Walla Walla people

Walla Walla (/ˌwɒlə ˈwɒlə/), sometimes Waluulapam, are a Sahaptin indigenous people of the Northwest Plateau. The duplication in their name expresses the diminutive form. The name Walla Walla is translated several ways but most often as "many waters."[3]

Many Walla Wallas live on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Wallas share land and a governmental structure with the Cayuse and the Umatilla tribes as part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. The reservation is located in the area of Pendleton, Oregon, United States, near the Blue Mountains. Some Walla Wallas are also enrolled in the federally recognized Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Walla Walla people
Total population
383 (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Oregon)
English, Sahaptin dialect (endangered)
Traditional Religion (Washat)[2], Christianity (incl. syncretistic forms)
Related ethnic groups
Sahaptin-speaking Umatilla, Cayuse, Yakama
Umatilla, Paloos, and 2 white men - NARA - 523642
Sahaptin tribal representatives to Washington D.C. (1890)


The people are a Sahaptin-speaking tribe that traditionally inhabited the interior Columbia River region of present-day northwestern United States. For centuries before the coming of European settlers, the Walla Wallas, consisting of three principal bands, occupied the territory along the Walla Walla River and along the confluence of the Snake and Columbia River rivers in a territory that is now part of northern Oregon and southeastern Washington state. From this zone, the Walla Walla followed a similar pattern of seasonal subsistence practices to that of the Yakama, Palouse, Umatilla, and Wanapum tribes.[4]

Contact with Europeans

The first encounter with Euro-Americans for the Walla Wallas was the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The first meeting in 1805, the Americans promised to Walla Walla chief Yellepit they would visit with the people after seeing the Pacific Ocean. The party returned in April 1806 and stayed at Yellepit's village, located on the Columbia River near the mouth of the Walla Walla River.[5] During a transaction Yellepit presented Clark with a white horse in return for a copper kettle. The Americans had none in supply, however, so Clark gave Yellepit his own sword, along with a quantity of gunpowder and musket balls.[6] Lewis and Clark also gave Yellepit a peace medal engraved with a portrait of President Thomas Jefferson, to be worn around the neck, and a small United States flag. Yellepit, Washington was later named after him.

David Thompson of the Canadian-British North West Company (NWC) was the next European in the Walla Walla lands, arriving in 1811. About five miles upriver from Yellepit's village on the confluence of the Snake River and the Columbia, Thompson ordered a pole be placed. An attached letter to the pole claimed the territory for the British Crown and stated the NWC intended to build a trading post at the site. Thompson's pole and letter were intended for the traders of the Pacific Fur Company, an American rival of the NWC. Continuing downriver, Thompson stopped at Yellepit's village and discovered the flag and medal left by the Americans. Thompson found Yellepit very friendly and intelligent, even encouraging Thompson's plan to set up a nearby trading post.[7] For various reasons the post was not built until 1818, when the NWC established Fort Nez Perces at the mouth of the Walla Walla River. During the summer of 1811, Thompson met also the Walla Walla head chief, Tumatapum, and his equal-ranking Quillquills Tuckapesten, Nimipu head chief, Ollicott, Cayuse head chief, and, probably, Illim-Spokanee, Spokane heade chief.

The Walla Wallas eventually adopted maintaining cattle herds, going as far as New Helvetia in California during 1844 to secure additional livestock. An estimated 40 Walla Wallas, Nez Perce and Cayuse under Walla Walla chief Piupiumaksmaks went on the expedition south. En route the party gathered stray horses, not aware the strays were stolen. Negotiations at New Helvetia were held between one of Piupiumaksmaks' sons, Toayahnu, and an employee of Sutter. The two men entered a dispute, and Toayahnu was killed.[8] Despite fears of retribution among Sutter's staff by the Walla Wallas, Piupiumaksmaks returned with a small band of warriors and families in 1846 and declared peaceable intentions.[9] The returning party had members infectees of measles, which began to spread across the Columbia Plateau, decimating indigenous populations.[10] Smallpox and other diseases were also introduced into the area, increasing the Walla Wallas population decline. Despite this, the Walla Wallas then held extensive herds of horses, being the "principal wealth" of the tribe.[11]

The Walla Walla were one of the tribal nations at the Walla Walla Council (1855) (along with the Cayuse, Nez Perce, Umatilla, and Yakama), which signed the Treaty of Walla Walla.[12]

Notable Walla Walla


  1. ^ "2010 Census American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  2. ^ "ctuir.org/about-us". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Indian Names Of Places", Native American Glossary. (retrieved 24 March 2011)
  5. ^ "Walla Walla Indians", Lewis and Clark, PBS
  6. ^ Allen, Cain (2004). "Yelleppit and the Walla Walla", The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society.
  7. ^ Nisbet, Jack (1994). Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America. Sasquatch Books. pp. 202–203. ISBN 1-57061-522-5.
  8. ^ Heizer, Robert Fleming. "Walla Walla Indian Expeditions to the Sacramento Valley." California Historical Society Quarterly 21, No. 1 (1942), pp. 1-7
  9. ^ Hussey, John Adam, George Walcott Ames, Jr. Preparations to Meet the Walla Walla Invasion, 1846, California Historical Society Quarterly 21, No. 1 (1942), pp. 9-21.
  10. ^ Paul, Kane. Wanderings of an artist across the Indians of North America, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Roberts, 1859, p. 283
  11. ^ Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volume 1. Washington, D.C. Beverly Tucker. 1855, p. 403.
  12. ^ Trafzer, Clifford E. (Fall 2005). "Legacy of the Walla Walla Council, 1955". Oregon Historical Quarterly. 106 (3): 398–411. ISSN 0030-4727.

External links

Heppner, Oregon

Heppner is an incorporated city and the county seat of Morrow County, Oregon, United States. As of 2010, the population was 1,291. Heppner is part of the Pendleton-Hermiston Micropolitan Area. Heppner is named after Henry Heppner, a prominent Jewish-American businessman.

Nez Perce people

The Nez Perce (; autonym: Niimíipuu, meaning "the walking people" or "we, the people") are an Indigenous people of the Plateau who have lived on the Columbia River Plateau in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States for a long time.Members of the Sahaptin language group, the Niimíipuu were the dominant people of the Columbia Plateau for much of that time, especially after acquiring the horses that led them to breed the appaloosa horse in the 18th century.

Prior to "first contact" with Western civilization the Nimiipuu were economically and culturally influential in trade and war, interacting with other indigenous nations in a vast network from the western shores of Oregon and Washington, the high plains of Montana, and the northern Great Basin in southern Idaho and northern Nevada.After first contact, the name "Nez Perce" was given to the Niimíipuu and the nearby Chinook people by French explorers and trappers. The name means "pierced nose", but only the Chinook used that form of decoration.Today they are a federally recognized tribe, the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, and govern their Indian reservation in Idaho through a central government headquartered in Lapwai, Idaho known as the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee (NPTEC). They are one of five federally recognized tribes in the state of Idaho. Some still speak their traditional language, and the Tribe owns and operates two casinos along the Clearwater River in Idaho in Kamiah, Idaho and outside of Lewiston, Idaho, health clinics, a police force and court, community centers, salmon fisheries, radio station, and other things that promote economic and cultural self-determination.Cut off from most of their horticultural sites throughout the Camas Prairie by an 1863 treaty, confinement to reservations in Idaho, Washington and Oklahoma Indian Territory after the Nez Perce War of 1877, and Dawes Act of 1887 land allotments (today some Nez Perce lease land to farmers or loggers, but the Nez Perce only own 12% of their own reservation), the Nez Perce remain as a distinct culture and political economic influence within and outside their reservation. Today, hatching, harvesting and eating salmon is an important cultural and economic strength of the Nez Perce through full ownership or co-management of various salmon fish hatcheries, such as the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery in Kooskia, Idaho or the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Orofino, Idaho.

Walla Walla

Walla Walla can refer to:

Walla Walla people, a Native American tribe after which the county and city of Walla Walla, Washington, are named

Place of many rocks in the Australian Aboriginal Wiradjuri language, the origin of the name of the town of Walla Walla in New South Wales

Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla is the largest city and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States.The population of the city itself was 31,731 at the 2010 census. The population of Walla Walla and its two suburbs, the town of College Place and unincorporated East Walla Walla, is about 45,000. Walla Walla is in the southeastern region of Washington, approximately four hours away by car from Portland, Oregon, and four and half hours from Seattle, and only 6 mi (10 km) north of the Oregon border.

Walla Walla County, Washington

Walla Walla County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 58,781. The county seat and largest city is Walla Walla. The county was formed on April 25, 1854 and is named after the Walla Walla tribe of Native Americans.

Walla Walla County is included in the Walla Walla, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Wallula, Washington

Wallula () is a census-designated place (CDP) in Walla Walla County, Washington, United States. The population was 179 at the 2010 census.

Sahaptin peoples
Prominent figures

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