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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Kooskia in Idaho County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Songs Of Sadness On This Sacred Path

Nez Perce Flight of 1877

 
 
Songs Of Sadness On This Sacred Path Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 10, 2018
1. Songs Of Sadness On This Sacred Path Marker
Captions: (bottom left) "There were six leading chiefs. Joseph, Ollokat, White Bird, Toohoolhootzate, Looking Glass, and Hahtalekin." Yellow Wolf; (map, lower right) Nez Perce (Nee Mee Poo) National Historic Trail.
Inscription. In July of 1877, nearly 800 Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) people traveled with heavy hearts across the Lolo Trail above you. They did not know if they would ever return to their homes. The women sang songs of sorrow and longing.
The journey began in the Wallowa Valley of Oregon. In the spring of 1877 the Nimiipuu were ordered to move from their homes to the reservation near Lapwai, Idaho. After a number of conflicts along the way, several bands of Nimiipuu decided to travel to Canada where they felt they would be safe.
After the Battle of the Clearwater near Kamiah, the military pursuit continued to push the Indians across the Lolo Trail, their traditional route across the Bitterroot Mountains. Before the conflict was over, most of the Nimiipuu who had fled over the Lolo Trail would be killed in battle or would surrender near the Bearís Paw Mountains in northern Montana. Those who surrendered would be taken to Kansas then Oklahoma, far from their homeland. Years later some would return to Idaho and Washington, but they would never return to their original homes.

Concerning the flight through the Montana area, home to the Selish (Salish) and Crow:
“We didnít go through there to settle in that area. We were going through there to save our traditions, our culture, our language, our religion. We wanted to take it someplace where we could use it like we always did with peace and harmony to Mother Earth.” Horace Axtell, A Little Bit of Wisdom, 1997

The same route across the Lolo Trail that the Lewis and Clark Expedition described so vividly in 1805 was now a trail of sorrow for the Nimiipuu. President Jeffersonís peace medals were still prized and revered by the Nimiipuu. The promises Lewis and Clark made with these symbols of friendship had been taken very seriously. A short 70 years later, sadness and betrayal hung in the air because of the broken treaties.
Today the trail is a special place to be appreciated and protected by all who pass this way. For these reasons it is now recognized as the Nez Perce (Nee Me Poo) National Historic Trail.
 
Erected by U.S. Forest Service, Clearwater National Forest.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Nez Perce Trail marker series.
 
Location. 46° 30.642′ N, 114° 47.058′ W. Marker is near Kooskia, Idaho, in Idaho County. Marker is on U.S. 12 at milepost 158 near Forest Road 1684, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kooskia ID 83539, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "...Observe the face of the country..." (here, next to this marker); "...Across the Endless Sea of Mountains..." (a few steps from this marker); Whitehouse Pond (approx. ľ mile away); Lewis and Clark Route (approx. 3 miles away); Welcome to Colgate Licks (approx. 8.1 miles away); Checkerboard Legacy (approx. 10.6 miles away); Lolo Trail Crossing (approx. 10.6 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is near the Wendover Campground.
 
Categories. Native AmericansWars, US Indian
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on September 11, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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