Shoshone people

Shoshone people
Shoshone beaded moccasins, Wyoming, ca. 1900
Total population
12,300 (2000)
Regions with significant populations
United States United States
(Idaho Idaho, California California,
Nevada Nevada, Oregon Oregon,Utah Utah,Wyoming Wyoming)

Shoshone, English


Native American Church, Sun Dance,
traditional tribal religion, Christianity, Ghost Dance

Related ethnic groups

Bannock, Goshute, Northern Paiute, Comanche

The Shoshone or Shoshoni (/ʃoʊˈʃoʊniː/ ( listen) or /ʃəˈʃoʊniː/ ( listen)) are a Native American tribe in the United States with three large divisions: the Northern, the Western and the Eastern.

They traditionally spoke the Shoshoni language, a part of the Numic languages branch of the large Uto-Aztecan language family. The Shoshone were sometimes called the Snake Indians by early ethnic European trappers, travelers, and settlers.[1]

The Northern Shoshone are concentrated in eastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and northeastern Utah.

The Eastern Shoshone tribes lived in Wyoming, northern Colorado and Montana. After 1750, warfare and pressure from the Blackfoot, Crow, Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho pushed them south and westward. Some of them moved as far south as Texas, to become the Comanche.

The Western Shoshone tribes lived in Oregon and western Idaho, and ranged from central Idaho, northwestern Utah, central Nevada. Some are also located in California. The Idaho groups of Western Shoshone were called Tukuaduka (sheep eaters), while the Nevada/Utah bands were called the Gosiute or Toi Ticutta (cattail eaters). In California the Timbisha Shoshone (also known as the Death Valley or Panamint Shoshone) have lived for centuries in the Death Valley, Saline Valley, Panamint Valley and surrounding mountains. They have a federally recognized tribal reservation and government at Furnace Creek, California. Shoshone-Paiute have continued to live in the Owens Valley.

The most historically well-known member of the Shoshone tribe may be Sacagawea, of the Lemhi Shoshone band of Northern Shoshone. She accompanied the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark Expedition) with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in their exploration of the Western United States.



"Shoshone Indians at Ft. Washakie, Wyoming Indian reservation. Chief Washakie (at left) extends his right arm." Some of the Shoshones are dancing as the soldiers look on, 1892.

The Shoshone arose out of various cultures of indigenous peoples who had been in the territory for thousands of years. The Shoshone language is one of the Uto-Aztecan languages spoken by numerous peoples ranging from the Great Basin to coastal Southern California in present-day United States, and down through central, western and southern Mexico; into Central America and South America.

As more European-American settlers migrated west, tensions rose with the indigenous people. There were wars throughout the second half of the 19th century. The Northern Shoshone, led by Chief Pocatello, fought during the 1860s with settlers in Idaho (where a city was named for him). As more settlers encroached on Shoshone hunting territory, the natives raided farms and ranches for food, and attacked migrants. The warfare resulted in the Bear River Massacre (1863), when US forces trapped and murdered an estimated 350–500 Northwestern Shoshone, including women and children, who were at their winter encampment. This was the highest number of deaths which the Shoshone suffered by the forces of the United States.

Allied with the Bannock, to whom they were related, the Shoshone fought against the United States in the Snake War from 1864–1868. They fought US forces together in 1878 in the Bannock War. In 1876, by contrast, the Shoshone fought alongside the U.S. Army in the Battle of the Rosebud, as it was against their traditional enemies, the Lakota and Cheyenne.


In 1879 a band of approximately 300 Western Shoshones (known as "Sheepeaters") was involved in the Sheepeater Indian War. It was the last Indian war fought in the Pacific Northwest region of the present-day United States.

In 1911 a small group of Bannock under a leader named "Shoshone Mike" killed four ranchers in Washoe County, Nevada.[2] The settlers formed a posse and went out after the Indians. They caught up with the band on February 26, 1911 and killed eight. They lost one man of the posse, Ed Hogle.[3] The posse captured three children and a woman. The partial remains of three adult males, two adult females, two adolescent males, and three children, believed to be Shoshone Mike and his family, according to contemporary accounts, were donated by a rancher to the Smithsonian Institution for study. In 1994, the institution repatriated the remains to the Fort Hall Idaho Shoshone-Bannock Tribe.[4]

In 2008, the Northwestern Shoshone acquired the site of the Bear River Massacre and some surrounding land. They wanted to protect the holy land and build a memorial to the massacre, the largest their nation had suffered. "In partnership with the American West Heritage Center and state leaders in Idaho and Utah, the tribe has developed public/private partnerships to advance tribal cultural preservation and economic development goals." They have become a leader in developing tribal renewable energy.[5]

Historic population

In 1845 the estimated population of Northern and Western Shoshone was 4,500, much reduced after they had suffered infectious disease epidemics and warfare. The completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 was followed by Euro-American immigrants arriving in unprecedented numbers in the territory.

In 1937 the Bureau of Indian Affairs counted 3,650 Northern Shoshone and 1,201 Western Shoshone. As of the 2000 census, there are 12,000 Shoshone.

Reservations and Indian colonies

Bishop Paiute-Shoshone

Shoshoni tipi, probably taken around 1890

See also


The Shoshone people mostly ate nuts, berries, buffalo meat, rabbit, and antelope.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shoshone language — language name=Shoshone nativename= familycolor=American states=United States region=Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Idaho speakers=USA: 2905 (2000) [ [ data states mode=lang tops lang id=946 Data Center States Results ] ] fam1=Uto… …   Wikipedia

  • Shoshone (disambiguation) — The names Shoshone and Shoshoni are two spellings that both refer to the same Native American Tribe, as well as several geographic locations.Several geographical locations in the western United States share the name Shoshone with the Native… …   Wikipedia

  • Shoshone — noun /ʃoʊˈʃoʊni/ a) An Amerind ethnic group of North America, especially of Wyoming and Idaho. b) The Uto Aztecan language spoken by the Shoshone people …   Wiktionary

  • Shoshone-Bannock — ▪ people       any of the bands formerly of the Shoshone and Bannock peoples of North America who later chose to live as one people. Some of these bands shared the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho after its creation in 1863. In 1937 certain of… …   Universalium

  • Shoshone — Shoshone1 [shō shō′nē] n. [< ? Shoshonean tsosoni, curly head, in allusion to their hairdo ] 1. Shoshones or Shoshone a member of a group of North American Indians scattered over Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and California 2. the Shoshonean… …   English World dictionary

  • Shoshone — Uto Aztecan people of the Great Basin, of unknown origin, first applied 19c. to eastern Shoshonis of Wyoming …   Etymology dictionary

  • Shoshone, Idaho — Infobox Settlement official name = Shoshone, Idaho settlement type = City nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250px map caption = Location of Shoshone, Idaho mapsize1 = map caption1 =… …   Wikipedia

  • Shoshone National Forest — Infobox protected area | name = Shoshone National Forest iucn category = VI caption = locator x = 80 locator y = 48 location = Park, Fremont, Hot Springs, Sublette, and Teton counties, Wyoming, USA nearest city = Cody, WY lat degrees = 44 lat… …   Wikipedia

  • Shoshone — Tipis der Shoshone Die Shoshone (Eigenbezeichnung Nimi; deutsch auch Schoschonen) sind ein indianischer Stamm. Sie sprechen Shoshone, das zur uto aztekischen Sprachfamilie gehört. Die Herkunft der Stammesbezeichnung Shoshone ist bis heute… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shoshone — /shoh shoh nee/, n., pl. Shoshones, (esp. collectively) Shoshone for 2. 1. a river in NW Wyoming, flowing NE into the Big Horn River. 120 mi. (193 km) long. 2. a member of any of several Numic speaking peoples of California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho,… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”