Palouse (American Indians Ready Reference)
Traditionally the Palouse lived along the lower Snake River and its tributaries, including the Palouse River. The Palouse are considered a Plateau tribe. They organized into three independent groups and lived in villages during the winter months in wooden houses.
Similar to other Columbia Basin Indians, their economy depended on salmon fishing in the Columbia River, gathering roots (such as the camas) and berries, and hunting. The area in which they lived was arid and flat, broken by steppes. Hunting increased in importance after the horse was introduced in the mid-1700's. The Palouse became excellent horsemen, and their economy expanded to include horse trading in the early nineteenth century. Their first European American contact was with the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804, followed by fur traders exploring the area in the early 1800's.
Friction with whites began almost immediately and persisted throughout Palouse history. Of any of the Plateau tribes, the Palouse were the most resistant to U.S. government plans to resettle them on reservations. In one of their initial contacts with fur traders, one of their members was found guilty of stealing from a Pacific Fur Company manager. For this crime the thief was executed, much to the horror of the Palouse and nearby Nez Perce. After the incident, the Palouse and Nez Perce kept their distance from the traders.
Further contact with white people was inevitable as white settlers...
(The entire section is 653 words.)
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