About the Shoshone & Paiute Tribes
of the Great Basin

The last 100 or so years has been a struggle for the Great Basin people, a continuous endeavor to keep the language, culture, and life ways of their ancestors.

Clyde HallClyde Hall writes: The Shoshone & Paiute Tribes live in the huge vastness from the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevada, from the heights of the mountains of Yellowstone to the depths of Death Valley. They lived in the mountains to the North and east of the Snake River, where salmon ran the rivers and mountain sheep grazed in the high country. They live in the Great Basin south and west of the Snake River, where they foraged for roots, nuts and seeds and sometimes hunted small game such as rabbits, rock chuck and deer.

We now call these people of the earth, Shoshone or Paiute. They call themselves by names such as the Root-Eating People, Salmon-Eating People, Pine Nut-Eating People, Sheep-Eating People or just "the true people of this place".

During the era before the horse, they had little in a material way. All their richness were Spiritual, for they did know Duma Apa, our father and Duma Sogo-bia, our Mother Earth, Wolf (bia-isha), Coyote (ish-apia), and the elements of rain, fog and clouds and many other powers. They did not have a theology but mythology, ritual and dream. Their awareness of Spirit came from old, old stories that showed them the power afoot in the world.

As time went on some of these people the Shoshone and some Paiute tribes integrated the ways of the Plains Indians into their own, they became tipi dwellers buffalo hunters which are now called the Wind River Shoshones, Fort Hall Shoshones, and Bannock.

The last 100 or so years has been a struggle for the Great Basin people. A continuous endeavor to keep the language, culture, and life ways of their ancestors. It is important that these rich tribal cultures remain a living, vibrant aspect of the jewel in which we call "humanity" the world would be poorer for it, if they disappeared.

The NCPC in our small way is helping these rich cultures to continue into this century!