Idaho Indian Tribes
Bannock. From their own name Bana'kwŭt. Also called:
Diggers, by many writers.
Ogoize, by the Kalispel.
Panai'ti, form of name given by Hoffman (1886).
Pun-nush, by the Shoshoni.
Robber Indians, by Ross (1855).
Ush-ke-we-ah, by the Crow Indians.
Connections. The Bannock belonged to the Shoshonean branch of the
Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, being a detached branch of the Northern
Location.—In historic times their main center was in southeastern Idaho,
ranging into western Wyoming, between latitude 42° and 45° North and from
longitude 113° West eastward to the main chain of the Rocky Mountains. At
times they spread well down Snake River, and some were scattered as far
north as Salmon River and even into southern Montana. (See also
A few local group names have been preserved, such as the Kutsshundika or
Buffalo-eaters, Penointikara or Honey-eaters, and Shohopanaiti or
Cottonwood Bannock, but these are not well defined.
History. Bridger met the Bannock Indians in the country above indicated as
early as 1829, but contacts between them and the Whites became much more
intimate with the establishment of Fort Hall in 1834. In 1869 Fort Hall
Reservation was set aside for them and the Shoshoni, but they were in the
habit of wandering widely and it was a long time before they were gathered
into it. They claimed the territory in southwestern Montana in which are
situated Virginia City and Bozeman, and it is probable that they were
driven across the mountains into the Salmon River Valley at a
comparatively recent period. Before 1853 they were decimated by the
smallpox and were
finally gathered under the Lemhi and Fort Hall agencies. Loss of their
lands, failure of the herds of buffalo, and lack of prompt relief on the
part of the Government occasioned an uprising of the tribe in 1878, which
was suppressed by General O. O. Howard.
Bridger, in 1829, stated that the Bannock had 1,200 lodges, or a
population of about 8,000, but he evidently included the neighboring
Shoshoni. Mooney (1928) estimated that in 1845 there were about 1,000, but
Forney, in 1858 (p. 213) gave only 400 to 500. In 1870 Jones estimated 600
and Mann 800 "Northern Bannocks." In 1901 they numbered 513 but were so
intermixed with Shoshoni that the figure is uncertain. The census of 1910
reported 413, all but 50 of whom were in Idaho, and the census of 1930
gave 415, including 313 in Idaho. In 1937, 342 were reported.
Connections in which they have become noted. The only prominence attained
by the Bannock was for a brief period during the Bannock War. The name is
perpetuated by a river, a range of mountains, and a county. There is also
a place named Bannock in Belmont County, Ohio, and another in Butler
County, Ky., but these are probably not connected with the tribe.
From a native term said to mean
"Camas"; they were given the name Pend d'Oreilles, because when they were first
met by Europeans nearly all of them wore large shell earrings. See
This tribe occupied the extreme
northern part of Idaho. (See
See Nez Percé
Indians of this group entered the
southwestern part of Idaho at times. (See Nevada.)
This tribe extended up the
Palouse River into Idaho. (See
See Western Shoshoni
The Spokan extended a few miles
into this State along its western boundary. (See Washington.)
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual