Traditional Shoshone Ways Week
Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Updated: Monday, August 9, 2010 14:08
The American West Heritage Center, a non-profit, living history park in Wellsville, presents Shoshone Ways Week Aug. 14-16 from 10 am - 5 pm with Native American arts, crafts and traditional living demonstrations and workshops scheduled throughout the day in addition to regular Daily Adventures activities. Some of the workshops featured include hide tanning, wikiup building, Indian beadwork and many other activities presented by Shoshone tribal members and elders. Other living history sites such as the 1917 Farm, Pioneer and Mt. Man venues are still open as well.
"The Shoshone are the traditional American Indian tribe in our area," explained David Sidwell, Program Director at the Heritage Center. "It has always been a privilege to provide a place for them to tell their story and teach their unique and valuable perspectives about life. This is the week where they really shine. They've invited special guests and elders from the tribe to teach workshops and do demonstrations, and we're so thrilled that they've taken these three days and are going to do amazing things." Sidwell and others have been working for several years with Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, Cultural Arts Director for the tribe. Her guidance and leadership have proven essential for an accurate presentation of Shoshone life ways at the Heritage Center's Daily Adventures. Patty herself has been at the Heritage Center most open days this past summer and has largely planned the activities that will take place during Shoshone Ways Week.
The Northwest Band of the Shoshone Indians was the indigenous tribe in the northern Utah area when the pioneers began settling in the 1850s and 60s. While most interchanges between the pioneers and the tribe were peaceful, one cold Winter morning in 1862 the tribe was attacked by a force of several hundred soldiers sent from Camp Douglas in Salt Lake City, resulting in the massacre of up to 400 tribal members, including women and children. It was one of the largest American Indian massacres in the U.S. and certainly the largest west of the Mississippi River. Taking place as it did during the Civil War, the Bear River Massacre did not garner much attention across the U.S. when it happened. Only recently has the massacre begun to be recognized as a major disastrous occurrence in the Old West. Many tribal members still live in the area, especially in the Brigham City and Odgen areas. The tribal office is in Brigham City.
Workshops for Shoshone Ways Week will be mostly hands-on and cover many aspects of traditional Shoshone life. For a complete schedule, you may contact the Heritage Center directly. Morning workshops on each of the three days include native plant identification, rope making, hide tanning, wickiup building, cattail doll making and Indian beadwork. Afternoon activities include music and song-making, hide tanning, Shoshone games, storytelling, and a buffalo feast and fry bread demonstration. The workshops will be presented by members of the tribe, including specially invited tribal elders.
For more information about Shoshone Ways Week, contact the American West Heritage Center at (435) 245-6050. For information about the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Tribe, visit their website: http://www.nwbshoshone-nsn.gov .