Flathead Indians

Flathead Indians
A name used in both Americas, without special ethnologic significance, to designate tribes practising the custom of compressing the skull in infancy by artificial means

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Flathead Indians
    Flathead Indians
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Flathead Indians
    A name used in both Americas, without special ethnologic significance, to designate tribes practising the custom of compressing the skull in infancy by artificial means. Curiously enough the tribe best known under this name, the Salish or Flathead proper of Western Montana, never practised the custom, the confusion arising from the fact that the early traders felt compelled to adopt the local Indian classification, which considered the prevailing compressed skull of the neighbouring tribes as pointed and the naturally shaped Salish skull by contrast as flat. The Salish or Flathead Indians of the mountain region of north-western Montana are the easternmost tribe of the great Salishan stock which occupied much of the Columbia and Fraser River region westward to the Pacific. Although never a large tribe, they have always maintained an exceptional reputation for bravery, honesty, and general high character and for their friendly disposition towards the whites. When first known, about the beginning of the last century, they subsisted chiefly by hunting and the gathering of wild roots, particularly camas, dwelt in skin tipis or mat-covered lodges, and were at peace with all tribes excepting their hereditary enemies, the powerful Blackfeet. Their religion was the ordinary animism of the Indians and they had a number of ceremonial dances, apparently including the Sun Dance. Having learned through the Catholic Iroquois of the Hudson Bay Company something of the Catholic religion, they voluntarily adopted its simpler forms and prayers, and in 1831 sent a delegation all the long and dangerous way to St. Louis to ask of the resident government Indian superintendent that missionaries be sent to them. This was not then possible and other delegations were sent, until in 1840 the noted Jesuit Father Pierre De Smet (q.v.) responded and was welcomed on his arrival in their country by a great gathering of some 1600 Indians of the allied mountain tribes. In 1841 he founded on Bitter Root river the mission of St. Mary, which was abandoned in 1850, in consequence of the inroads of the Blackfeet, for the new mission of St. Ignatius on Flathead Lake. This still exists in successful operation, practically all the confederated Indians of the reservation-Flathead, Pend d'Oreille, Kutenai, and Spokan-having been consistent Catholics for half a century.
    In 1855 the Flatheads made a treaty ceding most of their territory, but retaining a considerable reservation south of Flathead Lake and including the mission. They number now about 620, the confederated body together numbering 2200 souls, being one of the few Indian communities actually increasing in population. They are prosperous and industrious farmers and stockmen, moral, devoted Catholics, and in every way a testimony to the zeal and ability of their religious teachers, among whom, besides De Smet, may be named such distinguished Jesuit priests and scholars as Canestrelli, Giorda, Mengarini, Point, and Ravalli, several of whom have made important contributions to Salishan philology. The mission is (1908) in charge of Rev. L. Tallman, assisted by several Jesuits, together with a number of Christian Brothers, Sisters of providence, and Ursulines.
    Director's Report of the Bureau of Catholic Ind. Missions (Washington, 1906); CLARK, The Indian Sign Language (Philadelphia, 1885); RONAN, Sketch of the Flathead Nation (Helena, Mont., 1890); SHEA, Hist. of the Catholic Missions, etc. (New York, 1854); DE SMET, Oregon Missions (New York, 1847); IDEM, Western Missions and Missionaries (New York, 1863); STEVENS in Rept. of Com. of Ind. Affairs (Washington, 1854); O'CONNOR, The Fladhead Indians in Records of The Am. Cath. Hist. Soc. (Philadelphia, 1888), III, 85-110; POST, Worship Among the Flatheads and Kaliopels in The Messenger (New York, 1894), 528-29.
    JAMES MOONEY
    Transcribed by Calvin H. Marousch Dedicated to John W. Duncan

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flathead Indians — Chinook Chi*nook , n. 1. (Ethnol.) One of a tribe of North American Indians now living in the state of Washington, noted for the custom of flattening their skulls. Chinooks also called {Flathead Indians}. [1913 Webster] 2. A warm westerly wind… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flathead (Volk) — Ehemaliges Stammesgebiet der Flathead und Pend d Oreille und heutiges Reservat in Montana Die Flathead sind ein Indianer Stamm der Salish Sprachgruppe (Sprachfamilie: Mosan). Sie gehören kulturell den Binnen Salish an, die auf dem Fraser und dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Flathead Lake — Infobox lake lake name = Flathead Lake image lake = Flathead Lake.jpeg caption lake = image bathymetry = FLBathymetricMap.jpg caption bathymetry = Bathymetric Map coords = coord|47|54|6|N|114|6|15|W|region:US MT… …   Wikipedia

  • Flathead National Forest — Infobox protected area | name = Flathead National Forest iucn category = VI caption = locator x = 68 locator y = 21 location = Montana, USA nearest city = Kalispell, MT lat degrees = 48 lat minutes = 1 lat seconds = 26 lat direction = N long… …   Wikipedia

  • Flathead — Flat head , a. Characterized by flatness of head, especially that produced by artificial means, as a certain tribe of American Indians. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flathead — /flat hed /, n. 1. a member of a tribe of Salishan Indians of northwest Montana. 2. a Chinook Indian. [1530 40; so called from their supposed practice of flattening their children s heads] * * * North American Indian people living in Montana, U.S …   Universalium

  • flathead — /flat hed /, n., pl. (esp. collectively) flathead, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) flatheads. any of several scorpaenoid fishes of the family Platycephalidae, chiefly inhabiting waters of the Indo Pacific region and used for food …   Universalium

  • Flathead Lake — ▪ lake, Montana, United States       lake in the Flathead National Forest of northwestern Montana, U.S. Flathead Lake marks the southern limit of the Rocky Mountain Trench, a structural depression extending northward to the Liard Plain of British …   Universalium

  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation — Flathead Indian redirects here. For the fish species, see Indian flathead. Flathead delegation in Washington, D.C. with interpreter, 1884 …   Wikipedia

  • Kalispel Indians — • Popularly known under the French name of Pend d Oreilles, ear pendants , an important tribe of Salishan stock originally residing about Pend d Oreille lake and river, in northern Idaho and northeast Washington Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

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