Monday, March 26, 2012



Derivation: From a Selish word of unknown significance.
The Shahaptan family of Scouler comprised three tribes—the Shahaptan or Nez Percés, the Kliketat, a scion of the Shahaptan, dwelling near Mount Ranier, and the Okanagan, inhabiting the upper part of Fraser River and its tributaries; “these tribes were asserted to speak dialects of the same language.” Of the above tribes the Okinagan are now known to be Salishan.
The vocabularies given by Scouler were collected by Tolmie. The term “Sahaptin” appears on Gallatin’s map of 1836, where it doubtless refers only to the Nez Percé tribe proper, with respect to whose linguistic affinities Gallatin apparently knew nothing at the time. At all events the name occurs nowhere in his discussion of the linguistic families.
The tribes of this family occupied a large section of country along the Columbia and its tributaries. Their western boundary was the Cascade Mountains; their westernmost bands, the Klikitat on the north, the Tyigh and Warm Springs on the south, enveloping for a short distance the Chinook territory along the Columbia which extended to the Dalles. Shahaptian tribes extended along the tributaries of the Columbia for a considerable distance, their northern boundary being indicated by about the forty-sixth parallel, their southern by about the forty-fourth. Their eastern extension was interrupted by the Bitter Root Mountains.
Chopunnish (Nez Percé), 1,515 on Nez Percé Reservation, Idaho.
Klikitat, say one-half of 330 natives, on Yakama Reservation, Washington.
Paloos, Yakama Reservation, number unknown.
Tenaino, 69 on Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon.
Tyigh, 430 on Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon.
Umatilla, 179 on Umatilla Reservation, Oregon.
Walla Walla, 405 on Umatilla Reservation, Oregon.