Umatilla, Walla Walla & Cayuse
Traditional Culture
  Who's Who
Since Time Immemorial
Homelands
All My Relations
Camp Life & Seasonal Round
Horses, Trade, & Travel
Cultural Continuity
References Cited

  Contemporary Culture
  Sovereignty & Tribal Government
Arts and Artists
Language
Education
Recommended Web Sites

  Relationship with U.S.
  Lewis & Clark and the Early Fur Trade
Establishment of Fort Nez Perces
Life at Ft. Walla Walla
Missionaries and Early Settlers
Making Treaties
The Shrinking Reservation
References Cited

 

Click Here to get Quicktime   Quicktime
Click Here to get RealPlayer 28K 56K 256K
HTML Transcript

Waiiletpus' lost name.
Kathleen Gordon
 

Click Here to get Quicktime   Quicktime
Click Here to get RealPlayer 28K 56K 256K
HTML Transcript

The Snake River.
Bobbie Conner
 
Contemporary Tribal Members
 
image
Elders Eddie James and Fermore Craig Sr. honoring veterans at the war memorial, as part of the Fourth of July festivities.
 
 
image
Boots Pond (in hider) and Lona and Crystal Pond (in wingdresses) catch a ride in the Fourth of July parade.
 
image
Tribal member Ronald Pond returned to school as an "older than average" student and is completing his doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies at Washington State University.
 

Click Here to get Quicktime   Quicktime
Click Here to get RealPlayer 28K 56K 256K
HTML Transcript

Leah Conner
The war of 1877

Umatilla River > Culture > Who's Who


image
Other Tribal Affiliations

Many Sahaptin-speaking groups, speaking various mutually-intelligible dialects, lived in the area centered on the great confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. The Lewis and Clark Expedition members recognized differences in some, but not all, of these groups, which included the Cayuse and Lower Nez Perce, the Umatilla, Walla Walla, Palouse, Yakima, and Wanapam. In order to understand their story, it will help to understand more about these particular groups and where they lived in relation to one another.

 

The Cayuse

 
When first encountered by Euro-Americans, the Cayuse, close allies of the Nez Perce, were speaking a dialect of Lower Nez Perce. Their own language was quite distinct. Unfortunately, no living person speaks Cayuse and not enough of the language was recorded to reconstruct more than terms for various things.
The northernmost extent of the Cayuse aboriginal homeland was the junction of the Tucannon and Snake rivers extending southward in a relatively narrow band all the way south to the confluence of the Malheur River with the Snake, centered on the Grande Ronde River, and between the modern towns of Le Grande and Pendleton, Oregon. image
Three Cayuse men on horses,
on the banks of the Columbia River

Maj. Lee Moorhouse. PH 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, #M5143
image
Cayuse chief Paul Show-a-way with daughter) in Thorn Hollow winter camp, in front of their mat lodge.
Maj. Lee Moorhouse. PH 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, #M4259
The Tucannon defines the northeast boundary, which was shared with the Nez Perce. The northwest boundary of their territory abuts the southeast edge of Walla Walla territory, in part the route followed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their return trip in early May, 1806. South of the Walla Walla River, the western boundary abuts the aboriginal territory of the Umatilla people.

Click Here to get Quicktime   Quicktime
Click Here to get RealPlayer 28K 56K 256K
HTML Transcript

Leah Conner
The strength of the Cayuse

Landmarks within this homeland include the peaks and valleys of the Blue Mountains; the Grande Ronde Valley; Lonepine Mountain, Magpie Peak and Coyote Point near Baker City, Oregon; Table Rock and Pedro and Juniper Mountains near Weatherby, Orgeon. Village and camp names of the Cayuse tend to describe the physical attributes of the place itself, such as "pilot rock," "that which sits on top," "confluence of streams," "pine lean-to village," "high trail," "high country," or they tell of a resource found there, such as "place of pines," "white earth," "flint rock place," "cactus place," "hot spring" "beaver creek" "cottonwood," "place of camas," "where stoxs grows."

Today, the Cayuse are one of the three tribes that reside on the Umatilla Reservation.

 

The Umatilla

 

The Umatilla, like their neighbors to the north and east, were Sahaptin speakers. Members of the Umatilla people reside today on the Umatilla Reservation with people of the Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes.

image
Alice Pate-wa, Umatilla, with her baby on cradleboard.
Maj. Lee Moorhouse. PH 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, # M4886


Umatilla aboriginal territory is located along a narrow north-south band primarily in north-central Oregon, with a small section extending north of the Columbia River into Washington State. The northern extent of the homeland shares a boundary with the Walla Wallas through the Horse Heaven Hills, between the Yakima and Columbia Rivers. Along the Columbia, their aboriginal homeland extends from a place above Hat Rock down to Willow Creek. From the Columbia, the lands extend generally southward to the headwaters of the John Day River, sharing the eastern border with the Cayuse and the western border with the Wayampam.


Landmarks within this homeland include Hat Rock and the Cayuse Sisters, stone monuments along the Columbia noted in the L&C journals; …

Village and camp names of the Umatilla tend to describe the physical attributes of the place itself, such as "where the light penetrates," "elbow in the river," "lots of rocks," "rapids in the river," or they tell of a resource found there, such as" tule place."

image
Umatilla girls by flume, 1904
Maj. Lee Moorhouse. PH 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, #M4858

 

 

The Walla Walla

 

Walla Walla aboriginal territory is centered on the confluence of the Snake and the Columbia. The lower Snake and lower Yakima and points in between were where their greatest population was concentrated, with major villages located down to the mouth of the Walla Walla River. This aboriginal territory extends as far northwest as the White Bluffs on the Columbia, just south of the big bend, where today sits the Hanford Nuclear Site to the south and various wildlife refuge areas to the north. The northeast boundary was the mouth of the Palouse River at its confluence with the Snake adjacent to the territory of the Palouse people. The boundary along the east edge divided the Walla Walla territory from the Cayuse, extending south- southeast to the Touchette, then following essentially the route taken by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their return trip in early May, 1806. The southern edge of the Walla Walla homeland was roughly halfway between the mouths of the Walla Walla and the Umatilla Rivers, and extending westward across the Horse Heaven Hills to near the town of Benton City on the Yakima River.

Landmarks within this homeland include: Shiprock (Monumental Rock), Walula Gap, the White Bluffs, the sand drifts, Red Mountain, Goose Hill, and Badger Mountain, and the Horse Heaven Hills. Important places along the rivers include Pine Tree, Fish Hook, and Five Mile Rapids on the Columbia, and Horn Rapids on the Yakima.

 

image
Walla Walla Chief Uma-som-kin on horseback on the Columbia River
Maj. Lee Moorhouse. PH 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, #M4311.

Village and camp names of the Walla Walla tend to describe the physical attributes of the place itself, such as "washout," "fast flowing water," "canyon's end," "noisy water," and "wind against the river," or they tell of a resource found there, such as "place where black camas grows" and "salt lick."

 

Other Tribal Affiliations
 

The Palouse were allied with bands of the Nez Perce, Walla Walla, Yakima, Umatilla, and Cayuse, and, in varying combinations, they combined forces for fishing, root gathering, war dances, warfare, and bison hunting across the mountains.

The aboriginal territory of the Palouse extends from near Lewiston to the confluence of Snake and Columbia, centered at Palus. Major villages were located along the north shore between Fishhook Bend and the mouth of Snake, where they shared territory with the Wanapam. Upriver they shared territory with the Nez Perce.

 
Background: Cayuse twins in cradleboards, October 2, 1898
In this photo, Cayuse twins Tax-a-Lax and Alompum (Emma and Edna Jones)
look out from their undecorated wood and fabric cradleboards.
One source identifies the twins as grandnieces of Chief Joseph.
Lee Moorhouse silver gelatin print
Seattle Historical Society Collection SHS 17,303
American Memory site