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linguistic grouping of North American Indian tribes speaking related languages within the Penutian family. They traditionally resided in what are now southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and west-central Idaho, U.S., in the basin of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Major groups included the Cayuse, Molala, Palouse (or Palus), Nez Perce, Tenino, Umatilla, Wallawalla, and Yakima