Shoshoni Texts

Shoshoni Texts



This monograph is intended as a companion volume to our earlier work, Western Shoshoni Grammar. It contains eight Shoshoni texts which were first given in oral form by eight different elderly native Shoshoni speakers and then later transcribed from tape-recordings and translated by the authors of the monograph. Seven of the texts are in Western Shoshoni spoken in and around the Duck Valley Reservation straddling the Idaho-Nevada border, and one is in Northern Shoshoni spoken in Eastern Idaho. The texts comprise a variety of genres and topics. One is a narrative on Shoshoni rites of passage; another on medicine, healing practices and healers; three others are prayers; two are folktales; and one is on place names. In addition, several of the texts contain prayer songs. At first glance, it might appear that the texts have little in common with each other except that they are all in Shoshoni. However, all of the texts have to do with Shoshoni spirituality and sacred outlook to one degree or another either directly or indirectly. For the Shoshoni, in some sense everything is sacred: the changes through life, medicine, healing practices and healers, prayers, songs and folktales, and this earth on which we all live, whatever particular place it may be. Songs and mythological stories in particular are regarded as very precious as they are passed down to the next generation of Shoshonis.




Department of Anthropology, Boise State University

Publication Date



Boise, ID

Shoshoni Texts