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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

After attending to Nez Perce medical needs until midday, the Expedition moves a few miles down Lawyer and 7-Mile creeks to the Clearwater River in present Kamiah, Idaho. They intend to establish a camp on the other side of the river.

The Chopunnish are in general stout well formed active men.
they have high noses and many of them on the acqueline order with cheerfull and agreeable countenances; their complexions are not remarkable.
the hair of the men is cewed in two rolls which hang on each side in front of the body as before discribed of other inhabitants of the Columbia.

Meriwether Lewis

Nez Perce man

Handsome Nez Perce warrior wearing dentalium shell necklace

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1911 (altered).

This morning Capt. C. as usual was busily engaged with his patients untill eleven OCk.

Meriwether Lewis

a fine morning I administered to the Sick and gave directions.

William Clark

Lawyer Creek

Small, blue creek running through a grassy meadow

we followed the creek downwards about two miles, passing a stout branch at 1 m. which flowed in on the wright.

Meriwether Lewis

Seven Mile Creek

Small brown creek heavy with silt flowing through a brushy gully

these people have immence numbers of them 50, 60 or a hundred hed is not unusual for an individual to possess.

Meriwether Lewis

Yakama warrior

Indian warrior on a horse holding a spear high in the air

Photo by Eugene Everett Lavalleur amd L.V. McWhorter circa 1911.

they appear to be cheerfull but not gay; they are fond of gambling and of their amusements which consist principally in shooting their arrows at a bowling target made of willow bark, and in riding and exercising themselves on horseback, racing &c.
they are expert marksmen and good riders.

Meriwether Lewis


Young Nez Perce man

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1911.

collars of bears claws are also common

Meriwether Lewis

Grizzly bear claw necklace

Necklace made of several large bear claws

Photo courtesy of Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 1990.

the article of dress on which they appear to bstow most pains and ornaments is a kind of collar or brestplate;
this is most comonly a strip of otterskin of about six inches wide taken out of the center of the skin it's whole length including the head
it is placed about the neck and hangs in front of the body the tail frequently reaching below their knees;
on this skin in front is attatched peices of pirl, beads, wampum peices of red cloth and in short whatever they conceive most valuable or ornamental.

Meriwether Lewis

the men also frequently attatch some small ornament to a small plat of hair on the center of the crown of their heads

Meriwether Lewis

Male dancer's roach

Colorful hair ornament made from porcupine quills and deer hair

Photo courtesy of Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 1908.

their ornaments consist of beads shells and peices of brass variously attatched to their dress, to their ears arrond their necks wrists arms &c.
a bando of some kind usually surrounds the head, this is most frequently the skin of some fir animal as the fox otter &c. tho' they have them also of dressed skin without the hair.
the ornament of the nose is a single shell of the wampum.
the pirl and beads are suspended from the ears.
beads are woarn arround their wrists necks and over their sholders crosswise in the form of a double sash.

Meriwether Lewis

Kalispell girl

Young Indian woman in traditional dress

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1911.

their women brade their hair in two tresses which hang in the same position of those of the men. they also wear a cap or cup on the head formed of beargrass and cedar bark.

Meriwether Lewis

Cayuse matron

Old Indian woman wearing hat made of woven grasses

Photo by Edward S. Curtis circa 1911.