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NCJ Number: 65653 Find in a Library
Title: NEZ PERCE LAWS (1842) - THE INTRODUCTION OF LAWS FOREIGN TO AN INDEPENDENT PEOPLE
Journal: INDIAN HISTORIAN  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:15-24,57
Author(s): T J RIVERS
Corporate Author: American Indian Historical Soc Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: American Indian Historical Soc Inc
San Francisco, CA 94117
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE IMPACT OF LAW ON THE NEZ PERCE INDIANS IS DESCRIBED IN A HISTORICAL ARTICLE THAT RELATES HOW INTRATRIBAL RELATIONSHIPS CONCEPTS WERE REPLACED BY THE MORE SOPHISTICATED IDEA OF PUNISHMENT OF THE WRONGDOER.
Abstract: SOCIAL DISAPPROVAL AND OF THE TRIBAL STRUCTURE HELD AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN NEZ PERCE SOCIETY WHERE CUSTOM, RATHER THAN LAW, SERVED AS A CONTROL. THE NEZ PERCE ADOPTED SUPERFICIALLY IMPOSED WHITE LAWS IN 1842 BECAUSE THEY SOUGHT CERTAIN ADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED BOTH WITH THESE LAWS AND WITH CHRISTIANITY. (AN EDITED VERSION OF THESE LAWS IS PROVIDED AS THEY APPEARED IN THREE ENGLISH SOURCES, WITH FOOTNOTES INDICATING SOURCE DIFFERENCES.) THE NEZ PERCE LAWS WERE INTENDED TO BE OBEYED ONLY BY INDIANS, THE WHITES CONSIDERING THE NEZ PERCE TO BE AN INFERIOR PEOPLE. HOWEVER, THE NEZ PERCE MAY HAVE LOOKED UPON THE LAWS AS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH, SINCE THEY ADDED AN 11TH LAW, OR 'DOG LAW' TO THE ORIGINAL 10 LAWS. THE LAWS, WHICH COVERED MURDER, ARSON, THEFT, MISAPPROPRIATION OF DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, AND ASSAULT, WERE DISADVANTAGEOUS TO THE NEZ PERCE. THE PUNISHMENTS OF IMPRISONMENT AND WHIPPING WERE NOT NATIVE TO THE NEZ PERCE; ONLY THE 'DOG LAW,' WHICH RENDERS JUSTICE WITHOUT EXCESSIVE PUNISHMENT, MANIFESTS ITSELF AS A PURELY NEZ PERCE LAW. THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF THE PROMULGATION AND ADOPTION OF THE NEZ PERCE LAWS WAS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE OPENING OF THE OREGON TERRITORY. AN APPENDIX PROVIDES TWO VERSIONS OF THE NEZ PERCE LAWS. NOTES AND REFERENCES ARE GIVEN. (AOP)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Indian affairs; Indian justice; Reservation crimes; Reservation law enforcement; Tribal community relations; Tribal court system; Tribal history
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65653

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