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Cayuse Tribe

Cayuse Indians. A Waiilatpuan tribe formerly occupying the territory about the heads of Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Grande Ronde Rivers and from the Blue mountains to Deschutes River in Washington and Oregon. The tribe has always been closely associated with the neighboring Nez Percé and Walla Walla, and was regarded by the early explorers and writers as belonging to the same stock. So far as the available evidence goes, however, they must be considered linguistically independent. The Cayuse have always been noted for their bravery, and owing largely to their constant struggles with the Snake and other tribes, have been numerically weak. According to Gibbs there were few pure-blood Cayuse left in 1851, intermarriage, particularly with the Nez Percé, having been so prevalent that even the language was falling into disuse. In 1855 the Cayuse joined in the treaty by which the Umatilla Reservation was formed, and since that time have resided within its limits. Their number is officially reported as 404 in 1904; but this figure is misleading, as careful inquiry in 1902 failed to discover a single one of pure blood on the reservation and the language is practically extinct. The tribe acquired wide notoriety in the early days of the white settlement of the territory. In 1838 a mission was established among the Cayuse by Marcus Whitman at the site of the present town of Whitman, Walla Walla County, Washington. in 1847 smallpox carried off a large part of the tribe. The Cayuse, believing the missionaries to be the cause, attacked them, murdered Whitman and a number of others. and destroyed the mission. Owing to the...

Molala Tribe

Molala Indians. A Waiilatpuan tribe forming the western division of that family. Little is known of their history. When first met with they resided in the Cascade range between Mts. Hood and Scott and on the west slope, in Washington and Oregon. The Cayuse have a tradition that the Molala formerly dwelt with them south of Columbia river and became separated and driven westward in their wars with hostile tribes. Their dialect, while related, is quite distinct from that of the Cayuse, and the separation probably took place in remote times. The name Molala is derived from that of a Creek in Willamette Valley, Oregon, south of Oregon City. A band of these Indians drove out the original inhabitants and occupied their land. Subsequently the name was extended to all the bands. The present status of the tribe is not certain. In 1849 it was estimated to number 100; in 1877 Gatschet found several families living on the Grande Ronde Reservation, Oregon, and in 1881 there were said to be about 20 individuals living in the mountains west of Klamath Lake. Those on the Grande Ronde Reservation are not officially enumerated, but are regarded as absorbed by the other tribes with whom they live. With regard to the rest nothing is known. It is probable, however, that there are a few scattered survivors. The Molala joined with other bands of Willamette valley in the treaty of Dayton, Oregon, Jan. 22, 1855, and by treaty at the same place, Dec. 21, 1855, they ceded their lands and agreed to remove to a reservation. Chakankni, Chimbuiha, and Mukanti are said to...

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