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Dress - NEPE 34023
Hair Comb and Tweezers - NEPE 255 and NEPE 266 Man's Shirt - NEPE 1634
Our Fathers gave us many laws, which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good.
Chief Joseph
Household and family groups formed the foundation of Nimiipuu social organization. Men, women, and children all had defined roles. Families lived and worked together and formed social alliances.

When the Lewis and Clark expedition enountered the Nimiipuu in 1805, the two Captains observed independent villages along rivers and streams. Each village was governed by a council that chose and advised a headman. Local villages were, in turn, organized into a band that was represented by a band council composed of individuals of the various villages that had elected a headman. In the same way, neighboring bands were organized into composite bands that shared a common background as well as blood and marital ties. While unit was important, each village and band was autonomous.

Men were responsible for the welfare of their families. They hunted and fished to provide sustenance for the family. They made the tools required for these tasks and passed on these skills to their sons. Game was available year round. However, it was fishing that consumed men’s time during the annual migration of salmon from the sea to the rivers of the interior northwest. Fish was critical to sustaining the Nimiipuu and the Columbia River basin was once one of the richest migratory salmon habitats in the world. Salmon and other fish provide more than food, they represent what mother earth can provide.

Women ran the household and took care of infants and the younger children. They used their extensive botanical knowledge to collect the abundant edible and medicinal plants found in region. Children helped by gathering roots and berries that provided about 25% of the food supply.


Cradleboard - NEPE 57 Toy Cradleboard - NEPE 1629 Stick Gaming Pieces - NEPE 81 Bonnet - NEPE 169 War Bonnet and Trailer - NEPE 2225 Child's Bow - NEPE 2323 Man's Roach - NEPE 1908 Cornhusk bag - NEPE 1916 Cornhusk bag - NEPE 1926
Man's Shirt - NEPE 2151 Shirt - NEPE 2388 Dress - NEPE 34191 Dress - NEPE 8877 Toy Gun Case - NEPE 8794 Minature Feather Bonnet Cases - NEPE 8795, 8796 Dance Stick - NEPE 8804 Pouches - NEPE 9790, 8819 Beaded Gauntlet - NEPE 8990
Handbag - NEPE 8992 Breastplate - NEPE 2211 War Club - NEPE 2166 Slide Show