By Willie Ottogary
Writings by way of American Indians from the early 20th century or past are infrequent. Willie Ottogary's letters have the excellence of being firsthand stories of an Indian community's ongoing social existence by way of a group member and chief. The Northwestern Shoshone dwelling on the Washakie colony in northern Utah descended from survivors of the endure River bloodbath. For over twenty years, neighborhood newspapers in Utah and southern Idaho frequently released letters from Ottogary.
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Writings through American Indians from the early 20th century or prior are infrequent. Willie Ottogary's letters have the excellence of being firsthand studies of an Indian community's ongoing social existence by way of a neighborhood member and chief. The Northwestern Shoshone dwelling on the Washakie colony in northern Utah descended from survivors of the undergo River bloodbath.
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Additional info for The Washakie Letters of Willie Ottogary: Northwestern Shoshone Journalist and Leader, 1906-1929
He reported church-sponsored dances, which usually were held each Friday night at the meetinghouse, as well as Christmas programs, New Year’s Day celebrations, and George Washington’s birthday observances held there. He mentioned when individuals traveled to Salt Lake City to attend the semi-annual LDS General Conference. Of special interest was an occasion when Washakie Indians participated in the general conference proceedings (see 1922-04-08 LJ). In 1928 he reported that a group of Washakie Indians had been invited to Logan to put on a special gospel-centered meeting (see 1928-04-04 LJ), urging readers for nearly a month to remember that the Shoshone were coming to town.
The Sun Dance ceremony fostered community and cultural identity among the Shoshone. It is still practiced by many Native American groups in the United States and remains a vital expression of culture. References to other Indian dances and ceremonies appeared in Ottogary’s columns. Apparently, “War Dances” were performed for the curiosity of whites. There are two reports in Ottogary’s letters of War Dance performances that involved Washakie Indians; one occurred during a rodeo at Preston, Idaho (see 1922-09-08 LJ), and the other was part of Brigham City’s Peach Days celebration (see 1926-09-04 LJ).
6 It take us travel about one day and a half to get there. We didn’t play ball there, because they think us to much for them, but bluff out I think. 7 We few Indians out there and they treat us alright. No sick, all come safe only three or four [remain], they come home soon, before beet digging time. [1906-09-20 TT] Washakie, October 9, 1906. I will write a few words for Tremont Time tonight. But we are very busy time after harvest time over and some of us working on sugar A postcard showing, left, Frank Brain from Nevada, who died of smallpox in 1905, and, right, Soquitch Timbimboo, uncle of Moroni Timbimboo and son of Chief Sagwitch.