Nez Perces - Encyclopedia

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NEZ PERCES (in allusion to their custom of wearing noserings, &c.), a tribe of North American Indians of Sahaptian stock. They call themselves Shaptin (whence the stock name) but to other tribes were known as Chopunnish. Their former range was a large tract in eastern Washington and Oregon and central Idaho. Until 1877 they had been at peace with the whites. In 1875 a portion of their reservation having been taken from them, owing to the allegation that they had not carried out the treaty stipulations, difficulties arose which, two years later, caused the Nez Perces War. The disaffected portion of the tribe, numbering some 400 or soo, held out for several months against all the forces the government could bring up, but were finally captured on the Sweet Grass Hills, northern Montana. They were placed in Indian Territory, but in 1884 transferred, owing to their decrease through disease,to a healthier locality in northern Washington. The main tribe are on a reservation in northern Idaho.

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