A Shahaptian tribe dwelling on the Walla-Walla (i.e. rushing water) River and the Columbia in Washington and Oregon, from Snake River to the Umatilla. Their language is akin to that of the Nez Percés but forms a distinct dialect. By the treaty of 1855 they were placed on the Umatilla reservation in Oregon, where they still remain. They number only 461, and are mixed with Nez Percés and Cayuse. Their family organization was loose, and the clan system not observed. The scantiness of their food supply, necessitating frequent migrations, prevented any continued development of the village system. Their food consisted mainly of roots, berries, and salmon. At present most of the tribe are farmers and stock breeders. The Walla-Walla were visited by Lewis and Clarke in 1804, and were evangelized by the Jesuit pioneers of the Northwest about forty years later.
A. A. MacErlean.