People of the
Snake River Plain
Shoshoni now refer to themselves
Sosoni'. In the past, they also used
term Ne'we, meaning The People in
Image: Idaho Museum of Natural History
Shoshonean Peoples began their journey to Idaho in the southwestern
United States, just north of Mexico.
began perhaps as early as 8,000 years ago based on new archaeological
research which traces their toolmaking and technology.
had lived comfortably in what is now New Mexico and Arizona until the
climatic changes brought on at the end of the Pleistocene changed the
region into desert which would no longer support the population. As
the climate became ever more dry, some of the people traveled deeper
into Mexico and eventually were known as the Aztec, and built a great
of the people, by about 6,000 years ago, had traveled west into the
Lake Mohave desert of southern California, where hunting and gathering
would provide food and clothing for their families. Eventually, available
resources in the desert country of southern California were insufficient,
forcing the nomadic Sosoni' to scatter into small bands and travel over
expanses of desert in constant search of food.
lifeway by families and small bands slowly, at perhaps 5,000 years ago,
encompassed most of the territory known as Nevada and western Utah.
Investigation of the technological archaeology suggests that by 5,000
years ago the Sosoni' were moving into southern Idaho. Sometime later
the Sosoni' entered Wyoming, and by the 1700's Shoshonean people called
Comanche were living in Oklahoma. In Idaho, the population density of
people before Lewis & Clark was perhaps only 1-2 persons per 100
Learn About The Shoshoni People