My historical paranormal, Spirit of the Mountain is set among the Nez Perce (Or Nimiipuu as they call themselves) in the time before the White man encroaches on their land. To write this story I had to do a great deal of research into the way of life of this group of people. The more I studied them the more interested and excited I became to write a story about their life style.
In the 18th century when my first book takes place the Nimiipuu were dependent upon nature for their clothing. Garments were made from dressed hides and furs from mountain sheep, deer, elk, antelope, mountain goat, bison, wolf, bear, coyote, and smaller creatures. The clothing worn by the men were breech-cloths, double aprons, leggings poncho shirts, belts, robes, blankets, moccasins, mittens, neckpieces, and fur or animal head caps. The women wore belted dresses, long shirts, skirts, aprons, leggings, poncho shirts, blankets, knee-length moccasins, and mittens. The women also wore fez-shaped hats. These were made of twined grasses and hemp cordage in warm weather. Both sexes adorned their hair with fur strips in their braids. Boys and girls dressed much like their parents, and the younger children ran around in the warm weather with very little clothing.
Their daily clothing unless they were a headman, shaman, or warrior usually had little adornment. However for ceremonies they wore ornamented clothes decorated with polished elk’s teeth, beads, discs of stone, bone or shell, dyed or natural-colored porcupine quills, feathers, beaver teeth, paint and any other material they could find that could be sewn on and make their clothing eye-catching.
I’m a historical writer first and foremost so I had to have this information before I felt comfortable writing this story. I tried to incorporate as much of the Nimiipuu way of life into the story as I could and keep the pacing moving forward. But the whole spirit faction of the story is made up. That is fictional and I hope I did justice to the spirit and the world of the Nimiipuu.
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…
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.
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The photos are from: http://www.firstpeople.us
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