Acrylic on Canvas | 48 x 48 | $6500
Inspired by the Native American closing prayer of the day. This Nez Perce woman, dressed in her finest regalia of beads and dentilium shell deer skin dress, faces the West and the setting of the sun and gives thanks to the Creator for all of His blessings.
The Nez Perce people called themselves the Niimíipuu, meaning “the walking people” or “we, the people” and 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 centuries.
During much of this time the Nez Perce were the dominant people of the Columbia Plateau, especially after acquiring the horses that led them to breed the appaloosa horse in the 18th century.
Prior to “first contact” with Lewis and Clark in 1805, the Nez Perce 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. The Euro-Americans who encountered the Nez Perce found them a gentle, trustworthy, noble people who were quite industrious.
After first contact, the name “Nez Perce” was mistakenly 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.