The Nez PercÃÂ©, or Nimi'ipuu as they called themselves, lived in present-day Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. They traveled in small groups seasonally with deep canyons cut by the Snake, Clearwater, and Salmon rivers. Their original territory was 17 million acres, but today they live in a tiny reservation in north-central Idaho.
The Nimi'ipuu used many animals. Fish, bison, deer, elk, moose, bear, ducks, and geese were hunted for food. They were fond of the Appaloosa horses and raised them beautifully. Horses were important to the Nimi'ipuu for transportation and mobility.
The weapons of the Nimi'ipuu have stayed the same for almost 2,000 years. In 3,000 B.C., the atlatl, or throwing stone as they called it, came into use. 2,000 years later, the bow and arrow came into use, but did not become more popular than the atlatl until A.D. 700.
The women of the Nimi'ipuu were very important to the tribe.
During battle, they provided food, water, clothing, and fresh horses for the men. During peaceful times, they dug shelter pits, took care of the wounded, buried the dead, set up and took down camp, prepared the food, got wood and water, kept fires going, dried the meat, and were midwives to the women giving birth. Clearly, the women of the Nimi'ipuu were completely indispensable!
The children of the Nimi'ipuu had many chores, but they always found time to play. Since there were no pre-manufactured toys for them to play with, they invented games with easy to find objects. Pinecone throwing and catching games were very popular.
When the settlers came to the west, the Nimi'ipuu tried to maintain peace by giving land freely to the settlers, but that was to no avail. More and more settlers wanted to take the Nimi'ipuu's land. The Nimi'ipuu signed treaty after...