Plateau Group

Published on July 6, 2013 by Casey

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Plateau Group
Plateau Group

Plateau Group – Culture

The area covered eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, northeast and central Oregon, southeast British Columbia. The Plateau Group lived in small villages alongside rivers. The animals and fish, including trout and salmon, and the Plants, and Crops provided their food, clothing and shelter. Their Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on the materials available to them and whether the home was permanent or temporary.

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There are also facts and info about the Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the Northwest Plateau Native Americans group. The Plateau tribes included the Klamath, Modoc, Nez Perce, Walla Walla and Yakima tribes who spoke the Penutian language and the Salish (Flathead) tribes who spoke the Salishan language. Their weapons, trading currencies, beliefs, ceremonies and religions were also important elements of their way of life. The Plateau Group who lived on the borders of lands often reflected two types of lifestyles.

Plateau Group – Lifestyle (Way of Living)

Plateau tribes included the Nez Perce, Flathead, Kutenai, Palus, Coeur D’Alene, Cayuse, and Kalispel, and these groups lived in the forests, woods and prairies and along the rivers. The climate, land and natural resources that were available to the Indian tribes resulted in the adoption of the Plateau Group culture.

Name of Group: Plateau Group

Languages: Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan

Geography of the State of Plateau Group: Fast flowing rivers, lakes and forests. Warm summers and cold, snowy winters ,

Animals: Elk, deer, bear, mountain goat, coyote, fox, raccoon, porcupine, weasel, beaver and hare

Fish: Salmon

Natural Resources: Berries, roots, and bulbs

Culture and Lifestyle adopted: Nomadic Hunter gatherers, Fishers

Food: Vegetables, fruits, meat and fish

Transport: Dugout canoes, Snowshoes

Types of housing, homes or shelters: Pit houses, tepees, tule-mat lodges

Famous Tribes of Plateau Group: Klamath, Modoc, Nez Perce, Salish (Flathead), Walla Walla and Yakima

The Native Indians who lived on the borders of lands often reflected two different types of lifestyles.

Plateau Group – Languages

The languages of the Plateau Group included Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan

Plateau Group – Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of Plateau Group are dark brown eyes, prominent cheek bones, straight black hair, and scantiness of beard. The skin color of Native Indians varies from very light in some tribes such as the Cheyenne, to almost black in others, such as the Caddo and a yellowish color in such as the Flatheads.

Plateau Group – Geography and Environment

Varied environments ranging from semi-arid to lush mountain meadows. The Geography and Environment can be generally described as an area of lakes, rivers, and coniferous trees which dominated the landscape of the Plateau region. The great Fraser and Colunbia Snake rivers provided many different types of salmon. Warm summers and cold, snowy winters.

Plateau Group – Culture – Way of Life

Following the introduction of the horse by Europeans some Plateau Group such as the Nez Perce travelled across the Rocky Mountains to hunt buffalo on the Great Plains. But they returned to their Plateau homeland in the winter to continue fishing in the great rivers.

Plateau Group – Animals

The animals were very important to the Plateau Group. The uses of the animals were varied and included food, clothing, shelter and decorations. Plateau animals included the bear, mountain goat, coyote, fox, raccoon, porcupine, weasel, beaver and hare. The most important food to the survival of the Plateau people was the Pacific Salmon.

Plateau Group – Plants and Trees

The Plants, Trees and Crops included berries, roots, and bulbs.

Plateau Group – Tools and Weapons

The tools and weapons used by the Plateau people were made from bone (such as arrow heads), wood, nets for fishing, and stone (such as spears and cutting tools). Their weapons and tools were decorated with carvings, feathers, and beads.

Plateau Group – Houses, Shelters and Homes

The different types of Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on the materials available and whether the home was permanent or temporary. The homes of the semi-nomadic Plateau Group included tepees, tule mat lodges and lean-to’s. Winters were spent in larger, more permanent villages or winter camps which were sometimes fortified. In these villages people lived in underground shelters called pit houses.

Plateau Group – Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs

The Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs were based on Animism. Animism was a commonly shared doctrine, or belief, of the indigenous people of North America and Canada including the Plateau Indian tribes. Animism is based on the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects have souls or spirits. In this religion it is believed that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, trees, rocks etc. This belief is also extended to natural phenomena such as thunder storms and rain and geographic features such as mountains, caves or rivers also possess souls or spirits. They held the religious belief that an entity called ‘Coyote’ was responsible for bringing salmon up the river every spring and fall. They also practised vigils and Vision Quests and practised Smudging Rituals.

Plateau Group – The Shaman

The Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the Great Basin Indians were also dominated by Shamanism in which a religious leader, called a Shaman, acted as a medium between the visible and spirit worlds. The Plateau Shamans had special powers, medicine and magic to heal the sick, control the hunt, and predict the future.

Source: warpaths2peacepipes Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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