Wanapam (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Wanapam, a branch of the Sahaptian family, lived in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. The significance of their name is unknown. They were closely related to the Palouse. As is generally true for the Sahaptian tribes, there is no ethnographic evidence or traditional lore to show where the Wanapam lived earlier than their first encounter with whites in the early 1800's. At this time, their population numbered approximately eighteen hundred. Sahaptian tribes lived in village communities of varying size. Because they relied on hunting, fishing (salmon was a chief staple), and gathering roots and berries, they moved throughout the year to find food in different seasons. This prevented the villages from developing into political or social centers.
Sahaptian tribes do not seem to have relied at all on agriculture. They were skilled with horses and used them in their search for food. There is no record of any major battles between the Wanapam and white settlers. No official enumerations of Wanapam have been made since the eighteenth century. The tribe was probably absorbed by the Palouse.
(The entire section is 177 words.)
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