Home
Credits
Links
RSS News
Share
Contact

 

    Return to...
Native NationsClark's Nez Perce Son
3. Watkuese
5. Suspicion
 

4. Now is the time

Page 4 of 18

Part 4, "Do them no harm"
A Tsoopnitpeloo Legend

As Told by Otis Halfmoon
Of the Nez Perce Tribe

Audio


Transcript

ord spread from Weippe Prairie on down to the place we now call Orofino. That's where the old lady was now, Watkuese. And she heard about these people, heard the news about a strange race of people showing up. Had hair on their face, had hair on their bodies. They looked like animals, but yet they walked on two legs. Then she turned around, and said, "Now, now is the time. It is these white people. Help 'em. Do what you can. Feed 'em. Because it was these people here that helped me when I was a slave. When all the other Indian people treated me so bad, these people were the ones treated me well. Feed 'em. Do what you can." And so what the Nez Perce did, with her advice, they said, we will treat 'em well. And so they fed 'em.

It was an interesting time, because the Nez Perce treated them so well they helped them out all they could. The chiefs that showed up there they were very cautious, because they weren't too sure. They had these weapons, though. They wanted the weapons. They saw the material wealth that these people had, and they saw the strength, as well. They kind of wanted to get to know these guys a little bit. To guide 'em.

So they started working again. They had guides for them down at the Canoe Camp, down at present day Orofino. And the Lewis and Clark crew started making these canoes in their own fashion. The Nez Perce had to help them do that, because they showed them a different method burning out the log to make canoes.

And so the Nez Perce guided 'em all the way down the Clearwater River, towards present-day Lewiston, and continued on down the Snake. They got down towards The Dalles, Oregon, and the Nez Perce turned back around and came back home.

--Otis Halfmoon

3. Watkuese
5. Suspicion


 
From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)