warbonnet ceremony

Cultural Narrative: 

This event took place at the Celilo Longhouse - Celilo Oregon.  Along the Columbia River people still acknowledge chiefs.  In this video you will see Chiefs Raymond Colfax, William Yallup, Jesse Nightwalker, and Johnny Jackson.  They represent different bands of the Yakama Nation.  General Council Vice-Chairwoman - Mavis Kindness asked Cathy Miller and I to record this ceremony.  Washat songs were sung, religious leaders talked of this ceremony and how it came to be, tribal leaders of the Yakama Nation also spoke of recognizing this ceremony.  It was announced the men in this video would be known as Chiefs of their named bands.  A giveaway had taken place, people talked to how their families were affected by this honor.  Jolena Tillequots

Traditional Knowledge: 

Tribal Histories

Throughout history their have been many sub chiefs and chiefs throughout the Yakama Reservation and Columbia River areas.  They would watch over areas designated to them and assist the other sub chiefs as needed. 


Oral Tradition Lessons

There are chiefs in this video who talk of how they came to be recognized as chiefs.  Speaking from their hearts, they talked of serving their people. 


Daily Life

Chiefs of long ago would do their best to help their people.  They would gather with the hunters and fisherman, the root and berries gatherers in getting foods prepared for the year.  Keeping in contact with the other bands was essential, for the safety and well being of their bands. 


Rites of Passage

Most men would be born into a family of standing.  These men would also have to prove themselves as hunters, fisherman, overall treatment of their people.  If these men became a sub chief or chief they would carry many responsibilities.  They would be recognized in front of their bands and other chiefs as well.