Saturday, May 25, 2013

Northwest Shoshone Tribe
I came across a very interesting article in the Deseret News about the Northwest Shoshone Tribe.  They were subject to the greatest one day loss of life as a result of the Bear River Massacre.  I have visited this site many times.  I lived for a couple years among the Western Shoshone People.  The Shoshone Nation extends from Wyoming, through Southern Idaho and into Nevada and even reaches California in the Death Valley area.  This article mentions that only ten people of the Northwest Tribe speak the native tongue.  I imagine that in different areas there are different accents and dialects, but there were a few who spoke the native tongue in Duckwater where I lived.  They also taught the language in school.  It was very difficult.  I know three or four words, Debus (stink bug) Habigna (flower) and summa waitha baitha watsawitha (one, two three, four.)  I wish I could remember more.  I know many native peoples are struggling to preserve their language and their heritage.
There were also many other beautiful things about the Western Shoshone culture.  The Bear Dance and the Round Dance were some of my favorite.  Also the gathering and roasting of pine nuts.  The native dress was beautiful.  Also the tradition of cradle boards.  The design of the Shoshone Cradle Board is unique and beautiful.  The are made of woven willow.  They work.  You can wrap a crying baby in a cradle board, and they are comforted by the tightness of the wrap.  We wrap them in a blanket in white culture, which works the same way.

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