Published on August 1, 2013 by Carol
Book title: Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Shoshone
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Author: Charles River Editors
*Includes pictures of important people and places.
*Explains the origins, history, religion, and social structure of the Shoshone
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.
“Notwithstanding their extreem poverty they are not only cheerful but even gay, fond of gaudy dress and amusements…” – Meriwether Lewis’ description of the Lemhi Shoshone
From the “Trail of Tears” to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, the narrative of American history is incomplete without the inclusion of the Native Americans that lived on the continent before European settlers arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the first contact between natives and settlers, tribes like the Sioux, Cherokee, and Navajo have both fascinated and perplexed outsiders with their history, language, and culture. In Charles River Editors’ Native American Tribes series, readers can get caught up to speed on the history and culture of North America’s most famous native tribes in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
From 1804-1806, the first American expedition across the North American continent was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, who had recently bought a vast swath of territory from France. Though he knew he had bought a huge amount of land, Jefferson wasn’t entirely sure of what he had bought, so he asked a team led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to traverse the continent until they reached the Pacific, studying everything from the ecology to geography along the way to get an understanding of the country’s new region.
Lewis and Clark would find far more than they bargained for. The 33 members who made the trip came into contact with about two dozen Native American tribes, and none were more important than the Shoshone, who the expedition referred to as “Snake” Indians. Of course, the most famous Shoshone was Sacagawea, who had been captured by the Hidatsas before accompanying Lewis and Clark to help guide them west. The Shoshone fed the expedition when it was on the brink of starvation and took them in as guests during the journey.
The Shoshone are still remembered for their assistance, especially Sacagawea, and they maintained contact with Americans throughout the 19th century, but unfortunately, the cooperation gave way to conflict as white settlers began to move westward and enter onto lands occupied by the Shoshone. After the Bear River Massacre in 1863, the Shoshone fought in a series of battles against U.S. forces over the next 15 years. The Shoshone also fought against traditional enemies, including the Lakota Sioux and the Cheyenne, around the same time, with some Shoshone occasionally fighting with the Americans against their age-old enemies.
By the time the Shoshone had been relegated to reservation life, there were fewer than 5,000 members left, but over time, their population has gradually increased. Today, there are over 12,000 Shoshone. Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Cheyenne comprehensively covers the culture and history of the famous group, profiling their origins, their history, and their lasting legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Shoshone like you never have before, in no time at all.