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for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent

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History Native Indian Aboriginal Canada

 for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent a person's status within the community. The more elaborate headdresses

   
 
 
 
 
 
 
           
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The Plateau People  
Groups in
this Region
  Environment / Housing   Food / Hunting / Tools   Transportation / Migration   Family / Social Structure / Leadership   Tribal Relations / War  
 
The Plateau peoples lived in a small region that included the southern interior of British Columbia and Alberta.  
Religion  

The people of the Plateau believed strongly that there were spirits inhabiting all living and non-living things.

Some of the spirits were bad; some of the spirits were good, and they were everywhere.

The people had a strong spiritual relationship with nature, and held animals in high regard. Some of the most important ones were deer, coyotes, and horses.

Shamans

The most important religious leaders in Plateau culture were the Shamans.

The Shamans had special powers to heal the sick, control the hunt, and predict the future.

They could do so by communicating with the spirit world.

Myths

They had many myths and legends that were passed on through generations, mainly involving the creator known as 'Coyote'.

The belief was that Coyote was responsible for bringing salmon up the river every spring and fall, and for transforming people into their present day form.

Adolescence Vigils

During adolescence all Plateau people went alone on spiritual vigils.

They fasted and prayed, in hopes that a guardian spirit would appear to them in a vision.  

 for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent a person's status within the community. The more elaborate headdresses


Kootenay River

 for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent a person's status within the community. The more elaborate headdresses


Rocky mountains
 

Ceremonies  

The Plateau people held ceremonies throughout the year to mark special occasions.

One important time of the year for the Plateau people was the arrival of spring. They held celebrations at the start of spring to mark the first salmon run or the appearance of the first berries.

The ceremonies involved a lot of music and dancing which were both used to summon up religious powers.

It was mainly singing, but they used other instruments too like bird-bone flutes, rattles (deer hooves), sticks striking boards, and hide covered wooden drums.  

 for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent a person's status within the community. The more elaborate headdresses


Nlaka'pamux ceremonial headdress
 

 for cold weather Nlaka'pamux leather pants Headdresses Headdress Headdresses were used to represent a person's status within the community. The more elaborate headdresses


Secwepemc drum
  The Winter Guardian Spirit Dance  

Every year the Okanagan, the Nlaka'pamux, the Secwepemc, and the Stl'atl'imx held what was called 'The Winter Guardian Spirit Dance', hosted by a Shaman.

It involved several days of dancing, and healing the sick.

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