||In the early autumn, the Northwestern Shoshone
moved into the region near what is now Salmon, Idaho to fish. They
caught salmon and dried them for winter to use. After fishing was
over, they moved into western Wyoming to hunt for buffalo, elk,
deer, moose, and antelope. It was very important to get the big
game, for it meant feast or famine, clothing and shelter. The meat
was sun dried for winter use.
In the spring and summer, the Northwestern band traveled around
southern Idaho and throughout Utah. During these months, they spent
their time gathering seeds, roots, and berries and socializing with
each other. Late summer was root digging and small-game hunting
time. Gathering seeds was a hard task at times. When seeds were
scarce, a woman might spend an entire day gathering enough for only
one family meal. Digging Sticks were used for digging out roots
and bulbs. Ground potatoes, camas, sego lily, wild garlic, cactus,
and other bulbs and roots were harvested. Berries of all kinds were
picked in the mountains and fields. Wild honey was gathered in the
late fall. Around late October, the band moved into western Utah
and parts of Nevada for the annual gathering of pine nuts. The nutrient-rich
nuts were an important part of the Shoshone diet. The pine nuts
collected could be ground up into meal for mush (cereal), gravy,
soups or roasted and eaten as a dessert or snack.
The wintering home of the Northwestern Shoshone was in an area around
what is now called Franklin and Preston, Idaho. The rocks in the
area looked sponge-like and made the Shoshone think of lungs hence,
it was known as Moson Kahni, which means “Home of the Lungs.”
The Cache Valley and surrounding areas were natural places for the
Northwestern Shoshone to make their homes. The land along the Bear
River was in a natural depression with lots of willows and brush,
which they could use. Hot springs were plentiful as were fish and
wild game. Willows and brush served as wind and snow breaks during
the winter months.
The Shoshone also utilized other foods throughout the year as needed.
A variety of birds, such as ducks and geese, are common along the
northeast shore of the Great Salt Lake, were used for meat and eggs.
Particularly important were doves, sage hens, and quail. In times
of extreme need, owls, hawks, and crows were also eaten. In addition,
the Shoshone harvested several varieties of insects, including grasshoppers,
crickets, insect larvae, and bee eggs.
Drinks were prepared from a variety of plants. Common drinks were
peppermint tea, rose tea, and Mormon (or Brigham) tea. Rabbit brush,
sagebrush, and milkweed had parts that could be chewed as gum.