat basin-shaped, the mouth being much wider than the 
bottom. They were no doubt the same as the basket kettles of the 
Thompson, but possibly did not average as large ia size, and they 
also appear to have been shallower (o, pi. 41 j). Cup and bowl 
shaped baskets (o, figs. 27 e, 28 i) were also made, and varied in size 
from that of an ordinary cup to others about as large as the kettle 
baskets. They were used as cups, bowls, water receptacles, storage 
baskets, kettle baskets, etc. Another kind was almost jar-shaped, 
the mouth being contracted slightly and the bottom comparatively 
large (similar to o, pi. 68 a, h.) The sides of some converged all 
the way up, but none had very small mouths. Some of them were 
used as workbaskets. They may also have been used as water 
baskets and for various purposes. The Lower Kutenai and per- 
haps some other neighboring tribes also used these shapes. 



Another shape of basket used was that called "nut-shaped" by 
the Thompson. It was usually small, and bidged out in the 
middle of the sides, the mouth and bottom being of about equal 
diameter, (a, fig. 145.) They were used by women as work and 
trinket baskets, etc. The Sanpoil say their burden baskets are 
similar to some of those made by the Wenatchi and Klickitat at 
the present day, while others resembled more some of those made 
by Thompson. None had square corners. All were very much 
rounded, but two sides were flatter and straighter to prevent rolling 
on the back. They were used for transportation of roots, berries, 
etc., and also for boiling. Some completely circular baskets were 
also used as kettles. They were almost barrel-shaped, and some 
were of large size, (o, pi. 68, i.) Small cup and bowl shaped 
baskets, it seems, were also made. I got no definite information as 
to other shapes, excepting that a basketry tray was much used, 
probably similar to that of the Thompson. Some were circular and 
others oblong. They were used for holding berries, etc., in the 
house, also as food platters and for passing around food. Their 
sides were from 10 to 12 cm. high, and generally flared a httle. Some 
of the oblong ones were very long and used as fish dishes, being 
capable of holding a large roasted salmon at full length. 

Ropes, Thread, and Nets. — Ropes were made of t\\dsted Indian 
hemp of various lengths and thicknesses. Temporaiy ropes of grass 
were also made, chiefly of timber grass. Withes of willow were 
much used. Other ropes were made of strips cut out of rawhide, 
twisted or plaited. Softer ropes of twisted or braided dressed skin 
were also in use. After the introduction of the horse, ropes of horse 
hair twisted and plaited were much used. Fishing lines and sewing 
thread were made almost altogether of Indian-hemp twine. This 
was also the material for all kinds of nets. Twine was sometimes 
made of hair of buft'alo, bear, and in some places possibly also of 
goat, but I could not learn for what particular uses. Sinew was 
employed for semng. An arrowstone with notches was used for 
scraping rawhide thongs. 

Woven Clothing. — Women's caps of the so-called "Nez Perce" 
type ^* were made by all the tribes except the Lake and the Similka- 
meen. The Lake did not use them and the Similkameen obtained 
them in trade. The Lower Similkameen people may have made a 
very few. The Sanpoil made frequent use of them, and the Nespelim 
still make a few. Originally they were woven of Indian hemp, and 
fine bulrushes covered the outside. Ornamentation was usually 
effected by arranging the natural green and yellow shades of the 
rushes. Sometimes the rushes were dyed, reds and browns being the 

-5 See Xez Percf, 6, pi. 6, nos. 15, 16. 


predominant colors. Flattened porcupine quills instead of rushes 
were also employed in the ornamentation of these caps. A few of 
the Sanpoil, Okanagon, and possibly the Colville, also made conical 
caps woven of the inside bark of the willow, rarely of other kinds of 
bark. These appear to have been the same as those used by some poor 
people among the Thompson.^^ In Similkameen they were woven 
entirely of rushes. Blankets woven of strips of rabbit skins were 
made by all the tribes. The Lake tribe also made woven goat's- 
wool and rabbit-sldn robes; and they say that they made both these 
on the same kind of loom, which consisted of four plain sticks. Small 
blankets or cloaks of rushes were made occasionally by the Similka- 
meen. In later days at least some of these had strips of fur and wool 
woven with the rushes, and some were edged with fur, buckskin, 
and cloth. 

Designs on Bags. — I had little opportunity to obtain informa- 
tion regarding designs on bags. It seems that very little is re- 
membered about them, and there were but few specimens at hand 
for examination. The Okanagon appear to give about the same 
interpretations of designs as the Thompson. The Lake tribe claim 
that they did not ornament their woven bags. The Nespelim and 
Colville say that designs were wrought in with grasses in natural 
colors — green, white, and yellow — and also with dyes and with 
porcupine quills. 

Designs on Baskets. — I tried to procure some information on 
coiled basketry designs from the Lake tribe, but could get nothing 
very definite. They said that checks and short lines in black and 
white in various combinations constituted the bulk of the early 
designs, and these they think were only rarely given names. It 
seems that "beading" was done in lines. 


Undebground Lodge. — The underground house of the Thompson 
and Shuswap was used more or less by all the tribes as a winter lodge, 
except by the Colville. Several informants said that the Colville 
never used them. The Lake say that they were used to a consider- 
able extent by them long ago, and were called "earth lodges" or 
"earth-covered lodges." They say that none of the oldest Lake 
people now living ever used them; but they have been described by 
their parents, some of whom hved in them. They say that most of 
them were quite small, intended only for the use of one or two 
families. The entrance to all of them was through the top. The 
whole construction was similar to that of the underground house of 
the Thompson.^ They were dug out to a depth of from 1 to 2 meters. 

'" See Peabody Museum, Teit Collection, No. 491, 

' a, pp. 192-194, and figs. 135, 136; also pi. 15, figs. 1 and 2. 



Sandy ground, where digging was easy and the soil dry, was chosen 
for sites. The Similkameen say that the underground winter lodge 
of the Thompson was used by them, but many people preferred to 
Uve in mat lodges during winter. Among the Okanagon the house 
with entrance from the top was used chiefly in the northern part of 
their country. The SanpoU used very few, and most of the people 
wintered in mat lodges. A few underground houses with entrance 
on the side, but otherwise of the same construction, were used by 
Okanagon and Sanpoil. This style was common among the tribes 
on Columbia River to the south. The distribution of the under- 
ground house was mainly in a line following the east side of the 
Cascades, through the arid belt of the coimtry, from the northern 
Shuswap, south along Fraser River, across the Thompson, Nicola, 
Similkameen, and Okanagon, to the Colimibia, and from there south 
into Oregon. 

Conical Lodge. — All the tribes used summer lodges made of tulc 
mats laid on a framework of poles. These lodges were of two main 
types — circular and oblong. The circular mat tent was most com- 
mon, and was looked upon as the family house. ^ As a rule, they 
were not very large, and the poles were arranged on a three-pole 
foundation. They were also used a great deal in the wintertime, 
when they were covered with from two to four layers of mats instead 
of one, as in the summer. They were usually occupied by one or 
two families, and when well covered were warm and quite snow and 
rain proof. 

Square or Square-topped Lodge. — The Lake also used a type 
of lodge the poles of which did not meet in the center, as in a tent.^ 
The four main poles converged somewhat, like the rafters of an 
imdergroimd lodge, forming a square or slightly oblong smoke hole. 
The base of the lodge was generally quite circular, but in some may 
have been inclined to squareness. In some lodges the smoke hole 
was oblong rather than square. I did not learn whether all the tribes 
used these lodges, but the Okanagon did to a shght extent. I have 
called these lodges "square-topped lodges," although the ground 
plan is circular. Some are constructed almost exactly like the 
imderground house, but above ground and with much lighter materials. 

Long Lodge. — The long or oblong lodge was a single lean-to, and 
some of them were of great length. The fires were along the open 
front. This lodge was usually covered with but a single layer of 
mats, and was a temporary shelter made to accommodate people 
assembled at fishing places or at other gatherings. If more comfort 
were required, another lean-to was erected facing it; and the ends were 

2 For the common style of framework of the conical lodge, see Thompson, a, pi. 16, fig. 2, and Ottawa 
photo No. 27072; for a mat-covered conical lodge, see Ottawa photo no. 26628; for a poor type, where poles 
are scarce, see Thompson, a, pi. 16, fig. 1. 

3 See Thompson, a, p. 197, figs. 138, 139, and pi. 16, fig. 3. 


rounded off and filled in with poles, over which mats or brush were 
laid.* The double lean-to lodge was used at any season of the year 
for the accommodation of large numbers of visitors, at feasts, and for 
dancing. People did not usually live in them in the winter, except 
a few young men and other people temporarily. The Lake tribe say 
that this type of lodge went out of use among them a long time ago, 
but that formerly it was in use for the accommodation of strangers, 
visitors, and when communities camped together temporarily, as at 
fishing and other resorts in the fair season. They were in favor 
because they could accommodate many people, and required a lesser 
number of mats than tents. They were used by parties when travel- 
ing, who when they returned home always lived in tents. The mat 
tent or circular lodge was the family house of the tribe. 

Bark and other Lodges. — Among the Lake tribe all shapes of 
lodges, including the conical lodge or tent and the square-topped 
lodge, were often covered with bark instead of mats. Cedar bark 
peeled in spring was mostly used. The strips were generally arranged 
up and down, with the inside of the bark out. In a few cases the 
bark may have been placed horizontally and overlapping, being kept 
in place by tying and with poles laid against the outside. It seems that 
the SanpoU and Colville used no bark-covered lodges and the Okanagon 
only very few. In places where good bark was scarce, lodges, especially 
circular ones, were covered mth brush and hay or a mixture of poles, 
bark, brush, and hay. Brush houses and shelters were used by parties 
of all the tribes when hunting or trapping in the high mountains. 
Some of them were slightly oblong, with square or oblong smoke holes; 
and others had a smoke hole like that of the tent. Some were covered 
entirely with brush, while others had a covering of brush, grass, 
bark, and poles mixed. '^ Among the Okanagon they were often 
banked up around the outside with earth to a height of about 1 meter. ^ 
Often snow was used instead in the winter. The inside of winter 
lodges was excavated to a depth of about 15 centimeters or more be- 
low the surface of the ground. The floor was smoothed. The earth 
from the excavation was used for banking around the bottom of the 
lodge on the outside. Pieces of bark were placed between the mats 
and the earth. Women's lodges consisted of small mat tents,^ half- 
tents, open in front, and small lean-to shelters, generally under trees. 
They were covered with old mats and, in the mountains, with brush. 
The lodges of adolescent girls were always conical, generally well made, 
and quite small. They were usually made of fir brush,^ but some- 
times of mats. Among the Lake tribe, many were covered with 

« See Thompson, o, p. 197, figs. 137 and 142. Also used by the Coeur d'Alfine. 

« See Ottawa photos nos. 23165, 23166. 

< Ibid., DOS. 26260, 26261. 

' Ibid., no. 27097. 

8 Ibid., nos. 26976, 26977, 27073.] 


bark. The floors of lodges in the higher hills were covered with hr 
boughs or balsam boughs. Among the Lake tribe cedar boughs and 
hemlock boughs were also used. In the lower country, where fir 
was not handy, the dead needles of yellow pine were used for this 
purpose. Occasionally grass or swamp hay and rushes were used 
as floor covering. Bed places were further covered with mats or 
skins, which were rolled up at the head of the bed when not in use. 
In the daytime this roll of bedding and added clothes formed a back 
rest. No regular back rests, as among the Blackfoot, were used. Skin 
tents were used by the Okanagon tribes after the neighboring tribes 
had begun to hunt on the plains. Before that, only rarely was a 
skin lodge obtained in trade. Later on they became common 
among the Colville and to a less extent among the Sanpoil. The 
Lake and Similkameen never used them. The Okanagon adopted 
them to a limited extent only. After the extinction of the buffalo 
they were replaced by tents made of canvas, duck, and drilling. 
Several styles of the white man's tent, and also the canvas tipi, are 
used by these tribes at the present day. The canvas tipi is employed 
more in the southern part of the country and tents in the north. A 
few mat, bark, and brush lodges are still used occasionally among 
the Lake tribe. The permanent home nowadays is usuaUy a log 
cabin or a board house modeled after the pattern of the houses of 
the whites. 

Sweat Houses. — Sweat houses were everywhere of the same kind 
as among the Thompson. Some of those near permanent dwellings 
were earth-covered.^ 

Cellars. — Caches and cellars were the same as those of the Thomp- 
son. Tree caches, scaffold caches, and circular cellars or pits in the 
ground were all used. 

Household Utensils. — Household utensils consisted principally 
of baskets built up by coiling or made of birch bark, woven mats, and 
bags of various kinds. The materials and structure of aU these have 
already been described. Beds consisted of a thick layer of the same 
materials as those used for lodge floors. They were covered with 
mats, which were often further covered with skins of bear, buffalo, 
sheep, deer, or other animals. Bed covering consisted of various 
kinds of robes. The head of the bed was elevated a httle with a 
heap of brush or grass underneath the bedding. Some piUows were 
also used, made of smaU bags of dressed skin stuffed with bulrush 
down or w^th small feathers. I did not learn -with certainty about 
the use of hammocks. Possibly some were used for babies. The 
methods of bofling and roasting, and of cooking, stoiing food and 
water were in no w^ay different from those which obtained among 
the Thompson. 

' See Thompson, a, pi. 17, figs. 1-3. 


It seems that wooden dishes were not used, except small bowls and 
cups hollowed out of knots. Some bowls and dishes and many 
spoons " were made of mountain sheep's horn, especially by the 
Okanagon. A few spoons of goat and buffalq, horn were also in use, 
and in later days those of cow's horn. Wooden spoons were made 
occasionally,^^ chiefly of poplar and birch. Spoons were also made of 
stifi" bark.^^ In the main camps boiling was done with hot stones in 
coiled baskets. In temporary camps and on hunting expeditions 
bark kettles were used when bark was obtainable, else paunches of 
animals were made to serve. Temporary kettles were made of the 
bark of cedar, willow, spruce, balsam, white pine, etc., whichever was 
most easily obtained in the locaHty where they camped. Holes dug 
in hard clay and natural cavities in rocks were sometimes utiUzed. 


Dress. — The clothing of the Okanagon tribes was much like that 
of the Upper Thompson. The full dress generally consisted of 
moccasins, long leggings, belt, breechclout or apron, shirt, and cap or 
headband for the men; and moccasins, short leggings, long dress, and 
cap or headband for the women. Belts were also worn by many of 
the latter. Extra clothing, consisting of robes, was used when 
necessary by both sexes. People never went barefoot, except within 
and near the lodge or when at leisure around the camp. In warm 
weather around the camps many men and children went partly nude. 
Clothes were made of dressed skins of deer, elk, bufl^alo, antelope, 
caribou, and moose. Sheepskins were seldom dressed, because con- 
sidered too fragile; and goatskins were not even used for bedding. 
Most skins were dressed without the hair, except those intended for 
robes. The Thompson considered the Okanagon a well-dressed 
people ; meaning that their dress was nearly always of the best quality 
and style. They nearly all dressed alike, using the same cuts and 
styles of clothes, ornamented in the same way. This was taken as an 
indication of wealth and good taste. On the other hand, it is said 
that the Thompson were not as uniform in their dress, there being 
much greater variety in quality and style. Also some individuals 
were careless or peculiar in their dxess, and some others were too poor 
to dress correctly. Possibly, however, the chief reason may have 
been that the Thompson were more under different influences than the 
Okanagon, styles from west, north, east, and south all reaching them 
to some extent. 

Robes and Capes. — Every one had one or more robes to wear, as 
conditions required, and to sleep in. Probably the most common 

•1 See Ottawa collection, Nos. 135, 137. 

12 See Thompson, a, p. 204, fig. 156. 

" See Ottawa collection, No. 136, a juni'per-bark spoon. 



robes were those made of skins of deer, fawn, antelope, buU'alo, beaver, 
otter, marmot, coyote, and lynx, all dressed in the hair. Robes 
woven of twisted strips of rabbit skin were made and worn by all the 
tribes. Probably a few of twisted strips of muskrat were also in use. 
Robes or blankets woven of goat's wool were made and used only by 
the Lake tribe. Probably a few of these blankets were procured from 
the Wenatchi, and used by Okanagon as bedcovers. Dogskin robes 
were not worn, except by the Similkameen. A few robes of dressed 
buckskin, painted and embroidered, were used, especially in fine 
weather and at festivals. Small robes or cloaks were worn by a few 
people of both sexes, but probably mostly by women and children. 
Some woven ones were used by the Similkameen.^ Cloaks were tied 
or pinned in front. Capes of a small size, and made to fit the shoul- 
ders, were used in a few places by women and children, rarely by men. 
Most cloaks and capes were made of skins of small animals, dressed 
in the hair and sewed together — marmot, skunk, squirrel, ground 
squirrel, muskrat, mink, marten, weasel, and young fawn. A few 
were made of woven rabbit skin, and some were of dressed buckskin 
edged with fur. Some combined shirts and capes were used by the 
Lake tribe. The underpart of the garment was a sleeveless shirt of 
buckskin, sewed at the sides from the armpits to the waist or belt. 
The bottom was pinked or fringed and ornamented with a band of 
embroidery or painting. The upper part, or cape, was attached to 
the back of the neck of the shirt and was of buckskin edged with fur. 
The neck part was ornamented with a collar of skin, sometimes of 
leather pinked and embroidered, sometimes of the fur of fox, wolf, 
otter, etc. Some capes had long, fine-cut fringes along the bottom, 
and were further ornamented with pendent feathers of eagles or 
hawks, or with tassels of hair, weasel skins, and the like. Sometimes 
the whole cape was profusely covered with rows of ermine skins put 
on flat or cut and twisted into long pendants. Tufts of hair and 
feathers were also used, and some capes were punctured all over with 
rows of small holes. Usually the shirt was provided with a belt of 
stiff skin, which was set with pendants of deer's hoofs, beads, hair 
tassels, feathers, or strips of ermine skins. Sometimes both large 
and small robes were worn poncho style. 

Men's Clothing. — Men's shirts and leggings were similar to some 
of the styles used by the Thompson. A common shirt was made of 
two doeskins sewed together heads up. Sometimes the shoulders only 
were sewed together, the sides being provided with lacings, or merely 
held together with a few stitches of thong. The neck pieces of the 
skins were folded down at the back and front, where they were 
stitched or sewed to the body of the shirt. Usually they were shaped 
into circular or triangular forms and ornamented with embroidery 

1 See p. 235. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

and fringing. A few shirts retained the taUs, or at least the one at the 
back, and the parts of the leg skins shaped into points or cut square, 
a little of the deer's-leg hair being left on for tufts at the ends. The 
seams of these shirts were embroidered and fringed. These shirts, in 
both cut and style of ornamentation, appear to have been almost 
the same as the Nez Perce shirt figured by Wissler.^ Another common 
shirt was made of a single large skin folded over and sewed at the 
sides, and sometimes stitched here and there under the arms. A hole 
was cut and shaped in the middle for the head to pass through. There 
was no breast cut. The fringes along the sides and under the arm 
pieces were sometimes very long. Separate pieces of skin, triangular 
in shape and covered with embroidery in quills or beads, or punctured 
and painted, were sewed to the shirt at the front and back of the neck.^ 
Neither of these lands had true sleeves. In more modern times many 
men's shirts had sleeves, and they were of different styles. (Fig. 17.) 

Figure' 17. — Sketch illustrating cut of modern clothing 

The one shown in the illustration is a leather shirt seen by me among 
the Lake tribe. Each sleeve was of two pieces, and the back and front 
each of two pieces. The shirt was cut low on the breast, and over 
this opening a separate piece of white unsmoked skin was fastened to 
the shirt with metal buttons. This piece of skin was triangular in 
shape and embroidered with flower designs in colored silk. The 
sleeves were smaller at the wrists, just large enough to admit the 
hands. AU the seams were fringed. 

Some men wore, instead of the regidar shirts, a kind of vest. In 
most cases this reached only to the hips and was made generally of 
buffalo and other skin dressed in the hair. This kind of poncho shirt 
or vest was tied or laced at the sides with thongs.* In later days some 
of them opened a short distance down the breast.* Breast cuts on 
vests and shirts are considered comparatively modern. A similar 
garment, but much longer, reaching generally to the knees, was in use. 
Most garments of this style were made of two entire deerskins and 
were fastened around the waist with a belt.^ Perhaps they may be 

'rf. fig. 1. 

3 See Thompson, a, p. 207, fig. 163; and Ottawa collection, VI. M. 389. 
< See Ottawa collection, VI. M. 398; Peabody Museum, Teit collection nos. 281, 282, 283. 
' See Thompson, a, p. 206, fig. 162. Both the collar and breast cut are said to have been introduced 
within 120 years. 
' See Ottawa collection, VI. M. 399; Peabody Museum, Teit collection no. 280. 



better classed as ponchos. Some boys of the Sanpoil wore shirts of 
an entire case-sldnned coyote sldn wth the head part cut ofl". The 
shirt (or skin) shpped over the head and was fastened with strings 
on the shoulder. The tail hung at the back. There was no sewing on 
this kind of shirt, except that the shoulders were sometimes edged 
vAih bucksldn to prevent tearing where the tie strings were. Some 
Sanpoil men wore shirts made of four backs of coyote skins sewed 
together. The tails were often retained for ornament. In some cases 
two coyote sldns were used, forming back and front, the sides con- 
sisting of dressed buckskin. The tails were generally retained, par- 
ticularly the back one.^ Shirts of this kind were probably also worn 
to some extent by men of the other tribes. 

Small ponchos serving the purpose of neck wraps and covering the 
opening of sliirts on the shoulders were worn by some men over their 
shirts. They consisted of single skins (in the fur) of coyote, wolf, fox, 
lynx cat, bear cub. The tail was retained and hung down the back.* 
Some neck wraps of entrre rabbit sldns sewed together were used 
in the winter by both sexes. 

Breechclouts were of soft dressed bucksldn and were of styles 
similar to those of the Thompson. Long ago those made of a single 
long piece drawn under the belt, the ends hanging like long aprons 
before and behind, were most rare. Some people tliink this style was 
adopted after Hudson's Bay cloth and blankets came into use. Old 
men and bo3^s might wear simple aprons of dressed sldn and fur, 
sometimes quite long, without breechclouts. Sometimes the long 
shirts worn by old men reached nearly to the knees. With these they 
wore neither breechclouts nor aprons, but with short shirts they were 
always worn. The usual sldn leggings generally had long fringes cut 
in various ways. Cloth leggings had wide uncut side flaps. 

Women's Clothing. — Women's dresses reached to the calves of 
the legs, and some almost touched the feet. The style of dress most 
common had an extension of the cape or shoulder part, which himg 
down over the arms almost to the wrists, and served as sleeves.^ In 
some the extension was short, reaching to the elbow. The arm ex- 
tensions were often quite loose, while in other dresses they were 
fastened under the arms with thongs here and there. These dresses 
were generally made of two large bucksldns or two cow-elk sldns 
sewed together heads dowm. Unlike the Shahaptian custom, the tails 
of the deer were cut off instead of being retained for ornament. Ac- 
cording to the descripfion these dresses agreed, except for the retain- 
ing of the tails, \\-ith the Yakima specimen figured by Wissler.^" In 

' See Ottawa collection, VI. M. 400. 
* See Thompson, a, pi. 18. 
» See d, fig. 18. 
i« See d, fig. 18. 

41383°— 30 16 


place of the tails the Okanagon generally inserted a triangular piece 
of beading or other ornamentation. A few dresses with full-length 
sleeves sewed on ^^ were worn. A few dresses had no sleeves at all, 
the arms being bare to the shoulders. A very few young girls and 
old women wore no dresses, but instead fringed bodices or skirts of 
skin reaching to the knees or below. Some of these had high bodies 
which were fastened at the shoulders, but the bodies of others extended 
hardly above the waist. The low-bodied land were worn also by 
nearly all well-dressed women under their dresses. A bodice alone 
was not considered a complete dress. Narrow breechclouts were 
worn by some girls, and also by women, during menstruation. 
Women's leggings were like those of the Thompson. When traveling 
in deep snow some women wore long leggings nearly like of 
the men. A very few poor people of the Similkameen wore short 
leggings woven of tule or rushes. 

Footwear. — Moccasins were of dressed bucksldn, elk skin, etc., 
cut in two styles that were about equally common. One consisted 
of a single piece folded and sewed around the toe, the outside of 
the foot, and at the heel.^^ The other style had a separate small 
tongue piece, a seam extending from the latter to the toe, and a 
seam down the heel.^^ In a few the ends of the toe and the heel 
seams were puckered. Therefore they had no trailers.^* All moc- 
casins had gaiters or uppers of a separate piece. 

The trailers of moccasins were cut in styles similar to those of the 

The Lake were not famihar with the cut shown in a. Figure 170 
(Thompson), although a form similar to it, with tongue piece brought 
to a point at the toe, is often used by the Kutenai. 

In Similkameen the common cuts were seamed down the instep 
and open at the heel.^^ Some trailers were cut in a fringe. Summer 
moccasins were more pointed and made to fit the foot. Those for 
winter use were much looser to give room for heavy foot wraps. 
These consisted of pieces of skin in the hair wrapped round the foot 
or sewed like a duffle. The Similkameen used a few socks /'' made 
like the sage-bark socks of the Thompson, and possibly boots woven 
of tule. Moccasins were often padded wdth dry teased bark and 
grass. In the wintertime some people wore moccasins made of deer, 
caribou, buffalo, and other sldns, hair side in. No moccasins of the 
long-tongued round-toed type ^^ were used long ago. This style was 
introduced by the Iroquois and French. Moccasins with a wide 
crosscut at the toe ^^ seem to have been confined to Similkameen. 
Sandals were used by some poor people in the summertime. They 

11 See Thompson a, p. 215, fig. 184. is See Thompson, a, p. 211, fig. 173, Nos. 1, 2. 

12 See Thompson, o, p. 210, fig. 169. i* See Thompson, n, p. 212, fig. 174. 

13 See Thompson, a, p. 211, fig. 171. " See Thompson, a. p. 210, fig. 170. 

" See Thompson, o, p. 211, fig. 172. w See Tahltan specimens, Ottawa, VI. H. 48. 


were made of sldn or of rawliide, and sometixaes the soles were 
thickened with a coat of glue and sand. 

Hand Wear. — Gloves were unl-mown long ago; but mittens, both 
long and short, were used in cold weather. Most of them were made 
of coyote and other slcins in the fur. 

Men's Headwear. — Men's caps and headbands were made of 
dressed skin and of sldns in the fur of almost all lands of animals. 
Some were also made of bird sldns. The styles were the same as 
those of the Thompson, including caps of animals' headsldns, and 
those set with antlers of deer, or horns of antelope, goat, and bufTalo. 

Headdresses of tad feathers of eagles, hawks, and owls were common, 
and similar to those of the Thompson. Eagle-feather bonnets of the 
style used on the plains were common dm"ing the past century, and 
are still worn to some extent at dances. This style differed in some 
details from the oldest styles of eagle-feather headdresses of the 
Thompson and Okanagon. Feather "tads" both of the Thompson 
and plains styles were in vogue. 

Women's Headwear. — Women's headbands and most caps were 
of dressed sldn. The caps were more or less conical in shape, and in 
details were like those of the Thompson.'^ Flat-topped caps were 
not used. Woven caps, called by many whites "grass caps," of the 
so-called "Nez-Perce" style, were in common use, except among 
the Lake and SiiTulkameen.^" Caps of wllow bark were used a little 
by Similkameen, Okanagon, and Sanpod, but it seems were not 
known to the Lake, and may not have been used by the Colville either. 
The Similkameen probably also used a few caps woven of tule or 

OvERCLOTHEs, ETC. — Robes, ponclios, and cloaks were worn as 
overclothes in cold weather. It seems that no rain cloaks and short 
ponchos of woven vegetal material were used, except among the 
Similkameen. The cloaks worn by them have been described.-^ 
Some people put ordinary woven mats over their heads, , shoulders, 
and backs in heavy rains. It appears that no clotliing of vegetal 
m.aterial, except women's caps, were used by any of the other tribes. 
The Lake, who used cedar bark extensively for a number of purposes, 
did not use it for clothing. Before the advent of the fur traders, 
jackets, coats, and trousers were probably not made, and some say 
there were no sleeves to shirts and dresses. Possibly short buckskin 
trousers were used by Simdkameen and Nicola in early times. 

After many of the western Indians began to himt on the plains 
buffalo robes and skins became quite common, and largely supplanted 
other robes, cloaks, and ponchos. For a tune buffalo skin was so 
plentifid that even as far north as Similkameen it was cheaper than 
ordinary buckskin. 

1" a, p. 217, fig. 191. 20 See p. 225. 21 See also Shiiswap, p. 506, e, fig. 228. ''■ See p. 231. 


Belts were worn by almost all the men and by many women. 
Garters were much used by both sexes, and, to a less extent, armlets. 

Some double-pointed brooches of bone, antler, and wood — similar 
in type to a clothes pin with pointed ends — are said to have been used 
by the Siniilkameen. It seems that some of these had carved heads. 

Ornamentation of Clothing. — Ornamentation of clothing was 
the same as among the Thompson, and consisted chiefly of fringing, 
pinking, puncturing, painting, and embroidering with porcupine 
quills, seeds, hoofs, shells, and elk's teeth. In later days glass beads 
and silk thread displaced entirely the quill and other embroidery. 
Hair and skin were used for tassels and fringes. Ei'mine skins were 
often attached to garments and headdresses. Some capes were 
entirely covered with rows of them. Capes and clothes were often 
ornamented with feathers, bird skins, tufts of bird skin and fur, and 
deer's tails. Deerskin robes had the hair cut in stripes, as among, the 

Personal Adornment. — In personal adornment these tribes appear 
to have differed very little, if it all, from the Thompson. The same 
styles of necklaces, earrings, and hair ribbons were used; and the styles 
of hairdressing and face and body painting were about the same. Nose- 
pins of shell and bone were used by a few people of both sexes. They 
went out of style soon after the arrival of the fur traders. Combs were 
of fan shape, like those of the Thompson,-' and, when obtainable, were 
made of sj^ringa wood. .Tweezers were like those of the Thompson.-'' 
Tattooing was in vogue to a slight extent in both sexes, most marks 
being made on the wrists and forearms. A very few tattooed the face 
and other parts of the body. On the whole, women tattooed more 
than men. Face and body painting was the same, or almost the same, 
as among the Thompson. The same colors and styles were in vogue. 
The various styles of hairdressing appear to have been about the same 
as among the Thompson. Sinceabout lOOOor 1906 almost all theLake, 
Colville, Upper Okanagon, and Siniilkameen men cut their hair short. 
Most of the j^oung men crop their hair quite as closely as the whites, 
while many of the elderl}^ men cut it square across the neck. Among 
the Lower Okanagon, Nespelim, and Sanpoil, the majority of the men, 
both young and old, still wear -" their hair long and in braids. A few 
old men of the Colville and Upper Okanagon also wear their hair long- 
in two or three styles. Nearly all the people of all the tribes now 
wear white man's clothing. A few old people (especially men) of the 
Lower Okanagon and Sanpoil wear old-style clothing, such as leggings, 
more or less modified. Moccasins are generally worn in all the tribes. 
Many Indians have old-style costumes and ornaments, which they 
will rarely part with and which they use occasionally at celebrations. 

=s a, pi. 18. 2* 0, p. 224, figs. 201-203. " o, p. 227, fig. 210. 28 This refers to 1909. 




Food. — The food of the Okanagon tribes differed but Httle from that 
of the Thompson. The proportions of the dift'erent foods used were 
about the same, as well as the methods of collection. Nearly all the 
families moved about a good deal from one place to another, within 
their respective tribal territories, fishing, hunting, root digging, and 
berrying, according to the season at which each principal item of food 
supply was at its best. Usually each band was able to procure a 
sufficiency of all kinds of food on its own particular grounds; but some 
families occasionally, and others regularly, went farther afield into 
the remotest parts of the tribal territory, hunting and trapping. Some 
other famihes who did more or less trading made regular trips to cer- 
tain tribal and intertribal rendezvous, passing through j^arts of the 
territories of other tribes. If conditions were favorable, hunting was 
engaged in going and returning from these places, generally within 
their own territory, but sometimes on grounds of the tribes visited. 
Sometimes young men of other families accompanied these parties for 
love of adventure and to see the country. Thus there were few 
Okanagon who had not at some time been within the countries of the 
SanpoU, Colville, Spokan, Wenatchi, Columbia, Thompson, and 
Shuswap, and a few had been to other tribes beyond. In some parts 
of the country the chief means of sustenance was hunting, in other 
parts fishing, while in many places these two were of about ecpial 
importance. Flesh of horses was eaten a great deal at one time, but 
it seems that no dogs were eaten. ^ 

Vegetal food. — Root digging and berrying were important every- 
where. AU the edible berries used by the Thompson were gathered in 
locaUties where they grew. The berries considered most important 
for curing, and therefore collected in largest quantities, were ser\'ice 
berries {Amelanchier),' sohjihemes (Shepherdia), hucldeberries {Vac- 
cinium), and in some places cherries {Prunus). Huckleberries were 
very plentiful in the Lake country, where in great measure they took 
the place of service berries, wliich were most important to the other 

Most of the roots used by the Thompson were used also by the 
Okanagon tribes, and a few others that do not grow in the Thompson 
coimtry. The importance of various roots varied accosding to locahty. 
On the whole, the roots considered^ most important were Camassia 
esculenta, Levnsia rediviva, Balsa morrliiza sagittata, Lilium columhia- 
num, Erythronium grandiflorum, and FritiUaria lanceolata. Hazelnuts 
were utilized a great deal, especially by the Cohdlle, in whose country 
they were plentiful. Nutlets of two or three lands of pine, and seeds 
of Balsamorrhiza and two or three other unidentified plants, were 
used extensively in many places. 

' According to some, dogs were eaten occasionally bj- old Similkameen people. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

Oak did not grow in the territories of these tribes. It was confined 
to Columbia River and some of its tributaries farther south. Differ- 
ent kinds of tree saps and sprouts of growing plants were used in 
season, as among the Thompson. Following is a list of the principal 
vegetal foods of the Okanagon. I give both the Okanagon and the 
Thompson names for comparison. 

Okanagon name 

Thompson name 


Camassia esculenta (camas) . _ 

e'txwa, I'txwa 


Lewisia rediviva Pursh (bit- 



terroot) . 

Allium cernuum 

xalu'wa, xale'ua 
skwenkwl'riEn, skwEn- 


Claytonia sessilifolia 

tatW En 


Fritillaria pudica 


xala' uxoza 

Siuni lineare 



Lilium columbianum 



Ferula dissoluta 


\snl'lkEn (root) 
[tska'nelp (plant) 

Balsamorrhiza sagittata Nutt. 

Peucedanum niacrocarpum 




Calochorius macrocarpus 




Cycopus uniflorus 


xenExai' n 

Erythronium grandiflorum 



Fritillaria lanceolata 

stlEnqai'n _^ 


Potentilla anserina 


Hydrophyllum occidentale^ 

stlEuqai' .n 

tlaka'n'i, niEtsd'l 
(skalis'po' (plant) 2 

Cnicus undulatus Gray 

sntEkwalkwalii' stEii 

n'po'poqxEn (root) 
[sxwl'pis (?). 



rdtce' us, hdtcei'us 

ardtca'ks, nhatca'ks 


Amelanchier- alnifolia Nutt 


stsa'qum, stcoqom 

Amelanchier sp__» 


solkU' , zolku'. 

Prunus demissa Walpers 

Sambucus sp 



Crataegus rivalaris Nutt 



Cornus pubescens Nutt 



Rubus sp. (raspberry) 


sd'it^q " 

Rubus leucodermis Dougl 

meted' Ek 

me'tcuk, me'lcak 

' Said not to grow in the Okanagon country. 

2 Compare kalispo', kalispe'lEm (kalispe'.m, kalispe'), according to Revais, names among Flathead tribes 
for sprouting camas. 




Okanagon name 

Thompson name 

BERRIES — continued 

Ribes sp. (red gooseberry) 

.nte' txEmelps 


Ribes lacustre Poir (black 


sopil's, soEpU's 

gooseberry) . 

Ribes cereum (wild currant) __ 


Ida' za 

Shepherdia canadensis Nutt.. 


sxo'sEm, .s-ho'zEm 

Fragaria calif ornica C and S_ 

tEkei'm kem 


Vaccinium membranaceum 




Vaccinium myrtillus (small'pt 

a'meux » 

blueberry), var. microphyl- 

lum Hook. 

Berberis sp. (Oregon grape) . . 

sstse'res ' 

tsa'lza, tse'lsa 

Arctostaphylos u v a-u r s i 


d'isk, a'ik, ei'sk. 


Rosa sp 


stsaka'pEl, skokwa' u 
(var. of rose) 






Pinus ponderosa (yellow pine) 

nutlets or seeds, also of 

other pines. 

Balsamorrhiza sagittaia, seeds. 



Comandra pallida, seeds or 




Pinus contorta, cambium 




Pinus ponderosa, cambium 

tse'xive, tsii'xe 



Heracleum lanatum, growing 




Peucedanum sp., growing 

kwo'xkwax " 




Alectoria jubata (black moss). 

skole'p * 

a.ivi' .a, 

Opuntia sp. (cactus) 



Tree-sugar ^ 

sk ante' Ilk ^ 


Elxagnus argentea, seeds ^ 



Snowberries * 


stca'ksms asnaiyl' 

' Compare Coeur d'Al^ne for wild cmrant. 

< Compare LUlooet for black moss. 

5 A very sweet, sugary exudence which forms in cakes on the needles and branches of fir, and occasionally 
pine, in mid and late summer in the driest parts of the country. 

« Means "tree mUk." 

' Seeds of this and of the cactus were probably never eaten; but they were used extensively as beads for 
necklaces and in the ornamentation of clothing, as among the Thompson. 

* These were not eaten. 


Root diggers. — Root diggers were of service berry and other hard 
woods. The points were often charred to harden them. Handles 
were chiefly of birch; but horns of sheep and goats and antlers of elk 
and deer were also used. The shapes and ornamentation of root 
diggers, at least among the Okanagon, were like those of the Thompson. 
The "bow-shaped" root-digger handle of ram's horn was not used 
except among the Similkameen and possibly a few of the Okanagon. 
The Similkameen claim that this style of handle was invented by the 
Thompson and introduced by them. Berries were gathered in woven 
baskets, bark baskets, and bark trays. 

Preparation and preservation of staple foods. — The methods of 
preparing and preserving staple foods were practically the same as 
among the Thompson. Circular earth ovens or pits were used for 
cooldng roots. Oblong and square scaffolds of poles were used for 
drying meat and fish. Dried meat and fat were stored in rawhide 
bags, and oil and melted fat in bladders. Salmon and other fish were 
split and dried in the sun and wind. Some people preferred to dry 
them in windy shady places or under the shade of screens of brush, 
leaves, and mats. Meat and fish were also dried with the assistance 
of fire and smoke. Berries were usually dried, spread thinly on tule 
mats laid on dry gravelly ground facing the sun, or on mats on scaf- 
folds. Some salmon pemmican was made, and a little meat pemmican. 
Cooked roots of certain lands were mashed in mortars, made into 
cakes, and dried. Sometimes the mashed roots were mixed with 
dry service berries. Seeds of BalsamorrMza sagittata were roasted 
in baskets with hot stones. The seeds were turned over and over 
and fresh stones added until the seeds were done. They were then 
transferred to a mortar bag and pounded with stone pestles until 
they became a coarse flour. Nowadays they are heated in frying 
pans over a fire. 

A com,mon kind of scaflPold for drying meat used by the Okanagon, 
Similkameen, and probablj^ also the Sanpoil and Colville, was made 
of long willow rods bent over to form a half circle, as in a sweat house, 
and crossed with others at right angles. (Fig. 18.) Some were 
made completely round, like a large sweat house. This type of meat- 
drying frames was not much used by the Thompson. Both Okanagon 
and Thompson used the frames of ordinary sweat houses when the 
quantity of meat was small and they wanted to dry it quickly. 

Hunting. Weapons of the chase. — The weapons employed in the 
pursuit of game were chiefly bows and arrows for shooting, and knives 
for stabbing wounded animals and for cutting up the quarry. Clubs 
and spears were not important in hunting, and were used only occa- 
sionally. Arrows were of the same kinds as among the Thompson.^ 

2 a, p. 242, fig. 222. 




Arrow-heads were generallj' of flaked stone, but some of bone, notched 
and unnotched, were in use. The bow in most common use b}^ all the 
tribes was that with double curve.^ The Okanagon, Sanpoil, and 
Colville employed it exclusively. The Lake say that two kinds of 
bows were used by them; the double-curved and the flat bow.* The 
former was that chiefly used by themselves and by all the surrounding 
Salishan tribes, while the latter was the only kind used by the Lower 

■^"\ ■■-. 



z. / 

: -^1,:^)) 



FiGUKE 18. — Structure for drying meat 

Kutenai. The Similkameen say that their common bow was of the 
double-curved type, but all the styles of bow made by the Thompson 
were employed to some extent by them. Bows were generall}^ a 
meter long or a little more ; and all the best ones were sinew-backed 
and covered \vith snake sldn. In most parts of the coimtry juniper 
was the common bowwood, and service berry and rose woods were 
most used for arrows. Short bows of mountain-ram's horn were 

3 a, p. 240, fig. 218. 

4 0, p. 240, fig. 217. 


[ETH. ANN. 45 

made. The ridged part of the horn formed the belly of the bow. 
They were sinew-backed, like wooden bows. Hand or wrist guards 
of sidn were used by nearly every bowman. 

In shooting the flat bow was held horizontally, the double-curved 
bow vertically. 

Quivers were made of skins of wolverene and fisher, in the hair. 
Sldns of otter, cougar, and fawn were employed occasionally. Some 
rawhide quivers,^ generally painted, were in use, but none of woven 

Spears for hunting beaver were used by the Similkameen and 
Okanagon and possibly by the other tribes. They were like those of 
the Thompson and Shuswap.*^ 

Game and methods oj hunting. — The chief large game hunted by the 
Okanagon were three species of deer, elk, big-horn sheep, caribou, and 
black and grizzly bear. Antelope were scarce and goats were uncom- 
mon. Sheep and deer were abundant in the Similkameen country, 
but caribou and antelope were absent. Goats were not much hunted. 
The Sanpoil hunted deer, elk, antelope, and bear. Sheep were scarce. 
The Sanpoil country was well provided with several kinds of game. 
Antelope especially were abundant south of the big bend of Columbia 
River. A famous place for hunting them was around Grand Coulee. 
Spokan and Columbia also came to hunt at this place. The Colville 
hunted the same large game as the Sanpoil, but were restricted more 
to deer. The Lake tribe hunted deer, caribou, goat, and bear. Deer 
were not so plentiful as in the territories of the other tribes. Elk 
and sheep were very scarce, and antelope were not found. On the 
other hand, caribou, goat, and bear were more plentiful than in the 
countries of the other tribes. Moose, it seems, were occasionally met 
with. In later days some of the Okanagon, Sanpoil, and Colville 
joined other Salishan parties for hunting buft'alo east of the Rocky 

The principal smaller kinds of game hunted for food were rabbits, 
marmots, and beaver. Ground squirrels and tree squirrels were 
hunted by boys for sport, and their flesh was sometimes eaten. The 
Similkameen often hunted marmots. Animals such as the cougar, 
wolf, coyote, fox, lynx, lynx cat, otter, marten, mink, fisher, weasel, 
and wolverene were hunted and snared for their skins only. 

The flesh of dogs was eaten only by the old Similkameen people. 

The methods of hunting large game appear to have been quite 
like those of the Thompson, and require no detailed description. 
They were ordinary still hunting; approaching game in disguise of 
the game itself and by imitating its actions, or by approaching in 
disguise of some animal familiar to it; driving into ambushes or to 

6 a, p. 244, fig. 225. « e_ p. 523, fig. 240. 



places such as passes, where hunters were concealed; drivuig mto 
corrals of nets or entanglements; drivmg over clifl's; driving deer 
with dogs to baj' in creeks and bears into trees; driving (generally 
with dogs) to crossing places of rivers and lakes, where hunters lay 
in wait; encirchng; shooting from pits, trees, and ambushes at certain 
favorite watering places or salt licks; riding down on horseback in 
open country ; watching for deer, caribou, and bear at swimming places 
and overtaldng them with canoes; calling was also practiced to some 

It seems that the Okanagon and Similkameen used dogs more 
extensively in hunting than the other tribes. The Similkameen 
people, who had no sahnon in their country, depended largely on 

Besides hunting by individuals and small parties, which went on 
almost incessantly, most bands had four great hunts every year: A 
spring hunt for deer and sheep, which usually was not very far afield 
and comparatively short in duration; a late fall hunt for deer, sheep, 
elk, and bear, the parties sometimes going far away and remaining 
out for about two months; a midwinter himt for deer, and a late 
winter hunt for sheep. During the spring and late fall hunts the 
women busied themselves digging roots; and during the summer and 
early fall, when individual hunting only was carried on, they attended 
to the gathering and curing of berries and roots. Skins were dressed 
more or less all the year round, but probably chiefly in the wintertime. 
In the winter sheep hunt mostly ewes were killed and the rams were 
let go. The latter were him ted on their summering grounds when 
fat by small parties in the late smnmer and early fall, either by still 
hunting (the chief object being to catch them in their lairs on hot 
days), or with dogs. Women helped in the driving of game, and 
some of them also did shooting. 

The following is the story of a rather famous winter sheep hunt in 
the early part of the past century: 

Sheep were formerly very plentiful in the Acnu'lox (Ashnola) 
district, and the people of the band there decided to have a great 
sheep hunt one winter, partly so that they might have an abundance 
of meat for a festival they were going to hold, and partly to show 
their guests what a fine sheep-hunting ground they had, and give 
them a chance of some exciting sport. This was m our grandmothers' 
days. The Acnu'lox people invited the neighboring Similkameen 
bands, and they invited then- friends from the neighboring tribes; so 
a great many came from Thompson and Nicola Rivers, Okanagon 
Lake, and Columbia River. Among them were some Shuswap. 
All gathered at Keremeous, and from there they proceeded to the 
hunting ground. Many women joined the party to act as drivers, 
and all were provided with snowshoes. When they neared the place 


where they were going to drive, the hunting chief took off his cap, 
made of the sldn of a ewe's head, and, waving it toward the chffs 
where the sheep were, prayed to them as follows: "Please, sheep, go 
your usual way, and follow each other, so that we may eat your flesh 
and thus increase or lengthen our breath (hfe) ! Pity us, and be 
driven easily to the place where we shall shoot you!" He then sent 
many men around to sit at the heads of two gulches on top of the 
mountain and shoot the sheep with arrows as they came up. The 
men picked were the best shots, and included most of the strangers. 
He then directed the drivers, a great many men and all the women, 
mostly Similkameen people, how to proceed and where to go. Most 
of them, in driving and following the sheep, had to pass a place where 
they had to jump over a cliff about 3 or 4 meters in height, alighting 
on a bank of snow. All the men jumped, but some of the women 
were afraid, turned back and went arovmd by a longer route. The 
drivers saw and started great numbers of sheep, but they failed to 
get them to take the top of the mountain. Instead the sheep congre- 
gated on a steep, inaccessible cliff below the top, out of range from 
above or below, and stayed there. The people shouted at them 
lustily, but they remained there, knowing that it was a secure place. 
The great drive came to a standstill, and the hunting chief could see 
no way to get the -ihetp out. 

Among the drivers was an Upper Thompson woman, the grand- 
mother of the narrator of the story, who was married to a Simil- 
kameen man. She lived in Similkameen and was laiown to be 
resourceful and to have shamanistic powers. The mountain sheep 
was one of her guardian spirits, and on this occasion she was wearing 
a cap made of the headskin of an old ewe with horns attached, 
similar to that worn by the hunting chief. The leading Similkameen 
people held a consultation. They said, "All our friends will laugh 
at us if we can not get sheep for them." The Thompson woman 
said, "Yes; they certainly will." The chief then said to her, "Well; 
you may know something. I will give the leadership of this hunt 
to you; you shall be hunting chief." She answered, "Very well, but 
one thing you must promise." Then, pointing to the dog close 
to her side (a rather small and vicious-looldng animal, that all the 
people hated), she said, "You must promise never again to abuse my 
dog. I will drive the sheep alone with my dog, and you may sit 
down and watch me." She approached the sheep, pointing first at 
them, then at the four points of the compass, but no one could hear 
what she said. Presently she gave a sharp call, and the sheep ran 
into a bunch, which she now pointed out to the dog. She said to it, 
"Friend, go and drive your friends so that they will all go up where 
the people want them." The dog rushed off and drove the sheep 
fiercely. When any of them scattered, he rounded them up again. 



He was very intelligent, courageous, fleet of foot, and long-winded. 
The woman followed as fast as she could, encouraging him. The dog 
drove all the sheep up, and the men in waiting killed a great number. 
Sheep killed in the winter in a big hunt were usually temporarily 
buried in the snow. Then the people made a good snowshoe road to 
the main cache by walking back and forth on it repeatedly. When 
the snow was well packed they dragged the carcasses down to the 
valley as near their homes as possible. When dragging the loads 
became too difficult, they cut up the game and divided it, the different 
families maldng separate caches in the snow, from which they carried 
the meat on their backs to their lodges from time to time, as they re- 
quired it. Horses were emploj^ed in later days for this purpose wher- 
ever the nature of the gound and snow conditions permitted. Meat 
not needed immediately was dried, except ui the winter, when it 
coidd often be kept frozen. 

Dog halters of Indian hemp wath bone toggles were used.'^ 
Hunting parties often carried nets for corralling deer in bushy parts 
of the country. Nets were also employed near the main camps for 
capturing any deer which might come around. If fresh tracks were 
seen entering a clump of bushes, nets were set in the surrounding woods 
in the form of a half-moon, or sometimes, if it could be managed, in a 
circle. The shape and size of the corral varied according to the size 
of the area to be set, the arrangement of the bush patches, and the 
number of nets at hand. They were stretched across the open glades, 
the ends being fastened to trees and bushes. In places where the open 
ground was \vide, and the net could not be drawn tight enough, the 
middle parts where the net sagged were held up and kept taut with 
Hght poles placed at intervals. Any space left open, owing to 
shortage of nets or because too inconvenient to be closed, was guarded 
by two men with bows and arrows, concealed one at each side. If 
no men were available, a woman lay down in the center of the opening, 
and if the deer approached, she jumped up and shouted, thus driving 
them back. The places where deer were most likely to run were 
netted first. WTien all was ready, one or two hunters entered the 
corral and started the deer out of the bushes. Sometimes this was 
done with dogs. The hunter let them loose on the fresh scent, and 
followed them on the run ; or he simply let them go and remained at 
the opening of the corral. The other people hid here and there a 
short distance away. As soon as a deer was caught in the nets, they 
clubbed, speared, or shot it. In daylight, and when not too much 
rushed, deer sometimes did not attempt to pass through the nets, 
but ran around the corral until they came to the opening, where they 
were shot by the hunters. Often nets were set overnight in places to 
which the deer repaired during the night, with the opening of the corral 

' a, p. 245 fig. 227 


toward the side from which the hunters expected the game to ap- 
proach. At daybreak the people formed a half-moon, the ends of 
which extended toward the wings of the corral, and advanced rapidly, 
shouting at the same time. The startled deer ran ahead. In the 
semidarkness they did not notice the nets and became entangled in 
them. The people followed close behind and slaughtered them. 
This method of catching game was most successful for white-tailed 
deer, partly because they were generally most plentiful in bushy 
country and partly because they could not jump as high as mule 
deer. Nets were made of twine of Indian hemp (Apocynum canna- 
hinum). They were about 2 to 3 meters high, and varied in length 
from 15 to 50 or 60 meters. Fences and snares similar to those of 
the Thompson * were used in many parts of the country for deer. 
Similar fences were employed in some places for caribou; but I can 
not say if the snares were of the same style. 

Deadfalls were used for bear and some other animals, and small 
animals and grouse were caught in snares. 

The eggs of waterfowl were gathered in the spring at all large nest- 
ing resorts. 

The same stories are told in Okanagon and Similkameen as among 
the Thompson, of certain men hunting grizzly with a double- 
pointed bone dirk and a stone club.^ 

Fishing. — I did not obtain detailed information regarding fishing 
utensils and methods of fishing; but these appear to have been the 
same as among the Thompson Indians. The Lake Indians, who 
fished a great deal, may have had methods of fishing in lakes similar 
to those of the Shuswap.'" It seems that seine nets were used in 
some places. In the main rivers salmon were caught in dip nets. 

Floats and sinkers were much used with nets by the Okanagon 
and Lake. Some sinkers were perforated at the end and provided 
\vith a groove passing over the end for tying. Two of these were 
found on Arrow Lake; one was made of a flat, elongated waterworn 
beach stone, 12 centimeters long, 7 centimeters at the widest part, 
and 2.5 centimeters thick. The hole had been drilled from both 
sides, and a worked groove extended from the perforation on each side 
to the small end of the stone. 

Fish were also speared from the shore and in shallows with single 
and double pointed " spears with detachable heads. The single- 
pointed spear seems to have been by far most commonly used, while 
the reverse was the case among the Thompson. Fish, large and 
small, were speared with various sizes of the three-pronged spears.^^ 
These were generally used from canoes, but also from the ice and 

s a, p. 247, fig. 228. » a, p. 249. i" See e, pp. 625-630. " See o, p. 251, fig. 231. " a, p. 252, fig. 232. 




from rocks overloolcing the water. Spearing by torchlight was in 
vogue on lakes and on some of the rivers. 

Small fish were caught with hooks and lines. 

Weirs and traps of the same lands as those used by the Thompson 
were employed in shallow streams and at the outlets and inlets of 
lakes. \Miere weirs were used, and salmon packed close together 
below the obstruction, spears and also some gaft" hooks were employed 
for catching them. The latter had bone points and wooden handles. 

Many Okanagon from Okanagon Lake and the iipper part of 
Okanagon River, where salmon were scarce, went to fish salmon on 
the Lower Okanagon River. A few of the Similkameen people went 
to the Thompson and Nicola to fish. In like manner many Lake 
went down to near Marcus, Kettle Falls, and other places along the 
Columbia on the confines of the CohaUe. The cliief salmon-fishing 
places in the territories of the Okanagon tribes appear to have been 
in the \'icinity of Kettle Falls and Okanagon Falls. The Colville 
fished more salmon than any of the other inland tribes of this group. 
The Lake used canoes most extensively. The Similkameen and, 
next to them, the Sanpoil, fished less than any of the other tribes. 

The importance of sheep hunting by Similkameen and Okanagon, 
antelope hunting among the Sanpoil, caribou and goat hunting 
among the Lake, Hke the difference in fishing and the use of canoes, 
were caused by the different types of environment of the tribes. 
Other slight differences bet-sveen north,- soiith, east, and west were 
caused by trade influences and contact with border tribes. Hunting, 
especially of deer, was exceedingly important to all the tribes. 

Seasons. — Among the Okanagon the year was divided into four 
seasons embracing 10 moons, and a fifth season embracing the rest 
of the year. The 10 moons were generally called by numbers, as 
among the Thompson, but most of them had descriptive names 
besides. The remaining moons were called collectively by the 
seasonal name of psskaai' ("late fall"). The names of the seasons, 
and their Thompson equivalents, are — 










Summer. _- ._. . . 

Early fall 


Late faU 






Canoes. — Canoes were used more or less by all the tribes. Bands 
that had few canoes depended more on rafts. The Lake had an 
abundance of good bark in their country, and therefore used bark 
canoes entirely. They were all of the "sturgeon-nose" type. Most 
of them were made of white-pine bark. The Lower Kutenai employed 
the same style of canoe. At the present day most Lake canoes are 
covered with oiled canvas instead of bark. The Colville were not as 
weU supplied with canoes as the Lake, and in fact procured most of 
their canoes from the latter. The Sanpoil had no canoes formerly. 
All they had were a few small, poorly made dugouts; and they say 
that probably long ago they had not even these. Good wood and 
good bark were scarce in their country, so they depended chiefly on 
rafts pointed at both ends and made of poles. Rafts made of bundles 
of tules were also employed, especially on lakes. They were pointed 
at the ends hke the pole rafts. Pole and tule rafts were used also 
by the Okanagon and all the surrounding tribes, particularly on the 
smaU mountain lakes. The Okanagon also used bark canoes of the 
same shape as those of the Lake. Balsam was the common bark 
used by them. It seems that they seldom made dugout canoes 
until after the advent of iron tools. The Similkameen people 
depended chiefly on rafts. They also made, at least during the past 
century, small dugouts of yellow pine, balsam, poplar, and cedar. 
In shape they were hke one of those used by the Thompson Indians,^ 
but usually shallower, and rather longer snouted. Dugout canoes 
had no ornamentation or painting. A common style of paddle among 
the Lake is about 1.2 meters long, nearly half the length being blade. 
The latter is very broad, wdth rounded end; and the handle is widened 
out at the end to a flat knob of round cross section. The knob forms 
a hand grip and the part where the points of the fingers chng just 
under the luiob is slightly hollowed out, as in many eastern paddles. 
This type was used more or less by the different interior SaHshan 
tribes; but paddle blades of the more northern Salish tribes were 
generally narrower. 

Bark canoes were floored inside with loose strips of various kinds of 
bark, such as birch, cedar, spruce, and balsam, or instead of bark 
a flooring of brush or of long, light straight poles was used. For 
sitting or loieeling on, bunches of fir or balsam twigs and dry swamp 
grass were used. Small leaks were calked in the same way as loiot 
holes; but large ones were patched with a strong piece of birch, 
balsam, or other bark cut out larger than the hole and sewed on, the 
arrangement of the stiches being similar to those on birch-bark 
baskets (a long and a short stitch), but not so close together. 
Afterwards the sewing and edges were daubed with pitch. 

1 a, p. 255, fig. 237. 



Carrying. — Tump lines were made of rawhide, heavy bucksldn, 
and of lighter sldn doubled together. The ends consisted of long 
stout strings. Short double strings at each end, used by some Atha- 
pascan tribes, were not in vogue. Occasionally the leg skins of elk 
and caribou were used for the head strap. I did not hear of any 
woven tump lines. Dogs were not used for hauling purposes, either 
with travois or with sleigh. It seems also that dogs were not employed 
for carrying burdens, except in a few places. The Similkameen people 
claim to have used their dogs for carrying loads. 

Snowshoes. — Snowshoes were used by all the tribes, and were the 
same as those of the Thompson. The types with cross sticks, like 
those of the Shuswap and Athapascan, were not used. The common 
snowshoe worn by the Lake was similar to one used by the Thompson.^ 
The Lake snowshoes appear to have been slightly shorter than most 
of those used by the Thompson, and more turned up in front. In 
this wa}^ they were better adapted to climbing steep mountains. 
The Lower Thompson snow-shoes also have these peculiarities. 
The common Idnd used by the Similkameen people was hke the one 
illustrated in Figiu^e 241^ of the work here referred to. Snowshoes 
hke those shown in Figures 239 and 242 of the same pubUcation ■* 
are called by the Similkameen "lower-country snowshoes," whether 
with reference to the Lower Thompson, or to the tribes below on 
Columbia River, or to both, is not quite clear, but it seems that the 
Wenatchi and Columbia tribes are meant. 

Horses. — Horses were introduced probably early in the eighteenth 
century. For a time they remained scarce, as only a few were intro- 
duced at first, and for a long time they were much used as food. 
Horse stealing and horse trading probably also helped to keep their 
numbers down. However, by the end of the century they were 
numerous in some parts, and nearly aU the Indians were mounted. 
Many people who were old or elderly when they were introduced, 
particularly women, never acquired the habit of using them. The 
Lake people, except a few in the south, never adopted horses, as 
their coimtry was misuited to them. The Lake tribe had no chance 
to become a horse people as long as they occupied their own territories. 
The few horses they employed were procured from the Colville. 
The latter, it seems, obtained their horses from the Kalispel, and 
occasionally from the Spokan. The Sanpoil got theirs from the 
Spokan, Colville, and Columbia. The Okanagon obtained their 
horses from the Sanpoil, Columbia, and Colville. The Similkameen 
say they saw horses first among the Okanagon, and got their horses 
chiefly from them. The Sanpoil have a story regarding their first 
horse, but do not state where it came from. They say that the 

2 a. p. 256, fig. 239. 5 a, p, 257, flg. 241, < a, pp. 256, 257, figs. 239, 242. 

41383°— 30- 17 


earliest horses were all very small ; and yet at first people were afraid 
to ride them, for fear of falling off. The first horse obtained was 
very gentle. The first person who mounted it rode with two long 
sticks, one in each hand, to steady liimself. Another man led the 
horse slowly, and the rider sliifted the sticks (as one does with walldng 
sticks) as they went along. 

Horse Equipment. — The Indians soon learned to make saddles 
and all necessary horse equipment. The same styles prevailed, from 
the Shuswap and Thompson, south into Oregon, and east to the 
plains. However, materials and saddle blankets varied a little from 
place to place. Horses soon became generally used for riding and 
packing; and distant visiting, trading, and hunting journeys were 
made easy. Horses also constituted a new source of wealth. A great 
impetus was given to intertribal trade, visiting, and even intermar- 
riage; also new methods of hunting became possible, and transporta- 
tion of large quantities of meat and fish could now be effected over long 
distances in a short time and with little labor. 

Trading and Trade Routes. — Before the arrival of the horse, 
trading journeys were made on foot, except among the Lake and in 
part among the Okanagon, who used canoes, as they had extensive 
waterways easy of navigation. As everything had to be transported 
on the back, trading was naturally confined to light and valuable 
articles, and trading trips were not so frequent as they were after 
horses came into use. Neither did as many people take part in them. 
It seems that formerly trade was in the nature of a gradual filtering 
through of articles from one end of a large expanse of country to the 
other. In some places a few people occasionally made special trading 
trips across mountain ranges and through uninhabited country to 
distant neighbors. After horses had come into use these trips devel- 
oped into important affairs, undertaken regularly by large parties. 

The two greatest salmon-fishing places were also the two greatest 
trading places — Okanagon Falls and Kettle Falls. The former was 
in the territory of the Okanagon, the latter in that of the Colville. 
Both were important trading points before as well as after the intro- 
duction of the horse. Before its advent, trade went north via Okana- 
gon River and Okanagon Lake to the Shuswap. The journey was 
easy, being accomplished almost entirely by water. From the head 
of Okanagon Lake the Shuswap had only a short distance to carry 
their goods to the navigable waters of Spellumcheen River, Shuswap 
Lake, and South Thompson River, to Kamloops, which was a central 
point. Trade followed navigable waters from here west to Savona, 
and north by the North Thompson, at least 100 miles. This seems 
to have been an important route. No doubt, also, some trade went 
overland, by routes later used by horses, such as the Similkameen 
River; but it seems that these were of little importance in early times. 



In like manner from Kettle Falls trade went north, following the 
Columbia to Arrow Lakes and Revelstoke, where the Shuswap were 
met. Practically all this journey was by canoe, and most of it was 
quite easy. 

It seems that in early times trade from the east flowed chiefly to 
Colville by way of the Pend d'OreUles route, and trade from the south 
to Okanagon by way of Columbia River. These points, being under 
different influences, would differ to some extent in the character of 
their trade. No doubt there was always some cross-country trade 
between the Colville and Okanagon through the SanpoU country, so 
that eastern, western, northern, and southern objects would be 
exchanged between these places. Some trade from the Columbia 
River would also reach Colville more directly by way of the Spokan 
tribe. It seems likely, however, that goods from Columbia River 
were carried north from Okanagon, while objects of barter obtained 
from the east were unimportant. In like manner it might be ex- 
pected that the Colville traded more in eastern goods, less in those 
from Columbia River. Thus possibly the most direct route for 
eastern influences to reach the Shuswap would be from the Colville by 
way of the Lake, and for southern influences from Okanagon River, 
between the mouth and the falls, by way of the Lower and Upper 

It seems that the Shuswap came into touch with the Lake by two 
main routes — by way of the Fire Valley and Caribou Lake to the 
upper end of Lower Arrow Lake, and farther north to the Columbia 
River at Revelstoke. Some people often traversed the river and the 
lakes between these two points, fishing and hunting with the Lake 
tribe. Occasionally some of their parties tarried several months on 
these visits, especially some of those who came by way of Fire VaUey. 
Those who came to Revelstoke fished with the Lake tribe there. Some 
of them returned the way they came, after the fishing season was over; 
and others ascended the Columbia for hunting and trapping. Some 
of the latter met other Shuswap parties who reached the Columbia 
farther up, by way of Canoe River, and they frequently wintered at 
points on the Columbia. 

As all the Shuswap reaching the Columbia came from as far west 
and north as Spellumcheen River, Shuswap Lake, and the Upper 
North Thompson, they traversed a long distance through mostly 
rough country, which would hamper any extensive trade develop- 
ment in this direction. Even in later days horses could not be used on 
those Shuswap trails, except by the southern, the Fire Valley, route. 
The contact here between Lake and Shuswap was between the poorest 
bands of both tribes. On the other hand, the head of Okanagon 
Lake was close to large centers of population. The homes of the 
Shuswap were only a little distance to the north, and the intervening 


country was easily traversed. It seems, therefore, that the bulk of 
the trade from the south must have come by the Okanagon route; 
and, as this trade route was rather from the southern Columbia than 
from the east, the Shuswap would be subjected to influences from 
the southern Columbia, The Dalles, and southward, rather than 
from the southeast and the plains. The Shuswap, being at the 
northerly end of the trade routes from the south, would act as distrib- 
uters, in the same way as the Okanagon and Colville farther south; 
and, Kamloops being the nearest central point in their country, trade 
would gravitate to that place. It thus seems likely that trade from 
the south would reach the Thompson down Thompson River from 
Kamloops rather than by the cross-country routes from Okanagon 
to the head of Nicola River, and from Okanagon to the Thompson by 
way of the Similkameen and Nicola. The Stuwl'x tribe would also 
to some extent form a barrier to trade reaching the Thompson by 
the last-named routes, owing to the hostility that existed between 
them and the Okanagon immediately before the introduction of the 
horse. Their culture .points to Thompson rather than Okanagon 

Following the introduction of the horse, trade conditions changed 
rather suddenly, and the old trade routes became of minor importance. 
Trade now passed across country with the greatest ease. The new 
main trade routes followed across the rolling, lightly timbered grassy 
plateaus, and through the open valleys, in almost straight lines from 
one place to another. A great cross-country trade sprang up be- 
tween Okanagon and Colville. The lattej place became of greatest 
importance as a trading center for a large area of the Plateau country. 
In fact, it became the great trade emporium of the interior Salishan 
tribes. Trade from The Dalles and Columbia River going east, and a 
great deal of that going north, came here by way of the Spokan and 
Okanagon. The eastern trade from as far as the plains came here 
by way of Pend d'Oreille River, and passed south, west, and north. 
The old Lake route to the north, being impossible for horses, was 
practically neglected. The great trade route to the north was now 
across country from ColvUle to Okanagon River; thence it branched 
off, about half of the volume of trade going up the SunUkameen to 
the Thompson, and the rest passing on to Okanagon Lake. The 
volume of trade that passed north to the Shuswap and Thompson 
became very great. The routes traversed were natural ones for horses, 
through open, well-grassed country, without any physical barriers. 
Goods were transported up Okanagon Valley by horses, although no 
doubt some went by canoe, as before. From Okanagon Lake a 
number of branch routes came into use, leading to the Thompson 
and Shuswap. Trade to the latter tribe went on to the head of the 
lake, as before. From there one route was to Spellumcheen River 


and thence to Shuswap Lake. As already stated, this was probably 
the most important route before the advent of the horse. A second 
route led to Shuswap Lake by way of Salmon River. This route 
was now more important than formerly. The thii'd route, now 
much the most important one, was across the Upper Salmon River, 
by way of Grand Prairie, directly to Kamloops. A branch of this 
trail went from Grand Prairie to Douglas Lake and to the Nicola and 
Thompson. A minor trail went from the west side of Okanagon 
Lake, across a narrow piece of intervening plateau, to Nicola and 
Thompson Rivei-s; and another one, from Penticton, at the foot of the 
lake, joined the main Similkameen trail to the Nicola and Thompson. 

Thus it seems that before the introduction of the horse the Shuswap 
and Thompson tribes were exposed to less influence through trade 
from the southeast and the plains and to more from the south and 
Oregon country. As the old trade routes led more directly to the 
Shuswap than to the Thompson, the former tribe would be more 
influenced by whatever cultural influences followed them. After 
the introduction of the horse, conditions were reversed; and these 
tribes came under a considerably greater influence from the southeast, 
which before long was further augmented by the great annual move- 
ments of the more eastern of the Plateau tribes to the plains for 
buffalo hunting. The trade routes which now came mto vogue 
led rather to the Thompson than to the Shuswap, and therefore the 
foiTaer tribe now became subject to influences brought in by trade. 

In early times some trade was carried on between the Lower Kutenai 
and the Lake tribe. Parties of the former frequently came to the 
mouth of Slocan River, and occasionally to the mouth of the Koote- 
nai, to buy salmon. They left their canoes above Bonnington 
Falls; and after living a couple of weeks with the Lake tribe, and 
eating plenty of fresh salmon, they departed, carrying their fish 
over the portage. Sometunes parties of the Lake tribe visited 
the Kutenai on Kootenai Lake, occasionally going as far as Creston, 
where they engaged with them in games and did a little trading. 
Trade between the Lake tribe and the Kutenai was not increased 
by the introduction of the horse, but rather the reverse was the case. 

The chief articles obtained in trade from the Thompson appear to 
have been dried salmon, salmon oil, salmon pemmican, coiled basketry, 
dentalia, some stone celts, and the like. The principal goods ex- 
changed for these were horses, dressed buffalo skins and robes, dressed 
moose skin (rarely caribou skin), painted buffalo hide bags and par- 
fleches and woven bags of the Nez Perce type. 

As stated already, there was not much direct trade between the 
Okanagon and Thompson before the days of the horse, and what 
there was seems to have been confined chiefly to salmon pemmican 
and dentaha, which were exchanged for Indian hemp and dressed 


skins. The Okanagon traded the same commodities to the Shuswap 
and to the Thompson. The Olcanagon procured dentalia from the 
Shuswap, and it is probable that before the introduction of the horse 
most of these shells were obtained from them. 

In July and August, when the route was open, Similkameen and 
Okanagon sometimes crossed the Cascade Mountains and visited the 
people of Hope on Lower Fraser River. After horses became com- 
mon this trade became important and was followed annually. Large 
packs of dried fish and oil, and in later days even salted salmon, were 
transported over this trail. 

They sold to the Lower Fraser people Indian-hemp bark and twine, 
dried service berries, and dressed buckskin, in exchange for the best 
kinds of dried salmon, salmon oil, dentalia, and other shells. 

From the Columbia it seems that marine shells, bags of the Nez 
Perce style, products from The Dalles country, some horses, salmon, 
coiled basketry, and probably some stone implements and woven 
robes, were procured in exchange for articles common to all the tribes, 
such as Indian hemp, robes, clothes, dressed skins, etc. 

Some horses and buffalo skin were procured from the Spokan chiefly 
by the Sanpoil; but there was not much direct trade with this tribe, 
although Sanpoil visited the Lower Spokan. The Sanpoil appear to 
have done most of their trading with the Colville on the one hand 
and the Okanagon on the other. 

The Colville procured horses, painted bags and parfleches, buffalo 
robes, etc., from the Kalispel, in exchange for dried salmon, and some 
articles reaching them from the west and north, such as shells. 

The Lower Kutenai sometimes traded painted bags, parfleches and 
deer-skin robes to the Lake for dried salmon, and the Lake sold some 
bark canoes to the Colville. They also sold some products obtained 
at Colville to the Shuswap, receiving in return chiefly marmot robes 
and dentalia. 

It seems that slaves were procured chiefly from the Columbia tribe. 
Tobacco and certain kinds of roots were trade articles to some 
extent. Camas roots, for instance, were often sold to the Thompson, 
and the latter sometimes sold one or two kinds of roots to the Okana- 
gon. Red paint was sold by the Similkameen people to both the 
Okanagon and Thompson, and parties of these tribes also came to 
the Tulameen Forks or Vermilion to gather it themselves. Pipes and 
pipestone of red, brown, green, mottled, yellowish, bluish, and gray 
colors were interchanged. The bright-red catlinite came from the 
east, chiefly through the Kalispel. Green soapstone came chiefly 
from the Thompson. I learned nothing regarding early trading in 
copper and iron. It would seem that these metals were not in use to 
any great extent before the advent of the horse. Buffalo-skin tents 
reached the Thompson. Small, flat, disk-shaped beads of shell and 



bone, used very much by the Thompson and all the tribes for neck- 
laces, may have been made by some or possibly by all of the tribes, 
but there is evidence that most of them came in trade from the 
Columbia tribe and The Dalles. Robes of all kinds were valuable, 
and were exchanged between all the tribes; as were the best kinds 
of clothes, good weapons, and good tools. 

Everything in use had more or less of a set value, which varied in 
different parts of the country, according to the demand and supply of 
the commodit}'^. 

Families in the same tribe and even the same band, and even 
individuals who were comrades or next-door neighbors, often traded 
among themselves. Indian hemp, Indian-hemp twine, and dressed 
skins, chiefly deerskins, were staples, and although almost equally 
common to all the tribes of the interior, were in demand constantly 
because they were so much required for manufactures and clothing. 
All commodities could be bought with them. The Coast Indians 
never carried goods inland, as they did in Alaska and in the north, 
where Athapascan tribes inhabited the interior. 

The Okanagon and Colville appear to have been the chief traders 
among the central tribes, both before and after the introduction of 
the horse. The Okanagon traded from one end of their country to 
the other, north and south, and the Sanpoil and Lake tribes did the 
same east and west. The Colville did no carrying, or hardly any. 
Their country was small and the surrounding tribes all came to 
them. Before the introduction of the horse hardly any tribe went 
beyond the borders of their own country for trading; but afterwards, 
in times of peace, some parties of the chief trading tribes, such as the 
Okanagon, for instance, went to the adjoining tribes, and sometimes 
into the territory of other tribes bej^ond. The Okanagon occasionally 
came to L^^tton and Kamloops, and they have been known to go to 
La Fontaine and Lillooet. 


Weafoks of Offense and Defense. — The weapons of the central 
tribes appear to have been almost the same as those of the Thompson. 
Spears about 2 meters in length were common. Their points were of 
flaked stone, bone, and antler. In shape, some were long and narrow, 
and others somewhat leaf-shaped. War knives were of the same 
shapes and materials as spearheads. After the arrival of the fur 
traders iron took the place of other materials for spearheads and 
knives, and long double-edged war knives were made like those of 
the Thompson.^ Tomahawk clubs with stone and antler heads were 
in use. In later days these were replaced by the trader's tomahawks 

' a, p. 263, fig. 246. 


of iron, including the pipe tomahawk. Bows and arrows have 
already been mentioned. 

A number of different types of war clubs were in use. The three 
kinds with round stone heads used by all the Thompson were common. 
One kind had a rigid head with rawhide shrunk over it;' another kind 
had a flexible head consisting of a stone enclosed in a bag of dressed 
skin;^ and the third kind consisted of a stone enclosed in rawhide, 
with a short flexible handle of twisted rawhide or a loop of heav3^ 
thong. Some of these appear to have been grooved, but most of 
them were enclosed in hide. War clubs in a single piece were also 
common. Some of these were of hard wood.^ Shorter stone clubs, 
probably of jade and serpentine, of nearly the same shape ^ as the 
wooden ones, were used principally by the Okanagon. Possibly 
most of them were obtained in trade from Wenatchi and Columbia. 
Clubs made of a single piece of elk antler were common. Usually 
the sharpened stub of a tine at the head formed a spike. The Simil- 
kameen claim that his was the most common war club among them. 
A crooked club of stone and wood, or entirely of either material, was 
in use. It resembled somewhat the crooked war club of eastern 
tribes, but had no ball or spike. This style may hare been intro- 
duced from the plains, but quite possibly it may have been modeled 
after some of the elk-antler clubs which were of this shape naturally. 
The crooked club with ball and spike was introduced in. later days by 
the fur traders. Straight wooden clubs set with from one to eight 
spikes of stone or antler were also in use. Iron clubs came into use 
after the traders came. They were shaped somewhat like a machete. 
I did not learn the exact distribution of the various kinds of clubs 
among the four tribes, but it seems that all kinds were more or less used 
everywhere. A club with elongated head of rounded stone ^ may 
have been introduced from the plains. A club with elongated head 
of flat stone was indigenous. 

Cuirasses of rods of wood and of slats of wood were in use among 
the Okanagon and Sanpoil, and some of heavy hide were also em- 
ployed. Some of the latter were low, and only encircled the waist. 
Tunics of thick elk hide were worn by a few men. I did not hear of 
helmets of any kind, nor of long hide shields.'' Small shields were 
universal. Most of them were made of thick hide sewed to a wooden 
hoop. From one to three thicknesses of hide were used.* Some of 
those of a single piece of hide were rendered arrow proof by a thick 
coat of glue and sand on one side. Some shields had no hoops. One 
kind was exactly like the shields used on the plains. All the hide 

2 0, p. 264, fig. 247. « Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 1, p. 313. 

3 See Thompson, a, p. 264, fig. 248. ' See Thompson, a p. 266, fig. 255. 
* See Thompson, a, 265, flg. 251. « Field Museum, 111941. 

« See Yakima, i, figs. 62, 63. 



shields were circular or nearly circular. A few oval-shaped shields 
of slats of wood wei'e used.^ 

Breastworks were used in warfare. Some were made of loose stones 
and earth. They were made in lines in several ways, according to 
the position to be defended. Some were in tiers, some in straight 
lines, others were semicircular, and a few entirely circular. I did not 
obtain any detailed information regarding stockades and fortified 

Wars. Wars between the Stuwi'x, Thompson, Olcanagon, and 
Shuswap. — Long ago the Stuwi'x (the Athapascan Nicola-Similka- 
meen tribe) had frecjuent wars with the Thompson. This was at a 
time before the latter had intermarried much with them. The 
Lytton band of the Thompson were the people who attacked the 
Stuwi'x most frequently. The Shuswap and Okanagon also attacked 
them. The latter drove them away from near the m.outh of Similka- 
meen River, and occupied then- territory there; and the same may 
have been done by the Thompson near the mouth of the Nicola River. 
The Thompson ceased to attack the Stuvfi'x after they had inter- 
married considerably with them, as they were afraid of killing then- 
owm kin, or, as they say, of "spilling their owti blood." The Okana- 
gon, for the same reason and also because they made fast friends 
with the Thompson and became their allies, also ceased to attack 
the Stuwi'x. During all of the past century at least, the Thompson, 
Stuwi'x, and Okanagon never fought one another. The Thompson 
became friendly with the Stuwi'x first. The Shuswap, however, 
continued to attack them throughout the first haK of the past 
century, and sometimes also attacked mdividuals and parties of 
Thompson and Okanagon who happened to be campmg with the 
Stuwi'x. Most of the Shuswap war parties came from Savona and 
Kamloops. In some raids they were successful, while in others they 
were defeated and most of them Idlled. In some nghts, Thompson 
and Okanagon helped the Stmvl'.x. In all these wars the other tribes 
were the aggressors; for the Stuwi'x acted only on the defensive, and 
never sent any parties into the territories of theii" enemies. 

When hunting in the Cascades, Similkameen parties often met 
Lower Thompson in the country back of Hope and Chilliwack, but 
they were always friendly. They never met Coast Indians, nor 
Khckitat, in the Cascades. The former never hunted far back in 
the mountains, and the latter did not go so far north. They say 
that Thompson hunting and war parties sometimes went a long way 
south along the Cascades, but the Sunilkameen people did not go far. 

I did not hear of wars of any Okanagon tribes against Columbia, 
Wenatchi, Spokan, Kalispel, and other southern and eastern Salish 
tribes. Long ago, about 1700, the Shuswap had wars with the 

» Field Museum, 111942. 


Okanagon. Once a large Shuswap war party from Savona and neigh- 
borhood was defeated at Namtu'stEn ("place of ambush") and nearly 
all of them were killed. Another Shuswap war party had many men 
killed by falling over a cliff below Penticton. It seems that this war 
party came over the plateau to the bluffs above the valley, which 
they reached in the evening. Here they halted to observe some 
camps in the valley below. They were noticed by some Okanagon 
scouts, and in the night time wei-e surrounded by a strong party of 
Okanagon, who shortly bcfoi'c daybreak attacked them suddenly. 
Many of the Shuswap, not knowing the locality, fell over the prec- 
ipice in the dark. Some others escaped to isolated rocks, where 
theii- retreat was cut off by the steep cliffs, and they were shot there 
after daylight. A number of others escaped through the Okanagon 
in the dark, and reached home. Their war chief was killed. 

Wars with Kutenai. — The Lake say that they had no wars with the 
Shuswap, nor with any other tribe except the Kutenai. With the 
Lower Kuteiuii they had some small fights and one great war. It is 
not remembered exactly how it started ; but the Kutenai tried to 
drive the Lake away from Lower Kootenai River, and to take posses- 
sion of the salmon fisheries at the mouth of Slocan River. A number 
of fights occurred, with advantage sometimes to one side, sometimes 
to the othei-. At last the Tjake held a council, and said, "We l^etter 
kill all the Kutenai, and then there will be no more trouble." At this 
time the Lake tribe was very numerous, and men came from all parts 
of the tribe. A large expedition went up Kootenai Lake and attacked 
the Lower Kutenai of Creston. They killed a great many people, and 
after that the Kutenai ceased to attack them. In some expeditions 
Shuswap helped the Lake against the Kuteiiai. The Lake say that 
sometimes independent war parties of Shuswap appeared in the 
Lake country on their way to attack the Kutenai. The Lake tribe 
sometimes gave them assistance in crossing the Columbia. It seems 
that there has been no war between the Lake and the Kutenai since 
about the beginning of the jjast centur^y. 

Wars witlh the Nez Perce and YaJdma. — The Sanpoil say that 
according to traditions the Sanpoil and Nespelini led very peaceful 
lives, sometinu^s for decades at a time, neither attacking nor being 
attacked, althougli meanwhile they heard of many wars among other 
tribes. Their chiefs always favored peace, although all bands had 
war cliiol's and a certain niunber of trained warriors. Once, some- 
time in the latter part of the eighteenth century, or at least previous 
to the coming of the white traders, a large war party of Nez Perc6 
attacked the main camp of the Sanpoil, at a time when most of the 
able-bodied men were away on a hunting expedition in the mountains. 
Nearly 200 women, children, and old people were killed. The Sanpoil 
asked the assistance <W" the Okanagon and Colville to revenge the 



massacre; and two years afterwards the warriors of the three tribes 
had congregated in the Sanpoil country, preparatory^ to starting on 
the great war expedition, wlien a large war party of Nez Perce and 
Yakima appeared. Having had such an easy victory before, and 
two years having passed without any reprisals by the Sanpoil, they 
thought the latter were easy marks. The Yakima, probablj^ including 
Paloos, had heard of the easy victory of the Nez Perc6, and a number 
of them had jomed the Nez Perce to have a share in the next victory. 
The Sanpoil and their allies hid their strength from the enemy, and 
let them attack. In the battle which followed the Sanpoil and then- 
allies completely routed the enemy and chased them for many miles. 
All the enemy were killed except four men, who managed to escape. 
After this severe defeat the Nez Perc6 and the Yaldma never attacked 
the Sanpoil agam. 

Wars witli the whites. — The Okanagon tribes remained neutral 
durmg' the Spokan and Yakima wars against the whites, except a few 
men, chiefly Okanagon (and Sanpoil?), who individually joined the 
Spokan and Coeur d'Alene. Some of the overland parties of whites 
who proceeded from California and Oregon to the Fraser River gold- 
diggings in 1858-1860, when passmg through the Okanagon country, 
were attacked and harassed by the natives, who opposed their passage 
at some points by erecting breastworks and shootmg from them, 
setting fire to the grass, stampeding horses, picking off stragglers, and 
even attacking camps. In one instance a large white party was driven 
to the river and forced to cross. A number of whites were killed in 
these skirmishes. About 1875, owmg to strong feeling engendered 
by the failure of the Government to provide reservations and make 
treaty with the Indians, the Okanagon and Shuswap tribes made a 
compact to attack the whites and drive them out of their territories. 
This was frustrated by the strong influence of Chief Tcelahitsa of the 
Douglas Lake band. 

Feuds. — Feuds between families occurred, although it is said not 
as freqiiently as among the Thompson. They were sometunes 
settled by intervention of chiefs and leading men, who acted as arbi- 
trators. Often blood money had to be paid. Michel Revais told 
me the following regarding a feud among the Nicola Okanagon: 

Chief Nicolas,'" who lived at Douglas Lake and the head of 
Okanagon Lake, was considered head chief of the Okanagon on the 
Canadian side of the line. He had a son called KssasJcai'lEX, a tall, 
very fine-looking man, and a daughter Marie," who married WiUiam 
Peone, near Colville. She was tall and good-looking, like her 
brother, and had tattoo marks at the corners of her mouth. Kssaslcai'- 

1" See Genealogy of Dougliis Lake Chiefs, p. 267 (4.9). 

" According to the geneaiogy, the woman was the second wife of Peone, and no lelativo ot KEsaskai'lEz. 
Peone's first wife was a sister of KEsaskai'lBx. 


Iex Idlled his wife and her paramour near Douglas Lake, and then 
took refuge on the American side with his sister Marie and her hus- 
band. Much ill feeling was caused among the Indians of the band, 
who took sides in the matter. The relatives of the people kdled were 
warlike and of a revengeful disposition. They threatened to kill 
members of the chief's famUy, and it seemed likely that much blood 
would flow if the affair were not settled quickly. Chief Nicolas called 
the people together and considered the case. He then paid for his 
son's deed "blood money" consisting of a lot of horses, some cattle, 
and a number of robes, and settled the case. Some time after this, 
in 1862, Michel Revais, Peone, and two or three others came through 
from Fort Colville with a drove of cattle. Kssaskai'lEX joined them. 
When they reached the open ground near where Chief Nicolas and 
many of his people were camped at Douglas Lake, KEsaskai'lsx 
withdrew to a clump of trees with his gun and two pistols, saying that 
he would remain there and fight, as he expected to be attacked. The 
others went on, and entered the chief's lodge. Nicolas asked for his 
son, and they told him where he was. lie said, "Bring him m! He 
need not be afraid. I have paid his debt in full measure, and no one 
wUl harm him now." KEsaskai'lsx then came in to his father's lodge. 
About 1860 Nicolas was an old man. He owned a great many horses 
and a number of cattle at that time. A few small plots of land were 
also cultivated by him and his people. 


I did not learn much about games. The dice game, played by 
women with marked teeth of beaver and marmot, was common. It 
seems to have been played in the same, way as among the Thompson, 
and the marks on the dice were the same, or nearly the same.^ The 
guessing-stick game of the Thompson was in vogue at least among 
the Similkameen and Okanagon.^ The ring-and-lance game was a 
favorite among all the tribes.^ The ring-and-dart game * and the 
pin-and-ball game were in vogue among all of them, and seem to 
have differed little, if any, from the same games among the Thomp- 
son. Lehal, or the hand game, was universal, and played by both 
sexes. Ball games were played by both sexes. They appear to have 
been similar to those of the Thompson.^ Several arrow games were 
played, including one of shooting arrows at a rolhng ring of grass. 
It seems a ring with meshes was also used in one game, which may 
have been similar to a game among the Coeur d'Alene.® Cat's 
cradles were common to all the tribes. Foot racing, and in later 
days horse racing, were much in vogue. A famous rendezvous of 

' a, p. 272, fis. 256. a „_ p. 274. = a, pp. 277, 278. 

2 a, pp. 272, 273. * a, pp. 274, 275. » See p. 133. 



the Upper Okanagon for athletic sports, racing, shooting, and other 
games was at a place a little below Penticton. Parties of Thompson 
and Shuswap and others from the south went there to compete. 


A sign language was in use, but little is now remembered of it. 
Some of it is still employed as an adjunct to speech and in giving 
signals when hunting. The signs are said to have been similar to 
those formerly used by the Thompson and Shuswap. Probably it 
was not as well developed or perfected as the sign language which in 
later days came in from the east. Many of the Sanpoil and Colville 
became adepts in the use of the later sign language, and it is still 
employed to some extent by them in talldng with strangers. Some 
of the signs in both types were the same or only slightly different; 
others were quite distinct. After the coming of the fur traders the 
Indians learned more or less French, especially those hving near the 
trading posts. The Colville especially learned to speak a great deal 
of French. It seems that Chinook jargon did not come into use 
until about 1840, being introduced first by employees of the fur 
companies who had lived on the lower Columbia. 


Organization. — The social organization of the tribes was practi- 
cally the same as that found among the Upper Thompson and eastern 
Shuswap. There was no hereditary nobihty;^ and there were no 
clans, phratries, or societies that I could learn of. It seems that 
long ago animals and birds were imitated in dances (other than in 
the guardian spirit dance), but the dancers did not belong to any 
societies or groups. The person who introduced and led the dance 
had generally received it or the inspiration of the dance in a dream 
or \asion, and other Indians joined in helping hiin. No society was 
formed to control the dance and the song belonging to it. 

Each tribe was divided into bands, wliich consisted of varying 
numbers of loosely connected families, who made their headquarters 
in a certain district and under a single chief. Some families, how- 
ever, would winter with one band and summer \nth another. It 
seems that long ago the aumber of bands, and therefore also the 
number of chiefs, was less than lately. The area controlled by 
each band and the population of each were, on the other hand, greater 
and some bands had several villages or camps all imder one chief 
who hved at the maia callage. 

Chiefs. — Later on, it would seem, people of some of the minor 
villages began to consider themselves as distinct bands, with cliiefs 

» I presume this means that, although there were hereditary chiefs, their families did not form a nobil- 
ity, that the prestige was connected with the chieftaincy alone.— F. B. 


of their own. Often these chiefs were not of chiefs' descent. For 
instance, it is said that in the early part of the past century there were 
only three or four real chiefs in the Nicola-Similkameen country — • 
Nicolas, at Douglas Lake, Upper Nicola (he had Spokan, Okanagon, 
and some Stuwi'x blood ^) ; Soxkokwa' s ("vSun"), in the central part of 
Nicola Valley (he was half Stuwi'x and half Thompson) ; and Martinus ^ 
(also of mixed descent), in Similkameen. Later Nawl' sesqsn ("raised 
high head" or "able to be high head") became recognized chief in 
the central part of Nicola. He was pure Thompson, and leader of the 
Thompson people who settled in the Nicola Valley. At his death he 
owned about 1,000 head of horses. Some say that at the same time 
SJceu's was chief of the Upper Similkameen. At the present day and 
for some time past there have been three chiefs in Similkameen, one 
at Douglas Lake besides the head chief, and five in Nicola Valley. 
Of these, at least six are of almost pure Thompson blood. It seems 
that during the last 35 years the church and the Indian Department 
have fostered the tendency, if in many cases they have not actually 
created it, to recognize as chief a leading man of each little community. 

There were two classes of chiefs — hereditary chiefs of bands, and 
others who became chiefs through their ability. The latter might 
become recognized chiefs through prowess in war; by accumulation 
of wealth and distributing it in feasts, as presents to their own people 
and in entertainment of strangers; through wisdom in council, espe- 
cially if combined with a gift for oratory. Chieftainship of the second 
class was not hereditary. 

All war parties and hunting parties had temporary chiefs, as among 
the Thompson, and most bands had regular war chiefs. Besides the 
war chief, almost all the larger war parties had a war shaman, who 
was supposed to advise as to the disposition of the enemy, to help 
secure victory and prevent surprise or defeat. Large hunting parties 
often took with them a shaman or a man who had special power over 
the game to be hunted. These men were believed to have the power 
of placating the animals, drawing them to the hunters, making 
them tame, telling the whereabouts of game, and, if shamans, pre- 
venting the bewitching of the party or of the game by other people. 
Some of these men and shamans were also believed to have power 
over the weather. 

There were also dance chiefs, whose office was more or less tempo- 
rary; but it seems that the chiefs of the religious dances were perma- 
nent. They were leaders in public praying at the dances. The 
hereditary chiefs of bands were looked upon as fathers of the people, 
and gave advice on all internal matters of the band. They exhorted 
the people to good conduct, and announced news personally or through 
criers. To some extent they regulated the seasonal pursuits of the 

■ See " Genealogy of the Douglas Lake Chiefs," p. 267 (4.9). 

2 Nicolas and Martinus were names said to have been given them by the first fur traders. 


people. The}" looked after the maturing of the berries, personally or 
by deputy, in their respective districts. The}' kept time by notching 
sticks, and occasionally made records of notable events. They were 
often referred to, in case of dispute, regarding dates, the name of the 
month, etc. They gave decisions and admonitions in petty disputes 
and quarrels, and sometimes, when asked to arbitrate, they settled 
feuds between families. They had little power to enforce any decrees. 
This was done by public opinion. Some of them had messengers or 
helpers, who acted generally in a persuasive way as peace officers. 

There were no female chiefs. Children of all kinds of chiefs, both 
male and female, had a certain prominence because of their ancestry 
and training; and strangers generally preferred to camp with them 
rather than with people less loiown, where they might not be as safe 
nor as well entertained. 

There were no permanent councils. A cliief or prominent man might 
call for a council of the chiefs or of the people at any time, if he had 
important news. As a rule, the band chief called the councils in his 
band. The councils and meetings were generally open, and all people 
had a right to attend and speak, if they wished. Announcements of 
councils were generally made by criers, of whom there was one or 
more in each band. Dances were also often announced by the pubhc 
crier, but sometimes the drummers simply went to the dance place and 
began to sing, and then people knew there would be a dance. 

It seems that there was one recognized head chief of all the tribes, 
except possibly the Lake. Although this tribe were canoe people, some 
famihes were nomadic. It appears that their bands averaged less 
people than those of the other tribes. After part of the Okanagon 
territory had come under American jurisdiction and the other part 
imder Canadian, there were two head chiefs of the tribe — one on 
each side of the line. 

It was considered the duty of all chiefs, particularly of peace chiefs, 
to be hospitable, help the poor, show a good example, and give small 
feasts or presents to the people from time to time. 


The following genealogy was collected by Mr. Teit from Chief 
Alexander Chelahitsa and several other Indian informants. Only 
the important chiefs' famihes have been followed out in detail and 
the genealogy does not contain all the individuals who are known to 
be descendants of the first PEllcamu'lox. The genealogy embraces 
six generations and a few individuals of the seventh generation. 

1.1. P ETkamu'lox {PilEkEmu'laux), "RoUs-over-the-Earth," a chief 
of the SEnxomi'nux or SEnxome'nic, "salmon people"; Upper Spokan; 
the principal branch of the Spokan. Married presumably a Spokan 
w^oman. He was born presumably between 1675 and 1680. 


2.1. PElkamu'lox, a chief in the same tribe. He was born presum- 
ably between 1705 and 1710. For some reason he left his own tribe 
and lived chiefly among the Sanpoil, Okanagon, and Shuswap. He 
had other children besides the four sons here mentioned. Since they 
were not prominent their names have been forgotten. He died at an 
advanced age at SaM'lx^ "heaped-up stone house," an ancient Okana- 
gon stronghold near the junction of the Similkameen and Okanagon 
Rivers. It is said that when he was young he went several times on 
buffalo hunting expeditions to the plains. During his lifetime there 
was a period of severe warfare in the Okanagon region. The Indians 
believe that at this time the Stuvn'x were driven out of the lower 
Similkameen region. He married first a Spokan woman (2.1 a); 
second, a Shuswap woman at Kamloops (2.1 h); third, a Sanpoil 
woman (2.1 c); fourth, an Okanagon woman, daughter of the chief at 
Salilx'' {2.1 d). 

3.1. A son of 2.1 and 2.1a, whose name is not remembered, married 
a Spokan woman. The order of the four children of 3.1 is uncertain. 
According to some the daughter was the eldest; according to others, 
the youngest child. The three sons all married and left descendants 
among the Spokan. He became chief of the SEnxome'ntc and was the 
ancestor of several Lower and Upper Spokan, including Nhwislpo' 
(Walking-Outside) and his brother Koti'lEko' (Big-Star) or NJceasJcvwi'lox, 
commonly known as Oliver Lot, late chief of the Lower Spokan on the 
Spokane Reservation. 

3.2. Kwoll'la, chief of the Kamloops Band of the Shuswap; married 
a Kamloops woman (3.2 a). He was known also as Tdke'n (possibly 
a corruption of Duncan as he was called by the traders). He had 
more children than those mentioned here. His half-niece (4.8) was 
adopted by him. (See under 3.4.) 

It is said that the Kamloops chief preceding Kwoll'la was TalExa'n 
who was killed on a war expedition in which the Sekanai were driven 
out of the upper North Thompson and Yellowhead districts. He 
was also engaged in wars with the Cree and is said to have been 
wounded in a fight with them.^ The Kamloops chieftaincy did not 
descend in KwoWla's family. His successor was Kwl' mtsxEn (a 
name also used by the Thompson), who was not related to Kwoll'la. 
His successor was Jean Baptiste Lolo, commonly known as St. Paul. 
About 1864 he was succeeded by Louis Xlexxle'xl'En, not a relative of 
St. Paul, who held the chieftaincy until his death in 1915 at the age of 
87 years. The present chief is a young man, Elie La Rue, chosen 
by Chief Louis before his death, and confirmed by election by the 
tribe. Some informants say that Kwoll'la was succeeded by TElakd'n 
or SlaJcdn (male grizzly bear), whence the Indian surname Logan. 

' e, pp. 546-554; and Franz Boas, Report on Norwestern Tribes of Canada, British Aseo. Adv. of Sci- 
ence, 1890, pp. 86, 87 (reprint). 



Baptiste Logan, a chief at the head of Okanagon Lake, lately deposed 
by the agent, is a grandson of this man. The same informant claims 
that a chief named Patsa preceded Louis as chief. 

3.3. Sixwl'lExTcEn, chief of the Sanpoil. He married a Sanpoil 
woman. He had more children than those mentioned here. It is 
said that most of the later Sanpoil and Nespehm chiefs are his de- 

3.4. PElkamu'lox, head chief of the Okanagon. He married first, 
an Okanagon woman from NTcama'pElElcs (3.4a), at the head of 
Okanagon Lake; and second, a Stuvn'x woman from Simdkameen,' 
perhaps partly of Thompson descent. The order of birth of his 
children is uncertain. 

PElkamu'lox became a noted chief and was known far and \\ide. 
During his early life he was much engaged in war. These wars com- 
menced in his father's time or before and continued for many years — 
many Okanagon as well as people of other tribes being killed. Sali'lx^ 
where he made his headquarters was considered the chief seat of the 
Okanagon tribe (or at least of the northern division). The old name 
of the place is said to have been Olcana'qen. PElkamu'lox built a 
fort here of stone and afterwards the place became generally known 
as Sall'lx^, "heaped-up (stone) house," with reference to the fortifi- 
cations of stone. It is said there was also a cave near there, the ap- 
proach to which was defended with breastworks of stones. In case 
of necessity the people took refuge in it, and from there no party could 
approach, except under cover of night, without being observed. 
This place is said to have been impregnable and war parties of Thomp- 
son, Shuswap, Kutenai, and others who assaulted it were easily beaten 
off. Kwoll'la (3.2) , the Kamloops chief, had heard of the many attacks 
by enemy war parties on PElkamu'lox and determined to go and see 
him. His people tried to dissuade Ixlm, telling him it was very 
dangerous for any one to visit him, for his people had been attacked 
so often that they trusted no one and attacked all strangers on sight 
who approached then- place. Seeing that Kwoll'la was determined 
to go, the Shuswap and the people of NTcama'pElsks, who at that 
time were a mixture of Shuswap and Okanagon, offered to accompany 
him in an armed body, but he refused then- offer, saying he would go 
alone. As he was leaving, his people told him, " PElkamu'lox' s 
people will kill you before they know who you are, and even if they 
know, they may kill you." Etcoll'la answered, "I am PElkamu'lox' s 
brother, and will go and see him alone." Arriving on the open 
ground before P Elkamu'lox' s house, the people ran out to meet him 
in battle array. PElkamu'lox recognized him and was glad to see 
him. He took him to his house and kept him as his guest for a long 
time. Kwoll'la advised Pslkamu'lox to forsake Sall'lx^ and go 
41383°— 30 18 


north with him. He told him, " Salt'lx'^ is a bad place to live in. 
You will always have trouble as long as you stay there." PElJcamu'ldx 
was persuaded. It was early summer, and he and his people traveled 
north with the Kwoll'la to KomkEna'tko, "headwaters," now called 
Fish Lake, in the Nicola country. This place was at that time in 
Shuswap territory, for the Shuswap claimed the country south of 
Kamloops around the head of the Nicola River. Stump Lake, 
Douglas Lake, Fish Lake, and Chaperon Lake were all in Shuswap 
country. This country at that time was full of elk and deer, and 
there were also many sheep, bear, and other game. Prairie chicken, 
grouse of all kinds, and water fowl were plentiful, and the lakes 
teemed with fish. Here at Fish Lake Kwoll'la made a lasting agree- 
ment with PElJcamu'ldx, giving him the perpetual use over all the 
Shuswap territory of the upper Nicola Valley, south, east, and west 
of Chaperon Lake, comprising Douglas Lake and Fish Lake. The 
Stuwi'xEmux^ and NtlaJcyd'pdmux held the country west and south 
around Nicola Lake and Minnie Lake to the Similkameen. Kwoll'la 
said, "You will have the country for yourself and your people as your 
own. I will live as your neighbor at Toxoxoi'tcEn (Chaperon Lake) 
and will retain all the country from there north. You will make 
Fish Lake your headquarters Ln the summer and I will summer at 
Chaperon Lake so that we may be close neighbors part of each year. 
You will give me your daughter, KoJcoimdlJcs (4.8), to be my foster 
child and she will always live with me, but your son (4.9) you will 
keep with yourself." PElJcamu'ldx had only two children at this time, 
both of them very young. After this PElJcamu'ldx and most of his 
people spent their summers in their new country with headquarters 
around Fish Lake and Douglas Lake, and in the wintertime hved at 
NJcama'pElEJcs. Henceforth Sall'lx^ was deserted of permanent in- 
habitants and was no longer the main village of the Okanagon. 
Those people who did not go with PElJcamu'ldx moved north to dif- 
ferent parts of the Okanagon Lake country and especially to the head 
of the lake around NJcama'pElEJcs. The latter place became an im- 
portant Okanagon center. Not many years after this, owing to its 
fine grazing, many of the people of the old Sall'lx^ band, and others 
of the NJcama'pElEJcs band, who were now much mixed with them, 
began to winter around Douglas Lake and Fish Lake, forming as it 
were a new band. However, even up to the present day they look 
upon themselves as merely an offshoot of the NJcama'pElEJcs and 
Okanagon people and as really one with them. Each year when 
PElJcamu'ldx left for his winter quarters at NJcama'pElEJcs, Kwoll'la 
at the same time left to winter at Kamloops. Being head chief of 
the Okanagon, PElJcamu'ldx often traveled to all the bands of the 
tribe, visiting first here and then there. He also traveled extensively 
among the neighboring tribes, visiting the Stuwi'x, Upper Thompson, 



Shuswap of Kamloops, and it is said, the Wenatchi, Columbia, 
Sanpoil, Spokan, and Kalispel. He went a number of times buffalo 
hunting to the plains, by way of the Flathead country, and was 
therefore well acquainted with chiefs and people of all the tribes to 
the south and east as far as the Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, Walla- 
walla, Yakima, Kutenai, Shoshoni, and Blackfoot. On his last trip 
to the plains his party met near Helena, Mont., the first white men 
they had seen (viz, Legace and MacDonald, explorers and trappers 
of the Northwest Co.). On the return trip these men accompanied 
the party as far west as the Columbia River, where they wintered 
with the Colville chief. After this PElkamu'lox traveled around in 
his own country and within the borders of the neighboring tribes, 
telling of the wonderful men he had seen on his recent trip. Kwoll'la 
invited him to Kamloops to tell of the event. He accompanied the 
Shuswap to their salmon-fishing and trading rendezvous at Pavilion 
and Fountain, on Fraser River. Here he was mortally wounded by 
an arrow, in an altercation with a Lillooet chief. When dying he 
charged Kwoll'la with the guardiansliip of his son, Hunstesrnexe' qEn 
(4.9), and asked him to see that he avenged his death. (For full 
particulars of this part of the history of PElJcamu'lox, see Dawson, 
"The Shuswap People," pp. 26, 27; and Wade, "The Thompson 
Country," pp. 13-15.) 

4.1. Ali', married Donald McLean (4.1a), in charge of the Hudson 
Bay Co. post at Kamloops; born 1801, killed in the Chilcotin war 1864. 
(See Father A. G. Morice, History of Northern British Columbia, pp. 
264-270, 279, 307-313.) He had a second wife who was half Shuswap. 
With her he had three sons, Alan, Charles, and Archibald, who along 
with Alexander Hare (whose mother was Lower Thompson from 
Boston Bar), were hanged in 1881 for the murder of whites in the 
Kamloops district. By a third ^vife, partly Carrier, he had several 
children, John and others. 

4.2. STcwa'TkxoEl 

4.3. TcEma'wia Left descendants among the Spokan. 

4.4. NElceesTcvja' . 

4.5. Tak.le'sg_Et (rain cloud, or descending cloud?), married a Shus- 
wap woman (4.5a), died at Kamloops, very old. He had other children 
besides those noted here. 

4.6. Tahwu'lJcEnEm, married. 

4.7. Yenamiisi'tsa, "surrounded robe." He had other children 
besides the one recorded here. 

• 4.8. KokoimaTks or Eoimd'Tks, married. She was adopted by 
Kwotl'la (3.2). 

4.9. Nicolas Ewistesmetxe'qEn, "Walking Grizzh'- Bear " born 1780- 
1785, died about 1865. This name is said to be of Spokan origin and 
was inherited. The name Nicolas was given to him by the traders. 


The Indians pronounced it, Nlcwala' . He married 15 wives (according 
to other informants 17) from the Okanagon, Sanpoil, Colville, Spokan, 
Shuswap, Stuwi'x, Thompson, and perhaps others. His children 
who grew up numbered about 50 and many of their descendants are 
now hving on the Colville, Spokane, and Coeur d'Alene Reservations 
as well as in southern British Columbia among the Okanagon, Shuswap, 
and Thompson. One of his daughters, yisn-j Sukome'lks (5.7), married 
one of the Peones (Pion ^) in the Colville or Spokane country. One 
of his sons, KESEka'lux {KEsaskai'lsx) (5.8), "Bad Man," was well 
known. I did not try to get a list of Chief Nicolas's wives and chil- 
dren as the head chieftainship did not descend to them, but instead 
to his adopted son and nephew TsElaxl'tsa (5.10), the son of his sister 
SapxEna'Tks (4.11). Charles Tcere'pqEn, a Spokan from the Coeur 
d'Alene Reservation and a descendant of Chief Nicolas, visited his 
friends at Kamloops, Nicola, and Spences Bridge in 1912. 

Tliis man became even a more famous chief than his father and the 
Nicola Valley, Nicola River, and Nicola Lake are named after him. 
The fur traders called the region of the upper Nicola, "Nicolas's 
country," and the river which flowed through it "Nicolas's River." 
Later the lake and valley were given the names from the river. 
Nicolas was given his name Nicolas by the French Canadian traders 
who conducted the temporary trading post at the head of Okanagon 
Lake. When a young man, Nicolas was placed in charge of this post 
by the trader, who had to leave for a winter. On his return the 
trader found everthing at the post in good order and many valuable 
skins collected by Nicolas. In reward he gave the latter a present of 
10 guns with plenty of ammunition. About this time the Kamloops 
chief, Kwoli'la, visited him and reminded him of his duty to avenge 
the death of his father. Nicolas at once prepared himself for the 
warpath and sent invitations to the neighboring tribes to join him 
in his war expedition against the Lillooet. It is said about 500 
warriors of the Okanagon, Upper Thompson, Stuwi'x, and Shuswap 
assisted Nicolas in this expedition, which swept through most of the 
Lillooet country. They killed about 300 or 400 Lillooet and took 
many young women and children captive. On this expedition some 
of the Lower Lillooet are said to have seen the first horse and heard 
the first gun — a number of the war party being armed with guns 
and some of them being mounted on horses. Most of the Lillooet, 
however, had seen horses on Fraser River long before this date and 
some of the upper division may have owned horses. Guns, however, 
were still unknown among them at this time. Both before and after 
this war expedition the hundreds of warriors made several elk drives 
in the upper Nicola country on a grand scale, driving great numbers 

* The Peones are descended from a French Canadian P6on (?) who was in the service of the North- 
west Co. Peone Prairie in the Spokan country, is named after one of them. 



of these animals into inclosures and over cliffs, thus hastening the 
extermination of elk in that country. (For fuller particulars of this 
war expedition see McKay in Dawson, "The Shuswap people," 
pp. 27, 28; Wade, "The Thompson country," pp. 16-19; Teit, "The 
LUlooet Indians," p. 246.) 

Chief Nicolas, it is said, was quite as widely known as his father 
and made several trips to the plains buffalo hunting. According to 
some, on one of these trips he had a fight with the Blackfoot in which 
the latter were defeated. He was also the chief who came down to 
Nicola Lake and buried the Thompson and Stuwl'x victims of the 
Shuswap raid at Guichon. (For a mention of this see Smith, 
"Archaeology of the Thompson River Region," p. 432.) An inter- 
esting account of Chief Nicolas's scheme to outwit Tod (who was in 
charge of the Hudson's Bay post at Kamloops) and take the trading 
post (about 1846) is mentioned in Bancroft's History of British 
Columbia and a fuller account is given by Wade. ("The Thompson 
Country," pp. 63-66.) The fur traders recognized Nicolas as the 
most powerful and influential chief in the interior of British Colimibia. 
He was noted for his sagacity, prudence, honesty, and fair dealing, 
and was rather a peacemaker than a fighting man. He was greatly 
respected by the Indians and his word was law among his own people 
and even among the neighboring tribes. He overshadowed all the 
other chiefs of his time in power and influence. Like other head 
chiefs, he usually had a bodyguard of young warriors who did his 
bidding and accompanied him on all important trips and visits to 
neighboring chiefs. Dming his lifetime the Okanagon and neighbor- 
ing tribes became acquainted with the white man; first with the fur 
traders in the very early years of the last century, and then about 50 
years later (about 1856-1864) with the first gold miners and settlers. 
On the advent of the latter, Nicolas used Ms great influence for their 
protection and in preventing the Indians making war on them. 
During the Fraser River trouble between the Thompson and whites 
(1858-59) he advocated peace although preparing for war, and had 
the affair not been settled when it was, he might have joined the 
Thompson against the miners. Although repeatedly asked to join 
in the Spokan war against the wliites, he refused to embroil his people, 
claiming that he was with King George and the Queen. He was an 
ally of the latter and wore the medals the Queen and King had pre- 
sented to him. Having his territory controlled by the Queen, he 
expected to be dealt fau-ly with, for the Queen and her subjects, the 
fur traders, had always been fair wdth the Indians. He was sorry 
that the country of the Spokan had come under the control of the 
Americans. It seems this attitude of Nicolas and the fact that the 
southern part of the Okanagon country became American territory 
and the northern part Canadian (the international boundary passing 


through it a httle south of the middle) brought it about that the 
American Okanagon, after Nicolas's death, recognized a different 
head chief. According to some his name was Tond'sqEt. He was 
not of chief's descent and, it is said, secured his reputation through 
war and horse raiding. Chief Nicolas was also noted as a very 
wealthy man. He had numbers of fine robes and other wealth, large 
bands of horses, and before 1858 or 1860, had a good many cattle, 
the first of which he had obtained some years before from Indians 
and whites or half-breeds in the Colville and Spokan countries. He 
also cultivated some patches of corn, potatoes, and probably tobacco 
before 1860. He obtained the seed from traders at Kamloops or from 
traders and others in the south. Nicolas died at Grand Prairie about 
1865, in the fall of the year. His body was taken to Kamloops by a 
great cortege of Indians and temporarily buried near the Hudson Bay 
fort. During the winter a large number of Indians remained with the 
body, and either the traders or the Indians or both kept a guard of 
honor over it in military style during the winter. In the spring it was 
exhumed and carried on horses to NJcama'pElETcs, where it was finally 
buried. Chief Nicolas generally (or at least very often) wintered at 
Nlcayna'pElsT^s, as his father PElJcamil'lox had done, and he considered 
this place his real winter quarters. 

An Okanagon informant gave me the following names as those 
of leading chiefs in various tribes about 1850, or in the latter days of 
Chief Nicolas. Adam, at Shuswap Lake, leading chief of the "real 
Shuswap"; William, at Williams Lake, and Lo'xsEin, at Soda Creek, 
leading chiefs of the Northern or Fraser River at Shuswap; Cex- 
pe'ntlEm, at Lytton, head chief of the Thompson; Pd'laJc, at Spuzzum, 
leading chief of the Lower Thompson; Kirltwa' or Keso,w%'Iex, "be- 
come bad," at Fort Shepherd, leading chief of the Lake; YcIemex- 
stu'lsx, at Kettle Falls, leading chief of the Colville. Gregor Yokum- 
t'lksn was chief of the Nkamip band of the Okanagon when they 
talked with Commissioner Sproat. 

One informant told me the following about Tona'sqEt. 

"Tona'sqEt was not a chief nor descended from any chiefs. He 
first became prominent in the following mamier. In 1858 some of 
the Okanagon were fighting the whites who came overland with pack 
trains and horses via the Okanagon route to the newly discovered 
gold diggings in British Columbia. Many of the white parties were 
killed. Horses were also stampeded and stolen from them. Most of 
the fighting took place near the British Columbia fine. In all there 
were never more than 70 or 80 Okanagon fighting and most of them 
had no guns. Tond'sq^Et was one of their number. Once they fought a 
large party of whites and stopped them from passing through. They 
had to retreat and change their direction. Then a still larger party 
of whites came on the scene. The Indians set fires in the grass on the 



flanks of the party, and another large fire ahead of them which spread 
into the trees. They separated and fired shots from behind the fires. 
The white party came to a halt and made ready for an attack. There 
were probably less than 20 Indians at this time while the whites 
must have numbered about 150. Tond'sqEt made himself leader of 
the Indians. He left half of his men here and there at the sides and 
front to shoot oft" their guns while he with the others rode down on 
the camp of the whites. The latter thought the Indians were going 
to attack them and prepared to shoot. Tond'sciEt, who was ahead, 
held his gun above his head and called out, "Don't shoot, we are 
friends." He said to the whites, "I have great numbers of my 
warriors all around, to the sides, and in front and behind you. They 
are waiting behind these fires. At my call they will come out and 
overwhelm you, but I do not want to do this. I want to be your 
friend and treat you well, but I am chief of all this country and I 
want you to recognize me by pajdng some tribute for using and 
passing through my country." The whites believed liim ; they wrote 
down his name and gave him many presents. He and his following 
then allowed them to pass on, gave them du-ections, and did not 
molest them any further. After this, other white parties recognized 
him as chief, not knowing an}^ better, and always gave him presents. 
In this way Tond'sqEt gained considerable influence and came to be 
caUed chief, but he was really no chief, although later the American 
Okanagon recognized him as such to some extent. Tond'sqEt himself, 
after Nicolas's death, claimed to be head chief of the Okanagon who 
Hved on the American side of the line. 

4.10. Sul'ome'lJcs, married a Hudson Bay Co. employee in the 
Okanagon or Colville countr3^ According to some informants she was 
a daughter, not a sister, of Chief Nicolas (4.9). There may have been 
two individuals of the same name. She had more chfldren than those 
here recorded. 

4.11. SapxEna'Tks, m&med XalEJcsJcwai'loxoi TutElcsku'lox (4.11a), 
a little below Keremeous, Similkameen. She was the favorite sister of 
Chief Nicolas. She died giving birth to her first child, who became 
Chief TsElaxl'tsa (5.10). Her husband was almost pure Okanagon. 

5.1. Donald McLean, married Julienne (5.1 a), daughter of Chief 
Jean Paul, of Kamloops. Donald McLean was famous as fiddler and 
Government scout. He was Hving at Kamloops, 1916, aged over 80 
years. He had more children than enumerated here. 

5.2. Duncan McLean. 

5.3. Alexander McLean, living near Kamloops, 1916. He had 
more children living than enumerated here. 

5.4. A daughter, married Donald (?) Manson, Lac La Hache, a 
Hudson Bay employee or son of a Hudson Bay employee, of Scotch 


5.5. Nxo'-mqEn, "Painted Head," married a Shuswap woman (5.5 a.) 
He died at Kamloops, 1913, as an old man. He had more children 
besides Julia (6.8) . 

5.6. Ratcd'xEn, "Tied Arms." He died among the Sanpoil about 
1900, a very old man. He had more children besides Ratca'xEn (6.9). 

5.7. Mary Sukome'Tks. See 4.9. 

5.8. KESEska'lux {Kesaskai'lex) . See 4.9. 

5.9. Juhe. Married William Peone (5.9 a) in the Spokan country. 

5.10. TsElaxi'tsa, adopted by Chief Nicolas (4.9). He had 12 
wives. Best known among them were (1st) an Okanagon woman 
from NTcama'pElEls (5.10 a); (2d) Pana'Ulcs, "Folded Dress," from 
NTcamtcl'nEmux^ (Spences Bridge) (5.10 b); (3d) Marie MEml'xtsa, 
"Hanging-loose Robe," a Kamloops (5.10 c); (4th) Sophie, from 
Spences Bridge, a younger sister of Pand'Uks (5.10 d); (5th) Tikumtl'- 
71eI", "Smooth Bow," an Okanagon mixed with Colville (5.10 e); 
(6th) Seisi'tko, or Sisi'ntlco, "Two Waters," of Ka'lEmix (Guichon), 
Nicola Valley (5.10/) ; (7th) a woman whose name is not remembered 
(5.10(7); (8th) Kanl'sta, of Ka'lEmix, Nicola Valley (5.10 Ti). 

TsElaxi'tsa was the most prominent chief in the interior of British 
Columbia in his da}^ and was noted as an all-round good man. He 
was the recognized head chief of the Okanagon tribe on the Canadian 
side of the line and the only chief of the Okanagon in the Nicola 
country. He was the chief who carried on the negotiations with 
Government Commissioner Sproat regarding the tribal territory and 
hunting and fishing rights of the Okanagon, and the la3dng off of 
reservations for the people at Douglas Lake, Fish Lake, Quilchena, 
Guichon, and around the head of Okanagon Lake {NTcama' jjeIeTcs, 
etc.). Like his uncle. Chief Nicolas, he had great faith in the Queen 
and the Queen's laws, and expected liis people to be dealt with by 
the Government in the faii'est manner regarding all the rights that 
they claimed in the territories inherited from their forefathers. About 
1875 and 1876, when there was great dissatisfaction among the 
interior Salishan tribes in British Columbia because of white settle- 
ment on their . lands and the failure of the Govermnent to make 
treaties and proper agreements with them regarding then- land and 
hunting rights, etc., TsElaxi'tsa calmed the other chiefs and repressed 
the people, telling them the Queen would eventually see to it that the 
Indians would be dealt with fairly. He was friendly to the settlers 
and did not try to run them off. He simply asked them questions and 
let them understand that they were trespassing on land still possessed 
by the Indians. About this time an alliance was formed by most of 
the Shuswap and Okanagon chiefs for the purpose of a combined 
attack upon all white settlers, and there only remained the word of 
Cliief TsElaxi'tsa to set the country aflame. He stood out against all 
the others and advocated a peaceful policy. Through his eft'orts a 



serious Indian war was avoided. The Indians were appeased shortly 
afterwards by the arrival of Mr. Sproat and the apparent desii-e of 
the Government to acknowledge the rights of the Indians. How- 
ever, considerable dissatisfaction remained among many. TsElaxi'tsa 
was considered a wealthy chief and a good speaker. He died about 
1884, after having chosen his son Alexander Xwistesmexe' qEn to 
succeed him as head chief of the tribe. After his death two of his 
other sons became local chiefs of subbands, and another a church 
chief (so called). Tsslaxi'tsa survived most of his wives. 

6.1. John McLean. 

6.2. Rosie McLean. 

6.3. Alick McLean, about 1885. In wild excitement, he ran into 
the Indian village at Kamloops and shot some Indians. When he 
did the same a second tinie he was shot by the Indians. 

6.4. Charles McLean, lately of Edmonton, Alberta. 

6.5. Duncan McLean. 

6.6. Alfred McLean. 

6.7. John McLean. 

6.8. Juhe, hving 1916 at Kamloops. 

6.9. Ratca'xEn, hving 1911 among the Sanpoil on the Colville 

6.10. NTceaskioai'lEX. 

6.11. A daughter, who married an Okanagon man and has a 

6.12. ElEmElposEman or larriElpo' sEMEn (good heart); married 
Xaikwa'tko ( — water) (6.12 a) and Sixive'ltsa (6.12 b), both Thomp- 
son from Nicola. He had several children living in 1 9 1 5 . He mherited 
his father's medals, two of which had belonged to Chief Nicolas, 
one of them a King George III medal. Shortly after his 
father's death he became chief of the band at EalEmex or Guichon. 
This band was originally Stuwl'x and later Thompson and Stuwl'x, 
and not at aU in the territory of the Okanagon. Owang to the 
slaughter of most members of the original band by the Shuswap 
(see Smith, Archaeology of the Thompson River Region), followed 
by the settlement of many people of Okanagon origin at the place, 
the Okanagon element outweighed the Thompson and Stuwl'x, and 
the Douglas Lake chiefs assumed control. lamElpo' SErriEn died 
about 1901 and his half brother TsElaxi'tsa (6.16) became chief of the 
band as well as of that of Douglas Lake. 

6.13. George, married, but mthout issue. 

6.14. Ewoitpi'tsa, married an Okanagon man and had a family 
living in 1915. 

6.15. Alexander Nicolas (Nicola), Xwistesmexe' qEn , "Walking- 
Grizzly Bear," and SslcElepl^e'q^En, "Little Coyote Head"; married 
SwaxEpl'nETc, "Smwiving Bow," of the upper Thompson (6.15 a), 


who died in 1914. He was hereditary chief of the Okanagon. All his 
children died young. His adopted son, Tommy Alexander, lives at 
Fish Lake. 

6.16 John Celestin {Salista'), Tsslaxl'tsa, "Standing Robe," 
married a woman from the Upper Thompson, partly of Stuwl'x 
descent (6.16 a). In 1915 he had an only married daughter who lived 
with her parents. He was chosen by his father to succeed him as head 
chief of the Okanagon, which title he held by hereditary right and 
gift. He hves at NTcama' pElsks and at Fish Lake, as his fathers 
before him. He was living in 1916, aged about 74 or 75. Like his 
father and grand imcle, he is a shrewd man. After his father's 
death he became church chief by api^ointment by the priests. After 
the death of his half brothers, lamElpo' sEmEti (6.12) and Basil (6.19), 
he became chief of the Douglas Lake and Guichon bands. He is said 
to be the wealthiest chief in British Columbia. He made one trip to 
Europe, visiting England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy. He 
has been several times in Okanagon representing his tribe. 

6.17. Saul, died a number of years ago. 

6.18. Frangois, died a number of years ago. 

6.19. Basil. Became chief of the Douglas Lake band after his 
father's death, as his half brother Chief Alexander, the head chief, 
did not wish to act as a band chief. He was shot and Idlled, in a 
brawl among Indians on the Granite Creek Trail, by Charles 
SEpsEpspd'xEn, "Striped (?) Arms," of Nse'skEt, Nicola division of 
the Upper Thompson, about 1885. He was succeeded as chief by 
his half brother, John Tsslaxl'tsa. 

6.20. Narcisse, died a number of years ago. 

6.21. Michel, married Therese (6.21 a), of the Upper Thompson, 
mixed with the Colville. She is a younger sister of the shaman Bap- 
tiste Ululame'llst, "Iron Stone," who lived at Potato Gardens, on 
Nicola River, 16 miles from Spences Bridge. The family were half 
Upper Thompson and half Colville niLxed with Okanagon. 

6.22. KopTcopellst, married Tsalutd'Uks (6.22 a), of Douglas Lake, a 
daughter of Tsexl'nElc, "Standing Bow," a sister to Kaxpe'tsa, 
"sticking out bottom of robe," of the Spences Bridge band. This 
family is half Upper Thompson and half Okanagon in blood. 

6.23. SapxEna'lTks, married Napoleon, of the Nicola Thompson. 
He died a number of years ago. 

6.24. A woman whose name is not remembered. She was shot and 
Idlled by her husband, who shortly afterwards was shot and killed 
by her (?) relatives. 

7.1. James Michel, married Maggie, a Thompson woman from 
Lytton. She was reared on the Colville Reservation in Washington, 
being fostered by a sister of his mother, who was married there. He 
received some education in the American schools and when he grew 
to manhood came back to his native place, where he received a share 


in the reservation at Guichon. He died near 1903 aged about 40 
years. He had no children. After his death his wife went to the 
Quilchena Creek Reserve, Upper Thompson tribe, where she was 
hving, 1916. 


1.1. PElJcaynu'lox {Upper 8pok&n); born about 1675. Seep. 263. 
2.1. PsRamu'lox (Upper Sipokan); born about 1705. Seep. 264. 
2.1a. A Spokan woman. See p. 264. 
2.1b. A Shuswap woman, Kamloops. See p. 264. 
2.1c. A Sanpoil woman. See p. 264. 

2.1d. An Okanagon woman, daughter of the cliief of Sall'lxu. 
See p. 264. 

3.1. Man, name unknown. See p. 264. 
3.1a. A Spokan woman. See p. 264. 

3.2. Ewoll'la. Shuswap chief, Kamloops. See pp. 264, 265, 268. 
3.2a. A Kamloops woman. See p. 264. 

3.3. Sixwl'lExkEn. Sanpoil chief. See p. 265. 
3.3a. A Sanpoil woman. See p. 265. 

3.4. PelJcamu'lox. Head chief of the Okanagon. See p. 265. 
3.4a. An Okanagon woman from NJcama'pslElcs. See p. 265. 
3.4&. A Stuwfx woman, perhaps partly Thompson. See p. 265. 

4.1. AW. See p. 267. 

4.1a. Donald McLean. A Scotchman. See p. 267. 

4.2. Slcwa'TkwEl. See p. 267. 

4.3. TcEma'vda. See p. 267. 

4.4. N Elieeskwa' . See p. 267. 

4.5. Tak.U'sgEt. See p. 267. 

4.5a. A Shuswap woman. See p. 267. 

4.6. Tahwu'TkEnEm.. See p. 267. 

4.7. Yenamusi'tsa. See p. 267. 

4.8. Koloima'llcs or Koima'lhs. See pp. 264, 266, 267. 

4.9. Nicolas XwistEsmExe'qEn. Born about 1780. See pp. 266, 

267-270, 271, 272. 

4.10. Sukome'llis. See p. 271. 

4.10a. An employee of the Hudson Bay Company. See p. 271. 

4.11. SapxEna'lJcs. See pp. 268, 271. 
4.11a. XalEhsJcivai'lox. See p. 271. 

5.1. Donald McLean. See p. 271. 

5.1a. Julienne, daughter of Chief Jean Paul, Kamloops. See p. 271. 

5.2. Duncan McLean. See p. 271. 

5.3. Alexander McLean. See p. 271. 

5.4. A daughter, married Donald Manson, of Scotch descent. 

See p. 271. 

5.5. Nxo'mqEn. See p. 272. 

5.5a. A Shuswap woman. See p. 272. 

5.6. Ratca'xEn. See p. 272. 


5.7. Mary SuTcomelTcs. See pp. 268, 272. 

5.8. KESEska'lux {Eesaskai'lex). See pp. 259, 260, 268, 272. 

5.9. Julie.. See p. 272. 

5.9a. William Peone. See p. 272. 

5.10. TsElaxl'tsa. See pp. 268, 271-273. 

5.10a. An Okanagon woman from Kkamd'pElElcs. See p. 272. 
5.106. Pand'llks, a Spences Bridge woman. See p. 272. 
5.10c. Marie MEmi'xtsa, a Kamloops woman. See p. 272. 
5.l0d. Sophie, younger sister of 5.10&. See p. 272. 
5.10e. TiJcumtl'nEh, an Okanagon-Colville woman. See p. 272. 
5.10/. Seisi'tTco, Sisi'ntico, & Nicola woxnsin. See p. 272. 
5.10^. A woman whose name is not remembered. See p. 272. 
5.10h. Eani'tsa, a Nicola woman. See p. 272. 

6.1. John McLean. See p. 273. 

6.2. Rosie McLean. See p. 273. 

6.3. Alick McLean. See p. 273. 

6.4. Charles McLean. See p. 273. 

6.5. Duncan McLean. See p. 273. 

6.6. Alfred McLean. See p. 273. 

6.7. John McLean. See p. 273. 

6.8. Julie. Kamloops. See pp. 272, 273. 

6.9. Ratca'xEn. Colville. See pp. 272, 273. 

6.10. Nkeaskai'lEx. See p. 273. 

6.11. A woman of unknown name. See p. 273. 

6.12. ElEmElpdSEmEn{TamElp6sEmEn). Guichon. See pp. 273,274. 

6.13. George. See p. 273. 

6.14. Kwoitjn'tsa. See p. 273. 

6.15. Alexander Nicolas Xwistesmexe' (lEn. Head chief of the 

Okanagon. See p. 273. 
6.15a. SvMXEpi'nElc. Upper Thompson. See p. 273. 

6.16. John Celestin. TsElaxl'tsa. See pp. 273, 274. 
6.16a. Upper Thompson woman. See p. 274. 

6.17. Saul. See p. 274. 

6.18. Frangois. See p. 274. 

6.19. Basil. See p. 274. 

6.20. Narcisse. See p. 274. 

6.21. Michel. See p. 274. 

6.21a. Therese. Upper Thompson woman. See p. 274. 

6.22. KopJcopellst. See p. 274. 

6.22a. Tsaluta'llJcs. Douglas Lake. See p. 274. 

6.23. SapxEna'Uks. See p. 274. 

6.23a. Napoleon. Nicola Thompson. See p. 274. 

6.24. A woman, name forgotten. See p. 274. 

7.1. James Michel. See p. 274. 

7.2. Maggie, a Lytton woman. See p. 274. 

-9 2.10- 







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— 0^4.3 

— cf4.4 





9 9 9 9 


— cf4.9 




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— cr.-.2 




cT J.3 





-9 5.9 

9 .".Kta- 


9 5.10c 


9 5.10(/- 
9 5.10f- 

9 5.10/— 
9 rK\(\g 
9 5.10A— 


9 5.. 5a 








9 6.]2rr 



















9 0.21a 


9 0.22O 

9 0.23 


- 9 11.24 
41383°— 30. (Face p. 27S.) 

TEiT] THE okInagon 277 

Slaves. — Slaves, for the most part, were young women made 
captive in war; but a few were procured in trade from the south. 
A few of the Okanagon slaves came from as far away as the Snake 
country in Oregon, and Rogue River and Shasta, by way of The 
Dalles. A few Lillooet and Coast slaves were procured by Okanagon 
from the Thompson tribe. The Lake tribe had hardly an}^ slaves. 
Captive women were generally well treated, and their cliildren were 
considered members of the tribe. Only in quarrels were they some- 
times called "slaves." 

Names. — The naming system was almost the same as that of the 
Thompson, and the majority of male and female names had the 
same name suffixes as those found among the Thompson and Shuswap. 
In a few places irregular names taken from animals, plants,'' and 
dreams, corresponding somewhat to names common among the lower 
Thompson, were more common than the regular names with name 

Property. — The tribal territory was common property, and free 
to all the people for hunting and fisliing, berrying, and root digging, 
but people of one band did not, as a rule, pick berries or dig roots in 
the grounds near the headquarters of another band without first 
obtaining the consent of the chief in charge of the territory, and then 
only at the proper season. Some grounds were tribal and not under 
the authority of any particular chief. Game was divided and shared 
among all the people who hunted; the one who killed it had no spe- 
cial rights. On the return of a hunting party some meat was given 
to the people who had not hunted, although they had no claim to 
it. Presents of meat, fish, berries, roots, seeds, etc., were given from 
one family to another, especially during the wdnter; and these pres- 
ents were not necessarily repaid, although thej^ generally were by an 
exchange of food. It seems that snares, deer fences, and deer nets 
were private property, the same as traps, weapons, dogs, and horses. 
Eagle cliffs were the property of bands in most cases. 

Festivals. — The Okanagon tribes appear to have had even less 
festivals and social ceremonies than the Thompson. No "letting- 
down" {ntcixa'nk or ntseha'nk or toxto'xEm) customs were in vogue; 
and there were hardly any potlatches {wau' Em). The latter custom 
was introduced from the Thomj^son to the Similkameen and Okana- 
gon, but never took a strong hold. Omiy about six men are known to 
have given potlatches, and now the custom seems quite dead. A land 
of supper given by one family to another was common in the winter- 
time among neighbors. The family feasted gave a return feast. As 
stated already, cMefs and leading people gave feasts and presents 

5 For instance, A'tamEn (root of Fritillaria pudica). There is a shaman of this name. 

8 For examples of Okanagon names see "Genealogy of Douglas Lake Chiefs," on pp. 263 to 270. 
The names Skeu's, Weie'pksn, and others, used by men in Similkameen, are also employed by the 


from time to time. Singing and dancing were indulged in at nearly 
all entertainments and gatherings. 

Musical Instruments. — Drums used to beat time for singing and 
dancing were exactly like those of the Thompson. Rattles were also 
used in singing and dancing. They consisted of pebbles inclosed in 
wood, horn, or hide. Deer-hoof rattles attached to the ankles, knees, 
waist, elbows, and wrists were used. Others were attached to the end 
of a short stick. Beating of sticks on a hide or a board was also 
common in some kinds of dancing and singing. Rasps of notched 
sticks were also in vogue. In a few dances, such as the praying 
dance, there was no accompaniment to the singing. Flutes and 
whistles of several kinds were in use for serenading, but they were 
not used at dances. 

Pipes and Smoking. — Smoking was indulged in by nearly all the 
adult men and by some of the women. Ceremonial smoldng was 
practiced, especially at the beginning of serious undertakings, such 
as councils. Long ago the tubular pipe was in use. Some of these 
had figures of animals carved along the top and others were carved 
like an animal's mouth.* The simple bowl pipe was also in use, and 
the elbow pipe, which in later days supplanted all others. A disk- 
shaped stone pipe ^ was fairly common among the Okanagon, but I 
have not heard of its use among the Thompson. It may have been 
introduced from the south. Pipes were sometimes made of knots of 
wood. The tobacco smoked was the same kind as that used by the 
Thompson, and the kinnikinnick was also the same. It is said that 
a kind of clay pipe was sometimes made long ago. 


Pregnancy. — Numerous restrictions were put on a pregnant wo- 
man, especially during her first pregnancy. The object was to insure 
health and strength to the woman and her child, an easy deliver}^, 
and safety from supernatural harm for both mother and child. Preg- 
nancy, especially the first time, was considered "mystery" in almost 
the same degree as adolescence and menstruation. The restrictions 
were almost the same as among the Thompson. The most important 
dm'ing the first pregnancy were the following: The woman had to 
wash and bathe regularly in cold water. She prayed to the Day 
Dawn. She had to avoid all bad smells, quarreling, agitation, and 
anything that might surprise or shock her. She must not eat any 
flesh of large game, but only that of birds and fish. She must not 
eat turtle. All flesh that she ate must be at least a day old. Her 
husband had to bathe often and to pray and purify in the sweat house. 

Birth. — Women at childbirth were attended by an older woman, 
generally the mother, aunt, or grandmother, sometimes by more than 

« See g, fig. 113; Field Mus. 111743. 
» See ;, figs. 107-109. 



one. The afterbirth was treated in the same way as among the 

Twins. — Restrictions regarding twins were not as strict as among 
the Thompson. They resembled more those of the Shuswap. Many 
families had no special observances for twins. Some of the Simil- 
kameen who had twins lived apart from other people, and went 
through all the "twin" ceremonies customary among the Thompson.^ 

Carriers. — The board carrier and the carrying bag were universally 
used. Board carriers were of the same general types as those of the 
Thompson. Some boards were low or short, not much, if any, longer 
than the height of the infant; while some others were high, from 
about a quarter to a third of the board being above the cliild's head. 
Board carriers were of three general shapes at the head. One kind 
was rounded;^ a second Idnd had an angular top;^ and the thii'd kind 
had an extension above the top, sometimes called a "head," from 
15 to 30 cm. high, which served as a handle. This projection was 
carved in different shapes, round forms predominating.^ Board car- 
riers with square or almost square tops are said to have been common 
only among the Lake tribe. The bags attached to the boards were 
of dressed skin, and of the same styles as those used by the Thompson. 
The most common kind was loose except at the shoulders or head, 
where it was fastened to the board. The lacing was not in the bag 
itself, but consisted of a wide strap passing thi-ough loops in the side of 
the board.^ Carriers with a narrow headboard projecting outward 
from near the head of the backboard were common except among 
the Lake, who, it seems, did not use this style. Hoops on board car- 
riers were universal, at least during the last three or four generations. 
As a rule, the hoop was separate from the bag and was adjusted with 
strings, as among the Thompson. Most Thompson carriers had two 
strings stretching from the top of the board to the hoop around which 
they were twisted, the opposite ends being fastened near the foot of 
the carrier. By manipulation of these strings the hoop was lowered 
or raised as required. An old style, sometimes used by Okanagon 
and Lake, had the hood or upper part of the bag stitched to the 
hoop, doing away with the necessity of head strmgs, foot strings only 
being required. (Fig. 19.) The Lake tribe sa}^ that long ago some 
of their carriers had low hoops to which the hood of the bag was 
stitched or fastened, other carriers had very high hoops unattached 
to the hood, and some carriers had no hoops at all. Boards with 
handholes at the sides were m use, and in later times this kind almost 
entii-ely superseded those with handles at the top. They are said to 
be more convenient for lifting and carrymg. Babies were wrapped 

' a, p. 304. < See Shuswap, e, fig. 251 6, d. 

2 a, pp. 310,311. J See Thompson, a, fig. 281 6. 

5 See Thompson, a, fig. 281; Shuswap, e, fig. 251 a. ' See Thompson, a, fig. 281. 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

in soft robes of fawn skin, rabbit skin, lynx skin, etc. Bedding con- 
sisted of shredded bark, grass, and occasionally down of plants. 
Among the Sanj^oil the bedding for bark carriers consisted generally 
of bulrush down or duck's down; but dry grass and finely teased 
bark were sometimes used. The Similkameen, Lake, and Colville 
claim that they used only boards; no bark carriers. The Okanagon 
say that they have always used board carriers, but that long ago a few 
families also used bark carriers for very young infants. These were 
simply beds used in the lodge, and not for carrying purposes. When 
the child had to be carried a board was used. The Nespelim and 
Sanpoil say that very long ago bark carriers were used entirely, or 
almost entirely, by them. The shapes of these were similar to the 

forms of bark carriers of the Thompson. 
The most ancient kind were very deep 
and had no lacings and hoops. The 
baby was fastened in with a long band 
of dressed skin, or sometimes a rope, 
which was lashed round the carrier. 
A few had large loops on the sides, 
through which the lashing passed, as 
in some board carriers;'' but this is 
thought to be more modern than the 
simple lashing around the outside of 
the carrier. Later, shallow bark car- 
riers with hoops were often used. The 
deep carriers did not require hoops. 
About six or seven generations ago 
boards came into use and within a short 
time became quite common. The first 
land adopted consisted of a simple 
board, in most cases reachuig to the neck of the uifant. The child, 
wrapped in a fur robe which came over its head, was strapped on the 
board by a lashing round and round, as in the oldest bark carriers. 
Later it became common to fasten flaps of skin to the sides of the 
board, which laced in front over the infant. Infants were also placed 
in sldn bags and lashed to the board. Later the backs of these bags 
were frequently stitched to the board, and thus became a permanent 
attachment of the latter. The front of the bag was fastened with a 
lacing. Still later, hoops came into use to spread the hood of the bag 
or to hold the carrier covering — a small, light robe or a skin — off the 
child's face. This top covering was used to shade the child's face 
when it slept, to cover it when mosquitoes and flies were abundant, 
and to protect it against cold and wind when traveling. For a long 

FiGUKE 19. — Cradle board 

7 See Thompson, a, p. 307, fig. 281. 


time after board carriers had come into full use bark carriers were 
retained by many families as beds for young babies in the lodges. 
When the mother returned from a journey the baby was taken off 
the board and placed in the bark basket. Drains made of various 
Idnds of bark, sometimes of hide and rarely of wood, were used with 
bark carriers, especially for male infants. Shorter drains were also 
common with board carriers. I did not learn whether hammocks 
Avere used. It seems that no carriers made of rods woven together, 
and none of basketry, were made by any of the tribes. A few were 
made of stiff liide, when bark or boards were difficult to obtain. 
When a child had outgrown the bark and board carriers, carrying 
bags similar to those of the Thompson were used b}'' all the tribes. 
It seems that the kind most common among the Sanpoil was of dressed 
sldn, fawn skin, and sometimes bear skin. It opened at the shoulders 
or sides, had two straps which passed between the infant's legs, and 
an attached carrying-strap.* A Idnd used by the Similkameen, and 
also to a slight extent by the Okanagon, but probably not by the 
other tribes, was like the bags attached to board carriers. All had a 
lacing up the front, and an attached tump line. Some were stiffened 
at the back with a piece of hide or stiff dressed skm the full length of 
the bag. The foot parts of many bags were gathered up hke the toe 
of a round-toed moccasin, either by stitching or with a draw string. 
The hood, or upper part of the bag above the lacing, was sometimes 
fixed in the same way. Occasionally the hood was stiffened or 
expanded with a light hoop sewed to the edge. The hood parts of 
some bags were large and projected forward considerably over the 
child's head. 

Navel-string pouches were used by all the tribes, and were generally 
attached to the carrier. Instead of maldng a navel-string pouch and 
attacliing it to the carrier the mother might also wrap up the navel ' 
string and hide it in a bag which she kept herself. Some of the 
Okanagon attached the pouch to the head of the carrier. 

Head Deformation. — No head flattening was practiced, but 
some people tliink-that the carrier board had the effect of shortening 
the heads of infants, as infants were always laid on their backs and 
hard pUlows were often used. Soft pillows of sldn stuffed with 
feathers or down were used by all careful mothers. 

Fostering of Children. — Fostering of children was quite common. 
People who had many children gave some to friends and relatives to 
rear as their own children. Some of these children later returned to 
their parents, while others remained forever with their foster parents. 

Education. — Much attention was paid to the education of chil- 
dren. They were seldom beaten by their parents. Generally the 

' Ottawa Museum, Nos. 147, 149-151. 
41383°— 30 19 


elders of each family admonished and instructed the cliildren. The 
father, uncles, and grandfathers instructed the boys, and the mother, 
aunts, and grandmothers, the girls. Elder brothers and sisters also 
helped in the instruction of the juniors. 

The ordeal of whipping the children was practiced in the winter- 
time, at least by the Okanagon and Similkameen. It was particularly 
common among the latter. 

Puberty. — At puberty both sexes underwent a training similar to 
that customary among the Thompson, but seemingly less full. They 
washed and bathed in running water at least once a day. Girls 
prayed to the Day Dawn each morning, and rubbed their bodies 
with fir boughs when bathing to make themselves strong. The 
ceremonies performed by girls for maldng their bodies pure and clean, 
and those connected with fir branches and batliing, at least among 
the Similkameen and Okanagon, were the same as among the Thomp- 
son. A story is related in Similkameen of a poor orphan girl who 
performed no ceremonies of purification. She was devoured by hce 
near a little creek below Ashnola, and the place takes its name from 
this incident. Some people point out a little mound there as her 
grave. A common practice of girls was to make circles of stones. 
Sometimes other figures were made, such as squares, oblongs, dia- 
monds, and crosses. Some circles were quite small, while others 
were from 1 K to 2 meters in diameter. In some circles the stones were 
put quite close together and in others some distance apart. Most 
stones were rather flat, light-colored, smooth, waterworn bowlders, 
weighing from 3 to 6 pounds; but different circles varied considerably 
in the size of the stones used. The circles were made on the ground 
or on the tops of flat bowlders, and often the girls carried the stones 
from a considerable distance, meanwhile praying that in after years 
their bodies might be strong and capable of carrying heavy burdens 
with ease. It is said that each stone represented a wish or prayer of 
the girl. Stones placed in the center or in pairs inside the circle 
represented special prayers. Some Similkameen say that the stones 
represented wishes, prayers, and offerings. Those representing 
prayers were generally placed down in the eastern part of the ring. 
Sometimes the girl sat down in the middle, and placed the stones 
down one at a time all round her, following the sun's course. As 
she placed each one down she made a prayer, stating what each 
was a token of.' As a rule a circle was not completed in one night, 
but the girl added stones from time to time. The hard and en- 
during nature of the stones was sometimes mentioned in prayers, 
the girls asldng that their bodies be as strong and enduring as 

' Compare custom of Thompson, Okanagon, Shuswap, Kutenai, and probably other tribes, of making 
ofiferings of stones at certain places. Prayers were made at the same time to the deity of the place, asking 
for good luck in hunting, good weather, prevention from harm. Each person placed down a stone, and 
passers-by did the same, so that heaps of small stones were formed. 




these stones. As a rule the circles were made within sight of 
trails. Occasionally some of the stones were painted red all over or 
with figures in red paint. In 1907 I saw in the canyon of SimQkanieen 
River many remains of stone circles made by girls on the top of flat 
bowlders, wliich are very nimierous along parts of the trail The 
sides of many bowlders at this place are painted. 

It seems that adolescents of some famihes in all the tribes used 
scratchers, paint scratchers, drinking tubes, and wliistles, as among 
the Thompson, wliile those of other families did not use them. 

Boys went through a prolonged period of sweat bathing and 
training, for the acquisition of guardian spirits, for increasing the 


Figure 20.— Rock paintings 
a, b. From a bowlder near Ashnola; a, said to represent some natural featm-e of the country; b, black 
bear; c, d, said to represent some natural feature of the country; short lines, trees; e, probably 
a count of fir needles; /, snake. g,h. From Tilin near Keremeous; g, fir branch; ft, said to be 
the sun or a lake surrounded by trees with a projecting bluff, i-p. On a cliff at the Forks (explana- 
tions uncertain) ; i, a guardian spirit; k, probably a count of fir branches; (, m, fir branch with 
needles plucked from one side; n, ranges of mountains with vaUey in between; o, sun or lake 
surrounded by trees; p, toad, r, s. On a cliff on the east side of Okanagon Lake, Penticton and 
Jlission; r, meeting of several persons, the one with a circle a guardian spirit; s, unknown. 

Htheness and strength of the body, and gaining proficiency in marks- 
manship, games, hunting, and other occupations. Songs were gen- 
eraUj^ acquired in conjunction with the guardian spirit. 

In connection with the training period, adolescents of both sexes made 
records of remarkable dreams, pictures of what they desired or what 
they had seen, and events connected with their training. These 
records were made with red paint on bowlders or cliffs, wherever the 
surface was suitable. (Figs. 20-24.) Rock paintings in their terri- 
tory are plentiful; but I heard of no petroglyphs, except that some- 
times figures of various kinds were incised in hard clay. Rock paint- 
ings were made also by adults as records of notable dreams, and more 



[ETH. ANN. 45 

rarely of incidents in their lives. Pictures were also cut into the bark 

of trees, and some were burned into the wood of trees. (Fig. 25.) 

Flutes of wood and long bone whistles were worn on a string around 

the neck, and were used by young men at puberty, and later, for 

1 1 1 n 1 1 1 II 


Figure 21. — Rock paintings, Similkameen Valley 
u-d, On bowlJers YlVi and 18 miles below Princeton; a, sun on hill with trees; 6, people; c, the 
sun; d, a count of fir needles; e, a hUl with trees; /, a bird; g, a horse; ft, horse trails; i, deer; 
i, rainbow; k, sun or earth with trees, /, m, n, visions of an adolescent, meaning doubtful; 
0, p, an animal near a trail. 

imitating the notes of birds and for serenading girls to whom they 
took a fancy. 

At a place called "Standing Rock" (or "where the stone sticks 
out") in Similkameen Valley, youths undergoing their training con- 




gregated to test themselves. A large, steep rock about 7 meters high 
rises abruptly near the trail at this place. The young men tried to run 
up to the top along the sloping side and then slide down. A man 


e A\ 



^m^ ~7^ ^^^rv^ 

Figure 22.— Rock paintings on a cliff near Tcutcawi'xa, Similkameen Valley 
0, Stars; 6, sun; c, lake with trees, island with trees in the middle; d, grizzly bear; e, men; /, eagle; 
g, dogs or other animals with open mouths; ft, people; i, men on horseback; ;, star; k, I, men with 
feather headdresses; m, unfinished matting; n, a bird; o, stream running out of a lake with an 

called EwElWsqEt ("red cloud" or "emptying cloud") is the only 
one now living who has accomplished this feat. 

Throwing, lifting, and carrying heavy stones were practiced to 
gain strength. Boys prayed that they might become strong. Boys 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

Figure 23.— Rock paintings near Princeton 
a-e. On a cliff 19 miles below Princeton; a, man; b, doubtful; c, an aniipal running; d, three men 
walking; e, grizzly bear. /-o. On bowlders near the preceding; f-tt<, on a clilT near the preceding; 
/, men walking; g, grizzly bear; h, beaver in his house; ;, rising sun and earth line; k, man; t, m, 
doubtful; 11, probably eagle and stars; o, deer or sheep; p, probably a corral for game; g, animals 
at the entrance; r, bird, probably guardian spirit of the man; s, man; (, bear; u, deer; v, an 
ivnimal, head and forelegs; w, doubtful. 




at puberty are said to have practiced throwing stones to make 
their arms strong. Small stones were thrown at marks, and some 
lads became so expert that they seldom missed. They could kill 
small game with stones almost every time they tried. 

AVf « 




5 f-^-hH-Hr-H-h^ 







FiGTJRE 24. — Rock paintings 
a-k. Found on bowlder 18 miles below Princeton; a eagles; 6, wolf or coyote; c, bear's tracks; 
i, moon; e., person on horseback; /, person; g, doubtful; A, moon; i, animal; i, grizzly bear 
tracks; k, trail, l-o. On a bowlder about 19 miles below Princeton; /, eagle; m, sun or pond 
surrounded by trees; n, snake; o, man meeting a deer. y-x. On a cliff and in a cave near 
Tcut'awi'.\a, Similkameen Valley; p, man; q, animals; r, fir branch; s, animal; (, insects; 
u, grizzly bear; i', four quarters; w, eagle; x, an insect or a vision. 

Marriage. — As among the Thompson, there were marriages by 
betrothal, placing down of gifts, and by touching. Elopements 
also occurred. Many marriages were arranged by "go-betweens," 


[ETH. ANN. 45 

generally relatives of one or both families; sometimes by one or more 
of the parents directly, and occasionally by the chief of the band. 
A direct form of proposal appears to have been fairly common among 
the SimUkameen and Okanagon, the young man going directly to 
the girl in her lodge and, in the presence of her father, saying to her, 
"I take you for my wife." The girl's parents and relatives then 
considered the proposition, and the girl was also asked what she 
thought about it. If she herself or the parents refused, the suitor 
was generally rejected. If all agreed, he was accepted, and when 
next he or his parents called they were informed of the decision. 
His relatives then announced what presents were to be given to the 
girl's parents, and if they were satisfied the match was arranged. 

There appears to have been no "conducting" ceremony {okawd' it) ,'^'^ 
and, on the whole, marriage cei"emonies seem to have been simpler 
than those of the Thompson. 

^ ' 


Figure 25. — Figures incised in bark of trees 
a, Girl; 6, man; c, perhaps ribs; i, woman; e, perhaps an animal; f, perhaps a woman's cap. 

Customs Regarding Women. — The same restrictions were imposed 
upon menstruating women as among the Thompson. During men- 
struation women lived apart from the other people, occupying a semi- 
underground lodge in the winter and a rude shelter or a half tent ^^ 
of mats in the sunmier. In the mountains, when people were hunt- 
ing, a shelter of brush and bark under a large tree had to suffice. 

Death and Burial. — Bodies were generally interred, graves being 
dug in sandy places. Edges of benches, terraces, and sandy mounds 
were usually chosen. Rock-slide burials were common in places 
where slopes of slide rock abounded. Heaps of rocks were placed 
over graves, especially over shallow graves. Deeper graves were 
often surrounded by a circle of rocks. A slender pole was generally 
erected at the head of the grave. Among the Okanagon canoes 
were sometimes hauled up on top of the grave. In 1904 I saw frag- 
ments of canoes lying on old graves near Ashnola, Similkameen. 

11 See Thompson, a, p. 323. 'i See p. 228. 


A few grave effigies were used in Similkameen, especially from Kereme- 
ous down, and among the Lower Okanagon. It seems that the custom 
of erecting effigies and depositing canoes was more or less common in 
the western part of the interior Salishan country, as far east as a 
line following Columbia River from The Dalles north to the Thompson 
and Lillooet. The custom may be due to Coast or Lower Columbia 
influence. It seems that no tents or houses were erected over graves. 
Fences and crosses at graves are quite modern. Bodies were flexed, 
wrapped in matting or occasionally in robes, and generally buried 
on the side. I did not hear of tying bodies to the trunks of trees — a 
custom wliich has been reported for the Lower Okanagon. Bodies 
were never burned. 

There were fewer restrictions on handling corpses than among the 
Thompson. In Okanagon and Similkameen there is a "paying" 
ceremony, as among the Thompson. This takes place about a year 
after death. The burial expenses and all debts of the deceased are 
then paid. It is not certain that this custom is ancient. The 
property of a deceased person was divided among the relatives shortly 
after death. Widows and widowers cut their haLr and were subject 
to the same restrictions as among the Thompson. They washed 
and prayed and wore old clothes. 

A noted Similkameen chief called Slceu's is buried near the " Stand- 
ing Rock," mentioned on page 284. When dying, he told the people to 
bury him near the trail at this place, so that his children might see 
him as they passed to and fro. 


Concept of the World. — The ideas of the Okanagon tribes regard- 
ing the world, the creation, and all their religious beliefs agree very 
closely with those of the Thompson. The Okanagon claim that the 
earth was made by the "father mystery" or "great mystery" — a 
mysterious power with masculine attributes, who seems to be the same 
personage as the "Old One " or "Ancient One " of mythology. When 
he traveled on earth he assumed the form of a venerable-looking old 
man. Some people sa}' that he was light skinned and had a long 
Avhite beard. This deity was also called "Chief," "Chief Above," 
"Great Chief," and "Mystery Above." According to some, the 
power of the "Great Mystery" was everywhere and pervaded every- 
thing. Thus he was near and far and all around; but the main source 
of power came from above, and therefore it was beheved that he 
lived in the upper world or in the sim. Others say that the "Great 
Mystery" or "Chief" was Ulce a man, but that he had unlimited 
power, and lived in the heavens or on the highest mountains, or 
bej'ond the earth. He was the creator and arranger of the world. 
He had always been and always would be. All life sprang from him. 


His influence was always good and unselfish. He was not a god that 
afflicted people. The world we live in was made by him for his 
pleasure and satisfaction, and to fill a gap in the great waters. It 
was like a woman. The "Great Mystery" fructified the earth in 
some way ; and from this union sprang the first people and everything 
on earth that has life. He said that everything on earth should be 
subordinate to the people, and everything would be for their use, as 
they were his children; and all the people should have equal rights in 
everything, and would share alike. This is why all food was shared 
among the people, and no one thought of debarring any one else from 
access to anything required for life. Later some things in the world 
became detrimental to the welfare of the people, who therefore could 
neither increase nor progress. Thereupon the "Great Mystery" 
sent Coyote to teach the people certain arts, to introduce salmon, to 
make fishing places on the main river, to transform into rocks and 
into animals with minor powers certain powerful semihuman beings 
who preyed on the people. According to some. Coyote also estab- 
lished the seasons. He reduced the powers of the game and gave it 
its habitat so that people were able to obtain food. 

Mythology. — The mythology of all the Okanagon tribes centers 
around Coyote, who is their great culture hero. Many Okanagon 
and Thompson mythological tales are almost identical.^ Some 
mythological traditions are localized. Certain places are named from 
transformations related in myths. Thus there is a place called 
"Coyote's Penis" near Penticton; and a little farther to the south, 
near the head of Lac du Chien, is a mound called "Coyote's Under- 
ground Lodge." A pyramid of clay and stone near the Forks of 
Keremeous Creek is also called "Coyote's Penis." 

Various Supernatural Beings. — Dwarfs, giants, and ghosts 
were believed in, as among the Thompson, and the same kinds of 
stories are related regarding them. There were also many "land and 
water mysteries." As among the Thompson, some of them were 
propitiated by offerings. If a stranger bathes or swims in a lake for 
the first time without propitiating it, the lake will resent it. If a 
good lake, it will merely show its displeasure by a squall. If a bad 
lake, it will bewitch the person, so that he will become sick or die. 

Thunder is made by a bird; and the sun, moon, and stars are 
transformed mythical beings. 

Prayers and Observances. — The prayers and observances of the 
Okanagon seem to have corresponded almost exactly to those of the 
Thompson. Beliefs regarding the mysterious powers inherent in 
animals, plants, and stones, also were the same. As among the 
Thompson, a " fu'st-fruits " ceremony was observed ia every band 

I See Folk Tales of Salishan and Sabaptln Tribes, Memoirs Amer. Folk-lore Society, vol. 11, pp. 65-100; 
also Hill-Tout, Ethnology of the Okauaken, Anthrop. Institute, vol. 41, pp. 135, 141-161. 



before the berries were to be picked. An offering of ripe berries on a 
bark tray was made by the chief of the band to the "Great Mystery" 
who dwelt above everywhere; therefore the tray was held out to the 
four points of the compass, beginning with the east. After the 
prayers the people danced, making « signs with their hands as if 
drawing inspiration from above, and giving thanks to above, in very 
much the same way as they did in the religious dance. In some 
places an offering of the first roots was made in like manner, and a 
first tobacco ceremony was also in vogue." 

Prayers were offered and dances performed to bring rain or snow 
and warm winds, and also to cause storms, rain and snow to cease. 
In some cases these observances and dances were led by the chief 
and sometimes by shamans who had special powers. 

When any sickness was upon the people, or if more deaths had 
occurred than usual, shamans were asked to "drive the sickness 
away" and to "clean up the earth." 

Animals, especially large game, were treated with great respect, 
and spoken of deferentially, ^^^len a bear was killed a mourning 
song was sung, called the "bear song." Usually the hunter did not 
paint his face, as was the custom among the Thompson. Afterwards 
the bear's skull was elevated on the top of a long pole stuck in the 
ground either as a mark of respect or to keep off defiling influences. 
Bears and beavers could always hear what people said. 

Game animals, the weather, the earth, the sweat-house spirit, and 
guardian spirits were prayed to by hunters when on hunting trips. 
If game were scarce or hard to get, a shaman, or ainan who had the 
particular land of game as his guardian, was asked to placate the 
animals. He sang his song and drew the animals near, or he told 
the people when and where to go hunting. Some men caused snow 
to fall and the weather to turn cold in order to assist hunting. 

Adolescents prayed chiefl}^ to the Day Dawn, and many warriors 
prayed principally to the sun. Prayers and offerings were made to 
deities or powers inhabiting certain localities. 

The Nespelim chief told me that about 1770, when his grandmother 
was a very yoimg girl, a shower of dry dust fell over the coimtiy. 
It covered the land to a depth of from 3 to 4 inches and was lil^e a 
white dust. It is said that this shower of volcanic ash fell over a 
large area, including part of the Wallawalla country. The people 
were much alarmed at this phenomenon and were afraid it prognos- 
ticated evil. They beat drums and sang, and for a time held the 
"praying" dance almost day and night. They prayed to the "dry 
snow," called it "Chief" and "M3'Stery," and asked it to explain 
itself and tell why it came. The people danced a great deal all 
smnmer, and in large measure neglected their usual work. They 

» See Thompson, a, pp. 349, 350. 


l)ut up only small stores of berries, roots, salmon, and dried meat; 
and consequently the following winter, which happened to be rather 
long and severe, they ran out of supplies. A few of the old people 
died of starvation and others became so weak that they could not 

The Soul. — The Okanagon held the same beliefs regarding the 
soul as the Thompson. The dead go to a land believed by some to be 
in the west, beyond the great mountains where the sun sets. Others 
beheved that the land of shades was away south beyond the mouths 
of the great rivers. The trail of the dead went underground in the 
darlaiess for a long distance, then it ascended, and emerged in the 
spirit world, which was beyond the earth and very light. People 
lived there, following almost the same pursuits as on earth, but they 
had an easier and much more pleasant time. According to some, 
no quarreling, ill feeling, sickness, or warfare existed there. 

Guardian Spirits. — Guardian spirits were the same in character 
as among the Thompson, and acquired in the same way. 

Shamans. — Shamans appear to have been like those of the Thomp- 
son, about the only difference being that when treating the sick as a 
rule they did not dance or use masks. They sang their "medicine" 
songs and laid on hands. Painting was also resorted to, advice re- 
ceived in dreams was followed, and names of people were sometimes 
changed. Witchcraft was practiced almost exclusively by shamans. 

I heard of no real prophets, excepting a Thompson woman from 
Nicola, who traveled in Similkameen and Okanagon, telling the 
people about the spirit land, and also relating how the coming of 
whites would result in the destruction of the Indians. She prophesied 
the steahng of the Indian 's lands and the destruction of the game by 
the whites, and stated that they would destroy the Indian while pre- 
tending to benefit hun. She invited the Indians to join in a great 
war against the whites to drive them out. Even if the Indians were 
all killed in this war it would be better than being reduced to the 
conditions they would have to endure, once the whites became 
dominant. She also advised the Indians to retain their old customs 
and not to adopt any of the white man 's ways, which were as poison 
to the Indians. She claimed to be arrow and bullet proof, like the 
greatest warriors who led in battle. She did not require to wield 
weapons herself; but if the Indians would follow her, they would be 
successful in arms against the whites. Being a woman, her war 
propaganda secured but little following. She sang war songs at her 
meetings. A year or two afterwards, about 1850, she died suddenly. 

Dances. — Probably the four chief dances among the Okanagon 
tribes were the war dance, the scalp dance, the guardian-spirit dance, 
and the religious dance. The last-mentioned was in every way like 
that of the Thompson. In each place it was under the direction of 



one or two chiefs. Prayers were offered to the "Chief Above" and 
food was distributed at the dances. 

The war dance was preparatory to going to war, and sometimes 
parts of it were like a mimic battle. A dance with special war songs, 
in vogue among Indians farther south and east, was held by them 
before going on horse-stealing raids. It was also performed by the 
Okanagon tribes when individuals and small numbers of young men 
desired to go on an expedition for adventure, war, or plunder. Young 
men obtained war practice on these expeditions, and sought for a 
chance to distinguish themselves. The nmnber of men in these 
parties varied from 1 to 10 or more. 

The scalp dance consisted of a procession and singing, followed by a 
dance similar to the war dance. At intervals the warriors recoimted 
their exploits. The scalps were given to women, who carried them 
on the ends of spears and poles in the procession ; and women took the 
most prominent part in the dancing, some of them being dressed like 
warriors. A feast often followed the scalp dance. 

As among the Thompson, the women of the Okanagon, of Okana- 
gon Lake and River, and possibly the tribes farther south, danced 
while the men were on the warpath. 

In the guardian-spirit dance each person sang the song he had 
received duiing his puberty training, showed his powers, and imitated 
his guardian spirit by ciy and gesture while dancing. 

The "touchuig" or marriage dance for young people was often held 
in conjunction with the "praying" dance. It seems to have been the 
same as among the Thompson. 

A sun dance was performed at the solstices, the greatest one being 
held about midwinter. Among the Okanagon division the women, 
during the absence of a war party, performed the same dance as that 
used on such occasions by the Thompson. 

The dances called stlei by the Thompson were performed at 
festivals and danced by both sexes. Each person danced by himseh 
and often remained almost stationary. Most of the dance movements 
were made by the swaying of the ITody and movements of the hands. 


Medicines. — I heard of the use of the following plants (other than 
food plants) for medicinal and other purposes: 

Yarrow {Achillea millefolium L.), a decoction used as a medicine for sore eyes 
and for other purposes, as among the Thompson. 

Lupin {Lu-pinus polyphyllus?) , a decoction used as a kind of tonic. 

Wild geranium (Geranium incisum Nutt.), used for sore lips. A leaf is held 
between the lips for several hours. It is said to cure in one day. 

Mullein (Verbascum thapsics), a decoction drunk for consumption. The use 
of the plant is modern. 


Pentstemon douglasii, a decoction used as a medicine. 

Mint {Mentha horealis), decoction used as a medicine. 

Rock cress {Arabis drummondii Gray) , decoction drunlc for cure of gonorrhea. 

Quaking asp {Populus tremuloides Michx.), decoction of rootlets and stems 
drunk for syphilis. 

Shepherdia canadensis Nutt., decoction of twigs drunk as a tonic for the 
stomach and a mild physic. 

Hellebore {Veratrum viride), known as a poison. The root is dried and pow- 
dered and used as a snuff for colds. It produces sneezing. The use of this plant 
is limited and may be modern. 

Aconitum delphinifolium, used as a medicine, and the flowers used as a paint. 

Philadelphus lewisii; Okanagon , name wa'xawaxElp; Thompson name, 
wd'xaselp; leaves used as a soap for washing. 

Gilia aggregata; Okanagon name, xaxalaulni' ps; decoction used as an eye wash, 
also as a head and face wash by adolescent girls to improve the skin and hair, 
in the same way as Linum perenne among the Thompson. Gilia aggregata is 
plentiful in Similkameen but does not grow in the Thompson country proper. 
It is called "red raven's foot scales" by the Thompson. 

Nicotiana attenuata Torr., used as a head wash and for dandruff, as among the 
Thompson; also used for smoking. 

Sagebrush {Artemisia trideniuta Nutt. ; Okanagon name, kolkolEmani'l; Thomp- 
son nam'e, ka'uku), used as a medicine for colds. 

Labrador tea {Ledum groenlandicum; Okanagon name, xotlemilp; Thompson 
name, ka'tca), decoction drunk as a tonic. 

Juniper {Juniper us virginiana L.), used for fumigation. 

Wolf moss {Evernia vulpina; Okanagon name, kware'uk; Thompson name, 
Tcolotne'ka, also kwald' uk), used as a medicine as well as a dye and paint. 

Indian hemp {Apocynum cannahinum), used as a medicine as well as a plant 
furnishing fiber. 

Dogbane {Apocynum androsaemifolium) , used as a medicine as well as a plant 
furnishing fiber. 

The Okanagon used a great many plants for medicinal and other 
purposes, but I had no time to make a collection or to inquire into 
the subject fully. 

Current Beliefs. — Some of the current beliefs of the Okanagon 
and Sanpoil are the same as those of the Thompson. Sneezing 
signifies that a person, probably a woman, is talking of you or men- 
tioning your name.^ The same belief is held regarding black lizards 
following persons as among the Thompson. Michel Revais said 
that this belief was current among the tribes in the interior of Oregon, 
but not among the Salish east of Columbia River; i. e., the Flathead, 
Coeur d'Alene, and Colville. 

1 See Thompson (a) p. 373. 



Tribes of the Group. — The Flathead group consists of four 
tribes, and there were two others which are now extinct. 

1. Flathead (or Tetes plattes). 4. Spokan. 

2. Pend d'OreUles. 5. SEmte'usel-^ ^. , 
^ T- 1- 1 ^ m -/ Lxtinct. 

3. Kalispel. 6. luna xe J 

Origin of Tribal Names. — The Flathead were also called Salish, 
Selish, Salees, etc., which terms are derived from their own name. 
The origin of the name "Flathead" ("Tete platte") is obscure. 
Some men of the tribe claim that the term was adopted by the early 
traders from the sign language, the sign for the tribe being often 
interpreted "pressed side of head" or "pressed head," hence "flat 
head." The Upper Kutenai claim that the tribe was named "Flat- 
head" because there once was a people who lived in the Sahsh 
country who had "fiat" or pressed heads. They say that long ago 
there were two tribes or people inhabiting the Flathead country. 
One of these was called "Leg people," and the other "Flat-Head (or 
Wide-Head) people. " The former were the ancestors of the Flathead 
tribe of to-day. They did not press then- heads. The other tribe 
had heads which looked wide, and it was said that they pressed their 
heads. The exact location of the two tribes is not loiown; but it is 
thought that the Leg people lived farthest east and south, and the 
Wide-Head people about where the Flathead tribes now live — around 
Jocko and Bitterroot Valley, west of the main range of the Rocky 
Mountains. It seems that the Leg people were originally entirely or 
partly east of the range. In later times the two tribes lived together. 
The Wide-Head tribe was smaller than the Leg tribe. Finally the former 
disappeared. Possibly they ceased pressing their heads so that they 
could no longer be distinguished, or they may have been absorbed by 
the Leg people. At all events, it seems that none but the Leg people 
remained in the country where the Wide Head had been, but their 
name has persisted. Distant Plains tribes had been in the habit of 
calling all the people of the region "Flat Head" or "Wide Head" in 
a general way, because of the characteristics of the one tribe, and the 
name was adopted by the fur traders. The Wide Head tribe were not 
slaves of the Leg people (or Salish proper). 

In the Handbook of American Indians ^ the statement is made that 
the Flathead tribe received its name from the surrounding people, 

1 BuU. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 2, under Salish, p. 415; see also ibid., pt. 1, p. 465, under Flathead. 



not because they artificially deformed, their heads, but because, in 
contradistinction to most tribes farther west, they left them in their 
natural condition, flat on top. The Flathead were sometimes called 
"Flathead proper," in contradistinction to the Pend d'OreUles (who 
were sometimes called "Lake Flathead" because many of them 
formerly had their headquarters around Flathead Lake) and the 
KaUspel (who were sometimes loiown as "River Flathead" because 
they lived on the river below). The Pend d'Oreilles were also called 
"Earring people," "Ear-Drops," and "Hanging Ears." The name 
was given to them by the early traders because when first met they 
nearly all wore large sheU earrings. The shells were obtained in 
Flathead Lake and Pend d'Oreille River, and formed an article of 
export. The tribe was also known as "Upper Pend d'Oreilles" in 
contradistinction to the Kalispel, who were sometimes called "Lower 
Pend d'Oreilles." "Kalispel" is derived from the Indian name of 
the tribe, which has originated from a place name. The Kalispel 
were sometimes called "Camas people." "Spokan" is derived from 
an Indian term for the tribe as a whole, which became general in 
later days. The Spokan were also sometimes called "Sun people," 
possibly from a mistranslation of the name "Spokan." Many 
Indians deny that it has this meaning. 

Names for Themselves. — The Flathead group as a whole is 
called '' Sse'lidcEn" by the Kalispel and probably the other tribes 
of the group. This is the same term as " Nsi'lixtcsn," used by the 
Okanagon group for themselves, and means " Salish-speaking. " 
Their own tribal names are — 

1, Selic or Se'lic (meaning uncertain: ^ the suffix -ic mavl _^, _, ,, , 
,, , ,,, ^ ' - ^ The Flathead, 

mean people ). J 

The Pend d'Oreilles. 

2. Stlqetkomstci' (nt) ("people of Szqe'tko, "wide water or' 

lake," the name of Flathead Lake). 
StEka'ltEtci'{nt) ("upper people" or "people above or at 
the top," with reference to their position at the head 
of Pend d'Oreille River or above the Kalispel. This 
term seems to be chiefly used by the Kalispel). 

3. Ka'lispe'l or Skalispe' (said to mean "camas"). A 

Pend d'OreiUes informant said Kalispe'lEm was the 
name for 3'oung sprouting camas, and it was also the 
name of the large camas digging ground near Calispel 
Lake, Washington, which seems to have been the main 
seat of the Lower Kalispel. 

2 The Handbook of American Indians (pt. 2, p. 415) gives "Salish" as derived from sdlst ("people"). If, 
however, the suflBx -ic means "people," as seems probable, the term would mean "people people," which, 
maies the derivation unlikely. 

The Kalispel. 




The Spokan. 

The SEtnte'use. 

>The Tuna'xe. 

4. Spdqe'in{ic) (meaning uncertain, but considered to be 

derived from a place-name) .' The Spolian appear to 
have had no name for themselves as a whole, the 
present tribal name of Spoqei'n being probably less 
than a hundred years old. It appears to have origi- 
nated with the Coeur d'Alene or some other neigh- 
boring Salish tribe, at first as a name for a band that 
occupied an important fishing place. I was unable to 
determine the exact band and place. Some Indians 
say that this band lived on the Little Spokane, while 
others think Spoqe'in was originally the name of a 
band and place near Spokane Falls. The suffix -qein 
has reference to "head." Before the tribal name of 
"Spokan" came into use it seems that the tribe was 
known by what are considered now as divisional names 
only (cf. p. 298). 

5. SEmte'use (meaning uncertain; some Indians declare 

that the name means "foolish" with reference to the 
characteristics of the people, while others think the 
name may be derived from an old place-name) . 

6. Tuna'xe (also called "Sun River people") (meaning' 

uncertain; some people think that the name may be 
from a characteristic of the people because they were 
great traders, while others think it is merely that of 
their country or place). ^ 

Names by which Known to Other Tribes; Names Given to 
Them by Salish Tribes. — All the interior Salish tribes caU the 
Flathead Sa'lix or Sa'lic. Variations of the name are Sd'lix, Sa'lis, 
Sa'lEx, Se'lix, Se'lic, and Si'lix. The Coeur d'Alene often call them 
Se'dlETuic, and the Columbia and Wenatchi frequently caU them 
Sa'lEmux, which are variations of the same name.^ The name may 
possibly be derived from some old place name.® The Pend d'Oredles 
were called Stlkatkorastcl' nt by the Coeur d'Alene and most other 
Salish tribes. Variations of the name are SLqa'ikomstci'nt, SLqatkoms- 
tci'nt, and Stlqatkomski'nt. Some tribes more generally called them 
Snid'lEmEn or Snia'lEmEnic or Snia'tsmEnEX, "people of Snia'- 
lEmEJi," the name of a place at the Mission where a leading band 
had their village. In later times this place was the main winter 
quarters of the tribe. 

The Kalispel are called Slcalispe'lEm or STcalispe'l by aU the other 
Salish tribes. Variations of these terms are Kalspi'lEvi, Kalispa'lEm, 
SJcalEspi'lEx. The name is derived from Kalispe'lEm, the name of 

3 Compare p. 296. 

' Possibly this is the Kutenai name for Kutenai: Ktuna'xa, which may mean " those going out of the 
mountains." (F. Boas.) The Salish pronunciation of this name is Tuna'xe while the Kutenai pronounced 
Tuna'xa. See also the Salish name for the Assiniboin, p. 302, and note to same. 

'The suffixes -ir, -ic, -is, -ex, -ec, -ex, -i, -e, -Ems, -Em.EC,-Emic-EmxiX, -ux, mean "people"; -ski'nt, 
-tcint, -tci means "mouth, language." 

' Some think that the name may be derived from an old name of their eoimtry, or a district in their coun- 
try, named because situated on the upper Missouri, close to the place where the river emerges from the 

41383°— 30- 



a great camas-digging place at Calispel Lake, Washington. Some, 
however, think the term implies "camas people"; while, on the other 
hand, some Okanagon, Thompson, and others translate it as "flat- 
country people." 

The Spokan or Spoqe'inic are called Spokei' .nsms or Spoqe' Ensmc 
by the Coeur d'Alene, SpoTcei'mux by the Columbia, Spoqai'nEx by 
the Sanpoil, Spdqe'insx and Spdke'n by the Lake and most other 
Salish tribes, all of which terms mean " Spoke'n or SpoqS'in people." 
As stated already, some people translate the name as meaning "Sun 
people." They were also, as a whole, sometimes called SEuoxaml'- 
nasx by tribes of the Okanagon group, the name of their principal 
division. It seems that at one time the tribe had no general name 
of their own, and they were usually called by the names of what 
later came to be considered divisions of the tribe. These divisions 
were looked upon as independent groups or tribes by some. Other 
Indians considered them merely divisions, saying that they were 
parts of a single people who had their villages at different places. 
The names of these divisions of tribes were — 

1. Stsekastsi', Stkastsl'lEn, or Sikastsl'lEnic (=the Lower Spokan). 
The name is derived from a place called Stkastsl'lEn, near the mouth 
of Spokane River. Some translate the name as "running fast," 
probably with reference to the river. Another, less-accepted trans- 
lation of the name is "bad food,"^ "bad eaters," or "poor feeders" 
(according to some, with reference to the people; according to others, 
derived from a place-name). 

2. Sntutuu'li or Sntutu'u'. ( = the South or Middle Spokan). 
This name is translated "living together" by some, and "pounding" 
or "pounders" (of meat or fish) by others. Most people think the 
term is derived from a place name derived from the sound of pounding. 

3. Snxo'rne', SEnxome', S Enxome' nic ( = the Upper or Little 
Spokan). This name is almost invariably translated as "salmon- 
trout" or "salmon-trout people" (from xome'na, "salmon-trout" or 
"steelhead," a fish said to have been very plentiful in the country of 
the tribe, and hence the tribal name). Some think the term may 
originally have been the name of a locality in their country where 
these fish were abundant. Another translation of the name is "using 
red paint,"* but this is probably incorrect. 

Names given to them by Non-Salish Tribes. — Following is a list 
of names given by alien tribes to the Flathead group. The names 
followed by an asterisk are from the Handbook of American Indians. 

' Compare Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 2, under " Spokan, " where the Okanagon name for the Lower 
Spokan, sdlst szdstsi'tlini, is translated "people with bad heads." 

8 Compare Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., pt. 2, under "Spokan," where the name Sin-hu is translated 
^'people wearing red paint on their cheeks." 





Pend d'Oreilles 

Kalis pel 


Upper Kutenai.. 

A'kinuqla'lam ' 

lAkkokEno'kza, kokenCk-e 
" Leg or leggj- ' people "). 

("Red willow peo- 

a'ktmigidldm' * 


ku'shpelu', papsh- 
pun'lema' ("peo- 
ple of the great fir- 

(' river people") 

a'kinuqlalam '^ 
("compress side of 

kami'spalo ("camas 

ku'shpelu', papsh- 
pun'lema' ("peo- 
ple of the great fir- 


Yakima, Paloos, 


and Klickitat. 

Klamath and 




Koh-to'h-si>i-in' p-i-o* 

n i-he-ta-te-tu'p-i-o' 

Gros Ventres .. 

Kaakaddnin " ("Flat- 
head man"). 

Ka-ka-i-thi,' ("Flathead 

Ka-ko'-is-tsi-a-ta-n i-o' 
("people who flatten 
their heads"). 

Nebagindibe' ("flathead") 

Asuha'pe. Acuhape (said 
to mean "Flatheads"). 


Arapaho _. .. 




ak-mi'n-e-shu'-me' . 
ak-min-e- shu-me' 
("the tribe that 
uses canoes"). 

Hidatsa . . 


paBda-ska*, pao-bde'-ca* 
("head cornered or 

1 The Handbook of American Indians gives a form of this name as a Kutenai term for the Kalispel and 
Pend d'Oreilles. 

2 From the Salish name for the Little Spokan. 

3 From the Salish name for the Middle Spokan. 
> Probably a'ku'q.'nuk, lake. — F. B. 

' The same as the Kutenai name for Flathead. 

' From the name of a headquarters of the Pend d'Oreilles (see pp. 297, 312). 

' From Salish tongues. 

' Compare Nez Perce name for the Columbia. 

' A tribe east of the Columbia, above the Wallawalla, possibly the^ Spokan. 

■» See Kroeber, Ethnology of the Gros Ventres, Anthrop. Papers. -Vm. Mus. Xat. Hist., Vol. i, p. 147. 

In the sign language the Flathead were called "flat head" or 
"pressed side of the head." The Pend d'Oreilles and Kalispel were 
called "Paddlers" because they used bark canoes extensiveh^, while 
the Spokan are said to have had very few canoes; and the Flathead, 
SEmte'use, and Tund'xe had no canoes. The Pend d'Oreilles and 
Kalispel were differentiated by making the additional signs of "above" 
or "lake" for the former, and "below-" or "river" for the latter; i. e. 
"lake paddlers" and "river paddlers, " etc. The Pend d'Oreilles were 
also called "real paddlers" or simply "paddlers;" and the KaUspel, 
"camas-eaters, " "camas people," or " camas-diggers. " It seems 


that the last terms were applied to them almost exclusively by 
the Nez Perce and some other Shahaptian tribes. The Spokan 
were called "salmon-eaters" because they were the only tribe of the 
Flathead group who had salmon in their country, and naturally 
therefore, salmon was consumed a great deal by them. 

Names Given by Them to Other Tribes. — Following are names 
given to other tribes by the Flathead: 


Lower Fraser tribe TEmsiu', Lamsiu' (meaning uncertain). 

Lillooet SnxElami'ne ("ax people")- 

Shuswap . Sihwe'pe, Sihwe'pi (meaning uncertain, 

thought to mean "people at the root or 

bottom," supposed with reference to a low 

vaUey). ^^ 
Thompson or Couteau NukEtEme't'", Nko'tEvie'x", NkEtsml', 

Lu'kEtE-ine' (meaning uncertain, thought 

to be from the name of their country; 

some think it may mean "other-side 

country" or "people of the otlier slope"). 

Similkameen SEmilkami' (from the name of their country) . 

Okanagou OtcEndke', OtcEndqai' n, OtcEndkai'n (from 

the name of a place on Okanagon River). 
Sanpoil_- Npol'lce, Snpoi'lEXEc (meaning uncertain, 

said to be from tlie name of a place or 

district) . • 
Colville or Chaudiere Szoselpi, Sxoie'lpi (said to be derived from 

sxoie' , " stone' grainer for dressing hides"). 
Lake or Sinijextee Snai'tcstste or Snrai'tcEtste ("lake-trout 

Wenatchi SnpEskwd'use, or SnpEskwe'usi (from the 

name of a place) . 
Columbia Snkaid'use, Snkaie'use ^ (related to the 

term "Cayuse"). 
Coeur d'Alene Sici'tsui (meaning uncertain) . 


In general Sutomktske'lix ^^ ("down-country people," 

thought to be from the name of a place in 



Upper Kutenai Ska' hi' , Skalse' (from Skalse'ulk", Koo- 
tenai River) .'' Qaga'ten by the Tund'xe. 

Lower Kutenai or Flatbow Selkola', Sslkivola' . (meaning uncertain). 

Nez Perce Seha'pten, Saha' ptEne (meaning uncertain, 

thought to be from the name of their 

country) . 

' Compare the terms for Umatilla and Caynse. 

'« A general name for the tribes west of the Bitterroot Range, and particularly the Salishan and Shahaptian 
tribes of the Columbia drainage. The tribes of the Okanagon and Columbia groups, the Coeur d'Alene, 
Nez Perce, and other Shahaptian tribes, were particularly SutomkUke'lix. 

" The name of the river seems to be derived from skalt ("above, up country or to the north") and 
se'ulk" ("water or river"). See also Okanagon, p. 202, note 6. 




Wallawalla Sulawa', Suwalwa'le (meaning uncertain, 

thought to be from the name of a place) . 

Umatilla Kie'us,^^ Nkaie'itse, Ohema^^ (meaning un- 
certain) . 

Paloos StEkamlci'ni, Steqamtci'ne ("people of the 

confluence " with reference to the mouth of 
the Snake). 

Yakima la'qima, la'kEme (meaning uncertain). 

Cayuse Kail'iis^* (meaning uncertain, thought by 

some to be from the name of a place or 
district) . 

Wasco Watsqo'pe (thought to be from the name of a 

place) . 

Wasco and Dalles tribes SEnkaltu' ("above the falls"). 

Bannock" Axwe'slsa, Soxwai'tsa, oxhai'tsa, panak^^ 

(said to mean "bark covering" or "bark 
lodges" because the tribe formerly used 
lodges of bark or of bark and grass; some 
translate the name "striped robes," and 
others "striped covering," either covering 
of lodges or covering of the body [robes, 
for instance]; some Coeur d'Alene claim 
that "Bark Lodges" is the old name of 
the tribe, and "Striped Robes" a later 
name ">). 

Tribe unidentified, said to be sim- 
ilar to the Bannock; others say a 
tribe formerly living east of and 
near the Rocky Mountains. 

Shoshoni or Snake (in general) 

Lemhi Shoshoni (a general name) _ 

Shoshoni east and south of Lemhi ". 

General name for tribes to the 
south of the Flathead, group, 
particularly the Shoshonean 
tribes of the Rocky Mountains, 
and east of the Rockies, and 
others beyond to the south, in 
contradistinction to the tribes of 
the Columbia drainage or west 
of the Bitterroots ("down- 
country people") and the east- 
ern or Plains tribes ("cutthroat" 
or "sunrise" people). 

pi'liakEn (meaning uncertain, supposed to 
have some connection with "head"). 

Sno'wa, Sno'we' ("snake"). 
TcEtxwoi'stEn Sno'we (said to mean 

tain snake"). 
One'x" sno'ive ("real snake").* 


TcES7itokain s Tke'lix ("noon people" or 
" south people ") . 

'- Compare Columbia and Cayuse. 
" Compare the Coeur d'Alfne name for the Nez Percfi. 
" Compare names for Umatilla and Columbia. 
<" Called by the Columbia oxai'tsa. 
'' Probably a modern name. 

's In the sign language it seems that they were called by both names. 

' The Columbia call the Shoshoni of the Mountains Snaske'ntkox: those east of the mountaijs Sno'a. 
1" The Ute and several Shoshonean tribes to the south and east are said to have had special names. Nowa- 
days at least the Ute are often called Yii'ta, and the Comanche Kama'ntsi. 



General name for eastern tribes or (TcEle'tztin s'ke'.lix ("sunrise people" or 
all tribes east of the Salish, Sho-| "eastern people") Noxtu'. ("beheaders" 
shoni, and Blackfoot. [ or "cutthroats"). 

Sarsi Sarst'. This tribe is said to have been 

unknown long ago, and the name for them 
was adopted from the Blackfoot or the 
white traders. 

Blackfoot (proper) Stceqwe' , StcEkwe' . ("black feet").'* 

Blood SEnhwulstci'nt, Snxwidstci' nt ("blood 


Piegan TsEtsEmi'tsa' ("small robes"). 

Gros Ventres or Atsina Snkaioskestci' nt (said to mean something 

like saying "two" or "two [pole] people," 
probably with reference to tent-poles)." 

Arapaho.- Lapaho' , Ala' pho (a corruption of Arapaho). 

Cheyenne WEickaiu', Etckai'u', Tskakai'u', TcExkai 'u', 

Tsi'kEkai'u, Tskwai'u' (said to mean 
"blue [or black] arrows" or "blue arrow 
people," so named because the feathers of 
their arrows were striped blue and white, 
or black and white; according to others 
because their arrows were painted blue 
and white) .2" 

Cree . Noxtu' ("cutthroat" or "beheader"),^' LeA-rfi' 

(from the word "Cree" by way of the 
French) . 

Sioux Noxtu' ("cutthroat," " beheader ") .22 

Assiniboin Stkotunuxtu'^^ (said to mean "go on foot" 

or "people who go on foot or walk," because 
they had no horses at a time when all 
the tribes to the south and west of them 
were mounted). 

Crow Ste' mtci' {nt) ("raven people"). 

River Crow Skwais'tci' , Skwoistci'nt ("blue [or green] 

people") .2* 

Ojibway Ntcu'wa', Ntcu' a' . 

Iroquois yilikwe' (a corruption of the word "Iro- 

The Omaha and some other eastern tribes Ivnown in later times had 
names, but my informants had forgotten them. They were not sure 
of the name for the Kiowa. 

'* Some people think that these people were so named because they used black or dark-colored moccasins. 
People of the Thompson and several tribes sometimes blackened their moccasins in cold weather. 

' CaUed by the Columbia Stcemi'tsa. 

's In the sign language they were called "tent poles" and "big belly." 

2' In the sign language they were generally designated "arrows striped across." sometimes they were 
called "cutthroat of the south," 

21 In the sign language sometimes called "cutthroat of the north." A Coeur d'Al€ne sign language 
name for them is "striped noses" or "scratched noses." 

22 In the sign language often called "real cutthroat" or "cutthroat of the east." 

23 Compare form and meaning of this word with tuna'xe or kotund'xa, which I think means "people who 
walk down a valley." However, there may be no connection. 

2-1 In the sign language called "people who defecate by the riverside." 



Dialects. — The Pend d'Oreilles and Kalispel speak the same 
dialect. A branch of the latter living in the Chewelah district are 
said to have spoken slightly differently. The difl'erence was owing 
partly to contact with Colville and Spokan. The Flathead spoke a 
dialect slightly different from that of the Pend d'Oreilles. The 
difference is very slight at the present day, but was more pronounced 
formerly. The SEmte'use are said to have spoken like the Pend 
d'Oreilles, but with a difference in intonation and slight differences 
in the meaning and pronunciation of certain words. Their utter- 
ance is said to have been slower than that of the other tribes The 
Spokan divisions are said to have spoken all alike, and their speeck 
varied most from the Flathead. However, all these tribes had little 
or no difficulty in understanding one another, except the Tuna'xe 
(Salish-Tuna'xe). The speech of this tribe is said to have been 
Salish, but as much removed from the Flathead as the Coeur d'Alene, 
or more so.^^ 

Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles, it is said, could only partially under- 
stand them. Many of them, however, could speak Flathead, espe- 
cially those living farthest south; while those living farthest north, 
ne.xt the K.utenai-Tuna'xe, were practically bilingual, speaking both 
their own language and Kutenai about equally well. It is said that 
many Saiish.- Tuna'xe also spoke Blackfoot and Shoshoni as well as 
Flathead and Kutenai. 

Habitat and Boundaries.'^ Flathead Tribe. — It seems that two 
Salish tribes lived entirely east of the Continental Divide; the Flat- 
head and the Sahsh- Twna'xe. According to Flathead and Pend 
d'Oreille informants, long ago the Flathead tribe hved wholly east 
of the Rocky Mountains, where they occiipied a large tract of country. 
They were in several large detached bands, who made their head- 
quarters in certain places in the western part of their country, near 
the mountains, where conditions were best for wintering. Occasionally 
parties went west of the divide, into what are now the counties of 
Ravalli and Granite in Montana, but they never crossed the Bitter- 
root Range. Parties also went a considerable distance east in the 
summertime, some of them ranging around Bozeman and farther to 
the north. According to some informants, the former boundaries of 
the Flathead tribe were the Rocky Mountains on the west and south, 
and the Gallatin, Crazy Mountain, and Little Belt Ranges on' the 

25 According to the Flathead, the last person known to have spoken Tuna'xe died in 1870. This was a 
man of Salish Tuna'xe descent, who lived among the Kutenai in the Flathead Agency. JVIr. Myers, who 
carried on linguistic work with Mr. E. S. Curtiss, told me in 1910 that when in Montana he collected about 
10 words (all remembered of the Tuna'xe language) from an old Kutenai woman, and that these words 
show distinct relationship to the Salish languages. See also list of Tuna'xe words (given in vocabularies) 
preserved in Flathead and Pend d'Oreille personal names. AU these appear to be Salish. Also see list of 
Tuna'xe (Kutenai-Tuna'xe) words collected by me at Tobacco Plains, British Columbia. All these appear 
to be related to Kutenai. The first are with little doubt Salish-Tuna'ie words, and the latter Kutenai 

<< See footnote 29 on p. 305. Compare map in Forty-first Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn. 


east. Their approximate northern boundary seems to have cut across 
the Big Belt Range near its center, following some hilly country north 
of Helena, between the Rocky Mountains and Little Belt Mountains. 
The territory claimed by the tribe included practically all of the present 
counties of Deerlodge, Silver Bow, Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, 
Jefferson, and Broadwater, and parts of Park, Meagher, and Lewis 
and Clark. This is the country said to have been occupied by the 
tribe about 1600 (?) , when they obtained the first horses. The extreme 
eastern and southern parts of the territory may have been to some 
extent neutral ground, and the district east of the Big Belt and 
Bridger Ranges was possibly not very fully utilized before the intro- 
duction of the horse. About the time of the introduction of the horse 
the Flathead had for neighbors the Pend d'Oreilles, SEmte'use, and 
Salish-Ttina'-Te on the northwest and north, and Shoshonean tribes 
all around them on the southwest, south, and east. About this time 
the Crow, Gros Ventres, Arapaho, and Cheyenne were unknown, 
for they were not in contact with Sahsh tribes, and originally they 
lived far to the east. The Sarsi, Cree, and Assiniboin were also 
unknown. The only tribes on the Western Plains at this time, other 
than Salish, were Shoshoni, Kutenai,^^ and Blackfoot, all of which 
were well known. The Blackfoot people were then in three (some 
say four) divisions, as they are now,^*" all speaking the same language. 
There were two groups of Shoshoni — those who lived in and west of 
the Rocldes and those who lived east of the Rocldes, on the plains. 
Both of these divisions consisted of several tribes, some of them 
spealdng dialects considerably different from others. Most of them, 
however, spoke the "real Snake" language. Various Shoshonean 
bands or tribes occupied the Lemlii country, and the whole area south 
of the Nez Perce. These western or mountain Shoshoni subsisted to 
a considerable extent on salmon, like the Nez Perce, Spokan, and 
western Salish tribes. East of the Rockies, Shoshonean tribes occu- 
pied the Upper Yellowstone country, including the National Park, 
and they are said to have extended east to the Big Horn Mountains 
or beyond. To the south, both east and west of the Rocldes, the 
Flathead knew of no tribes that were not branches of the "Snake." 
Most of these people depended cluefly on hunting buffalo, elk, and 
mountain sheep. Farther north Shoshonean bands occupied the 
country around Livingston, Lewiston, and Denton. How far east 
and down the Yellowstone they extended is not known; but they are 
thought to have at one time held the country around Billings, and 
most, if not all, of the country where the Crow Indians now have a 
reservation. Some think they even stretched east almost to the 
present Northern Cheyenne Reserve. None of the former Shoshoni 
boundaries were properly known to the Flathead, however, except 

^ Kutenai-ThmS'xe. ^ Blackfoot proper, Blood, and Piegan. 



where they were theu" own neighbors or those of the Tund'xe. A 
large Shoshoni band lived at one time near Fort Benton and another 
one is said to have Uved still farther north. The Sweet Grass Hills, 
near the Canadian line, were considered to be the former north- 
western boundary of the Shoshoni. These liills were also the boimdary 
of the Kutenai, and possibly also of the Blackfoot.^* Northeastward 
Shoshoni are thought to have occupied the country to near Fort 
Assiniboin or Havre. How far they extended do\vn the Missouri is 
unlinown, but thej^ are said to have occupied the region to a con- 
siderable distance down on the south side. Although tribes or people 
were known to live east of the Shoshoni, it seems that long ago there 
was little contact between them.^^ At this period the western or 
mountain Shoshoni seldom crossed the Rockies, mth the exception 
of small parties, bent on trading and \'isiting the Shoshoni in the 
Yellowstone countr}^, and the Flathead. The Nez Perce and Coeur 
d'Alene never crossed the Rockies, and seldom the Bitterroot Range. 
However, small parties \asited the southern Pend d'Oreilles, where 
they were occasionally met by Flathead, who also visited there. 
Parties of Flathead also \'isited the mountain Snake, especially the ■ 
Lemhi, and they also visited Shoshoni bands on the Yellowstone. 

After the mountain Shoshoni had obtained horses they began to 
go east of the Rockies regularlj- in large numbers for buffalo hunting, 
sometimes joining forces with other Shoshonean bands who lived 
east of the range and sometimes hunting by themselves. Many of 
these parties skirted the mountains on the western side and then 
crossed into the Yellowstone Park, whence they went east or north. 
Others crossed the Rockies by passes farther north, and skirting the 
eastern foothills to the Gallatin Range went north on both sides of it 
to Livingston and beyond. Some of them went to the Musselshell 
River, and occasionally as far as Lewiston and Fort Benton; but it 
seems they did not cross the Missoiu"i. This whole territory belonged 
to Shoshonean tribes. The Bannock also began to cross the moun- 
tains, and some parties occasionally wintered on the east side. Many 
of them crossed to the north and passed east through the southern 
and eastern borders of the Flathead country by the Gallatin River 
and Bozeman. In later days some of them went by Beaver Head 
River and Dillon. The Bannock generally hunted by themselves, 
and usually did not go as far east and north as some of the mountain 
Shoshoni. At a later date the Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene also 
began to hunt buffaloes east of the Rocldes. The Coeur d'Alene 

28 Some say at a later date the Gros Ventres also reached there. 

-8 The disposition of tribes as above stated appears to agree with information obtained from the Blacli- 
foot. (c, p. 17). Wissler says, "The Piegan claim that before the white man dominated their country 
[an uncertain date, probably 1750-1S40] the Blackfoot, Blood and Piegan lived north of JNIacleod; tlie Ku- 
tenai in the vicinity of the present Blood Reserve; the Gros Ventres and the Assiniboin to the east of the 
Kootenai; the Snake on the Teton River, and as far north as Two Medicine River; and the Flathead on 
the Sun River." 


probably started at an earlier date than the Nez Perce. Both tribes 
passed through Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead territories, and went 
first at the invitation of the Flathead. Before the days of horses 
the tribes did not hunt so far away from home. They seldom hunted 
beyond the borders of their respective territories, except in the case 
of small parties engaged in intertribal visits. In those days peace 
generally prevailed among the various tribes and there was no con- 
tinual warfare like that wliich developed after the introduction of 
the horse and the migrations of eastern tribes westward and of 
Blackfoot tribes southward. 

The Tuna'xe {or SalisJi-Tund'xe). — The country of the Tund'xe 
was also altogether east of the Continental Divide and immediately 
north of the Flathead. They extended westward to the Rocky 
Mountains. Their southern limits are rather vague and there may 
have been no very clear dividing line between them and the nearest 
bands of Flathead. The dividing line seems to have been some- 
where between Marysville and Helena. Their eastern boundary 
seems to have been along the Big Belt Range, north to Great Falls. 
Beyond this point it swerved northwestward, apparently excluding 
the Teton River, or at least its lower part, to a point somewhere near 
Conrad, whence it struck westerly to the Rockies. It did not extend 
as far north as the present Blackfoot and Piegan Reservation in 
Montana. Their^ territory embraced parts of what are now the 
counties of Teton, Lewis and Clark, and Cascade. Immediately 
north of the Tund'xe hved the Kutenai, according to the Flathead, 
or the tribe called Tond'xa or Kutond'xa by the Upper Kutenai. 
The Tund'xe of the Flathead were considered Salish by the Kutenai, 
who often called them "Sun River people" or sunply referred to 
them as "Flathead." The Blackfoot also considered them Salish.^" 
It seems strange that the Flathead should call a Salish tribe by the 
same name as the Kutenai give to a Kutenai tribe, and there may 
possibly be some confusion among Flathead informants respecting 
the tribal names. 

The Upper Kutenai say there were three tribes of Kutenai people, 
each spealdng slightly different dialects of the Kutenai language — 
(1) the Lower Kutenai, on Kootenai Lake, and the Kootenai River 
above the lake; (2) the Upper Kutenai on Upper Kootenai River, 
north to the head of the Columbia, and extending into the Rockies; 
(3) the Kutona'xa, Tond'xa, or Tuna'xa, east of the Rocky Mountains. 
The last-named at one time occupied a considerable territory in 
what are now Alberta and Montana, extending east to the Sweet 
Grass Hills, and including at least the greater portion of the present 

"> See note 29. The names Tuna'xe and Tona'za are undoubtedly forms of the name by which the 
Kutenai designate themselves Ktun'xa. The derivation may be k-participle; tun- (Lower Kutenai) 
out of the woods; ax(e) to go. According to the present form of the language "those who go out of the 
woods" would be Ktuna'xam. — F. Boas. 


Blood Reserve in Alberta and all of the Blackfoot Reservation in 
Montana. Northward Kutenai territory extended on the east side of 
the Rockies to a distance about equal to the northern limits of the 
former limiting grounds of the Upper Kutenai, west of the range or 
possibly even a little farther north; but it is not clear whether this 
northeastern strip of coimtry belonged to the Upper Kutenai or to 
the Kutenai- Tw/io'xcf. Presumably it belonged to the former. It 
included the country around Banff and probably all the present 
reservation of the Stony or Assiniboin Indians on the Bow River.^^ 
On the south then- boundaries coincided with the northern limits of 
the Sun River Salish (the tribe called Tund'xe by my principal 
Flathead informant). This eastern or Plains Kutenai tribe was 
composed of several bands, most of whom made then headquarters 
in the eastern footliills of the Rocldes, on both sides of the inter- 
national boundary; but a large band hved at one time on the present 
Blood Reservation. The main seat of the tribe was near the place 
now called Brownmg, in Montana. To prevent confusion I have 
named this tribe Kutenai- Tuna' xe, and the Tund'xe of Flathead and 
Pend d'Oreilles informants, S&lish- Tund'xe. The latter had for 
neighbors Kwten&i- Tuna' xe on the north, the SEinte'use on the west, 
Flathead on the south, and Shoshoni neighbors on the east. It seems 
that the Kutenai- Tufta'xe had Shoshoni on part of their boundary to 
the southeast, Blackfoot (probably Piegan) on the east and north, 
Upper Kutenai and Pend d'Oreilles on the west, and Sahsh-T?47?a'a-e on 
the south. It is claimed that at this tinie there were no Sarsi or 
Assiniboin m that part of the country .^'- 

The Ssmte'use or SE/ntd'use. — The territoiy of the SEinte'use lay 
immediately west of the Rocky Mountains, in what is now Powell 
County, and in parts of Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Granite 
Counties. Then southern boundary seems to have run in a line 
from Garrison or Deerlodge to Missoula, and their western bound- 
ary northeasterly to a point in the Rockies m the neighborhood of 
the northern end of Powell County, their territoiy thus forming a 
wedge to the north. The former ownersliip of the triangular piece 
of country forming the southern part of Granite County, with Phil- 
lipsburg as a center, is uncertain, but it probably belonged to the 
SEmte'use. Some claim it to have been occupied by Flathead. In 
later times it was occupied chiefly by them. The SEmte'use were 

" According totradition, the Stony (or Assiniboin) were not in tlio Roel^y Mountains long ago; they were 
east of the Kutenai- Tuna'-r« and Blackfoot. Later some of them appeared in the Bow River region, around 
BantT and Morley. At a still later date Shuswap also appeared in this region. They were allies of the 
Stony. It seems that the Assiniboin came in along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from the northeast or 

'-' The Sarsi, it seems, were not known until comparatively late times. Their home is supposed to have 
been to the north of the Blackfoot, while the original home of the .\ssiniboin is considered to have been 
somewhere to the east of the Blackfoot. The Ores Ventres (or Atslna) were also to the east or southeast 
of the latter. 


thus entirely surrounded by Salish tribes — the Sidish-Tund' xe on the 
east, the Flathead on the south, and the Pend d'Oreilles on the west. 

TJie Pend d'Oreilles. — The Pend d'Oreilles occupied all the Flathead 
Lake and Flathead River country, the Little Bitterroot, the Pend 
d'Oreille River west to about Plains, the Fork and Missoula Rivers to 
about Missoula. Northward they extended to about the British 
Columbia line. The original owners of that part of Flathead River 
that is in British Columbia is uncertain, as some informants of both 
the Pend d'Oreilles and Upper Kutenai claim it as hunting territory 
of their respective tribes. In later da3'S it seems to have been used 
principally by the Upper Kutenai. The Lewis and Clark National 
Forest and the Flathead Indian Reserve are both in old Pend 
d'Oreilles territory. To the south they extended as far as the Se'ijiU'- 
use (near Missoula). Thus they occupied the greater part of Flat- 
head and Missoula Counties. According to some informants, all 
of Ravalli County was also claimed b)^ the Pend d'Oreilles, al- 
though the Flathead occupied it a long time ago. It seems not 
unhkely that the Pend d'Oreilles of this part of the country, the 
SEmte'use of Granite Coimty, and the nearest Flathead bands were 
closely related and the boundaries between them not very well de- 
fined. Pend d'Oreilles territory narrowed down in the extreme north 
and south, and was partly bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the 
east and the Bitterroot Mountains on the west. The tribe had for 
neighbors the SEmte'use, Salish-rwna'jce, and TsMienoi-Tund' xe along 
the east; Upper Kutenai on the north; Kalispel, Coeur d'Alene, and 
Nez Perce, along the west; and Shoshoni and Flathead, south. After 
the extinction of the Salish-J'u7?,a'.re the Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles, 
as then- nearest relatives, laid claim to their country, and used it as 
their hunting ground. The Pend d'Oreilles used chiefly the northern 
part and the Flathead the southern; the approximate dividing line 
seems to have been across Sun River. Later, after the extinction of 
the SEmte'use, the Pend d'Oreilles, claiming to be the tribe most 
closely related to them, occupied their country for hunting and root 
digging, including their large camas grounds near Missoula. The 
latter, however, were also used to some extent by the Flathead. 

The Kalispel. — The Kalispel occupied a rather narrow strip of country 
following Pend d'Oreille River, up to Plains and thence north, taking in 
Thompson Lake and Norse Plains. They divided the Kutenai from 
the Coeur d'Alene. This included most of Sanders County, Mon- 
tana; the country around Pend d'Oreille Lake and Priests Lake in 
Idaho; and nearly all of Pend d'Oreille River within the State of 
Washington. A small corner of their hunting country extended into 
the Salmon River district in British Columbia. A division speaking 
a shghtly different dialect also occupied the Chewelah district on the 
confines of the Colville tribe. The Kalispel were thus bounded by 



Lower Kutenai on the north, Colville and Lake on the west, Spokan 
and Coeur d'Alene on the south, and the Pend d'Oreilles on the east. 

Tfie Spokan. — The Spokan occupied that part of eastern Wasliing- 
ton mimediately south of the KaUspel and west of the Coeur d'Alene. 
It seems that the bulk of the tribe was on the Spokane and Little 
Spokane Rivers. South they claimed the countiy to Cow Creek, 
and, according to some, along tliis creek almost or quite to Palouse 
River. North their country embraced the present Spokan Reserva- 
tion, Loon Lake, Deer Park Lake, Peone Prairie, and all the north- 
ern feeders of the Spokane. Their western boimdary seems to have 
been approximately a line running about due south from the mouth 
of Spokane River and passing through Ritzville. The Spokan 
hardly touched Columbia River at an}^ point. They had for neigh- 
bors the Coeur d'Alene on the east, the Kalispel and Colville on the 
north, the Sanpoil and Columbia on the west, and the Paloos on 
the south.^^ 

Physical Characteristics of thk Country. — The country for- 
merly inhabited by the Spokan is arid in the lower valleys, but at 
higher levels very much of it consists of rolling, grass-covered pla- 
teaus and prairies with comparatively little timber. Much of the 
northern part of the Pend d'Oreilles country and most of the Kalispel 
country are more or less heavily forested. A great deal of it is hilly 
or mountainous, but there are also many flat open parts and meadows 
with luxuriant grass. Altogether the territories of the Flathead group 
of tribes were exceedingly diversified in natural features, rich in food 
supphes, and had good climatic conditions. 

Divisions, Bands, and Headquarters. The Flathead. — It seems 
now impossible to get a full' list of the bands of the Flathead tribe 
previous to their change of organization brought about by the intro- 
duction of the horse and subsequent prolonged wars with the Black- 
foot. It appears that there were at least four distinct bands having 
their main winter camps in the western parts of the country. Of 
these, it seems that one was on a river near Helena, one near Butte, 
another smaller one somewhere east of Butte, and one somewhere in 
the Big Hole Valley. The Big Hole and Helena bands are said to have 
been large. There are traditions of two other bands, making prob- 
ably six in all, but I did not learn the localities in which they had 
their headquarters. It seems that some of the bands did not always 
winter in the same locality, wliile others did. It is said that some 
parties wintered alternately at widely separate places in the eastern 
part of the country. The inference is that some were nomadic to a 
large extent, while others, probably the majority, generally ^vintered 
in definite "home" localities. In the fair season it seems that most 

"If the Paloos are newcomers then they may have had the Nez Perce as southern neighbors; but the 
main settlements of the two tribes were far apart. 


of them, perhaps all, divided into two or more parties, who traveled 
in different directions from one seasonal ground to another, hunting, 
root digging, berrying, visiting, and trading. Some of these parties 
traveled considerable distances on these trips. In the summertime 
bands of Flathead might be met with in the valleys of the Big Hole, 
Beaver Head, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers, and in the country 
north to Helena, as well as at points within the boundaries of their 
neighbors in the Bitterroot Valley and elsewhere. Parties also 
frequented the upper portions of Shield Creek and the Musselshell; 
but this may have been in later days, after the introduction of horses. ^^ 
Changed conditions, wrought by the adoption of the horse, the impor- 
tance of buffalo hunting, and wars with the Blackfoot appear to have 
resulted in the breaking up of the old system of geographically local- 
ized bands and to have forced the tribe to live together as a unit. 
In the summer the tribe split into two or three large parties, who 
came together for the winter in a single large camp or in two camps 
close together. Sometimes, for protection, the tribe remained united 
during the whole year. In later times they wintered as far west as 
possible, according to some, in Pend d'Oreilles territory. TTka'lEm,Els ^^ 
("thick bushes" or "willow bushes"), now known as Stevensville, in 
the Bitterroot Valley, was for many years their main winter camp. 
In the schedule of Indian Reserves '^'^ the Flathead appear to be 
divided into three bands — the Bitterroot, Carlos band, and the 

Tlie Salish-Tuna' xe. — The number and locations of the Salish- 
Tuna'xe bands are not fully remembered. It seems that there were 
at least four main divisions. The largest band is said to have had 
their headquarters at a place called SEnsu'lcol (said to mean "ice 
piled up") on Sun River, near Fort Shaw. This was considered the 
. main seat of the tribe. Another band wintered at Seusu'sJcuI (said 
to mean "little ice piled up"), also on Sun River; a third division 
had their headquarters on Dearborn River; and a fourth generally 
made their main camp somewhere near Great Falls, but whether on 
the main Missouri or at the mouth of a tributary stream is not clear. 
A fifth band is sometimes spoken of as having lived farther north and 
west, in the foothills of the Rockies, at the heads of some small 
streams near some little lakes. The people of this band were mixed 
with Kutenai and it is not quite certain whether they belonged 
properly to the Salish- Tuna' xe or to the Kutenai- jrM.7ia'jfe. 

(In a later communication Mr. Teit sent the following information 
obtained from the Kutenai.) There were two bands with separate 
chiefs that lived together near Browning, Mont, (on the present 

3* Some people think that very long ago there were scattered bands located more or less permanently 
at all those places. 
'5 Compare Ka'lEmix flist of Okanagon villages, p. 206, No. 3). 
36 Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, 1905, p. 495. 



Blackfoot or South Piegan Reserve), and this place was considered 
their headquarters. Here their old camp sites may be found, although 
now covered with earth. When the earth is dug away the tent circles 
may be seen, and the fireplaces. According to John Star, numbers 
of these circles of stones have been unearthed in this vicinity. Chief 
Paul told me that when a young man he had seen the remains of a 
great Tuna'xe camp in the country south of Macleod in the foothills, 
the circles of stones for their tipis being traceable for a distance of 
about 5 mUes. The KakwagEmEtu'lcEnik! lived just north of them. 
They spoke the same dialect as the Upper Kutenai of Tobacco 
Plains and Fort Steele (?). They are said to have had their head- 
quarters in the heart of the Rockies in the Crow's Nest Pass near 
Michel, British Columbia, and to have hunted on both sides of the 
divide. They are reported to have been killed off by an epidemic 
and the few survivors scattered. A very few of them settled among 
other bands of Kutenai as far north as Windermere. As the country 
around Macleod and south some distance is exposed to violent winds, 
stones would naturally be requisite for placing against the lodge poles 
to help steady the lodges. 

The SEmte'use. — The Ssmte'use also were in several bands, win- 
tering at different places. Before the introduction of the horse the 
largest band was on Big Blackfoot River, which was considered the 
headquarters of the tribe. Sonne people lived on the Little Blackfoot 
and Sahnon-Trout Rivers, but it is not clear whether they formed 
separate bands. One or two bands occupied the Missoula River 
country. It seems that one of these had headquarters near a place 
called StoZsa'^'' or Eple'thwa^^ ("possessing camas"), later known 
as "Big Camas" or "Camas Prairie," between the Missoula and Big 
Blackfoot. Some think that a smaller band had headquarters near 
Deer Lodge and maybe Phillipsburg, but some informants assign 
this place to the Flathead. Anaconda is reckoned to be in old Flat- 
head territory. In later days the tribe became more concentrated, 
and their main camp seems to have been near Camas Prairie. 

Tlie Pend d'Oreilles. — It seems that the earhest recognized main 
seat of the Pend d'Oreilles was at Flathead Lake. According to some 
informants, there were four main divisions of the tribe, ^^ with head- 
quarters in different parts of the country. Of these, probably the 
Flathead Lake people were the most important. They appear to 
have had several winter camps in the vicinity of the lake. Whether 
each camp or village was considered a separate band is not clear. It 
appears that some people lived north of the lake, with their main 

3' Said to be the SEmte'use name. The name may be connected with camas. 
's Said to be the Flathead name. 

" Some say that each tribe of the Flathead group was divided into four bands or divisions, but this seems 
an attempt at more or less conscious systematization. 


camp near Kalispel, and possibly a smaller one near Columbia Falls. 
Other people lived west of the lake, with headquarters probably at 
or near Dayton, and there were others near Poison at the foot of the 
lake. There were also winter camps lower down, near Jocko, Dixon, 
Ravalli, and at other places. A number of Pend d'Oreilles hved near 
Camas Prairie and at other places on the Missoula; but this may 
have been after the extinction of the SEVite'use, as this place was 
considered to be on the territory of the latter. It seems that Pend 
d'Oreilles sometimes also wintered on the Bitterroot. A large 
band wintered at Snye'lEmEn'^° or Snia'lEm.En , near the present St. 
Ignatius Mission. Some time after the introduction of the horse 
this place became the main seat of the tribe, and Flathead Lake lost 
its importance. The same conditions which forced the Flathead to 
concentrate affected the Pend d'Oreilles also, but perhaps to not 
quite the same extent. It is said that about 1810 to 1830 nearly 
the whole tribe wmtered in a single large camp at St. Ignatius Mission 
in the same way as the Flathead did at Stevensville. There are some 
indications that the Pend d'Oreilles at one tune may have been in 
two divisions, a northern and a southern, each comprising a number 
of bands. 

The Kalispel. — The Kalispel, it seems, were at one time in three 
divisions: (1) The Upper Kalispel, sometimes called NtsEmtsi'ni 
("people of the confluence," from ntsEmism, "entrance, outlet, or 
confluence, " a place at the outlet of Pend Oreille Lake, where a 
considerable band of them formerly wintered). (2) The Lower 
Kalispel, often called "the Kalispel" or "real Kalispel," and some- 
times "camas people" and '^ Kalis pe'm." They are said to have 
been so called because they occupied the Kalispel country proper, 
the district around Kalispe'lEm or Kalispe'm, the name of the large 
camas prauie west of the Pend Oreille River, near Calispell Lake, 
Washington. (3) The Chewelah, generally called Sldte'use, and 
sometimes Tsenti's. In later days they were often called Chewelah 
by whites and Indians (from Tceivi'la oxTcuwl'la, the name of one of 
theii' principal winter camps near Chewelah, Wash.). Some people 
considered these people a tribe different from the Kalispel, as they 
spoke a slightly different dialect and lived by themselves. However, 
they recognized their very close relationship to the Kalispel. I did 
not succeed in getting a full list of Kalispel bands, but it seems that 
there were several in each division. There were probably at least 
two bands of the Chewelah, as some people speak of their having had 
two winter camps. In fair weather some of them camped near 
Newport and Fool's Prairie, where they often remained many weeks. 
They also repaired regularly to Calispell Lake, where they dug 
camas with the Lower Kalispel. They occupied the coimtry west of 

<" Said to mean "encircled" or "surrounded," some say because of gi'oves of bushes and trees forming a 
circle, and by others because elk used to be surrounded at this place. 


the Calispell or Chewelah Mountains in the upper part of the Colville 
Valley. The Lower KaUspel country was also nearly all in the State 
of Washington, where they occupied the Lower Pend Oreille River 
from about Newport down. This division is said to have had their 
headquarters on the east side of the Pend Oreille River, near Usk 
and Cusiek, at a little creek called Tsu'lcol (said to be from the name 
of the little water ouzel or dipper, because these bnds were plentiful 
at this place). There were other winter camps on the river, most of 
them on the east side, and all within a radius of about 9 miles of 
this place. The present-day Lower Kalispel, consisting of Chief 
Marcellin's band, still live in this neighborhood. They refused to 
go on the Colville and other reserves, and lately had a strip of land 
reserved for them here. It appears that a small band formerly 
wintered at StlJcamtsl'n ("confluence"), near the mouth of the Calis- 
pell River. Another old camp or village was at Nye'yot, now called 
Indian Creek, on the east side of the river, about nine miles below 
Newport, where there is an island in the river. According to some, 
the main camp of the Lower Kalispel long ago was at a place on 
Pend Oreille River called Stsei'a, in the district where Chief Marcel- 
lin's band still live. The Upper Kalispel occupied all the tribal terri- 
tory now within Idaho and Montana. Besides the band that formerly 
wintered at the outlet of Pend Oreille Lake, a band had head- 
quarters at Shwe'vn' ("portage"), on the east bank of the river, at 
Albany Falls, and another at Qapqape' ("sand"), near Sand Point; 
and there are said to have been smaller bands at other places. In 
later times a band called "Camas Prairie" Kalispel, numbering 
about fifteen lodges, had their headquarters near the confines of the 
Pend d'Oreilles. A few descendants of this band are now on the 
Flathead Reserve. In later years the Pend Oreille Lake band often 
shifted their winter camps to various places within their territory, 
and occasionally many of them wintered with the Lower Kalispel. 
It is uncertain whether any band had regular headquarters at New- 
port, but people occasionally wintered there. 

TTie Spolmn. — The Spokan were in three main groups:*' (1) The 
Lower -Spokan, occupying the mouth and lower part of Spokane 
River, including the present Spokan Indian Reserve. (2) The 
Upper Spokan, or Little Spokan, occupying the Little Spokane River 
and all the country east of the Lower Spokan to within the borders of 
Idaho. Part of their territory formed a wedge between the Coeur 
d'Alene and Kalispel. The plateau country south of Spokane 
River, around Davenport and toward Palouse, was used as a sum- 
mering and hunting ground by both these divisions, and it seems there 
was no distinct fine here between them. (3) The South or Middle 

" For the Indian names of these divisions, see p. 298. 
- 41383°— 30 21 


Spokan occupied the whole Hangmans Creek country, extending south 
along the borders of the Coeur d'Alene. It seems that they did not 
go west of Cheney. There were several bands of these divisions but 
I did not obtain their names and locations. A band called 
Sntsuwe'stsEne lived at the head of the Little Spokane Kiver. 

Population. — Informants agree that a long time ago the people of 
all the Flathead tribes were very numerous, but it is impossible to 
obtain any definite estimate of what the population was in early 
times. The oldest estimates I obtained were based on the number 
of lodges in winter camps about 1850. Most of these vary so much 
that they are of little value. This may be due partly to the fact that 
the number of people dwelling at certain points varied in different 
winters. Thus the number of lodges of the Kalispel in the winter 
camp or village at the outlet of Pend d 'Oreille Lake is stated to have 
been not over 8 some winters, and in other winters as many as 15, 
while occasionally there were only 2 or 3, or even none at all. Like- 
wise, at a place on Spokane River there were often 6 lodges, but some 
winters there were as many as 12, and occasionally 1 or 2 or none 
at all. At a time before horses were in general use the number of 
lodges to the winter camp probably did not fluctuate so much, so that 
many places had nearly the same number of inhabitants every winter, 
thus corresponding to conditions found formerly among the Coeur 
d'Alene and other tribes. Of the Spokan, the upper division is said 
to have been the most numerous. The Lower Spokan were not so 
many; while the Middle Spokan were always a small body, numbering 
only a few hundred. A story is told relating the reason for their small 
numbers.''^ The whole Spokan tribe is said to have numbered more 
people than the Coeur d'Alene, immediately prior to the advent of the 
fur traders; the Kalispel about the same as the Spokan; and the Pend 
d'Oreilles more than either. The Flathead numbered less than the 
Pend d'Oreilles, but it is said that they were much reduced by wars. 
Some say that tradition relates they were at one time the most popu- 
lous and important tribe of the Flathead group, being considered the 
head tribe of the group. The Ssmte'use and the Salish- Tuna' xe were 
said to be less in numbers than the Pend d'Oreilles. It thus seems 
possible that the total population of the Flathead tribes some time 
after the introduction of the horse, or before the beginning of the wars 
with the Blackfoot, may have been in the neighborhood of 15,000.^^ 
The Lewis and Clark estimates ^^ around 1805-06, of 600 for the Spo- 
kan, 1,600 for the Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles, and 600 for the Flat- 

<2 Folk-Tales of Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes. Memoirs American Folk-lore Society, vol. xi, p. 122. 

" Revais stated that about 1860, and perhaps later, the traders estimated the Spokan, Kalispel, and Pend 
d'Oreilles each to have numbered about 1,000. The Flathead were considered to have numbered a little 
less, making perhaps a total of about 3.500 to 3,800 for the four tribes. The Kutenai on both sides of the line 
were thought to number less than 2,000; and the Nez Perce, from 3,000 to 3,500. 

<J See Bull. 30, Bur. .\.mer. Ethn. 




head, are probably much too low for the time. The present-day 
population of the tribes, as given by the United States Department of 
Indian Affairs, is — 

Flathead (Flathead Reservation, Mont.) 

Pend d'Oreilles (Flathead Reservation, 


Kalispel (Flathead Reservation, Mont.) 

Kalispel (Colville Agencj', Wash.) 

Spokan (Flathead Reservation, Mont.) ^ 

Spokan (Colville Agency, Wash.): 

Upper and Middle 

Lower 1 

Spokan (Coeur d'Alene Reservation, Idaho) _ 
Okanagon (Colville Agency, Wash.) : 

Northern half 

Southern half 

Coeur d'Alene (Coeur d'Alene Reservation, 

Total 3 

1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 


1 98 



























3, 179 























1 It is not clear whether this refers to Kalispel actually on the Colville Reserve or to the nontreaty band 
of Chief Marcellin living at their old home on Pend Oreille River. If these are not meant, the number of 
MarceUin's band should be added (about 100). It is said that a number of Chewelah Kalispel have allot- 
ments near Chewelah, and it is not clear whether they are included in the Kalispel under the Colville 

' According to Michel Revais, the Spokan on the Flathead Reserve are nearly all Upper Spokan. There 
are a few Middle or Hangman's Spokan. 

3 The single figures and totals show that the census is approximate. 

The chief reasons assigned for the great decrease in the population 
of the tribes ai'e epidemics and wars. Almost the whole Salish- 
Tund'xe and the greater part of the SEinte'use are said to have been 
killed off in wars. The survivors were nearly all swept off by small- 
pox about 1800. The Flathead are said to have been reduced to 
nearly half at the same time. The disease is said to have come from 
the Crow, passed through the Flathead to the SEmte'use, Pend 
d'Oreilles, and Kalispel, and on to the Spokan and Colville, even- 
tually dying out among the Salish tribes of the Columbia River. 
The Shahaptian tribes are said to have escaped or to have been only 
slightly affected. The Pend d'Oreilles, Kalispel, Spokan, Colville, 
and Columbia all suffered severely; but the disease is said to have 
been worst among the Spokan, whole bands of whom were wiped out. 
Michel Revais told me the following regarding this epidemic: "Small- 
pox came, it is said, from the Crow. This was in the wintertime 
about 100 years ago. The people were in theii" winter camps. My 
grandmother was a little girl at the time, and living at Ntsuwe' ('little 


creek'), the first creek below Dixon, Mont. The father of my father- 
in-law was a little boy, and living at Kalispe'lEm, eastern Washing- 
ton. Both of them took the disease, but survived. The Flathead 
suffered severely. Before this time they had a large poi^ulation. It 
spread to the Pend d'Oreilles, then down to the Kalispel, the Col- 
ville, and finally down Columbia River. So many people died in 
some places that the lodges were full of corpses. Some of the 'long 
lodges' were quite full of dead and dying people. So many people 
died that they could not be buried, and the dogs ate the bodies." 
About 1847 measles spread over the country, and many died. The 
Columbia River tribes did not suffer much, but a great many deaths 
occurred among the Spokan. Revais said that many of the Spokan 
tried to cure themselves by sweat bathing and bathing in cold water, 
and all who did this died. Two white men called Walker and Lee, 
from Walker's Prairie, went among them and told them to keep dry 
and warm. After this very few died. 

Migrations and Movements of Tribes. — Traditions of migra- 
tions refer principally to movements of tribes caused by wars. The 
most conspicuous changes of location were a southern movement of 
the Blackfoot and a western movement of the Crow and other 
Plains tribes. So far, as known to the Flathead, the former migration 
was the earlier. The aggressions of these tribes resulted in forcing a 
general retirement to the south and west of the tribes occupying the 
western fringe of the plains, between latitudes 43° and 52°. The 
Shoshoni were forced south and west. Some bands were permanently, 
others temporarily, displaced; a few may have been destroyed. The 
Kutenai-T't/./j.a'.re, Salish- Tuna' xe, and SEmte'use, and possibly cer- 
tain small bands of Upper Kutenai were driven west. All the Flat- 
head moved westward. The Mountain Shoshoni and Bannock 
buffalo-hunting parties were driven west of the mountains. The 
Pend d'Oreilles and certain Kutenai moved southward and other 
Kutenai northward. For a time the buffalo hunting of the mountain 
Shoshoni, Bannock, Flathead, and possibly some Kutenai bands was 
partially discontinued. The Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles concen- 
trated in large groups. At the instance of the Flathead, the Salish 
and other western tribes began to cooperate in buffalo hunting, war, 
and mutual protection. This resulted in the invasion of the plains 
for hunting and war by the Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, and other 
plateau tribes; the checking of further invasion and displacement by 
eastern tribes; the reoccupation of certain territories by the western 
tribes, and resumption of bufi'alo hunting. 

The incidents of these tribal movements were as follows: At a time 
about six or seven generations ago (about 1700 or 1750), just before 
the Blackfoot began to have horses, war parties of Blackfoot attacked 
the Sslish- Tuna' xe. At this time the Shoshoni had plenty of horses, 



the S&lish.- Tuna' xe and Flathead had them, the Kutenai had none, 
and the Kutenai- Tuna' xe few or none. About this time the bands of 
Shoshoni Uving in the coiintr}^ north and east of the Qalish- Tuna' xe 
were attacked. Blackfoot parties in great force appeared persist- 
ently, and drove the Shoshoni out of the coimtry, killing numbers of 
them. Finally all the Shoshoni disappeared south of the Missouri, 
and no Shoshoni came near the Missoiu-i again for many years. The 
people of some bands were nearly all killed ofi", while others fled to the 
south. Some of them migrated a long distance, in order to be out of 
reach of the Blackfoot, and it is not known where they settled. None 
of them, except perhaps a few stragglers, went west into the moun- 
tains, and none stayed east of the mountains anywhere north of the 
Yellowstone. They went to a distant country and disappeared. 
Some of them may have been Idlled by the Crow." At about the 
same time, when the Shoshoni were first attacked, the Blackfoot may 
also have driven out the more northern bands of Kutenai (the Kutenai- 
Tuna'xe) that lived east of the mountains. Information obtained 
from the Kutenai agrees with this. The attacks of the Blackfoot on 
the Salish-2\(7ia'xe continued, and for a number of years there existed 
a constant warfare between these tribes. The Salish-T-una'a-e were a 
strong, wealthy, warlike tribe, and noted for coiu-age. They resisted 
the Blackfoot stoutly, but at last were reduced to a remnant that 
lived at one place on Sun River. Here they held out for some time, 
but finally they were overwhelmed and completely scattered. Some 
were made slaves by the Blackfoot and others were adopted as mem- 
bers of the tribe. Some escaped and took refuge among western 
tribes. Most of them crossed the Rockies and settled among the 
Kutenai and Pend d'Oreilles. A number settled among the Flathead 
and a few among the Kalispel and even the Colville. Some strayed 
farther away and settled among the Nez Perce and mountain Shoshoni. 
A very few took refuge among the Crow, but none among the Coeur 
d'Alene. Shortly before the final brealdng up of the tribe, a band 
of them migrated east and nothing further was heard of them. 
Another band went somewhere south of the Missomi, where after 
a time they were attacked by either Blackfoot or Crow and most 
of them were killed. The remnants settled among the mountain 
Shoshoni and Bannock. Some Tuna'xe died of a disease of some Idnd. 
(At a later time Mr. Teit writes, basing his statement on informa- 
tion obtained from the Kutenai) : The tribe had no horses and no 
guns. At some time, long ago, one of the bands living near Brown- 
ing was visited by an epidemic, perhaps smallpox, and all died except 

" In answer to queries, I gained no information from the Flathead regarding the Comanche and Kiowa 
having lived in the north on the confines of the Flathead country. If thej' ever lived there they may have 
been considered Shoshoni, perhaps included among the Shoshonean bands who migrated south at the 
beginning of the wars with the Blackfoot. Neither did I get any information as to the Bannock having 
lived east of the mountains. Some of them occasionally wintered there, but their headquarters were 
around Fort Uall. 


nine, who became well through the ministrations of a young woman 
(called the younger sister). This girl had an elder sister married to 
a man of the other band, and lived among them. The nine survivors 
went to take up their abode with their friends of the other band, but 
the latter would not let them near for they were afraid of contagion. 
At last they allowed the girl to join her sister. The other eight then 
left the country, crossed the mountains to the west and settled among 
the Pend d'Oreilles. Some years afterwards the remaining large band 
disappeared, and it is not known whether they were exterminated by 
the Blackfoot or some other tribe, died of smallpox, or migrated. It 
is generally believed that they went off in a body to some distant 
country where their descendants are now living. 

After the disruption of the Salish-Tund'xe, Blackfoot parties began 
to enter the Flathead country and to attack the Flathead who entered 
in the northern and eastern parts of the tribal territory. Many were 
killed. The rest forsook their former homes and retired farther south 
and west. The Blackfoot raids continued until all the Flathead 
concentrated for protection and moved west into the mountains. 

All the tribes who had formerly inhabited the plains along the 
eastern side of the Rockies in this region had now disappeared, while 
the mountain Shoshoni and Bannock, who had for some time been in 
the habit of going east for buffalo hunting, were now, like the Flat- 
head, obliged to remain west in the mountains and hunt buffalo at 
short range. The whole country along the eastern foot of the Rocldes, 
north of the Yellowstone, was in possession of the Blackfoot and had 
become very dangerous ground. The entire Flathead tribe now 
wintered in the Bitterroot Valley, generally in a single large camp near 
Stevensville. Here they constantly coralled and guarded the large 
number of horses they possessed. 

About this time the Crow were first heard of as advancing from 
the east and fighting the Shoshoni, whom they drove out of the Yellow- 
stone River country into the mountains and around the headwaters of 
the river to the west and south. It seems that the Crow occupied 
part of the Shoshoni country and stayed there. In the same way the 
Blackfoot now occupied all the K.ntenai- Tuna' xe country and part of 
the northern Shoshoni country, but they did not winter or make any 
permanent camps in the old S>alish- Tuna' xe countr3^ Their camps 
were all north of Sun River and the Missouri. Probably they would 
have gradually occupied permanently most of the country their war 
parties had overrun had they not been checked by the alliance of aU 
the western tribes. This may also have checked the further advance- 
ment of the Crow westward. Having overrun nearly all the eastern 
country, the Blackfoot now extended their war expeditions west of 
the divide, and sometimes appeared at Stevensville, where they 
attempted several times to run off the Flathead horses, but never 



attacked the camp. They also appeared in the Upper Kutenai 
and Pend d'Oreilles countries, and in somewhat later times their war 
parties occasionally penetrated into the country of the Kalispel. 
However, the only ones that suffered much in these raids west of the 
Rocldes were the Ssmte'use, who are said to have been easy-going 
and loosely organized. Large war parties of Blackfoot attacked them 
several times and killed large numbers of people. The remnant 
of the tribe forsook their old camping places and wintered near Mis- 
soula. Here or on the Big Blackfoot River the}^ were attacked 
again and many were killed. This was about 1800, before the small- 
pox came and before Lewis and Clark arrived. The remainder of 
the tribe succumbed to the smallpox and the few sm-vivors settled 
among the Pend d'Oreilles. 

A short time previous to this date the Pend d'Oreilles had com- 
bined with the Flathead for hunting on the plains, and in great 
measure they had forsaken their old style of life. Many of them had 
evacuated the region around Flathead Lake and the extreme northern 
part of their territory, at least for a great part of the year, and the 
bidk of the tribe wintered in one great camp at Mission {Sniye'lEmEn). 
About this time the Blackfoot began to have guns, wliich made them 
stronger, and parties often appeared in the northern Pend d'Oreilles 
country. The Kutenai coidd not cross the mountains to hunt, and 
at the invitation of the Pend d'Oreilles some of them had joined the 
latter for hunting buft'alo. These Kutenai belonged to Rexford and 
Tobacco Plains; but some of them are said to have lived originally 
east of the mountains, and others at places in the northern part of 
the Kutenai country. In later times those Kutenai who associated 
most with the Pend d'Oreilles seldom returned to their own country 
after their return from buft'alo hunting, but made their winter camps 
in that part of the Pend d'Oreilles country evacuated by the Pend 
d'Oreilles, chiefly north and west of Flathead Lake. Occasionally 
camps made west and south of the lake were composed of both 
Kutenai and Pend d'Oreilles. Some time after the Blackfoot had 
begun to make expeditions west of the mountains Crow war parties 
occasionally came into the western part of the Flathead country. 

The Flathead now invited the western tribes to join forces with 
them for himting buffalo in the old Flathead country east of the 
moimtains. The Coeur d'Alene and Nez Perce began to come, and 
about the same time many Kahspel joined the Pend d'Oreilles. 
Within a short time large parties of Nez Perce and Coeiu- d'Alene 
arrived annually for buffalo hunting. It was not long before these 
forces w^ere augmented by large numbers of Spokan and Columbia, 
and by small numbers of people from neighboring tribes farther west. 
At first the alhes combined in two or three large parties. Sometimes 
Flathead and Nez Perce went together in one party and Pend 


d'Oreilles, Kutenai, and Coeur d'Alene in another; but there were 
often different aUgnments. The Blackfoot and Crow were not much 
feared now and seldom appeared, at least in the more western and 
southern parts of the Flathead coimtry. The allied parties often 
camped and hmited far afield on the borders of their enemies' terri- 
tory along the Missouri and Yellowstone, as well as all through the 
old territory of the Salish-Tiind' xe and part of that of the Kutenai- 
Tund'xe. Usually the great Pend d'Oreilles party hunted east and 
north and the Flathead party east and south. After the alliance of 
the northern plateau tribes with the Flathead, the mountain Sho- 
shoni and Bannock began to hunt buffalo again on the plains. Some 
of their parties, alone or in conjunction with Salish, went as far 
north as the mam Missouri. The strip of old Shoshoni country east 
of the Salish, from the Yellowstone to the Canadian boundary, 
became an intertribal hunting ground, and many battles were fought 
there. The Salish allies claim to have had generally the upper hand 
in the greater part of this territory. All the tribes now had firearms, 
the Coeur d'Alene and some Shoshoni being the latest to acquire 
guns. Conditions continued to improve for the western tribes, who 
now easily held their own against the eastern tribes. It was no longer 
necessary to go in large parties. A few hundred people in each party 
usually, sufficed. The Nez Perce, Bannock, Shoshoni, and Flathead 
often went separately. Most of the Kutenai and western Salish 
tribes still went with the Pend d'Oreilles, but the Coeur d'Alene 
sometimes went with the Nez Perce, and the Flathead with the Sho- 
shoni. The southern and western movement of Blackfoot and the 
western movement of the Crow were checked. The latter began to 
move north rather than west. After buffalo himting was resumed 
by the Flathead they learned of other tribes who had meanwhile 
migrated west, and soon they came in contact with them: These 
were the Arapaho and Chej^enne in the southeast, the Gros Ventres 
or Atsina in the northeast, and the Assiniboin near the Gros Ventres. 
The Assiniboin are said to have come into the western plains from 
some place still farther east or northeast. They were enemies of the 
Blackfoot. The Gros Ventres are thought to have come about 1800 
from some place a little east or south of the Crow. At one time the 
Gros Ventres and the Arapaho may have occupied the country, to the 
east of the northern part of the Plains Shoshoni, and the Crow may have 
pushed them out. At that time they probably had no horses and 
were more sedentary. At one time the Gros Ventres, coming from 
the south, invaded some of the Blackfoot country. A war ensued, 
in which the Gros Ventres were defeated. Later they became friendly 
with the Blackfoot and were sometimes their allies in war. The 
Crow came almost directly from the east and were generally enemies 
of the Gros Ventres and Blackfoot. About the middle of the last 


century some other tribes were met or heard of, such as the Sarsi, 
who lived among the Blackfoot; the Cree in the north, just beyond 
the Blackfoot; Stony Assiniboin, in the Rocky Mountains to the 
north, who are supposed to have broken away from the real Assiniboin 
farther east; and the River Crow who had separated from the Moun- 
tain Crow and migrated north to near the borders of the Gros Ventres. 
Still other, tribes were the Sioux, who came from very far east and 
were enemies of all the tribes; also the Omaha and others to the 
southeast. Iroquois and stragglers from various distant tribes came 
in with the early white traders and explorers. The causes of the 
southern movement of the Blackfoot and the western movements of 
the Crow and other tribes are unloiown, but it is supposed that they 
originated in their desire to find a better buffalo country and to obtain 
supplies of horses. The country of the Salish and Shoshoni, east of 
the Rocldes from about the Canadian line to a little south of the 
Yellowstone, was probably the best buffalo country. On the other 
hand, the Blackfoot and some eastern tribes are said to have had 
comparatively few buffalo iQ their countries. Also the western tribes 
are said to have been supplied with horses at an earlier date than 
those of the east. It is also considered possible that some of the 
tribes which invaded the western plains may have been forced west 
by enemies, as nearh' all the eastern tribes fought among themselves 
as well as against the western tribes.""' There are some vague tra- 
ditions of other movements of tribes which may indicate migrations 
in very early times. They are not particularly connected with wars 
and are as follows: 

A vague tradition among some of the Pend d'Oreilles says that 
their remote ancestors broke away from the main body of the people; 
that they were attacked by enemies, crossed a lake on the ice, and 
finally, after a series of migrations, reached their present country. 
The Thompson have a somewhat similar tradition. Some Pend 
d'Oreilles consider the KaUspel as an offshoot of themselves. 

The Slate'use or Chewelah are said to have been a part or a band of 
the Lower Kalispel, originally inhabiting the Calispell Lake region, 
who moved into the ColviUe Valley. They claimed equal rights in 
the camas digging near Cahspell Lake with the Kahspel of Usk 
and of the east side of the Pend Oreille River. 

Although there appear to be no definite traditions on the subject, 
Revais considered the KaUspel as a branch of the Pend d'Oreilles 

*' In reply to queries, it was stated that the real or original Blackfoot country was north of Milk River. 
The Piegan lived here and the Blood and real Blackfoot north of them. At one time the Piegan neighbored 
with the Kutenai- Tuna'jc to the west and Gros Ventres to the east. The Assiniboin were east of the 
Gros Ventres. Whether the countries of the last two tribes were originally Piegan or Blackfoot is unknown. 
Kutenai, Piegan, and Shoshoni territories met at the Sweet Grass Hills. The Piegan also occupied the 
head of Milk and Marias Rivers, but this was old Kuteuai-Tund'xe country. It is not known how long 
the Shoshoni had been in possession of their country between the Missouri and the Sweet Grass Hills 
before the advent of the horse, but they are thought to have been there a long time. 


rather than vice versa. He as well as others considered the Flathead 
as the parent tribe of the Flathead group. Revais stated that he 
had heard some vague traditions regarding some movements of 
tribes in the Spokaa and Paloos countries, but he had forgotten 
them so far that he did not care to make any statement as to what 
they were. 

There was a tradition among the Flathead that a long time ago 
part of their tribe migrated to the west, and that the descendants of 
this group are hving in a distant country and still speak the Flathead 
language. Tliis belief is held by several tribes, and is perhaps too 
general to be taken into account. Some of my informants believed 
that all related tribes of every language had originated by brealdng 
away from some parent group and migrating here and there in 
search of better food supply, but the migrations happened so long 
ago that in most cases the traditions are lost. It seems possible that 
there have been some early movements of Flathead people westward 
toward the salmon streams. The Pend Oreille River route is easy of 
travel, and was the main route of communication between the plains 
and the western plateaus from the earliest times. Any migrations 
which may have occurred would have been by way of this route. 

Intercourse and Intermarriage. — In olden times the Flathead 
had most intercourse with Salish-Tund'xe and Shoshoni and inter- 
married chiefly with them. There was also considerable intercourse 
and intermarriage with the Pend d'Oreilles and Ssmte'use. The 
Flathead living aromid Helena are said to have mixed a great deal 
mth the Salish-Tuna'xe, and even the Flathead of Butte and neighbor- 
hood were mixed with them. Some people say that before the days 
of horses the Flathead intermarried very little with other tribes; 
but there v/as some intermarriage with Shoshoni, and a little with 
Pend d'Oreilles and Sa]ish- Tuna' xe. The Sahsh- Tuna' xe inter- 
married with Flathead, and also with the Shoshoni of the Lower 
Teton River. There was slight intermarriage with the Pend 
d'Oreilles, and possibly some with Blackfoot. Alost intermarriage, 
however, was with the K.utenai-Tund'xe. Some say that there was 
so much intermarriage with the latter that there was no very distinct 
dividing line between the two. The people north of Sun River, on 
the Teton and Marias, south of Browning, were more than half 
Kutenai in blood and language. It seems that among the inhabitants 
of the whole strip of coimtry next the mountains and between the 
Blackfoot and Flathead a great deal of intermarriage had taken place. 
Probably Salish blood predominated from about Teton River south- 
ward and Kutenai northward, the people in the center being the 
most mixed. The Ssmte'use had most intercourse with the Pend 
d'Oreilles, and intermarried chiefly with them. Those people who 
lived on the upper Missoula River intermarried to some extent with 



Flathead of Butte or neighborhood. The Pend d'Oreilles had a 
great deal of intercourse wdth the Kalispel, and considerable wath the 
Upper Kutenai and SEmte'use. Intercourse was rather less \\-ith 
the Flathead, shght with the Salish- Tun a' xe, Ivutenai-Tund'xe, and 
Coeur d'^ilene, and least of all with the Nez Perce. Intermarriage 
occurred in the same relative degree as intercourse. The Kahspel 
had slight intercourse with, the Lake, probabh'^ a little more with the 
Lower Kutenai, very little with the Coeur d'Alene, considerable with 
the Upper Spokan and Cohdlle, and a great deal with the Pend 
d'Oreilles. Intermarriage was chiefly with the last-named tribe. 
There was some with Spokan and Colville, and hardly any with 
other tribes. There are a few instances on record of Kalispel marrying 
Okanagon and Sanpoil. The Spokan probably had most intercourse 
and intermarriage with the Coeur d'Alene, considerable with Kalispel, 
less with Colville and Sanpoil, and very little with other tribes. 
Some instances are on record of marriages with Okanagon and 
Columbia. I did not hear of any intermarriage with Paloos and other 
Shahaptian tribes, and intermarriage between the western tribes and 
Plains tribes was rare. After the advent of horses and the alhance 
of the tribes for buffalo hunting intercourse between the alHed tribes 
increased and there w^ere more intertribal marriages. Intermarriage 
now occurred between Flathead and Nez Perce, but no marriages 
were made with Crow or other Plains tribes. It seems that a httle 
extraneous blood w'as introduced by marriage with slave women and 
captives of war, particularly among the Spokan, wiiere some men had 
slave women of Snake hneage. A few others were from tribes south 
of The Dalles and possibly a very few were Shahaptian. The Flat- 
head and Salish- Tuna' xe are said to have had a few slave or captive 
women in early times. It is supposed that they were Cree and 
Blackfoot or from the northeast. Women of eastern tribes were 
seldom made captives in war; they were almost invariably Idlled. 
After the advent of the whites the Flathead country became a haven 
for refugees of various tribes, who in many cases married and settled 
dowm there. Strange Indians in the ser\ice of the fur companies fre- 
quently settled among the Flathead. Thus there are a few descendants 
of many dift'erent tribes on the Flathead Reserve now. According to 
Michel Revais there are on the reserve people descended from Lil- 
looet, Thompson, Shuswap, Columbia, Okanagon, Sanpoil, Colville, 
Coeur d'Alene, Spokan, KaUspel, Pend d'Oreilles, SEmte'use, Tund'xe, 
Kutenai, Blackfoot, Shoshoni, Nez Perce, Crow, Delaw^are (?), Shaw- 
nee, Cherokee, Chippewa, Iroquois; and possibly others, besides some 
half-bloods, mostly of French and Scotch descent. Some cases 
mentioned by him were as follows: Xdpa'sqEt, an Upper Thompson; 
Sonsd'utl-EH, a Stlaxai'ux from Fraser River, who spoke Thompson, 
Lillooet, and Shusw^ap, and was a shaman; Little Charley, a man 


from the Fraser Delta, mixed with Lower Thompson; TsElsemtl' , 
a Colville; Michel Colville, a Colville. These men were all in the 
employ of the Hudson Bay Co. at Fort Colville, and came to the 
Flathead together about 1860. They all married on the reserve, but 
left few descendants; only Michel Colville had two sons and a 
daughter who grew up. About the same time Michel Camille, half 
French and half Shuswap, settled on the reserve. He was born at 
Kamloops. About 1890 there came an Upper Thompson, who mai-- 
ried and was living in 1910 on the reserve at Mission. Other cases 
are Joe McDonald, son of Angus McDonald, former Hudson Bay 
c'nief; Billy Irvine, son of another Hudson Bay man, an interpreter 
at Mission; John Grant, whose mother was Kalispel and whose 
father was a Hudson Bay man. It is said that John Grant lived at 
one time in a roundhouse of six rooms near Missoula, and kept his 
six wives, one in each room. Each wife was of a different tribe. 
One was Crow and one w'as Snake. Later he deserted his wives and 
cliildren and went to Red River, Manitoba, and never returned. His 
descendants are now on the Flathead Reserve. Another case was 
that of Jack Demers, of French descent, who married a sister of 
Michel Revais, and at one time had a business in French Town. 
He had two sons and four daughters, all of whom are on the reserve. 
Jim Dalloway, Ben Kaiser, and Tom Hill, Shawnee refugees, settled 
among the Flathead about the time the early traders arrived. A 
white man who had a Piegan w^oman for wife settled in the Bitterroot 
Valley a long time ago and had a very large family. His cliildren 
all intermarried wath Flathead and some of them and their descend- 
ants are now on the reserve. About 1810 a Flathead girl was cap- 
tured by Piegan or some other tribe from a Flathead camp near Sun 
River. Later on she married a Chippewa. Some of her descendants 
came back a few years ago and proved their rights in the Flathead 
Reserve. Revais claimed that there were 12 persons on the reserve 
who were half Flathead and half Shoshoni, and 6 men who had Nez 
Perce waves. Fifteen Iroquois settled among the Flathead and Pend 
d'Oreilles and 19 among the Colville. All w^ere at one time employees 
of the Hudson Bay Co., and all married women of these tribes. They 
have some descendants on the Flathead and Colville Reservations 
to-day. It is said that about 1820-1825 a small party of Iroquois, 
originally from around Caughnawaga, Quebec, under the leadership 
of Ignace La Mousse (or Big Ignace), reached the Flathead country, 
and being well received there, married and became members of the 
tribe. This party had been migrating westw^ard for several years. 
Revais stated that when the treaty was made Governor Stevens told 
the Flathead that the Jocko Reserve was to be for the three tribes 
of Flathead, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kutenai. Some of the Flathead- 
wanted a reserve for themselves, as they did not consider themselves 



bound by very strong ties of association with the Pend d'OreUles and 
Kutenai. Sub-chief ArW, with. 25 lodges, and " Small Chief " Adolphe, 
agreed to go on the reserve. It seems that these people were very 
friendly to the Pend d'Oreilles. They ma}^ have been more closely 
related to them by intermarriage than other Flathead, or they may 
have been descendants of the Flathead who* formerly lived next to 
the Pend d'Oreilles. "Small Chief" Ambrose and Chief Charlos (or 
Carlos) refused at first to go on the reserve, saying that if they had 
to share a reserve with other tribes they preferred to go with the 
Shoshoni. These cliiefs and their people probably represented the 
element of the Flathead tribe long associated with the Shoshoni, and 
they may have been descendants of the Flathead formerly located 
next to the Shoshoni in the region of Big Hole Valley. When the treaty 
was made, the head chief and a majority of the tribe favored going 
with the Shoshoni rather than wdth any other people, if a reservation 
could not be obtained for themselves alone. In later years Kalispel 
and Spokan were allowed rights on the reserve, along wdth the 
Flathead, Pend d'OreUles, and Kutenai. 

Mental and Physical Traits of Tribes. — The Flathead are of 
medium stature, well built, and good-looking. The ancient Flathead 
were noted for courtesy, afTability, hospitality, liberality, kindness, 
honesty, truthfulness, and courage. Lewdness of women is said to 
have been rare. The Pend d'Oreilles, Kalispel, and Spokan are said 
to have partaken to a considerable degree of the same characteristics of 
temperament and physique as the Flathead. In later days there was 
much less chastity among the women of the last-named tribes. Some 
of the Shahaptian people considered the Spokan to be of a rather 
roving disposition, fond of trading, sports, and dancing, bold, and 
rather revengeful. Some tribes lower down the Columbia considered 
them as raiders and robbers. The Hangman's Creek Spokan were 
more serious, reserved, and quieter than the others. The Salish- 
Tund'xe were fond of trading, warlike, courageous, and sagacious; 
the SEmte'use, easy-going, careless, unwarlike, less prudent than their 
neighbors, and sometimes apt to talk and act foolishly. The Coeur 
d'Alene were proud, cruel, and of a rather reserved, determined dis- 
position. The Kalispel considered them too cautious and not very 
bold. The Thompson were thought to be wild and treacherous; the 
Kutenai, easy-going and not very warlike, rather reserved and 
cautious, honest, and sincere. The Shoshoni were considered good 
horsemen, and of a more roving disposition than the Flathead. 

All the northern tribes and bands resembled the Flathead in 
physique and height, and many of the men were tall. The Shoshoni 
to the south are said to have been small people. The Lemhi, Sho- 
shoni, and Bannock men wore of about the same size as the Flathead, 
or possibly a little larger. The Omaha were big, stout, fleshy people. 


The Crow and Cree were tall (slightly taller than the Flathead), and 
were noted for having good hair. The Piegan were of about the same 
stature as the Cree and the Crow. They were noted as treacherous 
and adepts at stealing horses. The Nez Perce and nearest western 
Salish tribes were considered similar to the Flathead in appearance 
and size, but there were slight differences in looks between some of the 
tribes. The Bannock and Cayuse languages are said to have sounded 
a good deal alike, and were hard to speak correctly. The Coeur 
d'Alene was considered a hard language to learn, and the Kutenai 
still harder. 


Material Culture in General.-^As I spent only about a week 
among the Flathead, and visited the Lower Kalispel and other tribes 
merely to obtain vocabularies and information regarding tribal 
boundaries, my notes on the material culture of all the tribes are very 
meager. As far as my information goes, it shows the Flathead to 
have had almost all the traits of a typical Plains tribe for about the 
last 200 years or more. Previous to the introduction of the horse, 
however, their material culture resembled more closely that of the 
plateau area. The Salish- Twria'.re were probably identical in material 
culture with the Flathead and neighboring Shoshoni, while the 
Pend d'Oreilles and other tribes remained more like plateau tribes 
until a much later date. On the whole, the ancient material culture 
of the area occupied by the Flathead group appears to have formed 
a link between that of the Salish tribes to the west and northwest 
and that of the Shoshoni of the mountains and plains to the east and 
southeast, although the difference between them was not great. 
The Flathead, and probably the Ssilish-Tuna'xe, appear to have 
more nearly approximated the eastern Shoshoni, while the other 
tribes had more leanings toward the culture of the Kutenai, Coeur 
d'Alene, and Okanagon. As I have no detailed information on any 
of the tribes, I have not thought it necessary to treat them separately. 

Work in Stone, Wood, etc. — It seems that work in stone was 
confined chiefly to the making of arrowheads, spearheads, loiives, and 
pipes. Probably some pestles, hammers, and mauls of stone were 
made by all the tribes. They were quite common among the Spokan 
and KaUspel. Mortars of stone or wood were used by all the tribes. 
The methods of flaking and working stone appear to have been the 
same as among the Coeur d'Alene. Work in wood and bone seems 
to have been weakly developed, and there was Uttle ornamentation 
l)y carving. As far as~I could learn, no pottery was made. 

Painting and Dyeing. — Painting and dyeing were practiced to a 
great extent. Quills were commonly dyed, and sometimes hides. 
Ornamentation by dyeing was used occasionally in mats. Painting 



was common on clothes, bags, etc. Before small beads came in, most 
ornamentation w^as in quillwork and painting. The dyes were prin- 
cipally red, blue, and yellow; but green and brown, and possibly 
black, were also used. Paints were of a great variety of colors. Most 
of them were obtained from mineral earths. 

Dressing of Skins. — Sldns were dressed almost in the same manner 
as by the Coeur d'Alene. In methods of dressing heavy hides, sucli 
as bufl'alo and ellv, the grainere and scrapers were lilce those used by 
the Blackfoot.^ Deersldns and other smaller sldns were dressed by 
methods in vogue among the Coeur d'Alene,^ Shoshoni,^ and Blaclvfoot.* 
Sldns were commonly smoked by the same methods as among the 
Coeur d'Alene '' and Shoshoni.^ 

Rawhide Work. — Bags of several shapes were made of rawhide. 
Square and oblong bags made of single pieces of hide folded, the sides 
sewed and pro\aded with long fringes, and the fronts painted, were 
used before the advent of the hoi-se, but in those days the fringes were 
comparatively short. Later, when used on horses, the fringes were 
lengthened, reaching a maximum of more than a meter. A large hide 
bag of oblong shape was used for storing fat and meat, and another 
one is described somewhat hke a bucket. The parfleche came into use 
with the introduction of the horse. Rawhide medicine cases, cylin- 
drical in shape, were made by all the tribes, but their use is probably 
not very ancient, at least among the Spokan. Rawliide bags and par- 
fleches were made in large numbers and were often sold to neighboring 

Woven and other Bags. — Skin bags of various sizes and shapes 
were ornamented with fringes and with quill or bead embroidery. 

Some soft bags of animal skins in the hair were also used. Woven 
wallets of the Nez Perce t^^pe were made by the Spokan and at least 
b}^ some of the Kalispel. In later years a few were also made by Pend 
d'Oreilles and Flathead. Bags woven of cedar bark and twine were 
made by the Kahspel and Pend d'Oreilles, but not by the Flathead, 
who, according to some, made skin bags only. 

Woven Mats. — Sewed tule mats were made by all the tribes, and 
are stiU made by some of the Spokan and Kalispel. Some mats woven 
of the bark of dead willow trees were made for lying and sitting on. 
The Flathead made very few of the latter. Some mats woven of 
rushes were also made and used for spreading food upon. 

Some of them are said to have been very gaudy, with stripes dyed red 
and blue, and occasionally with other colore. Some mats had then- 

1 c, pp. 67, 69, figs. 33, 34. 

« See p. 44. 

Sj, pp. 175, 176. 

■I See Blackfoot, c, p. 65. 

' See p. 44. 

«;. p. 176, fig. 3. 


edges cut in ornamental designs, as among the Lower Kalispel. 
(Fig. 26.) 

Woven Clothing. — No goat's wool blankets were made by any of 
the tribes. Some robes woven of strips of rabbit sldns were made by 
the Kalispel, and to a slight extent by the Spokan and probably the 
Pend d'Oreilles, but it seems not by the Flathead. No clothing of 
vegetal fiber of any kind was made by these tribes, except woven caps 
of the Nez Perce type, which w^ere made m numbers by the Spokan, 
and to a less extent by the Kalispel. It is said that the Flathead, Pend 
d'Oreilles, and Upper and Lower Kutenai did not make these caps. 
Revais stated that the Nez Perce and several of the tribes bordering 
on them made many woven caps for women, and woven wallets; but 
that the Kutenai, Blackfoot, and Shoshoni did not make them. He 
also claimed that robes woven of strips of skin (generally rabbit or 
muskrat) were not made by the Nez Perce, and only by some of the 
Shoshoni; that the Bannock made a good many, and possibly the 

Kutenai made a few. The Blackfoot, he 
said, used them and also made them. 

Twine, etc. — Thread, twine, and rope 
were made of bark and hide, Indian hemp 
being chiefly used. Most of the thread for 
sewing was of sinew taken from the backs 
Figure 26.-0rnamentai edge of a ^f auimals, such as buffalo, elk, and dccr. 

Needles were little used, but sewing was gen- 
erally done with sharp bone awls. Nets were not much employed. 
Even the Spokan used traps and spears chiefly in catcliing salmon. 
Large nets, however, were used commonly by them in some places. It 
is likely that nets were employedmoreextensively by the Pend d'Oreilles 
and Kalispel than the information I collected shows, but it is doubtful 
if the Flathead used nets to any extent. According to some inform- 
ants, they were not used at all. 

Woven Basketry. — Flexible baskets of the lands made by the 
Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, and other tribes to the west and south- 
west were not made, but at one time coiled basketry was made by all 
the tribes. 

Bark Basketry. — Some birch-bark baskets were made by all 
the tribes, although certain bands, especially among the Flathead, 
made very few. It is said that most of the baskets were like the 
ordinary shape of those used by the tribes north and west; while 
some used by the Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles were similar to a kind 
also employed by the Kutenai, and of rectangular shape. Most 
baskets made by these tribes, including the Lake (see p. 122), had 
the grain of the bark at right angles to the rim, while Thompson and 
Shuswap had it parallel to the rim. (See e, p. 480 et seq.) A few of the 


Lake baskets had the grain also parallel to the rim. Most baskets 
were devoid of decoration other than that introduced by the arrange- 
ment of stitching. (See pp. 52, 222.) Many temporary baskets of 
cedar bark were used — one made of a fiat piece of bark with tied 
ends (see p. 53), a pail-shaped bucket, and a conical one. Baskets of 
the last-mentioned style were very much used by the Kalispel and are 
made yet. It seems that the Spokan and Flathead made the fewest 
bark baskets, and the Kalispel and Pend d'Oredles the most. This 
may be partly accounted for by environment. Much of the Spokan 
country was either arid or prairie, with few good trees for bark close 
to the main camping places; wliile much of the Kalispel and Pend 
d'OreUles countries are forested with an abundance of trees, includ- 
ing cedar. 

Coiled Basketey.'^ — Flexible baskets of the kinds made by the 
Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, and other tribes to the west and southwest, 
were not made, but at one time coiled basketry was made by all the 
tribes. Some of the baskets intended for kettles were of very fine 
stitch and closely wrought. All the shapes were more or less circular. 
Some had bulging sides, and others were nearly straight sided. The 
bottoms of some were quite small, and others had rather large flat 
bottoms. It seems the "nut-shaped" basket of the Thompson was 
made. Nearly all baskets were made of split cedar roots. Formerly 
all baskets were plain. Imbrication seems to have been adopted by 
the Spokan and Kalispel about 1800, but it never spread to the Pend 
d'OreUles and Flathead. Probably basket-making was on the wane 
among these tribes before the process had time to reach them fully. 
Even the Spokan and Kalispel never adopted it fully, many of their 
baskets being unimbricated. The Spokan still made a few baskets 
not many years ago. Imbrication seems to have reached the Lower 
Kutenai about the same time as the Kalispel, but whether it was 
learned from the latter or reached them by way of the Lake is un- 
certain. Some baskets were imbricated with bark only. It seems 
grass and tule were occasionally used. 

According to the Salishan, Shahaptian and Wasco, none of the tribes 
south of the Columbia used imbrication. Coiling and imbrication 
have been introduced quite recently in the Fraser Delta, among the 
Squamish and Seshelt; in Fraser Delta by intermarriage with the 
Thompson, among the other tribes by intermarriage with the Lillooet. 
This is clearly stated by the Indians and evidenced by the basket forms 
and decorations. The Shuswap claim that the ChUco tin learned coil- 
ing from them. The style of imbrication of the Chilcotin differs, how- 

'See 0, pp. 140-142. 

41383°— .30 22 


ever, from the known Salish styles (o, pp. 344-351). The Carriers and 
Stuwi'x made no coiled basketry. 

Some bands, especially among the Flathead, are said to have made 
very few baskets, while others made a considerable number. Kevais 
stated regarding the distribution of coUed basketry that all the Flat- 
head tribes made coiled baskets a long time ago, including, it is said, 
the Salish Tuna'xe. The Nez Perce and many bands of the Shoshoni 
made them. The Lower Kutenai made some. The Upper Kutenai 
and Blackfoot used coiled basketry, but did not make any as far as he 
had heard. They procured it in trade from neighbors. 

From present mformation it appears that the Salish tribes of the 
region east of Columbia River made coiled basketry of the round types 
exclusively, e.xcept in the case of some trays. This is true of both their 
ancient and modern work. They never used imbrication. The Shu- 
swap also made unimbricated coiled basketry. Among the Columbia, 
the most western of the Salish tribes in Washington, whose territory 
extended up to the Cascade Mountains, the traditional form of bas- 
ket was of the angular type without much flare, with rounded cor- 
ners similar to the common style of the Thompson. They also 
made round ones which were not very deep, and "nut- "shaped ones, 
but the common kind of carrying and household basket was angular. 
They have used imbrication as far back as tradition goes, but some 
say formerly many baskets were little imbricated. After the intro- 
duction of horses the round deep basket with small bottom — often so 
small that the basket could not stand — superseded the square type, 
because it is better adapted for packing on horses. 

Designs on Baskets^ Bags, etc. — It is said that designs on mats 
were all in stripes, and most imbricated designs on baskets were in 
vertical stripes. Painted designs on bags and parfleches were all 
geometric, and most of the designs had names. Beaded and quilled 
designs were also for the most part geometric. ReaUstic designs were 
very Httle used. Flower designs, formerly rare but now much more 
common, have not been able to supplant the geometric designs. 

Division of Labor. — Women made all the baskets, mats, and 
bags, and dressed all the sldns. They also did all the embroidery, 
made nearly all the clothes, painted all the bags, parfleches, etc., 
made the tents and erected them, gathered most of the fuel, did most 
of the cooldng, dug all the roots, and collected and cured all the 
berries. They also helped the men with the horses and in other 
ways. Men made all the weapons and most of the tools, painted 
robes, shields, weapons, and anything connected vdi\\ their guardian 
spirits, made the feather bonnets and certain articles of clothing. 
They also hunted, fought, and looked after the horses. 



Semiunderground Lodge. — The underground house was not 
used by the tribes of the Flathead group, except possibly a very few 
by the Kahspel and Lower Spokan. Revais stated, "None of the 
Flathead tribes used the underground lodge; neither did the Kutenai. 
The Coh'ille never used them, or at least thej^ have not used them 
since about 1800, and it is doubtful if the}" ever had them. The 
neighboring Sanpoil used only a very few. These lodges were 
peculiar to the region to the north and were employed along Colum- 
bia River down to The Dalles. The northern tj^pe had the entrance 
from the top; and the southern type from the side, on a level with 
the groimd. Otherwdse the construction of both was the same, and 
notched ladders were used in both (?). The two tj^pes overlapped 
in the northern part of the Columbia region, about the mouth of 
Okanagon River.' The Okauagon used both types to some extent, 
but most people wintered in mat lodges. One Lower Kahspel in- 
formant said he thought a few underground lodges -with entrance 
from the side were used very long ago, wliile another man stated that 
long ago a partly earth-covered lodge of tent shape and above ground 
was sometimes used m the winter by the Kahspel, and possibly by 
others. This land of lodge was called an earth-covered lodge, whereas 
the real underground earth-covered lodge was not used. 

Long Lodge. — Long lodges of double lean-to type were used at all 
large ^vinter camps, especially in permanent camp sites. They were 
the dance and meeting houses of the band and were used for all public 
gatherings, ceremonies, and the housing of visitors. In large camps 
there were always two. One was used by the young people (generally 
men under 30 years of age) for dances, and the other by the older peo- 
ple for meetings. In some very large camps there was besides these a 
spare house or two of the same type for the accommodation of visitors. 
All the other houses of the camp consisted of tents, most of them 
mat covered. It seems, however, that long lodges were also some- 
times used as regular dwellmg houses. Some informants claimed 
that in very large camps there were sometimes from two to five 
dwelling houses of this Idnd. They were always made for six families, 
having three fires, with two families to each. There were no parti- 
tions. Revais said that a large winter camp would sometimes con- 
sist of about 5 long dwelling houses, each for 6 families, 2 long lodges 
used for dancing and meetings, possibly a spare long lodge for housing 

' It seems that a few underground houses with entrance from the top were used far south along the Colum- 
bia among the Salish, who commonly employed the type with entrance from the side. A few with side 
entrance also extended as far north as the Thompson. Yakima and Klickitat informants deny ever having 
used any with entrance from the top, so it may be that this kind was not used by any of the Shahaptian 
tribes. The Molala are said to have used an underground lodge, but I could not get any details of its con- 
struction, and do not know whether the entrance was from the top or not. The Klamath, Takelma, and 
Yana used semiunderground lodges, according to Wasco and Klickitat informants; while, according to 
Revais, the Kalapuya used no real lodges of any kind, only shelters of brush. 


of parties of visitors and from about 40 to 50 conical lodges or tents. 
Great quantities of firewood were collected late in the fall and pUed 
up where the winter camp was to be. The Kalispel claim that long 
lodges were used by them long ago in the largest winter camps, but 
were utilized only for dancing. Long lodges were sunk a foot or more 
in the ground and were covered with mats. Sometimes a lodge like 
an elongated tent of elliptical ground plan was used in the winter- 
time. It accommodated from four to six families, according to size. 
In the summertime the Spokan used some single lean-to shelters of 
mats at some of the large fishing places. Oblong or long lodges are 
said to have been used by all the Shahaptian tribes, some Shoshoni, 
and the Kutenai. I can not say whether these corresponded in con- 
struction to Salish types. 

Conical Lodge or Tent. — The conical lodge was the common 
family and living house of all the tribes. It was used by all the people 
in summer, and by most people also in winter. The three-pole foun- 
dation appears to have been generally used. Poles of the black pine 
{Pinus contorta) were preferred. The covering consisted of one or 
two layers of mats in summer and Ihree or four layers in winter. All 
the mats were sewed tule mats, similar to those of the Thompson, 
and they were arranged horizontally and overlapping. These lodges 
varied in size. Generally two families inhabited each, but some large 
ones contained three, while many housed only a single family, espe- 
cially if the family were large. The Flathead name for the conical mat 
lodge means in the Thompson language "old-style house " or "common 
old-style house. " According to Flathead tradition, previous to the in- 
troduction of the horse, mats were used almost entirely as lodge covers. 
At that time only a few conical lodges, generally small ones, had covers 
of buffalo, moose, and elk skin. These were not painted. After the 
introduction of the horse the buffalo-skin tent soon supplanted for 
all seasons the mat tent among the Flathead and to a large extent 
among the other tribes as well. It became the only lodge used when 
traveling and when hunting on the plains. However, it never sup- 
planted entirely the mat lodge among the Spokan and Kalispel, who 
continued to use some of them when at home. Mat coverings for 
lodges were not suitable for a horse people, who traveled much. At 
the present day log cabins are generallly used in the wintertime and 
canvas tents in the summer and when traveling. Conical lodges 
with sciuare and oblong tops were not used. Revais said, "They were 
confined to the Yakima and people along Columbia River north 
to the Okanagon and Thompson." Skin tents were sometimes 
painted on the outside wdth pictures of dreams. The sun, moon, 
and stars were common figures. Geometric designs also occiuTcd. 

Bark Lodge. — Bark lodges were used long ago among the Pend 
d'Oreilles and Kalispel, but not among the Flathead and seldom 
among the Spokan. They were erected in spring and summer at 



camps where good bark was abundant. They were of the double 
lean-to or oblong type, and none of them were very large. The 
strips of bark were of the length of the lodge on one side from one 
entrance to the other, and as wide as obtainable. Usually there 
were three or four wide overlapping strips of bark on each side, 
laid horizontally. The bark was put on outside out. Among the 
Pend d'Oreilles cedar bark was almost altogether used, but the 
Kalispel claim to have employed tamarack and white-pine bark 
about as much as cedar. In some places the Pend d'Oreilles erected 
bark lodges on platforms of poles and boards on the top of posts, 
from 2 to 3 meters above the ground. In construction these lodges 
were the same as other bark lodges, but usually they had only one 
entrance, wliich was reached by a ladder consisting of a notched 
log. In the center of the lodge was a hearth of earth. These ele- 
vated lodges were used in places where fleas were numerous. 

Other Lodges. — Shelters of brush were sometimes used by h\mt- 
ers in the moimtains. Most of them were of double lean-to and coui- 
cal forms; but some were of half-tent form, and others were httle 
more than mere windbreaks, shelteiing one side of the fire. Some- 
times families who happened to stay in the mountams longer than 
expected, and who were not provided with skin tents and mats, made 
conical lodges of poles covered with brush, pieces of bark or grass, 
and further covered with earth to the depth of a few inches on the 
outside. A circular house of posts, which held up a roof of poles 
overlaid wdth brush, was used at some of the large camps in the 
summer time as a dance house and meeting place. It shaded the 
people from the sun. The sides were generally open all roimd. The 
Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles still use them in Fourth of July cele- 
brations, when great dances are held. These summer dance houses 
were similar to the dance houses of tribes east of the Flathead, on 
the plains. 

Sweat houses were of the same form as those of the Coeur d'.Uene. 
Scaffolds of poles were used at all permanent camps for storage piu"- 
poses, and caches in or above the ground were also in use. 

Household Utensils. — These consisted of baskets, bags, etc. 
Boihng was done with hot stones, and most kettles were of coiled 
basketry. Temporary kettles were made of cedar bark bj^ the Pend 
d'Oreilles, Kalispel, and occasionally by the Flathead. The last- 
named tribe also used holes lined with rawhide for boiling food. 
Paimches were used as temporary kettles by all the tribes, and it is 
said also by the Kutenai. The Upper Kutenai are said to have used 
some bark kettles and holes in the groimd plastered with clay. The 
lattef appear to have been used occasionally by the Pend d'Oreilles, 
and possibly by other neighboring Salish tribes. 

Coiled baskets were used as receptacles for water, and hark baskets 
were employed for the same purpose by the Kalispel and Pend 


d'Oreilles. Mortars and pestles were used. Spoons and ladles were 
of mountain-sheep horn, and buffalo horn was also used. Some 
wooden and bark spoons were used by the KaUspel and Pend 
d'Oreilles. Skullcap spoons were in vogue. Cups and bowls were 
made of knots of wood and of bark. Probably some basketry bowls 
were used. The Flathead especially used shallow dishes and bowls 
made of sheep's horn. Bark dishes or trays were used by either the 
KaUspel or Pend d'Oreilles or by both. In most places long ago food 
was served on mats of rushes. Woven mats were employed to some 
extent as seats and beds, but buffalo and other sldns in the hair 
were in more common use. Blankets consisted of robes of buffalo, 
deer, and other animals, dressed in the hair and made very soft. 
Back rests like those of the Plains tribes were used by the Flathead 
only, but I can not say to what extent. Fire drills were like those of 
the Coeur d'Alene and Thompson. 


Clothing (pis. 3, 4). — People generally went fully clad. Clothing 
was of the northera Plains type. That of the Flathead differed 
little, if at aU, from that of their immediate neighbors. It was 
entirely of skins. Robes consisted chiefly of buffalo skins dressed 
in the hair; but some robes of elk, deer, bear, and other sldns were 
also used. Woven robes were seldom worn, except by the Kalispel, 
who used woven rabbit-skin robes to some extent. They say that 
the Blackfoot and Bannock made woven rabbit-skin blankets, the 
Blackfoot also woven muskrat-skin blankets. See, however, 
the statement made by Wissler (c, p. 53). No clothes woven of 
sagebrush bark or other vegetal materials were used. Capes and 
cloaks were not worn, nor rain ponchos. The only overclothes used 
were robes, large and small. Some sldn ponchos were in vogue 
among the Spokan and Kalispel. Mittens were in common use, 
but no gloves were worn until after the advent of the whites. Moc- 
casins were of dressed sldn of elk, deer, etc., and were of two common 
types. One Idnd, probably the most common, had the seam around 
the outside of the foot.^ The other Idnd had a separate sole, and 
was lilve the common Blackfoot style of moccasin.^ A moccasin 
with short tongue and seam down the front of the foot ^ was in vogue 
among the Spokan, but seems to have been rare among the other 
tribes.'' Pieces of buffalo skin and fur were worn inside of moccasins 

1 c, p. 128, pattern No. 8 (p. 142); Thompson, a, p. 210, fig. 169. 

' c, pp. 140, 141, figs. 83, 85; the latter said by Wissler to be "almost peculiar to the Ute". 

3 c, p. 144, fig. 91; Thompson, a, p. 211, figs. 171, 172. (See also Field Mus. Nos. 111890-111893.) 

* Of 7 pairs of new bead-embroidered Spokan moccasins that I examined, 3 pairs had the seam round the 
outside of the foot (c, p. 128, style No. 8); 2 pairs had separate soles, and were in cut, as far as I remember, 
similar to those shown in c, fig. 85; 2 pairs had separate tongue, and seam down the front of the foot, similar 
to those shown in c, fig. 91. All had gaiters or uppers of a separate piece of skin, but these were rather lower 
than the average of uppers on Thompson moccasins. All except 1 pair had trailers similar in cut to fig. 
173 of Teit's " Thompson Indians. " (a, p. 211.) 
























• I 


liTatlieiid tribe. 



in the \\dntertime. Some winter moccasins were made of sldn, the 
hair side in. For the methods of hicmg moccasins among tlie Spokan 
see Figm-e 27. 

Belts were of leather, and generally richly ornamented or embroid- 

Men's Clothing. — Men's costume consisted of a shirt reaching to 
the hips or a little below, long leggings, belt, breechclout, moccasins, 
and cap, headband, or feather bonnet. Some leggings had wide micut 
flaps, while others had cut fringes along the sides. Long aprons were 
worn in front, besides the breechclouts. Some breechclouts consisted 
of a long strip of cloth which passed between the legs and hung down 
over the belt in front and behind. Garters were much used with 
leggings. I did not hear of any combination of breechclouts and 

Shirts were of two or three kinds. One kind reached to a little 
above the knees and had true sleeves. It had a number of seams- 
one on each side, one underneath each arm, one along the top of the 
shoulders, and one at each shoulder where the sleeves joined the sides. 
These, however, may be considered as part of the side seams. All 

Figure 27. — Moccasins, Spokan 

the seams were ornamented with long cut fringes of dressed skm. 
Sometimes fringes were made of ermine skins. The bottom was cut 
in a long fringe all round. Shirts of the old style all opened at the 
neck or shoulders, and not on the breast. A common shirt was the 
so-called "scalp shirt" or "war shu't." It was fringed with haii- 
(often with scalp locks) instead of skin, and appears to have been 
exactly the same in cut and ornamentation as the poncho shirts de- 
scribed by Wissler.^ A scalp shirt which I saw among the Spokan 
had the leg pieces cut short, and this is said to have been customary 
with some; otherwise it was almost the same in appearance as the 
one figured by Wissler.'' Some shirts of the same type were made 
without hail" frmges, and some were made of light buffalo skin with 
the hair side in. Probably the latter were really short ponchos, and 
used only in \\-inter. Long ago no coats, vests, jumpers, trousers, or 
boots were used. After the coming of the whites all of these gar- 

5 rf, pp. 47, 48, figs. 1, 2. 

6 d, p. 47, fig. 1. 


ments gradually came into use, including blanket capotes. At the 
present day sldn vests entirely covered with beadwork are very 

Fur caps were used in winter. Headbands of various kinds were 
in common use, including those made of buffalo hair and horses' tails. 

Feather bonnets of several types were used by men of all the tribes 
from the earliest times. The particular style of bonnet later known 
as the "Sioux war-bomiet" was adopted from the Crow. These 
bonnets were an article of trade on the plains. Earlier the Salish 
had a somewhat similar bonnet; but the so-called "Sioux bonnet" 
was considered to be more striking. 

Women's Clothing. — Women's costume consisted of a long dress 
reaching nearly to the anldes, short leggings reaching to the knee, 
moccasins, a belt, and cap or headband. The style of woman's dress 
that consisted of cape and bodice reaching to the knees or a little 
below was not used by any of the Flathead tribes. According to 
Revais, "This kind of costume was used at The Dalles, and from there 
down to the coast. It was also used along Columbia River by a few 
people for some distance above The Dalles, and in some parts to the 
west. It was considered a style belonging to the coast and Lower 
Columbia." Women's dresses were made of two whole deerskins or 
small elk sldns sewed face to face, heads down. The sides were sewed 
up to near the armpits. At the upper ends of the skins the edges 
were folded over and sewed down to the body of the garment. There 
were no sleeves, the extensions of the shoulders consisting of the hind 
legs of the skins falling ovei' the arms almost to the wrists. The side 
seams and all the outer edges were fringed. Generally the tailpieces 
were cut off and the bottom of the dress was trimmed so that it was 
longer at the sides. Usually one or two rows of inserted thongs 
depended from the dress near the bottom. Of the dresses described 
by Wissler, that shown in his Figure 18 ^ appears to be closest to 
the common style of the Flathead tribes, both in cut and ornamenta- 
tion. In later days some cloth dresses, generally red and blue, were 
used instead of sldn. They were cut and ornamented in much the 
same way as the skin dresses.^ 

Women's legging reached up to the knee or a little above, and were 
of two or three styles. One kind was fastened on the outside of 
the legs with tie strings; while another kind was made for the foot 
to pass through, and was held in place by a draw string below the 
knee.® It seems that women's caps and headbands were of dressed 
skin. Woven caps of the Nez Perce type were used to some extent 
by women of the Spokan and Kalispel, but not until later years by 
the Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead. The women's caps made of skin 

' d, p. 66. 

' See Flathead specimen, Field Museum, 111909. 

' See Flathead specimens. Field Museum, 111782, 111783. 



were similar in shape to those of the Coeur d'Alene, Thompson, and 
other tribes. 

Ornamentation and Designs on Clothing. — Ornamentation of 
clothing was by fringing, pinking, puncturing, dyeing, painting, and 
by decorating with burnt work, quillwork, and beadwork. Elk 
teeth and shells were also used. Almost all the designs were geo- 
metric, but a few were floral. In later da3^s floral designs partial}}^ 
supplanted the geometric designs, especially in beadwork. However, 
most of the designs remain geometric, except perhaps among 
the Spokan. Many of these designs are the same as those found in 
bead embroidery of the Blackfoot and other eastern tribes. Some, 
also, are similar to old designs among Salish tribes farther west. 
Solid beadwork occurs on many bags, moccasins, vests, belts, etc., 
and is more common than among the western Salish tribes. Wliite 
is the conmion ground color, but blue is not infrequent, and red and 
yellow also occur. Woven beadwork occurs, but it is not common, 
and may be of recent introduction. Most of the beadwork is 
flat, but the style sewed so as to give a ridged effect also occurs. 
Designs on robes were generally painted, but some burnt work and 
beadwork and quillwork were also used. Generally bands of beadwork 
or quillwork followed the seams of clothing. When there were n^ 
fringes, bands of embroidery covered the seams. \'Vlien embroidery 
was not used, seams were generally painted with red lines. Painting 
sometimes occurred on clothing in conjunction with beadwork. 
Bands of beadwork and quillwork on men's shirts were often appUed 
in exactly the same manner as on shirts described by Wissler,'° the 
triangular piece of breast ornamentation being very common. Cir- 
cular ornamentations were also in use. The yoke of women's dresses 
was generally embroidered with horizontal wavy lines in beadwork or 
qmllwork, and often the whole area was covered with solid beadwork. 
A row of fringing, often strung vcith beads or other pendants, generally 
followed the lower lines of the beaded areas across the dress from one 
side to the other. Also usually one or two lines of beadwork crossed 
the dress from side to side near the bottom." 

Men's leggings often had bands of beadwork following the side 
seams, and occasionally cross lines near the bottom. 

Women's leggings were sometimes crossed with solid beadwork, 
and sometimes had designs only on the bottom fronts, or a wide band 
of beadw^ork around the bottom. 

Men's and women's belts were generally richly beaded, and vromen's 
caps more or less so. 

Ermine skins were often used for fringes and ornamentation on 
men's clothes, and they were much used as side fringes to war bonnets. 
Human and horse hair were also used in ornamentation of clothes. 

w d, pp. 47, 48, figs. 1, 2. 

" See Flathead dress, Field Museum, 111909. 



[ETH. ANN. 45 

The colors employed in painting clothing were chiefly red, yellow, 
and black. Some of the painted designs on men's clothing represented 

2iDi/ V=U 














1 i 





c ' cL e 

Figure 28.— Moccasin trailers 

Figure 29. — Designs on moccasins 

dreams and visions. Some were pictographs connected with the 
guardian spirit and others incidents of the chase and of war. Some 




bufTalo robes had broad beaded bands similar to those on robes used 
by many Plains tribes. Moccasins and shirts were sometimes painted 
yellow with wolf moss. Moccasin trailers are shown in Figure ?8. 









k i 

Figure 30.— Designs on front of women's leggings 

A few of the beaded designs on moccasins, leggings, and dresses '^ that 
I noted among the Spokan are shown in Figures 29-33. 




Figure 31. — Designs on sides of men's leggings 

Personal Adornment. — Ear pendants were common in early 
times. Large shell pendants were especially common among the 
Pend d'Oreilles, and to a less extent among the Kalispel. Most of 

12 See Field Museum, 111890-111893, 111909, 111782, 111783. 



[ETH. ANN. 45 

them were fresh-water shells obtained locally. No nose ornaments 
or nose pins were used by the Flathead and Pend d'Oreilles, and they 
were rare among the Kalispel and Spokan. It is said that they were 
common among the Nez Perce and all the more western Shahaptian 
and Salishan tribes. Necklaces were very common and were similar 
to those used by neighboring tribes both east and west. Face and 
body painting was universal, the most common colors being red and 
yellow, but black, white, and blue were also frequently used. A 








Designs on lower part of men's leggings 

famous spot for obtaining red paint in the Flathead country was at 
a^'pEl yu'tsamEii ("possessing red paint"), near Helena. The paint 
was obtained from a large, long cave under a cliff. As the paint rock 
was at the head of the cave, and it was quite dark inside, a rope was 
tied to the waist of the man who went in, so that he might readily 
find his way back. When the head of the cave was reached the 
searcher felt with his hands and piilled down blocks of the decom- 
posed rock, returning with as much as he could carry. When he 
came out he divided the paint among the people, who put it into hide 


o o o o o 

« »a« 



_1M ill 





•• Figure 33. — Designs from shoulders of women's dresses 

sacks. Long ago the best quality of paint rock from this place was 
exported by the Helena people to neighboring tribes. After the 
introduction of horses, parties of Flathead and their allies gathered 
paint at this place when passing or hunting near there. It is said 
that several men lost their lives or were injured in this cave by rocks 
falling on them. There was also a belief that this cave could open 
and shut at will, and that several men had been killed by it. Much 
of the body and face painting of men was symbolic in character and 
connected with war exploits and guardian spirits. At a recent dance 


near Jocko, Chief Moise appeared with his lower legs painted yellow, 
because the war exploit he was about to relate occurred on the Yellow- 
stone River. 

Tattoo marks were also in large measure symbolic. Like painting, 
tattooing was done by both sexes. However, it was not very common. 
Wrists and forearms were the chief parts tattooed, but some men had 
tattoo marks on the legs and body as well. The Kalispel and Spokan 
are said to have tattooed much more than the Pend d'Oreilles and 
Flathead. It seems that there was no face tattooing, or that it was 
exceedingly rare. The Assiniboin are said to be the only eastern 
tribe that tattooed much. A number of them tattooed the face; and 
many had tattoo marks on the body, arms, and legs. 

I did not learn much of hairdressing, except that the styles are 

said to have been the same as among the neighboring tribes. At 

the present day a great many of the men wear their hair in two cues, 

one on each side. This is said to have been an old as well as a modern 

style. Formerly some men wore a forelock. E\'idently there were 

a number of different styles of dressing the hair. Women generally 

wore their hair in two braids tied at the back. Men often attached 

ornaments and strips of fur to the braids of the hair. The hair was 

never cut and roached. The headdress of porcupine and deer's hair, 

in imitation of the headdress of the Osage, now often worn by young 

men in dances, is of modern introduction. Some men wore long 

headdresses of human hair woven together, the tresses being joined 

with gum. I do not know if this style is old or not. The beard 

was pulled out with tweezers. Pubic and other body hair was not 



Roots and Berries. — The coimtry occupied by the Flathead 
tribes is rich in all lands of food. Roots and berries are abundant, 
and were used extensively. The Flathead paid less attention to these 
than the other tribes of the group. Camas and bitterroot were 
highly valued, and in several places large quantities were dug. The 
two most famous camas grounds were at Big Camas, or Camas 
Prairie, aboTit 15 miles above Missoula, Mont., where many Pend 
d'OreUles, SEvnte'use, and Flathead gathered for digging; and Camas 
Prairie near Cahspell Lake, Wash., where Kahspel, Spokan, and 
Colville gathered. It is said that the Flathead were promised 
Camas Prairie as a camas reserve by the Government, but did not 
get it. Besides these places, there were many fine camas grounds 
in other parts of the tribal habitat. The territory of the Kalispel 
especially was noted for richness in camas. On the present Flat- 
head reserve there were two much-used camas grounds at Camas 
Prairie and Crow Creek belonging to the Pend d'Oreilles. 


Root diggers were of the same Idnd as among the Coeur d'Alene." 
Handles were of wood, horn, and antler. At one time baskets were 
generally used in the gathering of roots; but as basketry gradually 
went out of use, woven and hide bags, large ones of the Nez Perce 
type, and some of soft skin and rawhide, took their place. Baskets 
were gradually abandoned after the introduction of the horse, owing 
to the increased amount of traveling and the preeminence given to 
buffalo hunting. They were too rigid and bulky for constant horse 
travel, and, besides, the women who traveled long distances on 
buffalo himts had no time to make them, and often found themselves 
in districts where basket materials could not be obtained. Each 
generation saw fewer baskets made, and with the coming of the 
whites they were no longer required as kettles. In large measure 
they also lost their value as articles of trade. 

Bark baskets were used extensively in gathering berries. For 
gathering huckleberries in the higher mountains the Kalispel used 
conical cedar-bark baskets. At the present day they often dispense 
with root diggers and use plows instead. A few long furrows are 
plowed across the camas meadows; the women follow and gather 
the upturned roots. A large quantity of roots is thus gathered in 
a short time. 

The methods of curing berries and curing and cooking roots appear 
to have been much the same as among the Coeur d'Alene and other 
Salishan tribes. There may have been -some differences between 
the Spokan in the extreme west and the Flathead in the extreme 
east. The Spokan used circular pits for the storage of dried fish, 
roots, berries, and even meat. These were opened and aired from 
time to time. 

The following is told of the seasonal occupations of the Spokan. 
The majority of people of most bands scattered over the tribal 
territory, and even over that of neighbors, for eight or nine months of 
the year, gathering roots and berries, hunting, fishing, visiting, and 
trading. The rest of the year was spent in winter camps. Then they 
lived on the food which had been secured and hunted occasionally 
on the near-by hunting grounds. In some places they also fished. 
Tliis was the season of social entertainments and dancing and also of 
manufacturing. Many of the women made most of their mats, bas- 
kets, bags, and clothes at this season, the materials having been 
gathered previously. 

Generally spealdng, the people occupied themselves chiefly as 
follows during the year: In the springtime, digging certain roots, 
hunting and fishing on the nearer grounds; in early summer, fishing 
for trout and salmon, hunting, and root digging; in midsummer, root 
digging and berrying, only a little hunting; in late summer, salmon 
fishing and berrying, very little hunting or root digging; in early 
fall (about September), the same occupations as in late summer; in 


late fall (October and November), root digging and hunting in the 
early part, and finally only hunting. In December they went into 
their winter camps and left them in March. Trading parties to The 
Dalles and other places left in August and returned for the late fall 
hunting. They dug roots and hunted, if convenient, on the way 
going and coming, but chiefly on the way back. Buft'alo hunting 
parties also left in August. Some came back late in the fall, about 
November, and some did not return until spring. 

The following is a hst of the principal roots and berries gathered by 
the Spokan: 


1. A'thwa, e'txwa {Camassia esculenta). 

2. Spa'tlEm {Lewisia rediviva). 

3. Pa'iwa (unidentified [see Coeur d'A]ene, p. 89, No. 3]). 

4. Po'xpux (unidentified [see Coeur d'Alene, p. 89, No. 4]). 

5. Tu'xwa (unidentified [see Coeur d'Alene, p. 89, No. 5]). 

6. Sd'tc (Allium sp.). 

7. Kola'wal {Allium sp.). 

8. Stlokom (unidentified). 

9. MEsa'we (unidentified). 

10. SkwEnkwe'nEm (Claytonia sp). 

11. SEsi'lEm (unidentified). 

12. Tsa'wax {Fritillaria pudica [?]). 

13. Siai' EkEfi (unidentified). 

14. Sqa'kErtsEn (unidentified). 

15. Mold' Epa {Cnicus undulatus {?\). 

16. To'qwa (Balsamorrhiza sp.). 


1. Sld'k {Amelanchier sp.). 

2. Lo'xldx {Prunus demissa Walp.). 

3. Tsekwi'k" (Sambucus sp.). 

4. Stsa'ts.tx (Cornus pubescens Nutt.). 

5. Shwa'natc {Crataegus sp.). 

6. Nwa'weslls {Rubus sp. [raspberry]). 

7. Po'lpolqEn {Rubus sp. [thimbleberry?]). " 

8. Ta'ltaltlaox^ {Rubus s-p. [trailing blackberry?]). 

9. Sqxoeikwai' qsn ("black head," Rubus leucodermis Dougl.). 

10. Nta'tEinelps {Ribes sp. [red gooseberry]). 

11. Yd'rtca {Ribes sp. [black gooseberry]). 

12. Tsd'lz- {Ribes sp. [currant]). 

13. Sho'zEm {Shepherdia canadensis Nutt.). 

14. Qei'tqEm, kei'tkEm {Fragaria calif ornica). 

15. SiEzcd'lk {Vaccinium membranaceum) . 

16. Npokpeka'xEu {Vaccinium sp.). 

17. Sisl'pt {Vaccinium sp. [small blueberry]). 

18. Sqo'eyu {Berberis sp.). 

19. Skole's {Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). ' 

20. Shoie'pak {Rosa sp.). 

21. T EptEptai' Elp ("black" or "dark," very seldom eaten; unidentified). 
SslExwai'lEpkan (the snowberry) was not eaten. 

I Compare Thompson name of this berry. 
■ 2 Compare Thompson name for Oregon grape, Berberis sp. 



Qa'-puza (hazelnuts). 

Swl'sttc (nutlets of Pinus albicaulis). 

Stsetsi'tca (nutlets of Pinus ponderosa) . 

Me'tcto (seeds of Balsamorrhiza) . 

Stsa'xwe (cambium of Pinus ponderosa) . 

SEnamoxstci' uEm (cambium of Pinus contorta or of poplar [used a little]). 

Hoxta'lp (stalks of Heracleum lanatum). 

Skola'pkEn {Alectoria jubata L.). 

ShivV Ena {Opuntia sp.). 

Rib-bone knives and animals' shoulder blades were used as sap 

Agriculture. — According to some informants, tobacco was raised 
long ago in some places by the Pend d'Oreilles, Flathead, and prob- 
ably by the other tribes also. The Spokan are said to have grown 
wheat as early as 1835.^ 

Hunting. Weapons of the chase. — The double-curved bow was 
the only land used by all the Flathead tribes. The only neighboring 
people who used wide flat bows exclusively, or almost exclusively, were 
the Lower Kutenai and Coeur d'Alene. For this reason the former 
were called "Flat Bow" ("Arc platte") by the fur traders and the 
latter "Wide Bows" or "Flat Bows" in the sign language. All the 
best bows were made of syringa wood and were sinew backed. The 
Spokan and many men of all the tribes covered their bows with bull- 
snake sldn. Horn bows were used by all the tribes, and especially by 
the Flathead. Some were made of a single piece and others were 
joined of two, rarely of three, pieces. Arrows were similar to those of 
other Salishan tribes. 

Long ago rattlesnake poison was sometimes used on arrowheads. 
No beaver spears were used. Lances were occasionally employed in 
Ivilling game. Dogs were used in some wa^^^s of hunting. 

Hunting iefore and after the introduction of the horse. — I obtained 
the following information from Michel Revais and others regarding 
the methods of hunting. Long ago the Flathead country was one 
of the very best coim tries for game and all lands of food. On the 
Great plains, where buffaloes migrated in great herds, little other 
game v/as found. In the Flathead country, buffalo were always 
present, and at times, when they became scarcer than usual, plenty 
of other game could be procured. On the other hand, in large portions 
of the plains to the east, when the buffalo left, there was very little 
other game to be obtained; in many places, at least, not sufficient to 
feed a large company of people. For this reason, before the advent 

3 E. E. Dye states that the Spokan were growing wheat in 1838, grinding it at the Hudson Bay Co.'s 
mill at Fort Colville, traveling a distance of 70 miles. (MoLoughlin and Old Oregon.) 



of the horse, portions of the great open plains were seldom visited. 
When the buffalo deserted a part of the plains they sometimes 
traveled long distances and were hard to follow and overtake on foot. 
People who attempted to live in these places would have to follow 
the buffalo or starve, and thej'' could not easily travel great distances 
carrying their children, old people, and baggage. Even dogs \\ith 
travois could not help them a great deal, for the dogs woidd require 
to be fed meat constantly. Prairie fires were also dangerous and 
often drove game away. Besides this, in those days without horses 
the common game of the open plains (buffalo and antelope) could not 
be hunted as successfully as in a more or less broken country. Thus 
long ago people made their headquarters in diversified country, more 
or less hilly and wooded, where good shelter, firewood, poles, and 
water were abundant, and where there was a variety of game and 
fish, where many kinds of roots and berries were growdng, and where 
materials for manufactures were at hand. As the places ha\ang the 
best conditions were in the more or less hilly and partly wooded 
country in proximity to the Rocky Mountains, most bands made 
their headquarters in the country of the foothills. Some bands who 
lived farther east had their headquarters wdtliin valleys in local or 
isolated ranges of hills. In some cases there were considerable dis- 
tances between bands, while other bands were comparatively close to 
one another. In aU cases there was a sufficient area of hunting 
country intervening to allow of good hunting for all. As a rule, 
people hunted the coimtry halfway over to the next band. Traveling 
over long distances occuiTed, but usually not for collecting food 
supplies but for visiting, trading, or on the warpath. They traveled 
hght and hved on the game of the coimtry as they went along, leaving 
all sm-plus meat that they could not carry. Long ago buffalo were 
not considered much more valuable for meat and sldns than some 
other kinds of large game, such as elk, for instance. 

Buffalo were plentiful in the Flathead country and in the country 
of the Saiish- Tuna 'xe. Elk, antelope, and deer of two or three lands 
were also plentiful; moose and mountain sheep aboimded in many 
places. Goats occm-red, but they were seldom hunted owing to the 
abundance of other game easier to obtain and considered much more 
valuable. Besides large game, small game and game birds were 
abimdant, also roots, berries, fish, and shellfish. The Pend d'Oreilles 
used shellfish, but it must have been a matter of choice with them, and 
not necessity, for their country was almost as weU stocked with game 
as that of the Flathead. Buffalo were less abundant, but other lands 
of game were probably equally as plentifid as in the Flathead country, 
if not more so. Besides, at one time caribou abounded in many 
places north of Pend Oreille River, and both the Pend d'Oreilles 
41383°— 30 23 


and Kalispel hunted them. All the game common to the Pend 
d'Oreille country was also found in the Kalispel country, with the 
exception of buffalo, which penetrated there only occasionally. The 
Spokan had no caribou, moose, and buffalo in their country, but 
great numbers of elk, deer, and antelope. Bears were at one time 
numerous. After the introduction of horses, buffalo hunting, trans- 
portation, and traveling long distances became easy. Hunting of 
other game lost in importance. It was now possible to load great 
pack trains with meat and skins, and to put up supplies at any place. 
Great bands of people could travel together. In fact, the larger the 
parties, the easier the buffalo hunting. Buffalo hides and robes 
became considerable articles of trade with the more western tribes, 
who did not go buffalo hunting. For these reasons the old style of 
life was being given up and the people became almost exclusively 
buffalo hunters, as this was the easiest way of making a living. What- 
ever was unsuited to the new mode of life was discarded. Thus the 
mat tent went out of use and was replaced by the skin tent. . Rawhide 
bags came more and more into use; parfieches were universally used 
as packing cases. A few baskets and mat lodges continued to be 
used at the main winter camps and in the most western parts of the 
country. Fishing, digging of roots, and gathering of berries became 
of less importance, because these industries could not always be 
prosecuted when buffalo hunting. Good berrying and root-digging 
grounds were not usually places best suited for buffalo hunting, and 
people often found themselves far away at the proper season for 
berrying and root digging. Thus there arose a tendency to neglect 
these sources of food supply, as well as the hunting of other game. 
A certain amount of roots and berries was gathered and cured by 
old people, who did not go with the regular buffalo-hunting parties. 
The Flathead believe that the Crow and other tribes were affected by 
the introduction of the horse in much the same manner as themselves, 
and gave up their old manner of living to be buffalo hunters on the 
plains. Revais and others believed that the Crow and all other 
eastern tribes, before the introduction of the horse, must have lived 
a semisedentary life, somewhat simUar to the old life of the Flathead, 
and that they must have had headquarters in some semiforested 
country to the east. They could not have lived continually out on 
the open plains as buffalo hunters before they had horses. The 
Flathead did not make the changes necessary to their life of mounted 
buffalo hunters by copying from the eastern or Plains tribes; for at 
the time (say, about 1600) they were not in contact with the Plains 
tribes. Besides, it is known that at least the Blackfoot and the 
Assiniboin obtained horses at a date much later than the Flathead ; and 
it is believed that all the eastern tribes, such as the Crow, Sioux, and 
Arapaho, obtained their first horses also at a date later than the Flat- 



head and neighboring Shoshoni. It is believed that all tribes, both 
east and west of the Rocky Mountains, secured their first horses 
directl}^ or indirectly from or through Shoshoni bands of the western 
plains; and it is believed that the Kutenai and Blackfoot copied the 
horse equipment from the Flathead and Shoshoni. This leaves only 
the Shoshoni, the first to have horses, from whom the Flathead might 
have copied. 

In later years, when there came to be much contact between many 
tribes on the western plains, the Flathead were influenced by contact 
with eastern tribes, and also the latter by contact with western 

It is claimed that owing to the abimdance of game in the Flathead 
country before the introduction of the horse, a sufficiency of meat 
could be obtained by ordinary methods of himting, such as the still 
hunt and the surround. Therefore there was no need for the employ- 
ment of nets, corrals, and pounds for catching game, and these were 
not used. The Blackfoot, and some other tribes to the north and 
west, were known to employ some or all of these methods; but it is 
thought this must have been because game was scarcer in their 
countries, or harder to hunt. Even snares and deadfalls were very 
little used in capturing game. Deer fences and deer snares like those 
of the Thompson were not used. Driving or stampeding elk and 
buffalo over precipices, and possibly some other methods of driving, 
were in vogue; but it is not certain that these methods were also used 
before the advent of the horse. 

Before horses were in use, buffaloes were surrounded in small 
numbers and shot; or the hunter crawled up to stragglers on the edges 
of the larger herds and shot them. Some were also killed from 
ambushes at watering places, and occasionally they were caught on 
slippery ice and when swimming rivers. Disguises were often used 
in approaching buft'alo and other game. 

When buft'alo hunting was conducted on horseback the common 
method was for a party of mounted men to charge the herd in a line 
or in a half circle at a given signal, stampeding the animals, and follow- 
ing them up, shooting and stabbing them. In the later days of 
buffalo hunting, Salishan parties sometimes hunted within the 
boundaries of the Blackfoot, Gros Ventres, and Assiniboin tribes. 
When wars with the Blackfoot ceased, Kutenai and Pend d'Oreilles 
parties often went to the north, crossing the present Blackfoot 
Reserve in Montana, sometimes passing Blackfoot parties in that 
part of the country, and hunted beyond them to the east and north, 
frequently crossing the Canadian line. It is uncertain how far 
Salishan parties went beyond their tribal boundaries to the east 
along the Missouri and Yellowstone, but it seems that the Lower 
Musselshell and Big Horn were about their limits, and they rarely or 


never went east of the mouths of these streams. To the south they 
went not infrequently as far as Wind River, Sweetwater and Green 
Rivers; but this was generally on visits to the Shoshoni, although 
they hunted all the way, going and returning. 

In several parts of the Spokan country where there were extensive 
prairies the Indians surrounded game every fall. Elk, deer, and 
antelope were killed in this way. A large body of people, including 
many women and children, made a huge circle, and moved day by 
day toward a common center. At night they camped in the circle. 
Thus they moved toward one point a few miles every day. As the 
circle shortened there became less chance of game getting out and 
the camps came to be closer together. Any game seen near the edge 
of the circle, was, if possible, scared in by riders. Many mounted 
men rode to and fro between the camping parties in the circle, while 
others, chiefly women, advanced on horseback and on foot, carrying 
the baggage. In weak parts of the ring fires were lighted, especially 
at night, and sticks with burnt skin attached were erected here and 
there. At last, after a few days, or a week or two, according to the 
size of the ground siirrounded, a large number of game animals con- 
gregated in the center. Places where game was most liable to break 
through were then guarded by women and children to scare them back, 
or sometimes by men in ambush to shoot. Then all the most active 
mounted men attacked the animals and killed many with arrows 
and spears. Those that broke away were chased and shot at as they 
fled. This method of hunting was practiced both before and after 
the introduction of horses, and it fell into disuse only after the 
introduction of firearms, when there came to be danger of shooting 
one another. 

Sometimes, instead of a surround, driving was arranged on a great 
scale, the animals being driven over cliffs, where they were killed by 
the fall, or into coulees and defiles, where men lay m wait to shoot 
them. Sometunes drives were made m coulees with steep sides, the 
animals being driven from one end to the other, where they were met 
by hunters waiting for them, and between the two parties were 
nearly all killed. 

Fishing. — Fishing was of much less unportance to the Flathead 
tribes than hunting, with the exception possibly of the Spokan. 
Several kinds of small fish were plentiful in the rivers, creeks,, and 
lakes. No doubt in early times, when the people were more sedentary, 
fishing was engaged in to a considerable extent by certain bands of the 
Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles, especially by the people living around 
Flathead Lake. It is said that long ago some of the Kalispel spent 
most of the fair season around Pend Oreille, Priest, and other lakes, 
hunting, fishing, and gathering roots and berries in the near-b}'' 
mountains. When winter approached they returned to their regular 



winter camping places on the main river, where the snowfall was 
lighter and the climate milder. 

Hooks and lines were used in fishing ; but nets w^ere little employed 
except perhaps on Flathead Lake and at a few other points. How- 
ever, large nets were used a great deal at the mouth of the Little 
Spokane for catching various kinds of fish. They were stretched 
completely across the river, one net being set some distance upstream 
above the other. Dip nets were seldom or never used. According 
to Revais, "The dip net for catching salmon on rivers was much used 
along Columbia River, from the Thompson and Shuswap down to the 
mouth of the Wallawalla, and to near The Dalles, but it was little 
used by the tribes to the east of the Columbia. The Nez Perce 
and Wallawalla used them for catching salmon, but the Spokan did 
not use them." 

In many places weirs and traps were employed. Traps were of two 
or three kinds, similar to the common fish traps of the Thompson. 

Two kinds of spears were in use — the single-pointed gig, for spearing 
fish from the shore, and the three-pronged spear, for spearing from 
canoes and ice. No salmon were found in the countries of the Pend 
d'Oreilles, SEmte'use, and Flathead, and in only one small piece of 
the territory of the Kalispel. The Spokan, however, had some good 
sahnon fisheries along Spokane River. Salmon did not run in the 
Pend Oreille River. In the salmon season, some Kalispel went 
down the river to near the canyon (probably Bo.x Canyon), then 
across country to the head of Salmon River in British Columbia, 
which was the northeast corner of their tribal territory, and there 
fished salmon. The sahnon at this place were generally spent and 
poor, and in some years there were not many. A few Kalispel 
joined the friendly Lake and Colville at their great salmon fishery 
about Kettle Falls; but most of the tribe procured dried salmon in 
trade from the Colville and Spokan, probably chiefly from the former. 
Some of the Flathead obtained dried salmon from the Lemhi Shoshoni. 
The Pend d'Oreilles, SEmte'use, and Salish-TMna'a-e had no chance 
to fish salmon with neighbors, and were seldom able to obtain much 
in trade. 


Canoes. — The Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles were noted as canoe 
people. They had an abundance of good bark in their countries and 
made many bark canoes. White-pine bark was chiefly used. Ribs 
were generally made of cedar and black-pine roots were used for sew- 
ing. The canoes were swift and light, and w^ere of the same general 
shape and construction as the bark canoes of many other Salishan 
tribes and of the Kutenai. They differed, however, in having the 
bark at their ends cut off square and sewed together, instead of having 



[eTH. ANN. 45 

long, sharp, rounded, snoutlike ends, like the canoes of all other 
tribes. This type, with cut-off "snouts" or shortened ends (fig. 34), 
was pecuhar to the Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles, and may have been 
adopted under the influence of the eastern bark canoe since the advent 
of the traders; for it is stated that Iroquois who settled among the 
Pend d'Oreilles, and others in the employment of the fur traders, 
sometimes made bark canoes of the eastern or Iroquois shape on 
Flathead Lake. However, I was unable to make sure of this point. 
As the "sturgeon-nose" (or snout-ended) canoe is the only type used 
by neighboring tribes, and is widely distributed over a large area, it 
would seem to be the older type of the two. The other tribes — the 
Spokan, SEmte'use, Salish-TVtna'xe, and Flathead — are said to have 
had no canoes long ago, only rafts of poles. It seems that tule rafts 
were used to a slight extent by the Spokan, and possibly by the 

othei"s, but I was unable to make 
certain of this. In later times, proba- 
bly with the introduction of the first 
iron, the Spokan began to make dugout 
canoes of poplar and other logs, while 
the Flathead adopted the bull boat of 
the plains area. 

Dogs. — Dogs were common to all 
the tribes. In color they were gray, 
yellow, and black of various shades, 
generally lighter underneath and in 
front, like coyotes and wolves. Some 
were somewhat mixed in color, such as 
yellow and white or brown and white. 
They were haired like coyotes and 
wolves, and resembled them in appear- 
ance and shape. None of them had curly, soft fur, and none had long 
or floppy eai-s. Most of them were of large size, but some were rather 
small. The dogs of the Flathead group appear to have been of the 
same breed as those of the Thompson and other tribes of the plateau 
and neighboring plains. The hair and skins of dogs were not made 
use of, nor was their flesh eaten. They were at one time used for 
hunting purposes, but to what extent is not clear. 

Horses. — The Flathead claim to have obtained horses first about 
1600 or a little later from some Shoshoni tribe, who, according to 
them, were the earliest people to have had horses. All horses came 
first from the south and southeast, and spread north and northwest. 

The Salish-7?/.« a'jce procured their first horses fi-om the Shoshoni 
at about the same time as the Flathead obtained theirs, but for some 
reason they had more horses at an early date than the Flathead. 
Horses increased in numbers rather rapidly for some years after their 

Figure 34. — Types of canoe bow 
0, Sturgeon-nose type. 6, Kalispel type. 


first introduction, as there was little or no hoi"se stealing, and horse 
flesh was seldom eaten, owing to the great abundance of buffalo and 
other large game. After horses had become plentiful Blackfoot and 
eastern tribes began to appear in the region bordering the Flathead, 
and then horse raiding became common, and continued until the last 
days of the buft'alo hunting. 

I obtained the following information from Revais and othei-s 
concerning the introduction of horses into other tribes. "The Pend 
d'Oreilles and SEinU'use obtained their first horses from the Flathead; 
and the Kalispel from the Pend d'Oreilles. The Coeur d'Alene 
got theirs first from the Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles; and the Spokan, 
according to some, theirs also from the Kahspel. The Colville 
almost certainly obtained their first horses also from the Kalispel." 
It seems, however, that horses spread simultaneously on both sides 
of the Rocky Mountains from the Shoshoni, and reached the Moses 
Columbia tribe only a little later than they reached the Pend d'Oreilles. 
Thus it is said that most of the Columbia tribes had horses before 
the Kutenai and Blackfoot. The Cayuse had a large number earher 
than any other tribes near the Columbia. It seems that they received 
them directly from the Shoshoni. The Nez Perce are said to have 
obtained most of their first horses from the Cayuse and the Shoshoni. 
From the Cayuse, horses spread rapidly among the Shahaptian and 
Sahshan tribes of Columbia River, and from there north. At the 
same time horses were reaching the Columbia from' the east by way 
of Pend Oreille River. Horses spread among the Shoshoni from south 
to north, and it is supposed that they came originally from Mexico. 
The Shoshoni east of the ^sXis\i-Tund' xe and Flathead may have had 
horses at even an earher date than they. The Kutenai west of the 
mountains are said to have obtained their first horses from the Pend 
d'Oreilles; and those east of the mountains from the Sahsh-T'wno'.Te 
and possibly also from the Shoshoni. Some think that the Blackfoot 
obtained their first horses in trade from the Salish- Z'tt«a'.re, Flathead, 
and Shoshoni. Others claim that the Blackfoot procured all their first 
horses by stealing from the Shoshoni and Flathead. It seems that the 
Kutenai and Blackfoot were slower in adapting themselves to horses 
than some other tribes, and did not use them extensively for some time 
after their introduction. The Crow are said to have obtained horses 
from the Shoshoni and Flathead by stealing, and may have taken their 
first horses from the former. The Sioux are said to have received horses 
at a later date than the Crow and Blackfoot; and the Gros Ventres 
probably a little earlier than the Blackfoot. The Assiniboin and Cree 
obtained horses later than the Crow and Blackfoot. 

The following story is told of the first horse seen by the Lower 
Kalispel. The first horse that reached the Lower KaUspel country 
was ridden by an Indian (some say a half-breed) who came from the 


Flathead country by way of the Pend d'Oreilles. Some people saw 
the horse's tracks where it had passed over some sand. They called 
other people, and discussed what land of animal had made the tracks, 
wliich were strange to them all. Some thought it might have been 
a horse, as they had heard about them. Other people lower down, 
near the river bank, saw the man approach on the horse at a lope. 
They observed that he was smoking, and that he seemed to be quite 
at his ease. They watched him enter the river and swim across on 
the horse. They gathered around and examined the animal with 
much curiosity. The Kalispel and Colville always called horses by 
the common term for dogs when they were first introduced. Later 
they adopted the name common to nearly all the Salish tribes for 
"horse," which is related to a common word for "dog." 

Transportation and Horse Equipment. — Before the advent of 
the horse overland transportation was entirely on people's backs. 
Tump straps of sldn, generally passed over the head, v/ere used for 
carrying loads. It is said that dogs were never employed as draught 
animals in sleds, toboggans, or travois. The majority of informants 
declared that dogs were never used for packing or hauling. One or 
two informants said dogs were occassionally and in some places used 
for carrying loads, but whether this was in very remote times or 
just previous to the introduction of the horse is quite uncertain. 
No toboggans were used, except that sometimes an animal's meat was 
lashed inside the' skin and hauled by hand downhill over the snow, 
as among the Thompson. Some soft skin and rawhide bags and some 
baskets were used in the transportation of goods. 

Plorses were at once adopted for riding and pacldng. The common 
method of packing horses appears to have been with light packsad- 
dles of wood, over which rawhide was shrunk. Two parfleches, filled 
so as to be about equal in weight and bulk, were suspended by 
loops over the "horns" or crosspieces of the saddle, one on each side, 
and secured by ropes passing over the load and underneath the horse. 
Sometimes some light flat or flexible material was placed crosswise 
on the top of the saddle and parfleches and secured by the same rope. 
All the horse equipment of packsaddles, riding saddles, cinches, 
ropes, bridles, whips; and methods of riding, pacldng, and horse 
management appear to have been received and adopted along with 
the horse from the Shoshoni, and were passed on from the Flathead 
to all the other Sahshan tribes to the west and north. Certain kinds 
of riding saddles were also sometimes used as packsaddles. Aiost 
men's saddles were of the "pad " type ' similar to those of the Thomp- 
son, Shoshoni, and surrounding tribes. Usually the four corners of 
the saddle were covered with solid quill or bead work, or otherwise 
ornamented. Other saddles were also of the. same types as those 

< 1, p. 12, fig. 8. 




used by the Thompson and neighboring tribes. Two lands, chiefl}" 
used by men, in some tribes also by women, were somewhat hke pack 
saddles, ha\^ng wooden sides and "horns" of antler or wood. 

Horns were of two lands — the forked and the curved or bow type. 
They were the same as specimens described by Wissler.- Saddles 
with high "horns," most of them \\'ith a spike in front, were used 

a ^ — " i) 

FiGUKE 35. — stirrups, a, Made of two pieces; 6, made of one piece 

almost altogether by women.^ Saddles of this land were generally 
ornamented with long flaps of sldn richly embroidez'ed which hung 
from both pommels, or sometimes just from the back one.^ Cinches 
were of hide and woven horse hair. Stirrups were of one or two 
pieces of bent wood, and sometimes of moimtain sheep horn. Hide 
was shrunk over the wooden ones, which were of several shghtly dif- 


III III ™ 111 


Figure 36.^Beaded flaps for stiiTups for women's saddles, a. Common type. 6, Less com- 
mon tj-pe. c, With beaded foot rest 

ferent shapes. For a common land used by the Kalispel see Figure 
35.^ Cruppers were used on many saddles; those on women's saddles 
were wide and highly ornamented.^ Beaded pendants^ (fig. 36) were 
also much used on the stirrups of women's saddles by the Flathead, 

2 For the first type see /, p. 9, fig. 4 and perhaps I, p. 24, fig. 20; for the second, I. p. 10, fig. 5. 

3 1, p. 6, figs. 2; p. 21, fig. 17. 

W, p 6. fig. 2. 

» /, p. 16, figs. 11, 13; the former also used by women. 

6 ;, pp. 18, 19, figs. 14, 15. 

' I, p. 26, fig. 22. 



[liTIt. ANN. -15 

Pend d'Oreilles, and perhaps others. Vivrious Idiids of wide, highly 
ornamented coUars, somewhat similar to the wide cnijipers, were used 
on horses ridden by women. (Fig. 37.) Breast pendants of various 
kinds, ornamental headbands, and even eagle-feather bonnets were 
also used on horses bv men and women. Saddlebags of different 
kinds were used ehielly by women. '^ Most of them were beaded. 
(Fig. 38.) Square rawhide bags with long fringes were also much 
used by women as saddlebags." Saddle blankets were of several 
types,'" and some were ricldy embroidered. Bits consisted simply of 
a cord of hide hitched arouJid the lower jaw; ropes of straps of hide, 
or of cords braided of dressed skin, rawhide, or hair. Hobbles were 
of the same .materials. It seems that no spurs were used. Quirts 
were commonly used by both men and women. There were both the 

FiGumc ;!7.— Bcadoii llaiw for hoi'so cdlUirs 

round and flat types." Handles wei-e of antler and wood, especially 
the former, and some were ornamented with incised designs. 

Horses were often ijainted and their tails and manes arranged and 
decorated in various ways. Old-style saddles of some lands, orna- 
mented cruppers, collars, saddlebags, and (juirts are still made and 
used by the Flathead tribes. Horses were often iised for dragging 
lodge poles in flat open parts of the country, where poles were scarce; 
but the horse travois was seldom used, even when hunling buffalo on 
the plains. All the western tribes, including the Shoshoni, carried 
loads on horseback. The travois was only suited for flat and open 
country, \\hile pacldng was feasible everywhere, and, moreover, 
safer and more expeditioiis. ' A sack to be folded and laced was in 
use before the advent of the horse for carrying purposes; but the real 

s /, p. 23, fig. 19. 

« See Thompson, p. 203, n, flg. Ifll. 
>« See for instance, 1, p. 22, fig. 18. 
" /, p. 28, figs. 23, 2i 




parfleche, fitted with loops and supporting stick for pacldng on horses, 
came into vogue with the introduction of horses. 

Many young men rode bare back or on a saddlecloth fastened down 
■\\dth a cord or cinch. Most people could mount about ecpuill^' well 
from either side, but the right side of the horse was the favorite side 
for mounting, as among all tribes. 

Snowshoes. — Snowshoes were used by all the tribes, and appear 
to have been of the plateau type, like those of the Coeur d'Alcne. 
Sticks with mesh at the end for walldng in snow were not used. 







Figure 38. — Women's saddlebags 




Trade. — The great trade route between east and west, both before 
and after the advent of horses, was by way of Pend Oreille River, 
v/hich was the easiest and the most important gateway through the 
mountains toward the Columbia River region. The horse and 
eastern culture reached the Columbia mainly by this route. In 
early times there w^as probably a steady filtering through of cultural 
elements from east to west, and vice versa, by this route. Before the 
advent of the horse there was probably a preponderance of western 
influence following this route eastward; while after the introduction 
of horses and the taking up of buffalo hunting by many of the plateau 
tribes, conditions were reversed, and a strong eastern influence set 
westward across the plateaus. Wliat may be called the "western 
gate" of the Pend Oreille route w^as at a point on the river around 


Newport and Usk, in the territory of the Lower Kalispel. Here easy 
travel by land and water following the river stopped, and trails led 
directly west to the centers of the Spokan and Colville through easy 
coimtry. Travel did not follow the Pend Oreille River below this 
point to its mouth, owing to the northward turn in the river and the 
roughness of the water and the surroundmg country lower down. 
The main trade route from this point was to Colville, an important 
trading point and distributing center, only a short distance away. 
From here one route went up the Columbia to the Lakes, where 
there were points of contact with Okanagon, Shuswap, and Lower 
Kutenai; but it seems this was not so important a route as that 
continuing directly west through an easy, well-populated country to 
the centers of the Sanpoil and Okanagon, where it joined the Columbia 
River route, running north to the Shuswap and Thompson, and 
south to the Wenatchi, Columbia, and Shahaptian tribes. From 
the Kalispel, Colville, and Spokan a trade route followed the Spokane 
River to the Coeur d'Alene. Routes of less importance led from the 
Spokan to the Columbia and Paloos, connecting up with the North 
and South Columbia River route referred to. The route from the 
Colville to the Okanagon was by far the most important for the 
region to the west and north. The Colville occupied a central 
position for trading and had fine salmon fisheries. Trade came to 
their doors; they did not have to go after it. Large numbers of 
Lake, Okanagon, Sanpoil, Spokan, and Kalispel came there for 
trading and fishing. Although the Spokan were also great traders 
they were rather more like the Klickitat, in that they roamed in 
search of it and acted to some extent as carriers. They are said to 
have made frequent trips to the mouth of the Snake and almost 
annually to The Dalles. It is also said that m later days they went 
sometimes in canoes as far as Fort Vancouver on trading and raiding 
trips, and there is mention of a combined party of Spokan, Nez 
Perce, Wallawalla, and Cay use havmg gone, in 1844, up John Day 
River, and traveled 800 miles to Sutter's Fort on the Sacramento to 
trade for cattle. ^^ There was not much trade directly north and south 
across country from the Nez Perc^ to the Coeur d'Alene, thence to 
the Kalispel, nor from the Kalispel directly north or south. In 
early times there was also little intercourse, and therefore very little 
trade, across the Bitterroot Mountains. At one tune the Coeur 
d'Alene and Nez Perce had practically no direct trade with the 
Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead, therefore whatever eastern or plains 
influence reached the Nez Perce before the days of their taking up 
buffalo hunting must have' come by the circuitous route by way of 
the Pend d'OreiUes, and passed on by Spokan, Coeur d'Alene, and 
Columbia, or by the southern route via the Cayuse; for Indian 

" E. E. Dye, McLoughlin and Old Oregon (Chicago, McClurg, 1900). 


informants say there was little direct trade and intercourse between 
the Nez Perce and Shoshoni for a long period of tune, owing to con- 
tinued wars. However, war is simply a different kind of contact, 
and may not have stopped the spread of cultural influences. Accord- 
ing to my uiformants, the Nez Perce, before the}' began to go to the 
plains for buffalo hunting, had practically the same material culture 
as the Coeur d'Alene and the adjoining Columbia River tribes. 
They differed a great deal from the Flathead group, who in most 
respects were more like the Shoshoni and Kutenai. 

The "eastern gate" of the Pend d'Oreilles route was near 
Missoula. Another important point of entry was near the mouth 
of the Flathead River. From these places branches went north 
to Flathead Lake, and thence to the Upper Kutenai, while a less 
important branch went to the Kutenai at Jennings. Many Pend 
d'Oredles, SEtnte'use, and possibly Flathead came directly to a 
rendezvous near Missoula for root digging and trading. From the 
Missoula district there was a route running south through the Flat- 
head country, by way of the Bitterroot and Big Hole, to the Shoshoni 
east of the Rocky Moimtains, a branch of which went to the Lemhi 
Shoshoni at the head of Salmon River, Idaho. The other main 
branch from Missoula went to Helena, and thence to the SaUsh- 
Tund'xe or Sun River people, continuing to Great Falls and the 
Teton River, and then north to the Kutenai- Tuna' xe and Blackfoot. 
However, the exact lines of the trade routes east of the Rockies are 
not quite clear. Some say there was a main line of travel following 
rather close to the mountains north and south from the Shoshoni 
tribes south of the Flathead, tlirough the territory of the latter, and 
continuing through the Salisli- Tuna' xe and Kutenai- Tuna' xe to the 
Blackfoot. The Pend d'Oreilles trade route joined this route at one 
or two points m the Flathead country. 

There was an important main trade route east of the Cascades, 
following Columbia River from The Dalles north to the Thompson 
and Shuswap, and another route in the east, following the foothills 
of the Rocldes, from the southern Shoshoni country north to the 
Blackfoot tribes. These two routes were crossed at right angles by 
the important Pend d'Oreilles route running east and west. Long 
ago considerable trading was done near Butte. At that time there 
was very little trade across the mountains between the Pend d'Oreilles 
and Tund'xe. There was considerable intercourse across the Rockies 
between the Upper Kutenai and the Kutenai-Tuna'xe, probably by 
the Crow's Nest Pass in British Columbia. This route was of minor 
importance and affected the Kutenai only. According to some 
informants the Salish-Tund'xe were the chief traders east of the 
Rockies. Most of the trade from the west of the Rockies, and that 
from the Shoshoni and Flathead south of them, passed through their 


hands en route to the Kutenai and Blackfoot. Another trading place 
was at a point about Great Falls. Nothing seems to be known as to 
trade down the Missouri from this point, nor whether there was any 
all-Shoshoni trade route running east of the Flathead country to the 
Blackfoot. In those days there are said to have been no tribes near 
by to the east with which the Flathead and Shoshoni traded, the 
inference being that there was a strip of plains country practically 
uninhabited to the east of the Shoshoni. It is said that trading 
parties of Flathead visited the Yellowstone, Lemhi, and other Sho- 
shoni, and that Shoshoni parties visited them. Also trading parties 
of Salish-Tuna'xe visited the Flathead, Shoshoni, Ivutenai- Tuna' xe, 
and even the Blackfoot. As the time of the trading days before the 
advent of the horse is so remote, little is now remembered regarding 
articles of trade. Shells of various Idnds for ornamentation of the 
person and clothing, etc., came from the Far West and were traded 
to the Plains tribes. Stone and pipes of semitransparent green 
soapstone, eagle-tail feathers, mountain-sheep horn, and horn spoons, 
ladles, and bowls, dressed moose sldn, plateau-made bows of wood 
and horn, coiled basketry, woven bags of the Nez Perce or Columbia 
River type, a little salinon oil, and salmon pemmican, and in later 
days horses, also came from the plateaus and were traded eastward. 
Horses were first traded from south to north and east on the plains, 
also west from the Flathead by way of the Pend Oreille River 
I'oute, but when all the western tribes took up buffalo hunting horses 
ceased to be traded westward and went east and north. Goods that 
passed from east to west were chiefly catlinite and pipes of the same 
material, certain articles of clothing and ornaments, including 
polished buffalo-bone beads, horses and occasionally saddles, buffalo 
sldns and buffalo robes, some dressed moose sldn, occasionally 
buffalo horns and buffalo pemmican. The Flathead claim that long 
ago they sold many water-tight coiled-basket kettles to the Blackfoot, 
also shells, horses, pipes, pipestone, and probably bows and saddles. 
The SaMsh- Ttind' xe carried these to the Blackfoot. The Blackfoot 
also obtained horses from the Shoshoni, and flat wallets of Shahaptian 
and Salishan make reached them through the Flathead. As already 
stated, the Lemhi Shoshoni traded dried salmon to the Big Hole and 
other Flathead and the Colville sold salmon to the Kalispel. Objects 
common to all the tribes were also articles of trade, such as robes, 
clothes, dressed sldns, paint, pipes, and tools. In later days, after 
members of the Coeur d'Alene, Spokan, Columbia, Nez Perce, and 
other western tribes began to visit the plains for buffalo hunting, 
trading was carried on directly between them and eastern tribes 
whenever parties met who were friendly. About 1810 a party of 
Flathead and Shoshoni were met in the Big Horn Range on their 



way to visit the Arapaho on the Nebraska or Platte. (See Washing- 
ton Irving, Astoria, chap. 29.) 

After the coming of the fur traders several trading posts were 
founded within the territory of the Flathead tribes. Two posts 
within the Pend d'Oreilles country were at Post Creek (near Mission) 
and at Thompson Falls. The Lower Kalispel and many of the 
Spokan traded principally at Fort Colville. The old brigade trail of 
the fur traders from Colville crossed south through the Spokan 
country to Cow Creek, followed it downward, crossed the Palouse 
at the mouth, then touched Touchet Creek, passed to Wallawalla, 
and thence down the south side of the Columbia. According to 
Revais, some trading among the Indian tribes was done in later days 
along this route. 


Weapons of Offense and Defense. — The weapons of the 
Flathead group were the same as those of the Coeur d'Alene and 
surrounding tribes. Bows and arrows have been described under 
"Hunting." Spears or lances were used, and various kinds of 
knives, clubs, and tomahawks. Long ago cuirasses of heavy elk 
skin and rawhide were in use; but they were discarded after the 
introduction of the horse as cumbersome and inconvenient in mount- 
ing and riding. Cuirasses of slats and rods of wood were probably 
not used. No long hide shields and no wooden shields were em- 
ployed. Their only shield was circular, made of two thicknesses of 
skin from the neck of buffalo, moose, or elk bidls. In later days 
many shields were exactly like those of the Crow and other eastern 
tribes, but the old-style shield was retained by many men and was 
considered the most effective. Shield covers were used, but pos- 
sibly not with all shields. Shields and shield covers had painted 
designs, and many were ornamented with eagle feathers and scalp 
locks. Nearly all weapons were painted and ornamented. The 
coup stick was in common use; and there were some tribal weapons 
of a ceremonial character, particularly among the Flathead. Some 
of these were spears, others clubs, wrapped or ornamented with 
ermine skins, otter sldns, and charms. 

Guns were introduced later than among the Blackfoot. 

Warfare was conducted after the manner of the neighboring 
Plateau and Plains tribes, at least in so far as tactics were concerned. 
All the tribes took scalps and counted coup on the enemy. They 
also had several kinds of war dances and ceremonies in which they 
related their war exploits. 

Wars. — Before the introduction of the horse there were very few 
wars, and peace generally prevailed among all the tribes. The 
Flathead are said to have had a few short wars long ago with some 
of the Shoshoni tribes, but as a rule the two tribes were on the best 


of terms. They had no wars with other Sahshan tribes, nor with the 
Nez Perce and Kutenai. Once long ago a war party of Snake at- 
tacked the Flathead in Bitterroot Valley, but they were driven off 
with considerable loss and never came back. 

The Pend d'Oreilles and Kalispel also had very few wars long ago. 
Once or twice they had short wars with the Coeur d'Alene, and once 
the Kalispel helped the Spokan in a war with the latter. The 
Kalispel sometimes attacked the Kutenai and once killed a large num- 
ber of Lower Kutenai, but it seems that the Pend d'Oreilles were always 
friendly with all the Kutenai. The Spokan very rarely had wars 
with the Coeur d'Alene, Kutenai, and Nez Perce; but at one time 
they warred a great deal with the Yakima-speaking people, and raided 
down the Columbia to The Dalles, and even below. Spokan parties 
occasionally crossed the Wenatchi country and raided on the coast, 
and once or twice war parties of Spokan went as far as the Willamette. 
The Yakima-speaking people sometimes named the Spokan "robbers" 
because of their raids against them. There were no wars with the 
Colville or any tribes of the Okanagon group, nor with the Shuswap 
and Thompson to the north, nor with the JLutenai- Tuna' xe. In 
very ancient times there were no wars with the Blackfoot. Wars 
with the latter and with the advancing eastern tribes began about 
1700 or 1750 and continued almost constantly until near the end of 
buffalo hunting (1880-1884). For over 100 years the western tribes — 
the Flathead, Pend d'Oreilles, Kalispel, Spokan, Coeur d'Alene, 
Columbia, Kutenai, Nez Perce, Bannock, and Shoshoni, including 
the Ute — were arrayed in war on the plains against the Blackfoot, 
Crow, and all the eastern tribes, whom they considered intruders in 
the western buffalo country. They did not fight the Kiowa and 
Comanche, however. The Flathead knew of these tribes, but came 
very little in contact with them. The Comanche were considered 
as closely related to the Shoshoni, whose language they speak; 
while the Kiowa were considered somewhat similar to the Bannock. 
It is also said that the Comanche and Kiowa belonged to the western 
alignment against the eastern tribes. Besides the great war align- 
ment of tribes (east versus west), there was much war among the 
eastern tribes themselves. Thus Assiniboin, Sioux, and Crow are 
said to have always fought against the Blackfoot tribes; the Crow 
against the Sioux, the Cheyenne against both, and so on. Until 
after the introduction of the horse there were hardly any alliances 
for war among the western tribes (Flathead, Shoshoni, etc.), each 
tribe, and sometimes each band, acting independently. Had they 
been better organized or more united, the Blackfoot and Crow 
would probably not have been able to encroach upon them. In early 
times the Spokan and Kalispel were sometimes in alliance, and 



again the Kalispel and Pend d'Oreilles, but at other times they were 

Wars with the Bannock. — The Flathead tribes were almost always 
friendly with the Bannock, but they had misunderstandings two or 
three times, which led to bloodshed. Once the Crow stole some 
horses from the Pend d'Oreilles who believed that the Bannock were 
the guilty party. Therefore they attacked a Bannock camp. This 
led to a short war and several sharp encounters. Two chiefs arranged 
a satisfactory peace, and the tribes became friends again, and ever 
afterwards remained friendly. 

The following story may refer to this incident: A large party of 
allied Salish were camped a little north or northeast of Fort Hall. A 
large party of Bannock came along and visited the camp for trading 
of horses, and danced with the Salish. When the trading, dancing, 
and games were finished, the Bannock moved to a place about 65 
miles away. Two daj^s afterwards a horse-raiding party of Crow 
stole many horses from the Salish. The latter felt sure that some 
Bannock had returned and stolen the horses. They were incensed 
at what they considered a treacherous act, as the Bannock only 
two days before had been entertained by the Salish, had traded and 
danced with them, and had parted the best of friends. They dis- 
patched a party of about 200 warriors against the Bannock. This 
war party lay in ambush, and in the early morning, when the people 
were in the act of turning out their horses to graze, the Salish rushed 
the camp and captured about 300 horees. The Bannock were taken 
unawares, but they all ran out to fight, and were surprised to find 
that their enemies were the Salish from whom they had lately parted 
as friends. Before the mistake was discovered six Bannock were 
Idlled, including their chief, Louis, who had been reared among the 
Flathead. He was a fast friend of the latter, and spoke their language 
quite as well as his own. A number of Bannock were wounded; but 
none of the Salish were killed, and very few were hurt. Afterwards 
it was proved that the Crow had stolen the Salish horses and that the 
Bannock were entirely innocent. Peace was at once arranged be- 
tween the tribes, the Bannock horses were returned, and presents 
were exchanged. 

Wars until the Blackfoot} — There were many wars with the Black- 
foot, probably many more than with any other tribe. Blackfoot 
war parties were often large, numbering from 200 to 400 men. Most 
of the fights were mth the Piegan, as they appeared to be the most 
numerous and aggressive ; but sometimes Blackfoot proper and Blood 
were engaged. As a rule, the Piegan parties were alone, but some- 
times they were reenforced by Blackfoot and Blood. Occasionally 
the three tribes were combined, either purposely or by accident 

1 See pp. 125, 316 et seq. 

41383°— 30 24 


(meeting one another on the buffalo grounds) ; and in some instances 
very large parties were encountered, composed of Blackfoot, Blood, 
Piegan, Sarsi, and Gros Ventres. Once a fight occurred in the Big 
Hole Valley between Flathead and Blackfoot at a time when war 
parties of the latter were constantly appearing in the Flathead 
country. A party of Flathead numbering about 150 and including 
many women and children, under Chief Big-Eagle, had separated 
from the main body of the Flathead, and were traveling south. As 
they came over the top of a ridge they discovered a Blackfoot party 
of about 200 warriors. When they saw each other the Flathead 
drew up on the side of the hill and the Blackfoot did the same at the 
bottom. The former were all mounted, and the latter were all on 
foot. Some of the Flathead wanted to hold no parley with them. 
They thought it best to leave and at once send some men out to 
inform the main body of the Flathead, with the object of joining 
forces and cutting off the Blackfoot. Chief Big-Eagle was against 
this and said he would go and make peace with them. He took with 
him Bear-Track, who was subchief. They dismounted and went to 
the Blackfoot on foot. The latter formed a circle, with their chiefs 
in the middle, and the two Flathead chiefs entered the circle to smoke. 
Big-Eagle arranged his pipe and the Blackfoot chiefs agreed to smoke 
it and make peace. While the chiefs were smoking a Blackfoot 
Indian who was standing behind Big-Eagle pulled his bow out of 
his quiver without Big-Eagle or his companion noticing it. When 
they came back to their people some of the latter said to Big-Eagle, 
"You have no bow." The bow was a specially fine one, and Big- 
Eagle said he would go back and get it. Some of the people tried to 
dissuade liim, fearing that the Blackfoot might kill him; but he said, 
"No, we have just finished smoldng and have made peace." He 
walked back unarmed along with Bear-Track and demanded the 
return of his bow. The Blackfoot told them, "Asldng for your bow 
is equivalent to declaring war on us. Our peace-smoke is now 
broken." They at once began shooting at them. Big-Eagle fell> 
pierced with many arrov/s, and Bear-Track escaped wounded. A 
fight ensued, the mounted Flathead circling around the Blackfoot, 
but the latter drove them off, and the Flathead had to retreat. 
Several were wounded on both sides. The Blackfoot did not manage 
to capture any horses or scalps, and soon gave up following the 
mounted Flathead, who now crossed country and overtook the main 
body of their tribe. As soon as the latter heard the news they held 
a short war dance. A large force of Flathead warriors returned to 
look for the Blackfoot; but the Flathead were unable to locate them. 
This happened toward the end of the eighteenth century. 



SJcate'lJco, the father of the late chief Moses of the Columbia, was 
a noted war chief. He was a tall man, 6 feet or over, and had many 
war trophies, for he had fought in man}" battles. He went annually 
to the plains for buffalo hunting, and had been in fights with, almost 
all the plains tribes. He was able to talk or understand all 
the interior Salishan languages, Nez Perce, Yakima, Wallawalla, 
Shoshoni, and Bannock. He could also converse quite freely in 
Blackfoot, Crow, and several eastern tongues. On his last trip to 
the plains he was with a united part}^ of Columbia, Kalispel, Pend 
d'Oreilles, and Flathead, hunting buft'alo near Fort Benton, when 
they Avere attacked by a large party composed of Piegan, Blackfoot 
proper, and possibly others. Although the Salish partj^ was large 
the Blackfoot party outnumbered it considerably. The Salish held 
their ground for two da3^s, always beating the Blackfoot off. On the 
third day the Blackfoot made a determined attack on the camp Math 
full force and hand-to-hand fighting ensued. The Salish repulsed 
them with heavy loss, and, suddenly assuming the offensive, turned 
the Blackfoot repidse into a rout. They followed the retreating- 
enemy, killing many. SJcate'lJco, although an elderly man, was al- 
ways in the van of battle, and led the pursuit. Near the end of the 
fight, just when the Salish were about to quit the pursuit, he was 
shot. His people buried him on the battlefield and rode all their 
horses over his grave. He was about 60 years old when lolled. 
This happened about 1840. 

The year the first priest came to the Flathead (about 1839 or 
1840) a Blackfoot party surprised the horse guard at the big Flat- 
head camp in the Bitterroot Valley and drove away a large number 
of horses. Very few men on either side were hurt. The Blackfoot 
did not attempt to attack the camp, as they were not strong enough, 
but they got away with most of the horses they captured. 

A Pend d'Oreilles party was traveling toward a rendezvous in the 
Flathead country, where they were to join a Flathead party for buffalo 
hunting. They camped at Finlay Creek. Early the foUoAving morn- 
ing, on a little divide toward Evaro, they met a large Blackfoot 
party coming over a hill. The two parties exchanged shots, and then 
the Pend d'Oreilles fell back into the Jocko Valley, as the enemy 
was much superior in numbers. The Blackfoot surrounded them 
near where the Indians now hold their dances on the reservation, 
near the agency at Jocko. The parties kept shooting at each other 
at long range, the ground being pretty open and level. Some of 
the Pend d'OreUles escaped on swift horses to advise the parties who 
were following behind, and who had camped the previous night not 
far away, while others rode to the trading post at Thompson Falls 
to obtain ammunition. The Blackfoot became afraid that they 
themselves might be smTounded, and gave up the fight, although 


most of them had guns, while the Pend d'Oreilles party had only five 
guns. This was at a time when guns were stUl scarce among the 
western Indians. In the fight two Pend d'Oreilles and one Black- 
foot were killed and some on both sides were wounded. The Black- 
foot were pursued but made good their escape. 

Another fight in the Pend d'Oreilles country took place about the 
same time. A Kanaka called Gnlia'Jca and another Kanaka were 
carrying goods on horses from the post at Thompson Falls to trade 
with the Flathead, who had formed a large camp in the Bitterroot 
Valley. Several Pend d'Oreilles were driving the horses and a few 
Flathead returning to their own country accompanied them. As 
they were passing near Evaro a Blackfoot war party watching from 
a hm sighted them. This party was in charge of a famous Blackfoot 
war chief named Sata' . The Blackfoot descended and attacked the 
party, killing both the Kanaka. All the Indians escaped and they 
managed to save all the pack horses and packs. The Blackfoot got 
notliing except the scalps of the Kanaka, and beat a hasty retreat. 
The Pend d'Oreilles called reenforcements, followed the Blackfoot, 
who were all on foot, and overtook them in the mountains. They 
Idlled three of them, while they themselves suffered no loss. The 
rest of the Blackfoot retreated into a rough piece of country and 
made their escape through the woods in the night. After this, 
McDonald, who was in charge of the Hudson Bay Co.'s post at 
Thompson Falls, offered $200 for Sata"s scalp. At one time there 
were five Kanaka, cooks and laborers, at the Thompson Falls post. 
The place where the Kanaka were killed is now called " Eulia' ," 
from the name of the Kanaka Gulia'lca. 

Once a war party of Blackfoot came to Sand Point in the Kalispel 
country and attacked a camp of people there. The Kalispel drove 
them off and killed three or four of them without loss to themselves. 
This was about the farthest west any Blackfoot parties ever came. 
Another time they came near to this place, but being discovered, 
retreated without fighting. This happened about 1820. 

Once a rather large party of Salish, mostly Flathead, were camped 
on the Musselshell River. A Blackfoot war party numbering about 
130 men, all on foot, discovered their camp. At night they crept 
up within gun range and erected six small semicircular breastworks 
of stones at different places commanding the camp. They probably 
thought they would give the Salish the impression that they were 
being attacked by a superior party, or that by a heavy gunfire they 
would make them evacuate their camp. At this time the Salish had 
very few guns. In the early morning the Blackfoot began firing into 
the Salish camp, and a battle ensued. The Salish believed the Black- 
foot were inferior in numbers, and rather than stay in camp and be 
shot at, they prepared to attack the enemy. The latter were divided 



into six parties at the different breastworks. The SaUsh concentrated 
all their men, and riding out into the open rapidly rushed one breast- 
work after another, attaekmg from the sides and driving the Black- 
foot out on the open plain. In the onslaught their chief, a Piegan, 
and several others were killed. The Blackfoot managed to get to- 
gether and rally. The momrted Salish kept them surrounded and a 
long-range fight ensued. The Blackfoot were much superior to the 
Salish in gims, but they ran short of anrmimition. They moved 
along slowly all day, the Salish having them surrounded and fighting 
them all the time. During the night they broke up into several 
parties and tried to escape; but in the morning the mounted Salish 
caught up with the largest party, attacked it and killed all the mem- 
bers. Another detached party when overtaken and surrounded began 
to sing a death chant. The Salish also rode through this party and 
killed them all. By nightfall all the Blackfoot had been disposed of 
except a few of those who had escaped the night before and had not 
been located or overtaken. They may have numbered 15 or 20 men. 
It is said that a Pend d'Oreilles party came on them later in the country 
farther north and killed nearly all of them. Probably not one of 
this party of Slackfoot ever reached theii* coimtry. During the fii'st 
night, when the Blackfoot were preparing to attack the Salish camp, 
they had managed in the dark to steal two very valuable horses. 
One was a pinto and the other a bro'wm. When next morning the 
Blackfoot were driven out of their breastworks tw^o unarmed lads 
mounted these horses and tried to escape with them. A Flathead 
on a very fleet horse chased them, and after riding about 6 miles 
Idlled them both and recovered the horses. During the two da3's' 
fighting the Salish lost very few men and had very few horses shot, 
but a number of horses and men were wounded. The Flathead who 
led the attack on the breastworks was killed by a ball and another 
Flathead (a subchief ?) was shot and killed by a wounded Blackfoot 
when only about 2 feet away. A Flathead near by struck the latter 
dowTi and scalped him at once. 

Wars with the Cheyenne. — Sometimes the Cheyenne and SaHsh 
fought. Once they had a war in which they attacked each other 
many times and raided each other for horses, but no decisive battle 
was fought. A number of horses were stolen on both sides, but 
very few people were Idlled in either tribe. The most severe engage- 
ment was fought a short distance north of the Little Horn; neither 
side gained an advantage over the other. At the time of the Custer 
battle, or shortly afterwards, the Cheyenne deserted the coimtiy in 
which they had made their headquarters and moved temporarily 
into the Crow country, while the Crow moved north to the confines 
of the Piegan and stayed there for a time. It is said that this migra- 
tion was due to fear of the Sioux. 


Wars with the Assiniboin. — About 1865 a Flathead party of con- 
siderable strength was camped at Three Buttes, near the confines of 
the Gros Ventres northeast of the present Blackfoot Reserve in Mon- 
tana. War was on with the Assiniboin at that time and a war 
party of them attacked the camp at night. They managed to open 
a great number of the lodge doors and shot inside, Idlling in all four 
men and wounding the Flathead chief and some other people. A 
woman ran out of one of the tents with a pistol in her hand. The 
Assiniboin did not Idll her as they were waiting for the men to come 
out. She shot the Assiniboin chief dead and escaped m the dark. 
The Assiniboin were driven off and at daybreak the Flathead started 
in pursuit. When they overtook them a ruiming fight ensued and 
many of the Assiniboin were killed and wounded. 

About the same time a large party of Coeur d'Alene, Spokan, 
Kalispel, Upper Kutenai, and some Pend d'OreUles were hunting 
buffalo in the Sweet Grass Hdls on the confines of the Piegan country. 
A large party of Pend d'Oreilles and Flathead were not far away in 
another direction. Two or more years before this the Assiniboin had 
boasted that they would drive all the Salish and Kutenai out of the 
buffalo country. A large war party of Assiniboin came for the purpose 
of attacking the camp, but when they saw the great strength of the 
SaUsh-Kutenai, they immediately made off without risking a battle. 
The Salish camp had 225 lodges. 

Wars with the Sioux. — About 1860 a fight took place with Sioux in 
the country between what is now the Crow Agency and Fort Benton. 
A Sioux party of 15 or more had gone to steal horses from the Crow, 
and the latter had lolled them all except one man, who escaped. Some 
other Crow had also kUled some Sioux, who were now bent on revenge. 
A party of 75 or 80 Flathead warriors were traveling near this place, 
trying to locate buffalo. They had not heard of the recent fighting 
between the Crow and the Sioux and did not know that the latter 
were near. They saw a great many tracks which they concluded were 
made by River Crow, but they were tracks of Mountain Crow fleeing 
from the Sioux. The Flathead camped for the night. In the early 
morning they saw several strangers stealing some of their horses and 
the young men gave chase. These strangers were Sioux, who had 
discovered the Flathead camp. After a run of about 15 miles the 
Flathead had killed four of the Sioux and recovered most of their 
horses, but this had brought them in front of the Sioux camp. The 
Sioux all came out and the Flathead ran back. The Sioux, being on 
fresh mounts, caught up with several of the Flathead and Idlled 
them. Probably they would have caught up with all of them if their 
horses had been good, but Sioux horses were generally not as good as 
Flathead horses. A large number of Sioux took part in the pursuit, 
and when they reached the Flathead camp they surrounded it. 



More and more Sioux came, and when the}^ had all arrived they at- 
tacked the camp. There were about 1,500 of them.^ The Flathead 
were in a very strong position and were all well armed. The inten- 
tion of the Sioux was to kill off as many of the Flathead as possible 
by gunfire and then rush the camp in a sudden charge and kill the 
surx'ivors. The Flathead fought desperately all day. They lost 18 
men lolled and the Sioux had 24 killed, including 2 chiefs. At sun- 
down the Sioux made a sign to the Flathead, "We shall Idll you all 
to-morrow." The main bod}^ of the Sioux retired to their camp, 
leaving a sufficiently large number to keep the Flathead surrounded 
during the night. Thej^ loiew of no way the Flathead could escape, 
and the number of men left to guard them far exceeded the number 
of Flathead. They intended to renew the attack in the morning, and, 
after some shooting, they were going to charge on the camp and ex- 
pected they could easUy kill the surviving Flathead. The latter, 
however, loiew the country much better than the Sioux, and escaped 
duiing the night with their horses and wounded. Early in the morn- 
ing the Sioux followed them, but could not catch up. When they 
reached a point near Helena they found that the Flathead had already 
crossed the river. On the way the Sioux missed a camp of 10 lodges 
of Flathead on the same side of the river as themselves, a little below 
Helena, and a second camp in another place near there. They never 
saw these camps, and the people in them did not know the Sioux 
were near. ChieiArW was chief of the Flathead party who were out 
there buffalo hunting at the time of this fight. 

^Yars with the whites. — With the exception of the Spokan and a few 
Kalispel who joined them, the Flathead tribes had no wars with the 
whites. The Columbia River wars broke out in 1847 with the massa- 
cre of Doctor Whitman and others by the Cayuse. The Indians 
throughout the region were dissatisfied with the settlement of Ameri- 
cans in their country wdthout treaty with them and recognition of their 
rights as owaiers of their respective countries. Some were also im- 
pressed with a belief that the Americans intended to destro}^ them and 
take possession of theii- countries, and with this object had already 
made "medicine" against them in the form of epidemics, such as 
smallpox and measles, which had killed many of them. If the w'hites 
settled among them they would make "medicine" perhaps still 
more eft'ectively; and, besides, they w^ould interfere with their living 
by Idlhng off the game and fish, and perhaps they would blight the 
roots and berries. They knew the fur traders had not tried to hurt 
them or seize their lands, or interfere wdth their liberties; but the 
Americans seemed different, and they looked on them with suspicion 
and distrust. The Cayuse fought the whites for two or three years, 

2 It is not clear whether this was the estimated number of warriors or of people in the Sioux camp. The 
number of both was generally estimated by the number of tents counted. 


while all the other tribes remained neutral, because they were of 
divided opinion. There was a faction in every tribe in favor of the 
whites and a faction against them. In 1849 or 1850 (?) the Umatilla 
sided with the whites and defeated the Cayuse in a severe engage- 
ment near the head of John Day River (?), which practically ended the 
Cayuse war. According to Revais, 30 tents of Ca3mse did not engage 
in the war and remained neutral. Feelings of dissatisfaction, dis- 
trust, and resentment against the whites continued among many of 
the Indians until 1855, when Governor Stevens made treaties with 
most of the tribes in the Columbia area all the way from the coast to 
the Blackfoot. However, some leading chiefs and large sections of 
various tribes were not satisfied. They claim that the treaties had 
been made at too short notice for proper deliberation, and v/ithout 
their full consent. 

The same year the Yakima-Wallawalla war broke out. These 
tribes did not unite, but went to war independently in their respective 
countries, and during the war they acted and fought in two independ- 
ent groups — Yakima, Klickitat, and Paloos in one, and Wallawalla, 
Umatilla, and Cayuse in the other. Many settlers were killed in 
the early part of the war, especially by the Klickitat. During 1855- 
56 several sharp engagements were fought between white troops and 
the Indians of both groups, resulting finally in the subjection of the 
allied Wallawalla. In this war also a number of Cayuse remained 
neutral, probably the same ones who were neutral in the Cayuse 
war; and during hostilities they moved to the Nez Perce. The 
Yakima, under their chief KamiakEn, who, according to some, was 
part Salish in blood, contuaued to fight until 1858. In these wars 
several of the Nez Perce bands and the Wasco furnished many 
scouts and guides to the soldiers. According to Revais, at the same 
time the Wallawalla were fightmg (about 1856 ? ), the Rogue River 
war broke out. The Indians there felt resentment against the whites, 
claiming that individual whites at various times had abused and 
ill-treated them, and the whites were becoming more and more insolent 
to them. Actual hostilities began in the following manner: ^Eneas, 
an Iroquois, at one time an employee of the Hudson Bay Co., had 
married a Rogue River woman and settled among the tribe. His 
wife had a child, and some time afterwards the tribe elected him as 
chief. At this time there were white settlements and stores about 
every 10 miles along the- river, from the head to the sea. ^neas 
was employed by the whites as mail carrier along the river. On 
one of his trips a white man shot at him four times and wounded 
him in the hand. When he arrived home he told the Indians of the 
affair and advised them to attack the whites. That night the 
Indians went to war and began to raid all the settlements along 
the river. iEneas took possession of all the cash part of the loot 
and buried it in several places. Many whites were killed. At last 


the Indians were surrounded and surrendered, but ^Eneas escaped 
^to friends in the Willamette Valle^^ His friends told him he would 
be hanged if caught, and advised him to go north to Fort Colville, 
where he would be safe, and where he had many friends; but he was 
anxious to see his wife and child, who had gone to Grande Ronde; 
so he went there. Shortly after liis arrival some Indians reported 
his presence. He was captured and sentenced to be hung. He sent 
for his brother, who lived in Willamette, to come and see liim; and 
he told him where he had biu"ied aU the money. After his execution 
his brother went to find the money, but on the way he shot and IdUed 
a white man and had to flee. He was caught and himg also. No 
one then knew where Jllneas had liidden the money, and probably 
it is in the ground to this day. All the Sahsh tribes remained neutral 
diu-ing these wars. They refused to attack the whites, nor did they 
give the latter any active aid against the hostile tribes. However, 
they were gi'aduaUy becoming more dissatisfied. They had made 
treaties or agreements in 1855 with Governor Stevens to rehnquish 
parts of their lands; but they claimed that the matter had not been 
properly settled, and they objected to the land surveys, the building 
of wagon roads, and to new settlements, as long as their claims were 
not adjusted. A rush of white gold miners to Colville in 1856 (?) 
and later, without any regard to Indian authorit}^ and rights in the 
country, made the Spokan and others resentful. They had not yet 
received any payments for their surrendered lands and no reserves 
had been set apart for them. They believed that the whites were 
playing them false and that the treaties and agreements meant 
nothing. By 1858 they had become strongly of the opinion that the 
whites did not intend to keep their promises. In that year the 
Spokan and Coeiu" d'Alene made an alliance for defense and war. 
They were to act on the defensive and keep the wliites out of their 
countries until such time as the Government should settle ever}^- 
thing fairly with them. The}'' said they must have their reserves 
and payments before any more wliites could enter then- country. 
The Government must not break faith Avdth them. They claimed 
the right to defend and rule theii' own countries. The territories 
of other tribes they would not enter as they had no rights or juris- 
diction there. They woidd not attempt to molest or drive out the 
whites who were Hving in the territories of neighboring tribes. That 
was a matter for the other tribes to decide. The fighting forces 
of the combined Spokan and Coeur d'Alene are said to have been 
about 1,000 men. This probably included about 100 men of other 
tribes who were \vith them — a few Yaldma and Paloos refugees, 
about twoscore Kahspel, most of them related to the Spokan by 
descent or marriage, and a few others from various Sahsh tribes, 
Cohdlle, Okanagon, Pend d'Oreilles, and two or thi'ee from the 
Thompson country. When Colonel Step toe's force entered their 


country in the spring of 1858 the Indians met them and asked them 
what they had come there for. They answered that they were 
going to Colville and had no hostile intentions. The Indians said 
to them, "Why, then, are you armed, and why have you cannon with 
you? Your intentions must be hostile, and you had better go back 
out of our country." Instead of at once returning, the command 
camped and assumed an attitude of war. Next morning, when 
there were no signs of their leaving, the Indians attacked them 
and drove them out. A running fight ensued to near Step toe Butte, 
where the soldiers made a stand at evening. The Indians intended 
to finish the battle at daybreak; but during the darkness of night 
some Nez Perce scouts who knew the place well guided the survivors 
out through the enemy's lines, and they escaped. In the morning 
the Indians followed them right to the Snake, but did not overtake 
many of them. In this engagement the Indians claim to have 
taken the soldiers' camp, with all their outfit and provisions, their 
pack train of over 100 mules and horses, a number of cavalry horses, 
and arms, including some cannon. They also claim to have killed 
over half the command of about 200 mounted men. After this the 
Spokan and most of the Coeur d'Alene went to Chief Lot's place 
on the present Spokane Reserve and held war dances. In the fall 
of the same year Colonel Wright, with artillery and about 1,000 
horse and foot soldiers, besides Nez Perce scouts, entered the Spokan 
country. The Spokan and Coeur d'Alene met them and fought 
four engagements with this force inside of a week, but had to retreat 
after each engagement. However, they managed to take all their 
women and cliildren, the wounded, and many of their dead with 
them. In one instance they were unable to take all their lodges and 
baggage and burned some of them by setting a grass fire beliind them. 
When the command had nearly reached Spokane Falls the Indians 
held a council, and the Spokan, being out of ammimition and their 
chiefs at variance, decided to ask for peace. Chief Garry ^ was 
sent to Colonel Wright's camp to make the arrangements, as he 
could speak good English. Alost of the chiefs surrendered, part of 
the agreement being that the Indians were to deliver up their horses. 
The Spokan delivered up most of the horses they had at hand, and 
it seems that the soldiers at once shot about a thousand of them. 
The Spokan were now quite unable to continue the war, even if they 
had wished to, for most of them were without horses and ammuni- 
tion. Even in the beginning they had little or no chance of winrdng, 
being armed with old-fashioned muskets and bows and arrows. 
They were also short of ammunition at the start, and had no means of 
replenishing it. On the other hand, the soldiers were equal in numbers 

8 Chief Garry was sent when a boy by the fur traders to the Red River settlements in Manitoba, where 
he remained several years being educated. He could speak English fluently, and French nearly as well. 
He was also very proficient in Chinook and in the sign language. 


to the Indians, well armed with up-to-date long-range rifles, well 
supplied with ammunition, and, besides, they had howitzers, before 
wliich the Indians could not stand up. In their last council the 
Indians debated as to whether they should retreat into the moun- 
tains and continue the war, whether they should scatter into a num- 
ber of small parties throughout the country, or whether they should 
sue for peace and end the war. They decided to sue for peace. It 
is said that they lost from 15 to 20 men lolled in each of the engage- 
ments, and quite a number wounded. The losses of the soldiers are 
not known. Some Indians who would not surrender scattered into 
various parts of the coimtry and gave up hostilities, while the Coeur 
d'Alene retreated into their own country. After Colonel Steptoe's 
defeat the Spokan Icnew that a large force of whites would come some 
time and try to beat them, so they invited the Kahspel to join them 
for defense and war, as the Coeur d'Alene had done. The Kahspel 
called a great council and debated the question for several days. 
Several of the chiefs and leading men were against going to war, 
and one shaman told the people that the Spokan and their allies 
would meet with defeat, as he had noticed some very peculiar hap- 
penings among the stars which portended evil for the Indians. One 
of the strongest speakers against the Kahspel entering the war was 
Michel Revais's father-in-law. A warrior called Xane'wa was very 
angry at his speech, denoimced him as a coward, and asked the people 
not to listen to him. He told them, "I am going to war; I want to 
fight the wliites." A war dance was held, but verj^ few joined. In 
the end Xane'wa went to the Spokan with about 25 followers, and 
he was the first man Idlled on the Indian side in the battle of Spokane. 
Some soldiers on swift horses ran him down. One caught him by the 
hair and threw him off his horse and the others shot liim when he 
was on the ground. When the war broke out the great majority 
of the Kahspel moved into the Salmon River country in British 
Columbia. This was a deer-hunting and fishing ground of the tribe. 
Some remained there for about two years to be as far away from the 
warring Indians and wloites as possible. Others of them went over 
to the buffalo country. 

Spotted Coyote, a famous war chief of the Pend d'Oreilles, was one 
of the very few warriors of that tribe who went over to help the Spokan 
and Coeur d'Alene. It was said that he was bullet proof. At the 
battle of Spokane he rode the full length of the battle line twice, 
challenging the soldiers, and telling them they could not Idll him. 
They kept firing at him all the time, but he remained unhurt. He 
had not seen cannon (howitzers) in action before. A number of 
Indians on the edge of a coulee saw the soldiers and mules turn to take 
the cannon to a hill. They thought the artillerymen were running 
away, so they charged on them. When they got close the soldiers 


turned the guns around and fired into them, killing a number of men 
and horses, and scattering the rest. When Spotted Coyote saw this 
he told the Indians, "There is no use of our fighting. We can do 
nothmg against cannon. The whites are far superior to us in their 
arms. We must give up fighting and make peace, or leave the 
country." After this engagement he left the Spokan and returned 
to his own country. 

In the Nez Perce war of 1877 (?) the Flathead tribes were all 
neutral except to the extent that the Flathead furnished some scouts 
for the military. According to Revais, the war commenced in the 
following way. A number of the Nez Perce, and particularly those 
of Chief Joseph's band, were dissatisfied because the Government 
had failed to set aside for them a certain piece of land as a reserve, 
which had been promised; but probably this feeling alone would not 
have led to war. The immediate cause was that a white man had 
killed a man of Chief Josej^h's band and remained unpunished. 
This Indian had two sons who were yoimg men. Joseph's people 
were camped together and were holding a war dance for practice or 
fun. The tv/o sons were taking no part in the dance, but were riding 
their horses around in the camp in a vrAd fashion. A man became 
annoyed at them, and, commg out of his lodge, said to them, "Why 
do you carry on lilvc that? You think yourselves brave, and you run 
over my children. If you were men, you would not try to show off 
and ride over helpless children, but instead would Idll the slayer of 
j^our father." That night the two yoimg men went up the creek to 
where the white man hved and killed him. They took his race horse 
awa}", and then killed some other settlers on the creek. The whites 
reported that Chief Joseph and his people were dancing for war, which 
was not true, and a large number of soldiers came up and attacked the 
camp. The Indians retaliated, and thus the war commenced. Josejih 
and his people traveled to the east. He had about 400 warriors. The 
rest of the Nez Perce remained neutral. Joseph made for the Lolo 
Pass, followed bj^ a number of soldiers, while another detachment of 
soldiers from Fort Missoula tried to mtercept him. Along with them 
were manj^ squaw-men, most of them married to Flathead women, 
and about 40 Flathead warriors who acted as scouts and guides. 
They lay in wait on the east side of the mountains; but the Nez Perce 
scouts saw them, and their party made a detour thi'ough a coulee 
beyond the ridge and passed the soldiers before the latter knew that 
they were there. When the main party had gone a considerable 
distance some of the Nez Perce left as a rear guard shot down on the 
soldiers, and onh^ then did they know that the Indians had eluded 
them. Chief Joseph went to the Big Hole and later made a circle 
and passed both Shoshoni and Crow; but neither of these tribes 
would join him. Had he from the beginning gone straight north, either 



on the west or the east side of the Rockies, he could easily have 
escaped to the Canadian side; but he expected that some of the Flat- 
head, Shoshoni, and Crow would join him, and in this hope went a 
roundabout way. 

The Flathead tribes were also entirely neutral during the Bannock 
war. They never fought among themselves. Feuds between fami- 
lies were not common. In war the Flathead and Pend d 'Oreilles 
claim that they seldom took captives. At least, in later wars they 
generally lolled all of their enemies, including women and children, 
especially if they were Blackfoot, Crow, or other eastern tribes. 
A long time ago it is said that they had a few Blackfoot and Shoshoni 
captives, yoimg women and boys. According to the Flathead, the 
Blackfoot were the first Indians known to them to acquire firearms 
and the Crow were the next. 

The following is told of Lewis and Clark, who were the first whites 
seen by many of the Flathead. Lewis and Clark met the first Flat- 
head (or Salish-spealdng people) in the Big Hole country. Some Nez 
Perce and others were camped with them. A ceremonial smoke was 
held with. Lewis and Clark, who sat on the grass when talking with the 
Indians. The latter thought they must be cold, and put a buft'alo 
robe over each one 's shoulders. Later the Indians were surprised to 
see them get up and walk away, leaving the robes. They expected 
that they would keep them and use them. 


The Flathead were noted as adepts in the sign language, and all 

the tribes used it extensively in talking with strangers. The Chinook 

jargon was unknown, except in recent times among some of the 

Spokan and a few other Indians who had traveled extensively in the 

West, or who had been associated with the fur traders of Fort Colville. 

However, even at Colville and other interior trading posts, Chinook 

was not used a great deal, the piincipal language being French. 

Some Indians spoke a little French. The sign language was also 

employed to some extent by the traders, who had learned it from the 

Indians. The sign language in vogue was the same as that used by 

the Crow and other tribes of .the western plains, or only sUghtly 



The social organization of the Flathead tribes appears to have been 
in general of the same kind as that common to other interior Sahshan 
tribes, the Kutenai, the Nez Perce, and the Shoshoni. There were 
no privileged classes, clans, gentes, phratries, and it is doubtful if 
there were societies of any kind. There may have been among the 
Flathead one or two companies corresponding somewhat to the dog 


soldiers or military and police societies of some Plains tribes, but I 
was imable to make sure of this point. 

Each tribe formed a unit, the members being bound together by 
ties of blood, association, mutual interests, methods of making a liv- 
ing, common country, and dialect. Each tribe consisted of a number 
of bands, each making its headquarters as a rule in some definite 
locality, and composed of families more or less closely related by 
blood. The bands, however, had a greater range, or were more 
nomadic than those of most Salishan tribes of the Columbia and 
Eraser drainage. There are traces of groupings of some of the bands 
in larger units, at least among the Spokan and Kalispel. Each band 
had a chief and an assistant chief, who gave advice and looked after 
the affairs of the band. There was no central authority except the 
head chief. He and other chiefs formed a council and discussed the 
larger affairs of the tribe as a whole. The head chief kept the tribal 
pipe and other tribal property of a ceremonial kind used in the making 
of peace and war. It is uncertain whether the head chief was also a 
band chief or whether this chieftainship was a distinct office. As the 
exact number of bands that existed long ago is not remembered, the 
number of chiefs in each tribe is also unknown. The powers of the 
chiefs were in large measure advisory only. The ancient social 
organization changed so long ago that very little authentic informa- 
tion about it can be secured. The disappearance of the separate 
bands has been described before. Those of the Spokan and Kalispel 
never entirely disappeared. They were retained to some extent when 
these tribes were on their home grounds. The political and social 
oro-anization now was centrahzed in the tribe. Instead of a number 
of practically independent small bands loosely boimd together there 
was now a single organization for all. The bands ceased to have any 
local or geographical significance. Each tribe had a head chief, a 
subcliief, and several "small " chiefs; but I did not learn much regard- 
ing the functions and duties of the different classes of chiefs. The 
head chief is said to have been the leader of the tribe, but as a rule he 
consulted the subchief , and often also the small chiefs, before deciding 
any matter of great importance. The subchief was an assistant to 
the head chief, in whose absence he acted as substitute. If the tribe 
divided for any reason, the head chief took charge of one part and 
the subcliief of the other. The small chiefs had duties somewhat 
similar to those of the band chiefs in other SaUshan tribes. If the 
tribe split up into parties for root digging, berrying, or buffalo hunting, 
each going to a different locahty, a small chief took charge of each 
party. The small chiefs were of great importance in the gathering 
of the food supphes and in the overseeing and carrying out of regula- 
tions of many kinds. They had to look after the general welfare of 
the camp and the safety, comfort, and good conduct of the people. 



They also had surveillance of the guarding and pasturing of horses 
and the procuring of firewood. There were fairly strict regulations 
regarding camping, fires, firewood, sanitation, herding of horses, scout- 
ing, guards, positions of lodges, positions of groups and tribes in the 
camp circle, and other matters. 

When on the great buffalo hunts and in the main \\inter camp 
there was some Idnd of division of the men into companies under 
leaders for the performance of definite duties. In some cases, at 
least, the leaders took orders from the head chief of the part3^ A 
group of young men acted as scouts; another group assisted the small 
chiefs acting as a police in camp and on the march. Another group 
of older men traveled with the women and children and assisted in 
making camp. Another group of young men w^ere horse herders. 
Most of these companies were small, numbering perhaps a dozen, 
according to the size of the party. 

There was some method of ranking "braves" according to war 
experience and exploits, and positions were assigned to them when on 
the march, when attacking an enemy, and when stampeding buffalo; 
but I did not obtain details. There were no temporary hunting 
chiefs, as among the Thompson. 

I was unable to learn definitely if each small chief always took