The Shoshone-Bannock at Fort Hall
The Shoshone-Bannock at Fort Hall
Fort Hall was an important station on the journey west, and a fascinating place to visit now! This is true not only for its unique role in the history of the Oregon and California trails, but also for the thriving culture of the Shoshone-Bannock Reservation. To emphasize the unique aspects of Fort Hall Shoshone-Bannocks is to recognize the achievement of a level of economic success that was historically not typical of reserves, and the role of cultural values ​​in moderating changes caused by market influences. The Shoshones of Fort Hall, known as the Pohogues (People of the Wise), inhabited the southwest corner of the Great Basin, perhaps 4000 years ago, migrating to the Snake River drainage in the following centuries. His first documented contact with whites was with Lewis and Clark in August 1805 near the present reservation. The Corps desperately needed horses, but Lewis had given up hope of ever encountering the Shoshone who fled when spotted. Finally, the scouts surprised three Shoshone women who did not have time to flee. Lewis offered gifts and convinced them of his peaceful intentions when sixty mounted warriors galloped, armed and ready to fight. A 1918 canvas by Cowboy Mountains artist Charles Russell commemorates the meeting of the Corps of Discovery with the Cameahwaits war group. Leaving his weapon behind with two Corps members, Captain Meriwether Lewis advanced with only the American flag. His ploy worked: "We were all beaten up and stained with their grease and paint until I was heartily tired of the national embrace," he wrote. Lewis dropped his gun, grabbed an American flag, and walked over alone. Visit:- https://www.yankeejournal.com/ The bad news from the encounter was that the rivers were impossible to navigate. The good news was that the Indians had a herd of four hundred horses, some of which they traded for mere trinkets. They also offered an old man, "Old Toby", as a guide because he knew the northwestern country. A trapper named John Rees suggested that "Toby" could be a contraction of Tosa-tive koo-be, which literally translated from Shoshone means "gave brain to the white man." Whatever his name is, he helped them through the Bitterroot Mountains. These were the immense mountain ranges, partially covered with snow, that they found here. They were waiting for a short transport that would have brought them to a navigable tributary of the Columbia. The Shoshone had always relied heavily on the ecosystem for their food, especially the roots of the bedding plant and salmon when in season. It is interesting that Lewis and Clark survived almost entirely on the roots of beds at times during their journey. The Shoshone also ate morning glory roots and sego roots. During the spring, they were able to find wild onions, new cattail stems, wild asparagus, and wild carrots. During the summer, there were wild strawberries, gooseberries, water lilies, and sunflower seeds. In the fall, the Shoshone picked gooseberries, service berries, and deer berries. What did the Indians do with the beds? Almost without exception, they were baked, over low, low heat, in an earth oven. They could also get pine nuts from pine nuts during this time of year. They would scoop the walnuts out of the pineapples, roast them, winnow them (or peel them), and grind them into flour. In the replica of the old Fort Hall in Pocatello, newspapers report on some of the plants that Lewis and Clark discovered. Of course, salmon was of great importance when in season and was the cause of heated disputes over fishing rights at a later date. (For a delicious recipe for Zucchini Pine Nut Tamales, check out Faith Stone and AnnSaks' Shoshoni Cookbook.) The Shoshones were also influential in the fur trade. The Rocky Mountain hunters were, for most of the year, a separate fragment of Euro-American society. They were isolated for five hundred miles from the colonized states. Only in midsummer, when the rendezvous began and the supply trains crossed the Great Plains, did they see other white people. Not only did the Indians supply furs, but this important event may have been drawn from an Indian precedent, the Shoshoni trade fair, which was traditionally held in the summer season. It was a fusion of the commercial rituals of both cultures and was so successful because it combined the practicality of the market with the frivolity and celebration of a social occasion. Wine, women, and singing ensured emotional liberation for both Indians and trappers, and although it was untimely, it took root as an institution in 1825. Neither the trappers nor the Indians were fairly rewarded for their efforts to get beavers and other skins for the settlers. companies. But the Indians were not slaves to the fur trade, but smart traders who could easily do without almost all commercial items. In fact, according to Chittenden, American Fur Trade of the West, "The trader's relationship with the Indian was the most natural and pleasant of all the two races have ever had." Entrepreneurs such as Yankees-born Nathaniel Wyeth tried to challenge established British companies and in doing so built Fort Hall. The men of Wyeths completed the construction of the fort on August 4, 1834, and the next day, at dawn, they displayed the stars and stripes. Wyeth and his men "drank a bale of liquor" and named it "Fort Hall" after their oldest associate, Henry Hall. Later, Wyeth sold Fort Hall to the Hudson Bay Company, when he could not compete with her or other companies, and it became the commercial center of the hungry land. Photo The corn, beans, squash, and dried meat that the Indians supplied at the time were invaluable for the stalls and often kept them from starving to death. Coffee, sugar, tobacco, and alcohol were transported from the east. At certain times, merchants prepared lavish banquets. "A dinner was prepared that included fresh bison, beef, poultry and lamb, Mandan corn, fresh butter, milk and cheese, white bread and a variety of fruits, all accompanied by an excellent selection of vintage wines and brandies." However, such occasions were very rare. The ancient replica of Fort Hall in Pocatello is one of the main attractions when visiting this area. The displays cover the entire history of the fort and are very informative. Adjacent to the fort is the Bannock County Historical Museum, which has among its many exhibits, the stagecoach from the Holladay Overland Stage Company and photographs and ethnographic objects from Shoshoni and Bannock. When the forty-nine came west in search of gold, they took the precaution of carrying guns, pistols, and bowie knives, but a pioneer approaching Fort Hall wrote: "As for the danger of the Indians, hitherto any of the Twenty enemies, such as fleas, whiskey, mule hind legs, tornadoes, and cold river currents, have been much more serious. " The Indians had become accustomed to the constant stream of fortune seekers and tolerated trespassers, although they often played tricks on them. The forty-nine, in turn, mocked the Indians, but tried to treat those who arrived at the camp with kindness and apparently even felt a bit guilty for invading their land in such large numbers. Archer Butler Hulbert's book Forty-Niners, written in 1931, contains map drawings of eight successive parts of the trails to the west, music and lyrics from some of the songs they sang along the way, and cartoon illustrations of the epoch. . According to the author, it was obtained from all available newspapers or magazines that could shed light on the pioneering experience. Tongue-to-cheek tips are freely given, such as: "If you don't have salt for your buffalo steak, sprinkle it with gunpowder and it will taste salty and seasoned." After the Indians acquired horses, they expanded their economy to include buffalo and some processed foods received in trade. As a source of wealth, horses intensified the conflict between certain groups of Indians. The horse was also a draw for the Bannocks, a group from the north that joined the Shoshones at Fort Hall. But by the mid-1860s, non-Indians had infiltrated almost every area of ​​snake country. The depletion of Indian resources led to the Great War of the Serpents. In the end, the Shoshone agreed to move to Fort Hall Reservation. The reservation was established by Executive Order under the terms of the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868. It originally contained 1.8 million acres, an amount that was reduced to 1.2 million acres in 1872 as a result of a study error. The reserve was further reduced to its current size through subsequent legislation and the adjudication process.

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