Old photos of Yakama Women (aka Yakima) taken between 1880 and 1957. {Homeland is primarily in southern Washington.}

Upon central Washington's plateau and along the Columbia River reside tribal people called the Yakama's. The Cascade mountains shelter this central portion from marine showers. The rolling foothills and Yakima River are the eastern border.

The tribal people comprising the Yakama Nation have lived in this area since the beginning of time. They used the entire land base, from the lowlands around the Columbia River to the snow-peaked Cascade Mountains.

In the mid-1990s the Yakima nation renamed itself to "YAKAMA " more closely reflecting the proper pronunciation in their native tongue. The only change made to the flag at the time of the name change was in the name. The flag above is correct except for the name Yakima which is now spelled Yakama.

Yakama women gathered plants and herbs and and did most of the child care and cooking. Men were fishermen and hunters and sometimes went to war to protect their families. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.

Yakama woman. ca. 1899. Seattle, WA. Photo by Frank La Roche. Library of Congress. 

 Yakama men wore breech clouts with leggings and short buckskin shirts with patterns of holes punched into them. Women wore buckskin dresses decorated with beads and quillwork. Both men and women wore moccasins on their feet, and in colder weather, they also wore fur robes and hats.

Ellen, daughter of Shuta-Mo-Ne. Yakama (Yakima). 1900. Photo by Thomas H. Rutter.

Aluina George at the Toppenish Pow-Wow in Toppenish, Washington - Yakama - 1953

Anita Totus at the Toppenish Pow-Wow in Toppenish, Washington - Yakama - 1953

Helen Nason and her sister, Minnie Nason (the daughters of Johnny Sohappy Nason & Ida Joseph-Nason) - Yakama - 1929

Ida Joseph-Nason, (the daughter of Charlie Joseph & Tek'nupt or Julia Joseph, and the wife of Johnny Sohappy Nason) - Yakama - circa 1905

Shii-quimpt (aka Arlene Josephine Wesley) - Yakama - 1953 {Note: Arlene Josephine Wesley was the first to be crowned Miss Indian America in 1953.

L-R: Aluina George, Mrs. Kelly George, Elsia George - Yakama - circa 1954

L-R: Maggie Jim, Juanita George, Isabel George, Mrs. Oscar Billy with an unidentified boy, Louise Billy and Agnes Billy - Yakama - circa 1954

Malinda Dick (the wife of Ned Dick) at the Ellensburg Rodeo in Ellensburg, Washington - Yakama - 1953

Yakama woman - circa 1950

Yakama Sally - Yakama - 1900

Laxslii Cloud - Yakama - 1909

Yakama woman - circa 1900

L-R: Ella Jean Billy, Mavis George, Matilda Howtopat, Mabel Shike - Yakama - circa 1950

L-R: Agnes Thompson, Louise Thompson, Margaret Squeochs-Buck (wife of Frank Buck), Pee-up-sun-yai (wife of William Yallup), Hanna Sohappy-Yallup (wife of Tom Frank Yallup) at the Celilo Falls of the Columbia River in Oregon- Yakama - 1938

L-R: Unidentified, Arlene Josephine Wesley-James (Yakama), unidentified, unidentified - circa 1953 — with Sandra D. Oliva and Dany Lesgourgues.

Yakama mother and her baby in Ellensburg, Washington - circa 1930

Yakama mother and her baby in Ellensburg, Washington - circa 1930

Yakama girl - 1899

Yakama woman - 1899

Responses to "Rare Photos Show The Fascinating Beauty Of The Yakama Native Women"

  1. Unknown says:

    Beautiful indian women.

  2. Unknown says:


  3. Unknown says:


  4. Unknown says:

    my girl said alot some of her grandma's in these pics

  5. Beautiful

  6. So beautiful.

  7. Unknown says:

    Beautiful photos love the clothing,all great photos.

  8. neache says:

    Very beautiful people

  9. punxxi says:

    These are wonderful photos, these beautiful women do not ever get enough credit!

  10. Glorious creatures all.

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