The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.

SHOSHOKO [1 record]

Record 1 1994-01-17


Subject field(s)
  • Heritage

The territory of the Western Shoshoni included central and western Idaho, northwestern Utah, central and northeastern Nevada, and Death Valley and Panamint Valley of California, largely barren and unproductive areas. They were sometimes referred to as "Diggers," from their habit of digging plant roots with a stick as an important means of subsistence. Another name applied was Shoshoko, meaning "walkers", to distinguish them from the horse-owning Shoshoni.


Digger: Said by Powell to be the English translation of Nuanuints, the name of a small tribe near St George, s.w. Utah,. It was the only Paiute tribe practising agriculture, hence the original signification of the name, "digger". In time the name was applied to every tribe known to use roots extensively for food and hence to be "diggers." It thus included very many of the tribes of California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, tribes speaking widely different languages and embracing perhaps a dozen distinct linguistic stocks. As the root-eaters were supposed to represent a low type of Indian, the term speedily became one of opprobrium [pejorative].


  • Patrimoine

Il n'y a pas de traduction officielle pour «Digger» parce qu'il s'agit d'une tribu qui n'aurait jamais eu affaires avec les explorateurs francophones. Les peuples de cette tribu résident pour la plupart dans les États de Nevada et d'Utah dans le sud-ouest des États-Unis. Ils parlent une langue d'origine Uto-Aztèque, langue qui a plus d'affinité avec les autochtones du Mexique qu'avec ceux des Plaines canadiennes. Il existe pourtant un nom français pour désigner la division amérindienne à laquelle les «Diggers» appartiennent : Shoshones de l'Ouest - équivalent le plus proche, quoique imprécis. Au besoin, on peut toujours utiliser le terme anglais en expliquant en bas de page l'étymologie du terme «digger».


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