Mountain Spirit – The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone


There is a modern myth that Indians did not inhabit the Yellowstone. Here is the real story.

The Shoshone group that lived in this area were robust people that were talented artisans, making well-constructed shelters, powerful horn bows, and expertly tailored clothing that was highly sought by their trading partners. They traveled in small, kin-based, 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.

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Drawing on extensive ethnographic work among descendant native peoples and ongoing archaeological excavations, Mountain Spirit shows that many groups have visited or lived in the area prehistoric and historic times. Primary among them was the Shoshone group called Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, who 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.

ISBN – 978-0-87480-867-4

224 Pages

The University of Utah Press, 2006