Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Author Paty Jager on The Nez Perce Indians

Nez Perce Camp
Today I'd like to welcome guest author Paty Jager to History Undressed! Paty is the author of riveting western tales set in numerous time periods. I'm excited to have her here today!

Eliza and Michelle, Thank you for having me here!


Spirit of the Lake is the second book of a trilogy set among the Nez Perce Indians of NE Oregon. The Lake Nimiipuu as they called themselves wintered and summered in the Wallowa Valley where I grew up.

To write this trilogy I had to study and research the Nez Perce Indians in the 17 and 1800's.

The children of Nez Perce families were taught by their grandparents. The grandfathers taught the boys how to make weapons, hunt, fish, track, and fight. Grandmothers taught the girls how to take care of their families, do the chores, and help their men. The elders passed down the stories of the trickster coyote and how "The People" came to be. By reading books of their legends I learned how the legends taught the children basic truths about life and how to conduct themselves to be good Nez Perce.

Grandmothers also taught the girls about the coming of age and were by their sides during marriages and the births. When a girl began her menstrual cycle she would stay in the menstrual lodge for the duration of her bleeding. It was believed the women carried strong powers during this time and were susceptible to getting pregnant. They also thought this strong power would overrule the man's power.

This isolation served a purpose. They held private discussions about personal problems and conditions of health, exchanged views on herbal medicine, and composed songs. They cooked their own meals in the lodge and didn't touch anything outside nor could they attend any ceremonies during this time.

They used buffalo hides with the fur still on for menstruation pads or buckskin and milkweed. The pads were put in a hole in the middle of the dwelling and buried.

After puberty girls were no longer allowed to play with boys and stayed in a lodge with their grandmothers and aunts and taught the ways of women.

In Spirit of the Lake, Dove, a young maiden who becomes pregnant from an attack by a Whiteman, is sent to live with the old woman to keep her from speaking of the incident and causing trouble. The story takes place after the treaty of 1863 that took away the Wallowa Nez Perce's land but wasn't signed by the Wallowa Nez Perce. Because they could be removed from their land at any time against their will, the leader's worked hard, sometimes too hard, to keep peace between their people and the Whitemen moving into the valley.


Here is the blurb and an excerpt.

Blurb

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye, the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove's shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?

Excerpt

Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.

"You need only think of me and you will have strength."

His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.

Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, "When will I see you again?" The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One's dwelling didn't sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.

The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.

"You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead." He brushed his lips against her ear.

She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.

"Think of me," whispered through her head.

Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper.

###

This post is part of a blog tour. Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: www.patyjager.blogspot.com The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie, I will draw a name.

To read more about the spirit trilogy or my other books visit my website: www.patyjager.net

Thank you for having me here today!

31 comments:

marybelle said...

It's the history and culture as well as the story SPIRIT OF THE LAKE that moves & interests me.

marypres@gmail.com

Paty Jager said...

Hi Marybelle, The history and culture are part of the reason I had to write this trilogy. Thanks for stopping in.

Mike Orenduff said...

Paty is a great researcher and a great writer, quite a combination.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Paty, how nice to have grown up in such a lovely part of the country. Thanks for sharing the Nez Perce lore.

Paty Jager said...

Mike, Thank you for saying such nice things.

Hi Caroline! Thank you for stopping in. The Wallowa country is beautiful. I can easily see why the Nez Perce were so grieved to leave it.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Paty,
Intriguing blog of a little history about the Nez Perce and their customs. Your story sounds wonderful. Wishing you many happy readers with this new release!

Jeanmarie

Tam Linsey said...

Fascinating story premise, Paty! I look forward to reading it.

Sarah Raplee said...

Your love of the Nez Pierce shines through in your blog and your books! Fascinating post!

Jean P said...

Found the information very fascinating. A glimpse into the past. The story sounds wonderful.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Jeanmarie.

Tam, The premise came to me as I thought out the characters knowing I woudl use the Nez Perce. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

Sarah, Awe thanks! I'm glad you are attending the tour.

Jean P. Thanks!

Becky said...

Paty, this post was very informative. It gives us look into the past. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and your book sounds really good.

jeanparadis@blogspot.com said...

This sounds great Paty, I can't wait to read it.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Becky. I did a lot of research for this trilogy.

Jean,
Thank you and thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Paty, I gotta say that lodge does sound stinky. But a good bonding time LOL. I can't wait to read this. As you know, I have a tremendous respect for, and interest in, the Nez Perce. I so loved Spirit of the Mountain. I'm always a tad jealous of your proximity to the Wallowa.

great post and I already know it's a keeper book.

Paty Jager said...

Hey Tanya! Yes, I know your love of the Nez Perce. I'm happy you liked the first book.

susan said...

What an article and very interesting..made me stop and think of things from the past and how they have changed but some things are repeating in a more upgraded way. Thanks for sharing and I sure have a spot at my house for the goodies if I get lucky paty. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

Anita Clenney said...

Great post. I'm always a bit horrified and fascinated to learn how our ancestors dealt with periods. The books sounds great and the cover is beautiful!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Susan,
I'm glad you have a place for the goodies.

Anita, I enjoyed the research. Thanks for stopping in.

Nancy said...

If the story is as wonderful as the cover and premise, you have another hit on your hands!

Paty Jager said...

Hey Nancy! Thanks!

Virginia said...

Hi Paty, I have not read your books before but love the western romance so I will be watching for this one for sure. The cover is beautiful and I can't wait to read it.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Virginia,

I have my first three westerns up on Kindle and Smashwords for a very resonable price if you have an ereader.Thanks for stopping in!

Connie said...

A very interesting post!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Connie!

librarypat said...

The opportunity to learn from the older generations of our families is being lost due to the mobility of our culture. Children seldom get to spend much quality time with their grandparents. I can remember spending weekends and weeks with both my grandmothers and also with one of my aunts. I learned sewing, cooking, canning, pickling, and gardening among other things. It saddens me that our children have not had that same opportunity. The relationship between that generation and a child is much different from that between children their parents.
It is a richness of family we have lost.

I hope your Blog Tour goes well.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Paty Jager said...

Pat, I agree. My paternal grandparents lived in the same house with us until I was thirteen then they moved 100 yards away in their own house after that. I learned most of what I know from my grandmother because my mom worked six days a week as a nurse.

Melinda said...

Paty,

Loved the post

Walk in harmony,
Melinda

Melinda said...

Paty,

Great post Learning so much about the Nez Perce

Walk in harmony,
Melinda

Melinda said...

Great post Paty

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the Nez Perce

Walk in harmony,
Melinda

Melinda Elmore said...

Thanks Paty for sharing your knowledge about the Nez Perce

Walk in harmony,

Melinda

J K Maze said...

Paty,

Not only have you rekindled an already-hot interest in this series, you've given me many ideas for research. Love your books with a capital L.

Joan