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Answered 2011-07-29 06:37:33

Yes there is, although it is not widely known.

The Nez Perce tribe of Idaho were given that name by French explorers, who may have misunderstood the sign language gesture for the name of the tribe. Lewis and Clark recorded their tribal name as "Chopunnish", which is a mangled version of the Nez Perce word cuupn'itpel'uu, meaning "we come out of the forest in single file", referring to a time before the tribe had horses and had to walk everywhere.

The Crows of Montana have a story that warriors of the Nez Perce were so brave that would not flinch even from an arrow passing close beneath their noses - hence the sign language gesture of a finger pushed across beneath the nasal septum - this gesture may have been misunderstood by French explorers as signifying "pierced noses" and produced the "Nez Perce" name.

Almost all of the tribal names used in the USA are incorrect in some way, due to similar misunderstandings.

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