Last update: 1998-05-01
Chief Joseph (1832-1904)
Chief Joseph of the Nez Percé Native American people,
is best known for his resistance to the U.S. Government's attempts to force
his tribe onto reservations. The Nez Percé were a peaceful nation
spread from Idaho to Northern Washington. The tribe had maintained good
relations with the whites, but in 1877 Joseph's people was forced off its
native homeland. After a three-month, 1300-mile flight, defeating the U.S.
Army in seven major battles, the Nez Percé were eventually defeated
by General Miles, within 40 miles of the safety of the Canadian border,
where Chief Joseph spoke his famous words
"From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more".
The Chief and his people were exiled to reservations in Oklahoma and
A good website with information about this great Chief can be found
The following picture is the first known photograph of the Chief, taken
within weeks of his capture.
Let's now look at the Chief from the viewpoint of Phrenology
The Chief was a fierce warrior : the wideness of the skull at ear level
(1) shows a very strong dynamic energy or Destructiveness.
The Nez Perce fought the U.S. Army with superior tactics which impressed
their enemies. The Chief displays strong Perceptive
faculties (2) as well as a strong Constructiveness(5),
which allowed him to devise brilliant tactics.
The Native American peoples are known for their excellent orientation and
tracking skills, which are reflected in a strong development of Locality.
Spirituality (3) and Veneration
(4) are strongly developed, as is Benevolence
(6). This reflects the high moral values of the Chief, which strongly contrasts
with the weak and cowardly manner his people was treated (unrespected treaties,
confinement to reservations,...). The religious sentiments of the Native
American people were characterised by a profound respect for Nature.