How was the Nez Perce Tribe organized and governed?
The Nimi’ipuu lived in bands which were divided as the Upper Clearwater River Nimi’ipu and the Lower Nimi’ipu of the Wallowa Valley. Each band with its own territory and group of composite bands. These bands then subdivided into smaller bands of people living in villages along streams and rivers, together making up the politically unified composite band. The different bands were generally identified by using the name of the tributary stream that they lived near. Each village was led by a headman, and was made up of several related, extended families. The head man was generally one of the elder men of the group, attending to the general welfare of the village members. This was generally an inherited position, although the headman was at times also a shaman who was a religious figure, and healer. The largest village within the composite band had a band leader, including the administrating peace chief, and the war chief. The village council was made up of the band leaders, and important w