Looking Across the Battlefield at c'aynim 'alikinwaaspa (Bear Paw Mountain)

Cultural Narrative: 

Landscape view across the battlefield at c'aynim 'alikinwaaspa (Bear Paw Mountain) where the Nez Perce dug shelter pits for the noncombatants. With freezing weather and limited food supplies, suffering was very great among the Nez Perce. Though they were within three days of the Canadian border, hinmatóoyalahtq’it (Joseph) made the decision to surrender, believing his people would be returned to their reservation in Idaho. The battle, which took place between September 30 and October 5, 1877, was the final battle of the war. This was the location where hinmatóoyalahtq’it (Chief Joseph) surrendered, making his now famous speech containing the line, "I will fight no more, forever." McWhorter visited this site multiple times, first in 1927 when, along with hímiin maqsmáqs (Yellow Wolf), the battlefield was first staked. These markers are visible in the distance in this photograph. In 1932, when this photograph was taken, McWhorter returned to replace stakes that were missing due to weather and erosion. On the verso of the photograph: "Looking across the Battlefield of Bear Paw Mountain with the shelter pits the Indians dug for the noncombatants while in the distance are the markers commemorating that most extraordinary event when some 85 warriors held some 400 to 600 troops at bay from the Sept 30th to Oct 5th, 1877. The ridge or bank from whence photo is taken was surmounted by the rifle pits of the Nez Perce who had command of every avenue of approach. Photo Nov. 24th 1932 by Emil Kopac Oshkosh, Neb."