Eastern Shoshone - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. Prior to extensive Christian missionary efforts and the introduction of the Peyote religion in the late nineteenth century, the Eastern Shoshone practiced two forms of religious beliefs and behavior. The first was directed toward personal success and survival through the acquisition of supernatural power from the world of spirits. The second was designed for the welfare of the community and of nature and to ward off impending prophesized disasters. The mythological beings and animations of nature and their powers were of central importance, with the relation between shaman and power being of supplication and dependency. A successful quest for power was expressed by a vision in which the power appears bestowing skills or protections, fetishes to call forth the power, a song, and individual taboos. Water Ghost Beings and Rock Ghost Beings were feared. The domain of ghosts included not only Ghost Beings, but old women, great-grandparents, apparitions, and whirlwinds.

Ceremonies. The Father Dance, the Shuffling Dance (Ghost Dance), and the Sun Dance were supplications addressed to beneficent beings, particularly Our Father. The Father Dance and the Shuffling Dance were especially a tradition among the Mountain Sheep Eaters and were usually nighttime events in the fall, winter, or spring in which both men and women participated in the singing of sacred songs. The Sun Dance, probably acquired from the Plains tribes, was a day-and-night event of the summer, restricted to men, with dancing and thirsting to exhaustion.

Medicine. It was believed that illness came from breach of taboos, malevolent dwarf people, and sorcery. On the other hand, they were pragmatic about childbirth, snake bites, minor ailments, and wounds and fractures. Houses where death had occurred were often abandoned.

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Feb 1, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

My names Olivia Larson. I was born in Ogden, UT. I was adopted when I was three days old. I'm now 21. I know my birth mom, and she is Shoshone Indian, she was adopted as well, but her birth-mom is full Shoshone Indian, and I believe still lives on a reservation. I would love to know more about Shoshone Indians, and the culture. I would love to be involved. I have a Shoshone Indian look and I take pride in that. I have visited Utah before and would love to come and visit a reservation and learn more about our people.

Thank you,

Olivia Larson
Ashlee Buist
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Feb 13, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

My name is Ashlee. In language arts, we have to do a Big 6 report on Native American Indians. I chose to do mine on the Shoshone Indians. I like to learn about the Native Americans and their culure. I can't wait until we turn in the assignment because I think I will get 100%


Ashlee Buist
Melissa Burkhardt
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Mar 26, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
Hello my name is Melissa and I was born in Wyoming in 1979. My mother is a white woman and I am told the my biological father is a full blooded Shoshone Indian man whom lived on a reservation with the last name of Lebow. I am 32 yrs old and I have 2 handsome sons of my own. I have always been curious about the shoshone Indian cultures and religion. My husband and I would love to learn and teach our children the indian cultures. I have lived in Maryland all my life and have not had the opportunity to visit the beautiful state of Wyoming yet. We would love to take a trip eventually. All my life I have had people asking me what my heritage is because I have olive skin color, hight cheek bones and almost black hair. I am proud to say that I am a beautiful Shoshone Indian woman(partially).
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May 25, 2012 @ 7:07 am
I like this webpage very very very much because it can tells me a lot of details for my studying in history class. My teacher gave me to do an assignment about one of the tribes . I want to choose the shoshone because I like it's culture.
Aidan Glenn
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Nov 5, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
My name is Aidan, I'm 11 yrs old and in 6th grade. This website has helped me a lot on my Snake River War essay page. This website has very good and useful information for any school report relating with the Shoshone indians. Thank you everyculture.com! I can't wait to see my essay grade!
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Oct 2, 2014 @ 9:09 am
I am a retired christian ordained minister(43 years), last 7 years specialized in trauma ministry as minister in/with emergancy medical services (hospital and ambulance transport services). This experience awarded me the opportunity to work with suffering people from many spiritual tradition backgrounds. This summer my wife and I traveled and intentionally visited six Native American Indian reservations and cultural centers seek knowledge of thier native spiritual beliefs and practices. Our visit in Wyoming and the Shoshone people was very impressive and informative, they are a people of spiritual faith with strong helpful practices. I found the writing of Ake Hultkrantz in the book "Native Religions of North America" c. 1987 to be extreemly holpfunl in understanding the Shoshone Indian spiritual practices and spiritual faith. I am very impressed with the Shoshoney people.
Daniel J Scherer
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Oct 22, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
Hello my name is Daniel I am a Shoshone indian to. I think this website is the best to get information from. I go on this website every tuesday and sunday because this website has such extrordinary information. I live with wife and two kids and you have helped be able to teach them about Shoshone. Thank you

Yours truly, Daniel
richard corbett
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Oct 30, 2014 @ 12:00 am
hello my name is richard corbett and im 12. i am a shoshone indian. i wanted to learn more about my tribe
i was taken from my home land when i was 4 and really didnt know much about my tribe and this website
really helped me to know a little about my tribe
Jeana Harris
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Mar 24, 2015 @ 8:08 am
Hello. my name is Jeana and im doing a Social Studies report and you helped.

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Oct 28, 2015 @ 7:19 pm
THIS has helped me a lot because of the project
that im doing
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Oct 29, 2015 @ 7:19 pm
Hi! I call myself anonymous, and I'm really excited. I have a presentation for my class about the Shoshoni, and I would LOVE to learn more. BTW, anyone who's having a test on native americans, break a leg! XOXO, Anoymous ( My real name isn't anymous. Just some privacy stuff)
Korey Pond
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Nov 7, 2015 @ 9:09 am
I'm doing a huge project thanks for the info it will help a lot in my project.

Korey Pond
Deb Landis
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Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:22 pm
I have had the privilege to the task of finding information of my ancestry. My Aunt had an original Medicine bag that she treasured. Upon her death it was t be passed to me. Due t family conflict this request was not followed. I am heart broken. That meant so much to me. I know each is personalized to ones special internal struggles. I would be honored if someone could direct me in obtaining this item, I could start my journey into knowing and in the interperation of my dreams and heritage. please respond if you would be so kind to aide me in this endeavor. I am so very serious about learning and teaching my heritage that hitting this brick wall has been broken.

Deb Landis
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Feb 22, 2016 @ 9:09 am
I like the website. Nice facts. I like it because I am doing an informational article on the Shoshone and it has been a great help.
Debra Wilson
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Feb 26, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
My Great Grandmother was a Shoshone Indian found wandering in Kansas. They named her Missouri Jane. We know my Great Great Grandfather took the surname Berry. My Father was given the name Two Hawks at birth but Great Grandma wouldn't let him keep it. My last ancestor with a tribal name was Great Aunt SnowFlake. I am wondering, where are the elders to our Nation? I am thinking we are from the Timbishu but, not sure.
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Dec 4, 2016 @ 10:22 pm
Hello, my Great Grandmother was Shoshone. Margaret Hasting (kansas) was where my father was born. I would love to visit a reservation and learn that side of my family that I have missed out on. Anyone with an address and time that would be willing to share stories would be most greatly appreciated.
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Apr 15, 2017 @ 10:22 pm
I would like to know what the early
burial ceremonies and rituals were in Chief Washakie's tribe.
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Apr 3, 2018 @ 10:22 pm
Hello in class this week we were doing a report on the Great Basin Indians and out of all the tribes in my group I took the most interest in the Shoshone I may not have in dna or family that had there blood in them but I honestly think this is the most interesting out of all of the tribes in the Great Basin
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Nov 19, 2019 @ 4:16 pm
i am so happy that i could find what i needed for my indian report! this was an awesome site and gave very scarce but very great information!

thank you!
yours truly,
michael dillon
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Dec 17, 2019 @ 2:14 pm
this website is helpful and i think that you should and more information but i got the right info

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