Hello, and welcome to
Everyone, past and present has their needs and wants. The only difference is the way they obtained their needs and wants that each of their contrasting environments presented. The below will tell you about how the the Nez Perce and Makah tribe met their needs (food, shelter, and clothing) and their wants.


History and Location of Both Tribes
Nez Perce- Needs & Wants
Makah- Needs & Wants
Picture Gallery
Works Cited

History and Location

Nez Perce
In 1800, there were over 70 permanent villages ranging from 30 to 200 individuals, depending on the season and social grouping.In 1805
Chief Joseph
the Nez Perce were the largest tribes on the Columbia River Plateau, with a population of about 6,000. By the beginning of the twentieth century the Nez Perce had declined to about 1,800 due to epidemics, conflicts with non-Indians, and other factors. The Nez Perce tribe began a breeding program in 1995 based on crossbreeding the Appaloosa and a Central Asian breed called Akhal-Teke to produce the Nez Perce Horse. This is a program to re-establish the horse culture of the Nez Perce, a proud tradition of selective breeding and horsemanship that was destroyed in the 19th century. The Nez Perce are found in the eastern part of Washington State.

Archaeological research suggests that the Makah people have inhabited the area now known as Neah Bay for more than 3800 years. The ancient Makah lived in villages, inhabiting large long houses made from western red cedar.In 1852, a smallpox epidemic decimated the
Makah, causing the village of Biheda to be abandoned. In the early 1700s, a mudslide completely engulfed part of a Makah village near Lake Ozette. On January 31st, 1855, the select Makah tribe representatives signed the Treaty of Neah Bay with the U.S. federal government, reducing the size of their traditional lands to what it is now. The treaty allowed for the establishment of the Makah reservation and preserved the right of the Makah people to hunt whales and seals. In 1936, the Makah Tribe signed the Makah Constitution, accepting the Indian Reorganization Act and establishing an elected tribal government. The Makah are found in the western part of Washington State.

Nez Perce

  • Food: The Nez Perce were a very nomadic tribe, nomadic meaning they have to travel long distances to obtain enough food to sustain the tribe.
  • Shelter: The Nez Perce tribe didn't have a ready supply of food all the time because they had to catch their hunt. Therefore, they had shelters that were easy to move in. Those shelters were called tipis. Tipis are built with wooden poles covered with cattails, skins or mats.
  • Clothing: The Nez Perce wore animal skins from the animals they killed and skinned. These were durable and performed well in both rain and sun, two major weather factors in the plateau region.
  • Transportation: When the Nez Perce was introduced to horses, it speeded up the labor a great deal. They began breeding their very own type of horse to ensure the best breed of horses. They used horses for moving around and carrying cargo.
  • Tools: The Nez Perce used the resources around them to create their tools. Most tools they used were limited to what they needed to survive such as spears and knives, bows and arrows.

This video clip explains more about the traditional tipi of the Nez Perce.


  • Food: The Makah tribe often ate foods from the Pacific Ocean such as, halibut, salmon, seal, and otters but most importantly they ate whale, which provided them with a plentiful suppy of not only food but raw matter, oil and other valuble trading goods.Because they didn't have to move to obtain food it saved them valuable time and effort.
  • Shelter: The Makah tribe had a supportive environment and had permanent shelters near the coast. These houses were called longhouses. Each longhouse had several hundred people living in it at one time. They made these shelters out of the abundant numbers of Western Red Cedar. (Look at our longhouse model!)
  • Clothing: The Makah tribe also used Western Red Cedar to make their garments- mostly using the bark. They could not use leather and skins like the Nez Perce did because in the coastal region, it rained very much and leather would be ruined very quickly.
  • Transportation: The Makah tribe used canoes they carved out of Western Red Cedar to go out at sea with. Whether to whale or just for recreation, the canoes helped them very much.
  • Tools: The many tools that the Makah tribe used were made out of spare animal parts such as whale bone or seal skin. Other resources they may have used were trees and various plants.

This video clip demonstrates how the Makah tribe caught a whale.

Picture Gallerys

(follow the link to view more photos):

Works Cited

"Makah Nation." U-S-History.Com. 14 Jan. 2008 <http://www.u-s-history.com/wa/m/makahnat.htm>

McCullough, Cameron. "THE NEZ PERCE INDIANS." The Franklin Institute. Franklin Institute. 14 Jan. 2008

"Nez Perce." Encarta. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566289/Nez_Perce.html>.

"Nez Perce Indians." Encyclopedia Americana. 20 vols. Danbury, Connectitcut: Scholastic Library.

"Nez Perce Indians." Encyclopedia Americana. International ed. 20 vols. Danbury, Connecticut: Scholastic Library Puslishing, Inc.

"Nez Perce Indians." www.lewis-clarkvalley.com/indian.html. 14 Jan. 2008 <www.lewis-clarkvalley.com/indian.html>.

Renker, Ann M. "The Makah Tribe: People of the Sea and the Forest." http://content.lib.washington.edu. University of Washington Libraries. 10 Jan. 2008 <http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/renker.html>

Trafzer, Clifford E. The Nez Perce__. Ed. Frank W. Porter. New York: Chelsea House, 1992. 31-57.