Overview Legend Times Daily Life Transport and Trade Contact and Change All Image Gallery
Bag - NEPE 1811
Basket, Mortar, Pestle - NEPE 187 Spoons - NEPE 2187, 6881, 6882, 6883, 6886
Local food sources were plentiful and varied. Families traveled seasonally to collect food for immediate needs, and to prepare and store for the winter.
Fish, especially salmon, formed a major part of the Nimiipuu diet, as well as the Pacific lamprey eel and crayfish. Fish were caught with scoop nets, seines, hook and line, harpoons or spears, shot with arrows, and trapped in weirs. They were split, cleaned, hung on poles to dry, or smoked on wooden racks. Men hunted elk, deer, bear, beaver, game birds and other animals.

Different plants were gathered through the seasons. Roots, such as kouse, camas, bitterroot, and wild carrot, were an important food source. These root foods were boiled and baked and some dried and stored for the winter. Berries, including huckleberries, raspberries, choke cherries, wild cherries, and nuts, tubers, stalks, and seeds rounded out the diet. Perishable and dried foods were stored in skin containers, large cedar root baskets, and cached in pits close to the harvest site.

Today the Nez Perce Tribe and their Northwest Tribal partners are leading the effort to preserve and revitalize wild salmon runs of the Columbia River drainage. Root diggers are also taking a proactive role to protect the remaining areas where root foods can still be found.
Basket - NEPE 64 Bow Cases - NEPE 1631 Bow - NEPE 1799 Kettle - NEPE 2328 Kettle - NEPE 2329 Hopper basket, pestle, grinding stone - NEPE 2347, 354 (Pestle), 4588 (Mortar) Digging Stick - NEPE 8715 Fishing Spear Points - NEPE 8774, NEPE 8775 Tumpline - NEPE 8814
Horn Spoons - NEPE 76, 8848 Fishing Gear Basket - NEPE 34198 Basket - NEPE 34212 Nez Perce Women Preparing Salmon - NEPE-HI-C8525 James Wilson Fishing - NEPE-HI-0783