Also known as the Secwepemcs. North American Indian tribe (Su-khapmuh), most important of Salishan limguistic stock in British Columbia, including groups at Kamloops, Adams Lake, Alkali Lake, Canoe Creek, Neskaintith, Spallumcheen, and Williams Lake. In their primitive condition the Shuswaps lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering berries. Their semi-subterranean houses were built of logs and covered with earth. Their weapons were the bow, lance, stone axe, and club. Their tribal organization was without central authority. Village chiefs were hereditary; the people were divided into nobles, commons, and slaves. There were no clans; descent was patriarchal. Their religion was animism. They are now nearly all Catholic; their missions are at Williams Lake and Kamloops. They were visited by the Jesuits in the 17th century and later by the Oblates.
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