Npil'x: "Hazy Area"

This spot, called "hazy area," was for generations on the prime salmon fishing spots on the upper Columbia.

Npil'x refers to the area on the west side of the mouth of the Sanpoil River and extends north approximately three-quarters of a mile upriver. The site was extensively used as a winter village as recently as the 1920s. It was the home of the snpilxex, or more commonly known as the Sanpoil.

This site was one of the most desirable in the whole territory for salmon fishing. Each year a huge fish trap was built across the Sanpoil River to catch the returning salmon. Bob Covington estimated that as many as 400 people gathered here at the height of the salmon season. This village was made up of several smaller camps centered on the flats surround the mouth of the Sanpoil River. The village extended upriver for a half mile or more. Each camp had its own name, and more or less distinct from the others.

In the early reservation period era, Indian people resided here year round. Among the last to live here were Mary Martin, and her son, Narcisse, (Tex) Martin.


Coyote Ascends the Columbia

Coyote Ascends the Columbia

"Coyote (snk'al'p) heard and came to the rescue of the famished people." Image courtesy of Wikimedia. View File Details Page

Coyote Leads the Salmon up the River

Coyote Leads the Salmon up the River

Sculptor Rich Beyer created this interpretation of the Coyote story for Walla Walla PUD Park in Wenatchee, WA View File Details Page


Audio File 1

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Audio File 2

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Cite this Page:

Casey Baulne, “Npil'x: "Hazy Area",” Spokane Historical, accessed June 25, 2017,
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