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Nez Perce Indians

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Nez perce indians

Nez Perce Indians

They got their name from the French explorers who thought that the tribes practiced or were supposed to practice the custom of piercing the nose, but the people of the tribe never actually did this. Historians are confused about why the name stuck. The people of this tribe like to be called

Nimi'ipuu, which means the "real people"

What region is home to the nez perce

What region is home to the Nez Perce?



Nez Perce

The nez perce and other plateau indians lived in the columbia plateau

The Nez Perce and other Plateau Indians lived in the Columbia Plateau

What is a plateau

What is a plateau?

  • A high steep-sided flat area of land that is higher than surrounding land and is often between mountains.

  • Look at the next slide to see what mountains What mountains surround the Columbia Plateau? (next slide)

Nez perce indians



Nez perce historical park what landforms do you see

Nez Perce Historical ParkWhat landforms do you see?



  • Hot, dry summers

  • Cold, dry winters

  • Frequent cloud cover and considerable fog

  • Average temperatures range from a high of 84.0 degrees to a low of 20.0 degrees.

The environment affected where the nez perce lived

The environment affected where the Nez Perce lived

  • The Nez Perce lived in groups of extended families, in small villages along streams and riverslike the Columbia, Salmon and Snake River.


What natural resources are near rivers and streams

What natural resources are nearrivers and streams?

The environment affected what the nez perce ate

The environment affected what the Nez Perce ate

  • The Nez Perce seasonally migrated throughout their territory in order to take advantage of natural resources. Food animals included salmon and other fish, mountain goats and sheep, bear, moose, elk, deer, small game, and birds

They travelled by canoe on the rivers to fish for salmon and other fish

They travelled by canoe on the rivers to fish for salmon and other fish

Nez perce indians

  • The tribe also travelled by horse to hunt buffalo in the Great Plains

Nez perce indians

Plants they ate included camas bulbs, bitterroot, bark, pine nuts, moss, sunflower seeds, wild carrots, wild onions, and several varieties of berries.

What do you think the nez perce traded

What do you think the Nez Perce traded?

  • Animal furs

  • Fish like dried salmon

  • Buffalo

  • They owned the largest horse herd on the continent

  • Dried plants

  • Sheep

  • Goat

  • Elk, Moose, Deer meat

Nez perce indians

They lived in mat-covered long houses.  The length varied, but could be over 100 feet long.  These dwellings were used for ceremonial purposes, and for winter housing by several families.


Nez perce indians

The Nez Perce followed their food source seasonally. They would use earthen houses and later, teepees,as temporary houses. How did the environment affect their housing?

The environment affected their clothes

The environment affected their clothes

The men wore long, fringed buckskin shirts, leggings, belts, moccasins and a feathered bonnet. In the cold weather, men wore buffalo or bison skin robes. 

Women wore long, belted buckskin dresses, corn husk basketry hats, and knee length moccasins.  The dresses were decorated with elk teeth, beads made of shell, bone, and later glass, porcupine quills, and vegetable and mineral dyes. 

What nez perce women are famous for

What Nez Perce women are famous for.

  • Nez Perce women are famous for their beadwork and the beautifully crafted...

  • Baskets

  • Bags

  • And hats.

  • They weave from…

  • Hemp

  • Corn husks

  • And other plant fibers.

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