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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nez Perce Diet

Spirit of the Mountain, my August release is the first book of a trilogy about siblings who were made spirits by the Creator. While I made up the spirit world and their shape shifting and powers, the day to day living of the Nez Perce I tried to keep as factual as the information I could find.

At the time of my story the Nez Perce were nomadic, living off the land and its bounties. They had horses, but had yet to be introduced to cattle. Salmon, eel, and steelhead, were commodities of their region starting in May and early June and ran through the summer. They traveled first to the lower streams and worked their way to the high tributaries. The fish were caught, some eaten fresh others smoked and either stored for later use or used for trade. There was much rejoicing and ceremonies when the harvest was successful.

Kouse and other early roots were gathered during the spring while they were still along the lower streams fishing. They would meet at meadows in the high country once the snow had melted and gather roots. The women used sticks to dig the roots form the ground. They gave thanks to the Creator for growing the food that help sustain them through the winter months.

During the warm months they harvested wild plants, berries, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds. In the meadows they also gathered wild onion, carrots, and other plants. On the Forested mountainsides, they picked hawthorn, serviceberries, chokecherries, blackberries, and huckleberries.

Their diet also consisted of game animals and birds. They preserved what could not be eaten at once and had caches where they stored the preserved food until it was needed. So while they led a different life than the White man was used to, in reality they were not that much different in their methods of staying well fed.

Blurb for Spirit of the Mountain
Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, has been fated to save her people ever since her vision quest. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, her world is torn apart.

Himiin is the spirit of the mountain, custodian to all creatures including the Nimiipuu. As a white wolf he listens to Wren’s secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he cannot prevent her leaving the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.

When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin must leave the mountain to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…

Excerpt

Wren’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “My gift is to save The People. The weyekin who came to me in my vision quest said this.” She wrapped her arms around herself as if staving off a cold breeze.
Himiin hated that they argued when they should relish their time together. He moved to her, drawing her against his chest, embracing her. The shape of her body molded to his. Her curves pressed against him. Holding her this way flamed the need he’d tried to suppress.
He placed a hand under her chin, raising her face to his. The sorrow in her eyes tugged at his conscience. To make her leaving any harder was wrong. But having experienced her in his arms, he was grieved to let her go. Even for the sake of their people.
Her eyelids fluttered closed. Her pulse quickened under his fingers. Shrugging off the consequences, he lowered his lips to hers. They were softer than he imagined. Her breath hitched as he touched her intimately. Parting his lips, he touched her with his tongue, wanting to see if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.
Honey.

Paty Jager
www.patyjager.net
www.patyjager.blogspot.com
Buy Link: www.thewildrosepress.com

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