Shoshonean Cultural Days Celebration
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
The Shoshonean peoples of the Eastern Great Basin and Western Plains hunted seasonally in what is now Grand Teton National Park and left behind a sizeable archeological record. Their modern-day descendants still live in the region and have maintained their languages and cultural practices. A tribute to Shoshonean history and culture will take place at the Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park on September 5th and 6th. Cultural speakers and exhibits of traditional and modern Shoshonean arts will explain the present-day influence of the Shoshone peoples. The following programs are free to the public.
September 5 (Thursday)
September 6 (Friday)
Gloria St. Clair was raised by her maternal grandparents, Richard and Lydia Engavo of the Eastern Shoshone tribe of Fort Washakie, Wyoming. St. Clair was a Shoshonean language instructor and is now the cultural interpretation specialist at the Eastern Shoshone Cultural Center at Fort Washakie. Clyde Hall resides at Fort Hall, Idaho and shares his cultural art through demonstrations and exhibits across the country. Laine Thom has served as a seasonal park ranger at Grand Teton for the past 35+ years. During his NPS career, Thom has been a devoted caretaker and interpreter of the park's David T. Vernon Indian Art collection. Thom is also an accomplished artist and collector of Indian arts, as well as a Sun Dance leader and speaker at cultural gatherings.
The Eastern Shoshone people migrated from the Great Basin to the High Plain to present-day Wyoming during the last 600 years. They became a buffalo hunting culture in the high plains. In the 1800s they were settled on the Wind River Indian Reservation and were later joined by the Northern Arapahoe tribe who now share the reservation.
The Shoshone and Bannock are two different tribes with two different languages. Historically, they traveled in small groups and mixed with each other during hunting trips. Today they share the same reservation in southeastern Idaho. The lifestyles of both tribes were influenced by Plains cultures as evidenced by the introduction of the horse for transportation and hunting. The horse allowed them to range farther and hunt more effectively, leading to material riches.