the time of major white penetration of the Great Basin and the Snake
River areas in the 1840s, there were seven distinct Shoshoni groups.
The Eastern Shoshoni, numbering about 2,000 under their famous Chief
Washakie, occupied the region from the Wind River Mountains to Fort
Bridger and astride the Oregon Trail. Their descendants today live on
the Wind River Reservation. Two other divisions having similar cultures
were the Goshute Shoshoni and the Western Shoshoni. The former, about
900 in number, lived in the valleys and mountains west and southwest
of Great Salt Lake, with the remnants of their bands located in and
around the small settlement of Ibapah, Utah, today. A much more numerous
people, perhaps 8,000 strong, the Western Shoshoni occupied what is
today northern and western Nevada. There were as many as eleven major
bands distributed from the present Utah-Nevada border to Winnemucca
on the west. Their descendants today live on the Duck Valley Reservation
or scattered around the towns of northern Nevada from Wells to Winnemucca.
four remaining groups of Shoshoni are usually listed under the general
name of the "Northern Shoshoni." One of these groups, the Fort Hall
Shoshoni of about 1,000 people, lived together with a band of about
800 Northern Paiute known in history as the Bannock at the confluence
of the Portneuf and Snake rivers. A second division, the Lemhi, numbering
some 1,800 people, ranged from the Beaverhead country in southwestern
Montana westward to the Salmon River area, which was their main homeland.
In western Idaho, along the Boise and Bruneau rivers, a third section
of about 600 Shoshoni followed a life centered around salmon as their
basic food. Finally, the fourth and final division of 1,500 people,
the Northwestern Shoshoni, resided in the valleys of northern Utah--especially
Weber Valley and Cache Valley--and along the eastern and northern shores
of Great Salt Lake.