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image: Palouse Indians
Photograph of Palouse family courtesy MSCUA, University of Washington Libraries, NA1009
Palouse Indians

First Noted by Expedition
October 1805

The Palouse Indians lived along the Palouse River in territory that now includes parts of eastern Washington State and northern Idaho. Like other tribes on the Columbia Plateau, they depended heavily on fishing in the many rivers draining toward the Pacific Ocean.

The Palouse, culturally related to the Nez Perce, were renowned horse breeders and horse traders; the Appaloosa horse, with its distinctive spotted coat, its speed, and stamina, takes its name from the Palouse Indians.

When Lewis and Clark encountered them in October 1805, they estimated the Palouse population at around 1,600. Like many of the regional bands, the Palouse helped Lewis and Clark along the Snake River.

The Palouse refused to lead the reservation life forced on many tribes of the region, though some individuals eventually joined other Indians on reservations.

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