Nez Perce Bands


Last Updated: 6 years

At one time, there were more than fifty bands of Nez Perce. The bands and divisions of the Nez Perce are now known only approximately. The following bands were known in the early 1900s:


  • Almotipu, together with the Nuksiwepu, Pinewewewixpu, Sahatpu, Siminekempu, Tokalatoinu, Wawawipu, settled about 130 km (80 miles) south of Lewiston (at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake River ) along the Snake River in Hells Canyon in the Wallowa Mountains and in the Seven Devils Mountains in Oregon and Idaho.
  • Alpowna or Alpowe’ma or Alpowai or Alpowa , lived along the Alpaha ( Alpowa ) Creek, a small tributary of the Clearwater south of Lewiston in Washington. Looking Glass was the leader of the non-treaty faction of this Band, and Timothy (Tamootsin) was the leader of the treaty faction of this band.
  • Assuti, lived along the same Assuti Creek in Idaho, They joined Chief Joseph in the 1877 war.
  • Atskaaiwawixpu, at the mouth of the northern fork of Clearwater River.
  • Esnime (including Slate Creek Band or Upper Salmon River Indians), lived along the Slate Creek and Upper Salmon River in Idaho.
  • Ilasotino, at Hasutin, opposite Asotin City, Wash.
  • Hatweme, on Hatweh Creek.
  • Heswéiwewipu, at the month of Asotin Creek.
  • Hinsepu, at Hansens Ferry on the Grande Ronde.
  • Imnáma, on Imnaha River.
  • Inantoinu, at the mouth of Joseph Creek.
  • Isäwisnemepu, near Zindels, on the Grande Ronde.
  • Iwatoinu, at Kendrick on Potlatch Creek.
  • Kamiaxpu, at Kamiah, at the mouth of Lawyer’s Creek; this band is also called Uyame.
  • Kannah, at the town of that name on the Clearwater, Idaho;
  • Lamtáma (also Lamátta or Lam’tama), lived along the White Bird Creek, a tributary of the Salmon River in Idaho. Chief White Bird’s ( ‘ Peo – peo – hix – hiix ‘) band and Eagle from the Light’s Band.
  • Lapwai, near the junction of Lapwai creek and the Clearwater;
  • Lapweme, on Lapwai and Sweetwater Creeks.
  • Makapu, on Cottonwood or Maka Creek.
  • Nuksiwepu, and other bands extended about 80 miles down Snake River from Lewiston.
  • Painima, near Peck, on Clearwater River.
  • Pikunan – Toohoolhoolzote’s Band
  • Pinewewewixpu, and other bands extended about 80 miles down Snake River from Lewiston.
  • Pipu’inimu, on Big Canon Creek.
  • Sahatpu,and other bands extended about 80 miles down Snake River from Lewiston.
  • Saiksaikinpu, on the upper portion of the Southern Fork of Clearwater River.
  • Sakánma, between the mouth of Salmon River and the mouth of Grande Ronde.
  • Sálwepu, on the Middle Fork of Clearwater River, about 5 miles above Kooskia, Idaho.
  • Saxsano, about 4 miles above Asotin City, Wash., on the east side of Snake River.
  • Siminekempu, at Lewiston, Idaho.
  • Taksehepu, at Agatha on Clearwater River.
  • Tamanmu, at the mouth of Salmon River.
  • Tewepu, at the mouth of Oro Fino Creek.
  • Toiknimapu, above Joseph Creek on the north side of the Grande Ronde.
  • Tokalatoinu, and other bands extended about 80 miles down Snake River from Lewiston.
  • Tsokolaikiinma, between Lewiston and Alpowa Creek.
  • Tuke’liklikespu, at Big Eddy.
  • Tukpame, on the lower portion of the South Fork of ‘Clearwater River.
  • Tunèhepu, at Juliaetta on Potlatch Creek.
  • Walwáma, in Willows Valley.
  • Wawawipu, extended about 80 miles down Snake River from Lewiston.
  • Walwáma, (a.k.a. Wal -lam -wat – kain, Wallowa, Willewah ) lived in Willowa Valley in Oregon, formerly Chief Joseph’s band.
  • Wewi’me, at the mouth of the Grande Ronde.
  • Witkispu, about 3 miles below Alpowa Creek, on the east side of Snake River.
  • Yakto’inu, at the mouth of Potlatch Creek.
  • Yatóinu, on Pine Creek.

In addition a number of bands have been recorded by the names of their chiefs or their supposed places of residence.

Alternate names were Blue Mud Indians, Blue Earths, and Green Wood Indians. Those with the words “mud” and “earth” refer to the color of Nez Perce face paint.