Eastern Shoshone - History and Cultural Relations

Their history since about 1500 can be described in a number of phases, beginning with their pre-horse penetration of the High Plains and their adoption of large-scale bison hunting; then with the acquisition of horses around 1700 came a Second phase of widespread raiding through the plains. A third phase, around the beginning of the nineteenth century, was marked by a losing war with the Blackfoot, smallpox epidemics, and the introduction of the Sun Dance. This was followed by a period of alliances with the Whites and renewed tribal viability under Chief Washakie. Reservation life in the later nineteenth century was characterized by intense hardship and population losses. The first half of the twentieth century showed cultural and demographic stabilization, and innovation in religious institutions. Since 1945, there has been Population growth and a general adaptation to mainstream White culture as well as to a growing Arapaho political Dominance on the reservation.

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