Introduction -(SLL-JoshH)

The Spokane Tribe lived by the Spokane River. The name Spokane means “ children of the sun.”
This tribe was not like most tribes they moved around a lot. They were Plains Indians Plateau Indians and then they moved to the Pacific Coast.
They spoke the language of Salish. They are often categorized as a Salishan tribe.

Some past history for this tribe was that Lewis and Clark had contact with the Spokane tribes on their famous expedition to the Northwest.

Habitat/Homes - (OSL-Michael)

The Spokane lived in high flat lands, surrounded by mountains, canyons, rivers and valleys, they lived in tepees They could carry with them around when they traveled. The Spokane lived in high flat lands, surrounded by mountains, canyons, rivers and valleys. They lived in tepees that they could carry with them around when they traveled. Spokane lived between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains. The Mountains catch a lot of rain and snow.
Their winter camps are located in places along the river or creek giving them water and shelter in warmer weather they lived along the river during salmon time, or on the opened plains collecting roots. The Spokane lived mainly eating berries, roots, and salmon.

They lived in teepees. The teepees were in a conical shape. They were built by leaning upright poles forming a large circle at the bottom and a small circle at the top , Mats made of tule were hung overlapping around the frame to enclose it. The teepee were used because they were light and easy to transport, and the poles were easy to find. Rectangle housing were used at permanent camps. The rectangle houses could have four or five families living in them. They also used them for ceremonies and other gatherings. They lived in villages with other Spokane.

These  are teepees
These are teepees

Dress - (SLL-LieslS)

Local Indians changed the way they dressed over time. Throughout the years, all plateau Indians used tailored garments. Both men and women wore a bark breech-cloth or apron, and a twined dark poncho falling a little below the waist before that.

Men wrapped fur around their waist in the cold season, and women had woven leggings. They also wore rabbit-fur robes, or other skin robes in the winter. Twined basket hats were used by the Sahaptin women. Everywhere, men had headbands. In the last two hundred years, caps of fur and feathered head-dresses were worn.waht did the plateau indian. They also wore beaded head dresses and a fezlike basketry hat. Chiefs usually had great use of fur in clothing and wore many beads.

Food - (SLL-LieslS)

The Spokane tribe ate things like fish, roots, berries, and meats. They also ate lots of sea food like eels, suckers, trout, and especially salmon. They hunted mostly deer, but they also hunted things like bear and caribou. They used snowshoes in the winter to hunt, and canoes in the summer, until horses came along.

Every year the Spokane tribe has the Salmon Run. In this process, the salmon swim upstream to lay their eggs. Usually, salmon die after this process. This is another way they get food. They also ate dried plant roots like camas bulb, bitterroot, onions, wild carrots, and parsnips. They also ate berries such as serviceberries, huckleberries, and blueberries. They used bow and arrow to hunt meat, and caught fish using spears, nets, and traps.

The Spokane tribe used the process of hunting and gathering. To store fish for the winter, they were dried on wooden elevated racks and kept in storage pits, but also eaten fresh. Women gathered the berries and dug the roots and bulbs while the men did the fishing.

Customs - (OSL-Michael)

The men and women’s roles were divided by the women doing most of the heavy work , she made the mats, bags ,baskets, dressed the hides, made clothing and the teepees, gathered the fuel, dug the roots, and made the meals , The men made the tools and weapons, made the ceremonial clothes, hunted, cared for the horses and made war when needed. The Spokanes had a tradition of getting together with other tribes. This is called “Pow Wow” .The activities that were played were stick games and ceremonial dancing.

The Spokane believed that there was three worlds, one on top, one in the middle, one on top. The middle one was called earth. The top world was the one who gave them the coyote. The bottom world, the evil one, who was blamed for poor hunting, fishing and crops. The top world provided all they needed for food and gave them the rain. An important part of childhood is the search for a guardian spirit which began when a child reached the age of puberty. No one could become an adult until a guardian spirit was found. The guardian spirit was found by going to the mountain top or other isolated place to fast and watch for his spirit to appeared, It may have taken a few days or many days before it appeared, and usually it was in the form of an animal.
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Tool and Weapons - (SLL-JoshH)

The Spokane hunted with bows and arrows. They used spheres, harpoons, clubs, bolts, and slings. Bows were best weapons for hunting until the arrival of guns. The best material for bows was syringa wood.
They walked everywhere and used snowshoes. They used canoes and used dogs until the arrival of horses in 1730.
They made bags out of grasses, such as rye grass, bear grass, or hemp. The bags were used for carrying a harvest, transporting items, or carrying personal belongings. One tool that they used was the Pebble Tool which was a smooth, water- worn tool. There are ten different kinds of pebble tools. Big ones were used for the harder work such as cutting, chopping, crushing, cracking, shredding, pulping, scraping, and smoothing. Another common tool was the ulna tool. The bones of a deer were used to make it. It was mad in different shapes and sizes. They used this tool for cutting open fish. They also used it for cutting the bark of cedar trees.
Another tool they used was bone points. The sizes of these tools were 3 cm to 20 cm long. Some of them were formed from splinters of bone. They were used mostly for hunting and fishing gear.

Miscellaneous Facts - (all group members)