> Chief Joseph > Part 5
Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians (Cont'd)
In addition to his unblemished reputation among
his own people, Joseph made many friends in Washington and among
Indian reform groups. He met and befriended Buffalo Bill Cody
and even became friends with General Gibbon, his foe during the
Nez Perce War.
Photo 21: Chief
Joseph with Buffalo Bill. Photographer unknown, 1897.
Collection of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, New
York, NY. Courtesy of National Park Service, Nez Perce
National Historical Site, Spalding, Idaho. Neg. # 2338.
Photo 22: “Chief
Joseph with General Gibbon on the shore of Lake Chelan,
1889.” Photographer unidentified. Courtesy National
Anthropological Archives, National Museum of Natural History,
Smithsonian Institution, Neg. # 43201.
Ironically, among white Americans and Europeans,
Joseph was regarded as a celebrated war chief, and was called
the “Red Napoleon” and “the noblest Roman of
them all.” In 1901, the Pendleton Woollen Mills featured
Joseph on the cover of its catalogue.
14: Pendleton Woollen Mills, 1901 catalogue.
Indians had been wearing blankets of their
own manufacture or animal hides and robes before the white man
arrived in North America, but the wool cloth blanket with its
warmth, color, and designs had largely replaced the older robes
by the time of Chief Joseph’s last years. The tradition
of the Indian Blanket continues to this day. Beginning in 1926,
the “Chief Joseph Robe” was offered by Pendleton.
To this day, it remains the most popular design among buyers of
15: Pendleton Woolen Mills Blanket Catalog, 2001 “Chief
Joseph,” p. 20. Courtesy of Bob Christnacht and
the Pendleton Woolen Mills, Portland, Oregon.
Today, Chief Joseph, America’s favorite “patriot
chief” of the late nineteenth-century Indian wars, is remembered
as a statesman-diplomat, an advocate of peace and justice, who
resorted to violence only to protect the women, children, and
the elderly throughout the fifteen-hundred-mile ordeal of the
Nez Perce in 1877. Several events in Nez Perce country keep his
name alive. “Chief Joseph Days” in Joseph, Oregon,
is an annual parade and rodeo. The Tamkaliks Celebration (formerly
Wallowa Band Descendants Friendship Feast and Pow Wow) is another
annual event held in Oregon.
Photo 23: “Chief Joseph Days, 1960,” Cecil
Carter Collection, courtesy National Park Service, Nez
Perce National Historic Site, Spalding, Idaho. Neg. #
The Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho honors Joseph with his image on
their official tribal logo and annually hosts the Chief Joseph
and Warriors Powwow in Lapwai during June. The Joseph Band of
the Nez Perce honor their ancestor at Colville Reservation in
Washington State and wherever band members live throughout the
Illustration 16: Chief Joseph on official logo, Nez Perce
Tribe of Idaho.