Did You Know ?



Hemp was used for so many things within the Nez Perce culture. Separate from it’s hallucinigenic qualities, this plant was a mainstay for making anything from ropes, baskets, medicines, ointments, foods, and fishing nets.

Presentation by Sandi McFarland, NPNHT-FS




“Wallowa” (wil-le-wah)


Two meanings — A part of the fishing weir used by the Nez Perce. A line of upright poles stretching across the river, anchored in place by a tripod of supporting poles. These upright poles are called the “wallowas.”
Also — “wil-le-wah”, “wallowa”, or “winding waters.”

Grace Barlett, 1967


Photo courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society

Photo courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society


“The whole breadth of the stream is obstructed by stakes and open work of willow and other branches, with holes at intervals leading into wicker compartments, which the fish enter. Once in they cannot get out, as the holes are formed with wicker work inside shaped something like a funnel or a wire mouse-trap.”

Paul Kane, 1845


“The trap consisted on the two barriers across the stream about 100 yards apart. The lower barrier had an opening near the center to allow the salmon to enter. This opening was closed when it was desired to prevent the escape of the salmon. The upper barrier had no opening. The opening in the lower barrier was closed when the fish were to be taken out.”

Claire Hunt, 1937




“Spots of the Appaloosa”


Did you know that the Nez Perce ancestors said that the Appaloosa war horse appeared to sweat blood from it’s skin? This became the explanation for the spots on it’s body.





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