The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, May 13, 1806

Lewis, May 13, 1806

Tuesday May 13th 1806. This morning Capt. C. as usual was busily engaged with his patients untill eleven OCk. at 1 P.M. we collected our horses and set out for the river escorted by a number of the natives on horseback. we followed the creek downwards about two miles, passing a stout branch at 1 m. which flowed in on the wright. our course S. E. we now entered an extensive open bottom of the Kooskooske R. through which we passed nearly N. about 11/2 miles and halted on the bank of the river at the place appointed to meet the canoe. the man had set out early this morning for the purpose but had not yet arrived with the canoe we therefore unloaded our horses and turned them out to graize. as the canoe did not arrive untill after sunset we remained here all night; a number of the natives continued with us. in the evening we tryed the speed of several of our horses. these horses are active strong and well formed. these people have immence numbers of them 50, 60 or a hundred hed is not unusual for an individual to possess. The Chopunnish are in general stout well formed active men. they have high noses and many of them on the acqueline order with cheerfull and agreeable countenances; their complexions are not remarkable. in common with other savage nations of America they extract their beards but the men do not uniformly extract the hair below, this is more particularly confined to the females. I observed several men among them whom I am convinced if they had shaved their beards instead of extracting it would have been as well supplyed in this particular as any of my countrymen. they appear to be cheerfull but not gay; they are fond of gambling and of their amusements which consist principally in shooting their arrows at a bowling target made of willow bark, and in riding and exercising themselves on horseback, racing &c. they are expert marksmen and good riders. they do not appear to be so much devoted to baubles as most of the nations we have met with, but seem anxious always to obtain articles of utility, such as knives, axes, tommahawks, kettles blankets and mockerson alls. blue beads however may form an exception to this remark; this article among all the nations of this country may be justly compared to goald or silver among civilized nations. They are generally well cloathed in their stile. their dress consists of a long shirt which reaches to the middle of thye, long legings which reach as high as the waist, mockersons, and robes. these are formed of various skins and are in all rispects like those particularly discribed of the Shoshones. their women also dress like the Shoshones. their ornaments consist of beads shells and peices of brass variously attatched to their dress, to their ears arrond their necks wrists arms &c. a bando of some kind usually surrounds the head, this is most frequently the skin of some fir animal as the fox otter &c. tho they have them also of dressed skin without the hair. the ornament of the nose is a single shell of the wampum. the pirl and beads are suspended from the ears. beads are woarn arround their wrists necks and over their sholders crosswise in the form of a double sash. the hair of the men is cewed in two rolls which hang on each side in front of the body as before discribed of other inhabitants of the Columbia. collars of bears claws are also common; but the article of dress on which they appear to bstow most pains and ornaments is a kind of collar or brestplate; this is most commonly a strip of otterskin of about six inches wide taken out of the center of the skin it's whole length including the head. this is dressed with the hair on; a hole is cut lengthwise through the skin near the head of the animal sufficiently large to admit the head of the person to pass. thus it is placed about the neck and hangs in front of the body the tail frequently reaching below their knees; on this skin in front is attatched peices of pirl, beads, wampum peices of red cloth and in short whatever they conceive most valuable or ornamental. I observed a tippit woarn by Hohastillpilp, which was formed of human scalps and ornamented with the thumbs and fingers of several men which he had slain in battle. their women brade their hair in two tresses which hang in the same position of those of the men. they also wear a cap or cup on the head formed of beargrass and cedar bark. the men also frequently attatch some small ornament to a small plat of hair on the center of the crown of their heads.