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The Peoples of Idaho

The ancestors of Idaho's modern Native Peoples entered the North American continent from Asia at the close of the Pleistocene Epoch, perhaps as early as 25,000 years ago. Naturally, as these First Peoples and their families journeyed across the Beringian Land Bridge, deeper into the North American continent, climates and resources changed from region to region. In response to these changes the People also needed to change the ways in which they lived.

Imagine Yourself as One of Idaho's First Peoples

Imagine walking through cold snow, and over ice covered lava rocks out on the Snake River Plain. It is wintertime, with the wind blowing hard. Your extended family travels with you. Included perhaps would be your mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.

There are no roads, no maps or compass, no houses or towns, no libraries, no churches, no clothing or hardware stores, no grocery stores.

To survive your family must make everything needed from the resources and materials provided from nature. The basic resources and materials are from animals, plants, trees, and stone. From these resources clothing, shelter, food, weapons, and tools must be made. There is nothing made of metal, no pots and pans, no axes, no steel knives.

The survival of your family is paramount in all concerns. You have no house, except what is constructed each night. Your only clothes are what you wear.

Your clothing is made from the hides of animals, or woven from plant materials gathered by the women. Shelter is made from hides, bones, antlers, earth, woven plants, and brush. All of it is held together with cordage.

Food for your family would consist of berries, meat, roots, tubers, leaves, nuts, seeds, insects, and fish. Most foods would be available only seasonally so that during the year your family would need to travel into different areas to harvest the ripening plants.

You can eat only what is gathered by the women with their digging sticks, or hunted by the men with spears and atlatls. Digging sticks, spears, and atlatls are all made using cordage.

Of course, to hunt, gather, and process the necessary resources you would need tools made from the available resources. These tools would be used to manufacture everything required for your survival. Cordage would be one of the most important tools made to guarantee your survival.

In order to survive your family would need to use the resources in their region with the utmost efficiency. The cooperation and help from each person in your family would be needed to ensure survival for everyone.

Learn More About The People

Look Into The Shoshoni People

Look Into The Bannock People

Look Into The Nez Perce People

Look Into The Coeur d'Alene People

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