Mountain Spirit : The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone
There is still a pervasive notion that Indians did not inhabit the Yellowstone area. Drawing on the results of ongoing archaeological excavations and extensive ethnographic work among descendant native peoples, Mountain Spirit discusses the many groups that have in fact visited or lived in the area in prehistoric and historic times. In particular, the Shoshone group known as Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, maintained a rich and abundant way of life closely related to their primary source of protein, the mountain sheep of the high-altitude Yellowstone area.
These robust people were talented artisans, making well-constructed shelters, powerful horn bows, and expertly tailored clothing that was highly sought by their trading partners. They moved in small, kin-based bands, accompanied by large dogs that were indispensable hunting and trekking companions. Moving seasonally through portions of the Beartooth, Absaroka, and Wind River ranges, the Sheep Eaters made skillful use of their environment.
Written for general readers, Mountain Spirit includes photographs, lithographs, and a number of color drawings and sketches of Sheep Eater life ways by David Joaquin. It presents a vivid picture of the vanished way of life of a people whose accomplishments have been largely ignored in histories of Native peoples.