Mountain Spirit: The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone
There is still a pervasive notion that Indians did not inhabit the Yellowstone area. Drawing on the results of ongoing archaeological excavations and extensive ethnographic work among descendant native peoples, Mountain Spirit discusses the many groups that have in fact visited or lived in the area in prehistoric and historic times. In particular, the Shoshone group known as Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, maintained a rich and abundant way of life closely related to their primary source of protein, the mountain sheep of the high-altitude Yellowstone area.
These robust people were talented artisans, making well-constructed shelters, powerful horn bows, and expertly tailored clothing that was highly sought by their trading partners. They moved in small, kin-based bands, accompanied by large dogs that were indispensable hunting and trekking companions. Moving seasonally through portions of the Beartooth, Absaroka, and Wind River ranges, the Sheep Eaters made skillful use of their environment.
Written for general readers, Mountain Spirit includes photographs, lithographs, and a number of color drawings and sketches of Sheep Eater life ways by Davíd Joaquin. It presents a vivid picture of the vanished way of life of a people whose accomplishments have been largely ignored in histories of Native peoples.
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1 Objects of Pity
Looking for Sheep Eaters in the Historic and Archaeological Records
The Landscape and Habitats of Sheep Eater Territory
4 Living among the Powerful Spirits
Sheep Eater Relationships with One Another and the Outside World
A House for Each Season
Steatite and Ceramic Vessels in Sheep Eater Country
Sheep Eater Clothing and Presentation of Self
12 Hunting Bighorn Sheep for Food and Hornware
Seasonal Variety in the Sheep Eater Diet
14 The Sheep Eater Path to the Contemporary World
By Diligent Discovery Learning More about the Sheep Eaters
About the Authors
Absaroka Mountains American animals archaeological archaeologists artifacts Basin bighorn sheep bones Boulder Ridge buckskin camp catch-pen ceramic chapter Cody coyote Creek Crow Davíd Joaquín described Drouillard excavation Figure ﬁrst fish Frison hide Historical Center horses Hultkrantz human hunting Idaho identified Illustration by Davíd included Indian groups Intermountain kin and clique known Lake Liljeblad living locations Loendorf Lowie medicine Meriwether Lewis Montana Mountain Shoshone Mummy Cave North obsidian Obsidian Cliff Osborne Russell outcrops Pend d’Oreille person petroglyph Philetus Norris Plains projectile points record remains rock art Rocky root vegetables Sheep Eater dogs Sheep Eater hunters Sheep Eater territory sheep horn bow Sheepeaters Shimkin Shoshone groups sinew skins sources species spirits steatite pots steatite vessels stone tain tion Togwotee trade trappers travois tribes water ghost weir wickiups Wind River Mountains women Wyeth Wyoming Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Park Yellowstone region