Before “white” human being proved up, the Shoshone lived and also traveled in bands through their extended families: aunts and uncles, cousins, grandpaleas, and more.

How would you like to live cshed to all your relatives favor this?

During the historic period, the Shoshone often:

Traveled in small extended-household groups, living in caves, wickiups, or tepees. Gathered roots and also plants. Used pinyon pine nuts as a significant resource of food. Gathered seeds and also ground them into meal and also made mush or breview. Gathered berries like chokecherries, service berries, and also gooseberries. Wore clothes made from animal skins. Hunted little pets and also birds prefer rabbits, squirrels, ducks, grouse and doves. Hunted big animals prefer deer, elk, and antelope. Ate insects choose crickets. Made pottery and baskets. Told stories throughout the winter.

The children:

Played via toys made from sticks, rocks, and clay. Worked tough to help uncover food and relocate. Helped treatment for household members. Learned to honor and respect paleas and grandpaleas. Listened to and learned the stories and also customizeds of their human being.

The Shoshone ranged via north and into Idaho and Wyoming, hunting pets, fishing, and gathering many various kinds of seeds, roots, berries, and other foodstuffs.

As the women gathered seeds utilizing willow baskets and hitting sticks, they talked and also sang. Hunters could drive deer or antelope into sagebrush corrals or drive huge pets prefer bichild over cliffs to kill them. They also eliminated small animals prefer squirrels and birds choose ducks and also grousage.

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Settlers and also change

But when settlers pertained to, their livestock, farming, and irrigation adjusted the land also. Also, wagon trains on their method to Oregon drove livestock throughout Shoshone lands. Soon, the conventional Shoshone food sources had become scarce.


Members of Chief Pocatello"s band also of the Northwestern Shoshone. Notice that they are posing inside a photography studio, through a painted backdrop.

Although at initially the inhabitants and indigenous civilization acquired alengthy all best, it wasn’t lengthy before they began to clash over scarce resources.

Some Shoshone started to assault wagon trains and steal livestock from settlers. Others tried to live peacetotally and also converted to the Mormon faith.

If you were a Shoshone leader, and 1) game was obtaining scarce


2)the Anglo people"s livestock were eating so a lot of the grass,


3) your world didn"t have enough food,

What would certainly you do?

Which strategy functioned out best?

The Bear River Massacre

The conflicts got worse till, in January 1863, soldiers from Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City attacked a band also of greatly peaceful Shoshones camped on Battle Creek, close to Franklin, Idaho (simply over the border from When the soldiers surprised the resting camp, the Shoshones tried to fight earlier. But they couldn"t fight versus so many kind of soldiers, and also the battle easily ended up being a massacre. The soldiers butchered more than 250 guys, women, and youngsters. This tragedy was a horrifying and shameful event in the history of the West.

Read a longer account of this occasion.

Read some main sources on this event.


Regardless of the conflicts, many Shoshones converted to Mormonism and also learned to farm.

Several of them started farming in the area around Corinne. But the whites of the location turned a covetous eye on their farms and the irrigation ditches they had dug. These whites convinced the armed forces to kick the Shoshone world out.


A Shoshone household from Washakie in Logan, May 1909. USU Special Collections photo.

The LDS (Mormon) church lent the Shoshone land for a big farm in Idaho. They called it Washakie, after a revered Shoshone leader. For 80 years the settlement thrived through irrigation canals, fields, sawmills and also timber product production, a brick kiln, and also lamb.

Children checked out a institution wbelow they learned from Anglo teachers.

End of Washakie

After World War II, many--however not all--world relocated out of Washakie. The LDS church determined to offer the land, but did not interact incredibly well with the owners of the homes. When crews started to burn homes down, the owners frequently didn"t recognize around it. People lost individual possessions as well as their dwellings. And they shed their sense of trust. They felt a promise had been broken.

The church offered the land to a rancher, yet donated 184 nearby acres to the people who had shed their homes.


Children at Washakie in 1939.

In 1968, the U.S. government ruled that the Shoshone deoffered restitution for the lands that the federal government had taken. Members of the people received payments.

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A few hundred members of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone currently live in Idaho and also Unprefer the other tribes, they have actually no reservation, although they very own some land. Headquarters for the band also is in Brigham City,

Want to recognize more?

Read "The Northwestern Shoshone," by Mae Parry. Visit the Shoshone page on the American Indian Digital Archives website. Find Out just how the Shoshone governed themselves. See more photos of the Shoshone.