The National Endowment for the Arts released a statement on the death of Idaho’s Horace Axtell, a Nez Perce elder and spiritual leader who died at 90 on Sept. 7 at his home in Lewiston.
Axtell was a National Heritage Fellow, an honor he received in 2008 for his dedication to preserving the spiritual, musical and cultural traditions of the Nez Perce Tribe. It’s the highest honor in the country for folk and traditional artisans.
“It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of 2008 National Heritage Fellow Horace Axtell, Nez Perce drum maker, singer, and tradition bearer from Lewiston, Idaho. Axtell was a respected elder and a pipe carrier for his tribe, as well as a spiritual leader of the Seven-Drum Religion.”