Western Shoshoni Indians

Western Shoshoni. Significance of the word Shoshoni is unknown. Connections.—The same as for the Northern Shoshoni.

Western Shoshoni Location.— Central and western Idaho, northwestern Utah, central and northeastern Nevada, and a small territory in California north of and about Death and Panamint Valleys.

Western Shoshoni Subdivisions. The names of a great many local groups have been recorded, usually signifying that they were “eaters” of certain kinds of food, but most of these seem to have belonged to territories rather than people, the “eaters” in each being subject to change. A few of these have, however, acquired special interest and some measure of permanence as, for instance, the Tukuarika, Tukuaduka, or Sheep Eaters, extending from the Yellowstone National Park to the middle course of Salmon River; the Gosiute of northern Utah and eastern Nevada and the Panamint or Koso, the Californian representatives of the division.

Western Shoshoni Villages

Steward (1938) gives the following villages under the several natural areas occupied by these Indians:

Lida and vicinity:

  • Clayton Valley.
  • Kamuva, or Wipa, several miles east of Goldfield.
  • Montezuma.
  • Old Camp, on the north side of Gold Mountain.
  • Pauwaha’ (Lida).
  • Tumbasai’uwi, at Stonewall Mountain.

Eastern California

Saline Valley:

  • Isha’mba (Waucoba Spring).
  • Ko (Saline Valley).
  • Navadu, at the Springs in Cottonwood Canyon which runs west from Death Valley.
  • Tuhu, at Goldbelt Spring.

Little Lake and Koso Mountains:

  • Mua’ta (Coco Hot Springs).
  • Pagunda (Little Lake).
  • Pakwa’si (at Alancha).
  • Uyuwu’mba, about 5 miles south of Darwin.

Panamint Valley:

  • No villages given.

Northern Death Valley:

  • Mahunu (springs in Grapevine Canyon and probably Grapevine Springs).
  • Ohyu, at Surveyor’s Well.
  • Panuga (Mesquite Springs).

Central and Southern Death Valley:

  • Tumbica, at the several springs at Furnace Creek.
  • Village (perhaps) some 15 miles south of Furnace Creek

Beatty and Belted Mountains (camps):

  • Howell Ranch, near Springdale.
  • Hunusu, at Burn’s Ranch.
  • Indian Camp, at the head of Oasis Valley.
  • Mutsi, in the vicinity of the water holes marked merely “Tanks” on the U. S. Geol. Surv. map.
  • Sivahwa, a few miles north of the last.
  • Tunava, at Whiterock Springs.
  • Takanawa, at Hick’s Hot Springs.
  • Sakaifiaga, at the mouth of Beatty Wash on the Amagrosa River.
  • Panavadu, somewhere near the last.
  • Wuniakuda, 2 or 3 miles east of the Ammonia Tanks.
  • Wiva, at Oaksprings.
  • Kuikun (Captain Jack Spring).
  • Tupipa, at Tippipah Springs.
  • Pokopa, at Topopah Spring.
  • Pagambuhan (Cane Spring).

Ione Valley, Reese River, and Smith Creek Valley

Reese River Valley (camps):

  • Wiyunutuahunupi, at the first creek south of Austin.
  • Angasikigada, 1 mile from the last.
  • Tutumbihunupi, 1½ miles from the last.
  • Ohaogwaihunupi, 1 mile from the last.
  • Bambishpahunupi, about 2 miles from last.
  • Songwatumbihun, about 1½ miles from the last.
  • Gunuvijep, about 1½ miles from the last.
  • Biahunupi, at Big Creek, west of Kingston.
  • Mezaguahunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Onpihunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Tudupihunupi, 1½ miles from the last.
  • Yudigivoihunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Aihyuhunupi, about 2 miles from the last.
  • Navahodava, 3 miles from the last.
  • Guvadakuahunupi, 2 miles from the last or about halfway between Austin and Bell’s Ranch.
  • Baiambasahunupi, about 1 mile from the last.
  • Kwinahunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Tosakuahunupi,, 3 miles from the last.
  • Asunguahunupi, 1 mile from the last.
  • Wakaihunupi, 1 mile from the last.
  • Boyuwihunupi, 3 miles from the last.
  • Yumbahunupi, 3 miles from the last.
  • Onihunupi, about 2½ miles from the last.
  • Adumbihunupi, about 2½ miles from the last.
  • Bukwiyohunupi, about 4 miles from the last and a little south of Bell’s Ranch

Camps given In order of location; names not alphabetized.

Reese River Valley (winter sites)

  • Sunungoi, about 10 miles northwest of Austin and slightly north of Mount Airy.
  • Sova, a spring near the summit of Mount Airy.
  • Tuosava, 2 or 3 miles south of the last.
  • Yutomba, 1 mile from the last.
  • Evimba, 3 or 4 miles from the last.
  • Dumboi, 2 or 3 miles from the last.
  • Hukumba, about 2 miles from the last.
  • Kosiva, 3 miles from the last.
  • Wupayagahunupi, 3 miles from the last.
  • Dawishiwuhunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Kunuvidumbihunupi, about 1% miles from the last.
  • Pazuyohoi, 4 miles from the last.
  • Wangodusikihunupi, 2 miles from the last.
  • Ava, 2 miles from the last.
  • Bohoba, a spring 3 miles from the last.
  • Dongwishava, slightly south of Ione, west of the Bell Ranch.
  • There is also a camp southwest of Berlin Peak at a spring called Wanzi awa.

Great Smoky Valley and Monitor Valley:

  • No villages given.

Kawich Mountains (winter camps):

  • Breen Creek.
  • Hot Creek, about 10 miles north of Tybo.
  • Hot Springs, to the south, had several winter encampments.
  • Hugwapagwa (Longstreet Canyon or Horse Canyon).
  • Kunugiba (Tybo Creek).
  • Reveille Mill.
  • Tuava (Rose Spring).

Little Smoky Valley and vicinity

Little Smoky Valley:

  • Dzishava (Moore Station).
  • Indian Creek (Bagumbush?), 6—7 miles north of Kwadumba.
  • Kwadumba (Snowball), 8 miles north of Sapava.
  • Kwatsugu (Fish Creek).
  • Sapava (Hick’s Station), 12 miles north of Morey.
  • Tutoya, at a spring 4 or 5 miles south of Morey, on the west side of the valley.

Fish Springs Valley:

  • Butler’s Place, about 20 miles north of Wongodoya.
  • Udulfa (Hot Creek).
  • Wongodoya, at a spring in the hills west of Fish Springs.

Railroad Valley (camps in north end of valley):

  • Akamba, or probably also Watoya, at a spring west of Mount Hamilton.
  • Bambasa, on the west side of Mount Hamilton.
  • Bauduin (Warm Spring).
  • Bawazivi (Currant Creek).
  • Biadoyava, at Blue Eagle Springs.
  • Nyala, native name unknown.
  • Suhuva (Duckwater).
  • Wongodupijugo, southeast of Green Spring.

Winter sites given in order of location; names not alphabetized.

Steptoe Valley:

  • “There were villages at Ely, on Duck Creek, about 8 miles northwest of McGill, and at Warm Spring, Schellbourne, Egan Canyon, and Cherry Creek.”

Spring, Snake, and Antelope Valleys

Spring Valley:

  • Aidumba, at a spring west of Aurun.
  • Basamba, slightly up the hill west of Sogowosugu.
  • Basiamba, in vicinity of Oceola.
  • Basawinuba, either 3 or 4 miles northwest of Aurun.
  • Basawinuba (Mud Springs), about 7 miles south of Aurun.
  • Basonip, about 7 miles (?) south of Cleveland Ranch.
  • Bauumba, near Shoshone.
  • Biabauwundu, at Cleveland Ranch.
  • Haiva, about 6 miles north of Cleveland or two canyons south of Wongovitwuninogwap.
  • Sogowosugu, at Aurun.
  • Supuva, at Anderson’s Ranch.
  • Taiwudu, on west slope of Snake Mountains.
  • Toziup, on west slope of Mount Moriah.
  • Tuhuva, between Yellen’s and Cleveland Ranches.
  • Tupa, about 7 miles north of Anderson’s Ranch.
  • Wongovitwuninogwap, on Valley Creek, about 10 miles north of Cleveland

Antelope Valley:

  • Bohoba, at Mike Springs south of the villages in Antelope Valley. Hugapa, at Chinn Creek.
  • Kwadumba, at a spring about 3 miles south of Tippetts.
  • Suhuva, at a spring near Kwadumba.
  • Toiva, at a spring at north end of valley.
  • Wadoya, at a spring 15 miles north of’Toiva.

Snake Valley:

  • Bauwunoida, at the present Baker.
  • Biaba, at Big Spring.
  • Tosakowaip, at Silver Creek.
  • Tunkahniva, near a cave near Lehman Cave in the canyon west of Baker.

Cave Valley, south of Steptoe Valley

  • Daint.

Gosiute Shoshoni:

  • A cave on the north end of the Skull Valley Mountains a short distance from the present highway.
  • Ilaiyashawiyep, near present town called Iosepa.
  • Iowiba, in mountains just east of Skull Valley Reservation.
  • Ongwove, a few miles south of Orr’s Ranch.
  • Suhudaosa, at the present Orr’s Ranch (?).
  • Tiava, on present reservation.
  • Tozava, at a spring on west side of Lakeside Range.
  • Tutiwunupa, on west slope of the Cedar Mountains, just east of Clive.
  • Utcipa, south of Tdtiwunupa on west slope of Cedar Mountains.
  • Wanapo’ogwaipi, at Indian Springs, south of Ongwove.

Pine Creek and Diamond Valley

  • Bauwiyoi, a group of at least 6 encampments at the foot of the Roberts Mountains.
  • Todzagadu, on the west side of the Sulphur Spring Mountains.
  • Tupagadu, west of the Alkali flat in Diamond Valley.

Ruby Valley and Vicinity:

  • A settlement on south side of Spruce Mountains.
  • A village on the east slope of the Pequop Mountains.
  • Baguwa, in the flats near Overland.
  • Butte Valley, at north end on a canyon called Natsumbagwic.
  • Medicine Spring, on the west slope of the Cedar Mountains, east of Franklin Lake.
  • Suhuwia, on the headwaters of Franklin River.
  • Toyagadzu (Clover Valley).
  • Waihamuta, on the creek against the hills, west of the Neff Ranch.
  • Wongogadu, on north side of Spruce Mountains.
  • Yuogumba or Sihuba (Long Valley).

Humboldt River (districts):

  • A village in a valley a little south of Elko.
  • A village somewhere on upper Huntington Creek.
  • Banadia, scattered along both sides of Lamoille Creek.
  • Badukoi, village about 3 miles below Carlin.
  • Elko, preferred site for village being at the mouth of the South Fork.
  • Independence Valley, in the valley of what is called Magpie or Maggie Creek.
  • Kinome, 5 miles north of Huntington.
  • Palisade, people lived near here along Humboldt River.
  • Sahoogep, at Lee.
  • The valley of North Fork.
  • Toyagadzu, at Wells.
  • Tukwampandai, at Deeth.

Battle Mountain and Vicinity:

  • There was a concentration of population between Battle Mountain and Iron Point.

Snake River (three villages between Hagerman and Bruneau):

  • Ototumb, near Bliss.
  • Pazintumb, about 8 miles below Hagerman.
  • Saihunupi, about 4 miles below Hagerman.

Boise River and Vicinity:

  • No village names recorded.

Grouse Creek:

  • Kuiva, on Raft River, probably near Lynn and Yost.
  • O’o or Podongoe, a little southwest of Lucin.
  • Paduyavavadizop (Dove (?) Creek).
  • Tusaid or Angapuni (Grouse Creek).

Promontory Point (Hukundu”ka):

  • Nagwituwep, on Blue Creek, north of the old railroad.
  • Nanavadzi, near Little Mountain, east of Promontory Point.
  • Sudotsa, scattered along valley of Bear River from near Bear River City to
  • Deweyville.
  • Tongishavo, on the west side of Promontory Point near Mount Tarpey.

The following names, derived from various sources, may be appended:

  • Kaidatoiabie (with 6 subbands), in northeastern Nevada.
  • Nahaego, in Reese River Valley, and about Austin, Nev.
  • Pagantso (with 3 subbands), in Ruby Valley, Nev.
  • Sunananahogwa, on Reese River, Nev.
  • Temoksee, in Reese River Valley, Nev.
  • Toquimas, in lower Reese River Valley, Nev.

Western Shoshoni History

The history of the Western Shoshoni was practically identical with that of the Northern Shoshoni and Northern Paiute, except that their territory was somewhat more remote from the paths followed by American explorers in the north and Spaniards in the south. In 1825 Jedidiah Smith made several journeys across Nevada and may have been preceded by Old Greenwood. In 1847 the Mormons settled Nevada and came in contact with some of the eastern representatives of this Shoshonean division. Narratives of explorers generally waste few words on these Indians or the neighboring Paiute, classing them indiscriminately as “diggers” and dismissing them all with a few contemptuous words. They were affected materially by the discovery of the Comstock Lode. Although it was not in their territory, prospectors penetrated everywhere, stock was introduced which sorely affected the food supplies of the natives, and the resulting friction affected first the Northern Paiute and somewhat later the Shoshoni. Steward says:

By 1865, Shoshoni of Battle Mountain and Austin were involved. Meanwhile south of the Great Salt Lake in Utah and in eastern California, Shoshoni, especially those known as Gosiute, were committing depredations against immigrants, raiding the pony express and attacking the stage line which ran through this territory.  For protection, Fort Ruby in Ruby Valley was built in 1862. An army unit massacred a large number of Shoshoni in Steptoe Valley in 1862, but by 1865 the strife was ended. In 1869 the railroad across the continent was completed and the native period was at an end. Shoshoni of central Nevada and of the more remote valleys seem to have kept pretty well out of the conflict. The treaty of 1863 included all the Shoshoni of northern Nevada. They were given the western Shoshone or Duck Valley Reservation in 1877 (by Executive Order of April 16), but by no means all Shoshoni went to it. A few of the more westerly Shoshoni joined Paiute on reservations in western Nevada, but most Shoshoni remained near their native haunts, gradually abandoning their native economy and attaching themselves to ranches or mining towns. (Steward, 1938, p. 7.)

The Carlin Farms Reservation northwest of Elko was set aside by Executive Order of May 10, 1877, but restored to the public domain by Executive Order of January 16, 1879.

Western Shoshoni Population. Mooney (1938) estimated that there were 4,500 Northern and Western Shoshoni together in 1845. The United States Census of 1910 gave 3,840, a figure which included about 1,800 Western Shoshoni.. The United States Indian Office Report for 1917 indicated perhaps 1,500. The census of 1930 raised this figure into the neighborhood of 2,000, but in 1937 the Indian Office returned only 1,201.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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