FORT HALL – The weekend winds to an end and the campsites are slowly coming down signifying the end to another breathtaking Shoshone Bannock festival. This was the fifty-sixth-year for the festival in Fort Hall and is the second largest in the nation. The vibrant coloration of the intricate bead and feather work was as elaborate as it was beautiful; the outfits and designs having both tribal and personal significance to the individual wearer. The most eye catching was the loom beaded suspenders with bright plumage, belt cuffs, headdress, and armbands. The designs matching in all items with geometric designs and specially selected feathers from specific species. There were venders on site selling the beaded medallions like the ones seen on the head bands, bustles and chest plates.
The dances were mesmerizing. It seemed as though they were telling a story with their movements. Some seemed to tell of hunts, some of battle, some of peace and love for the natural world around them. They utilized their movements in a virtual demonstration of the story they were telling. From every crouch, to arm movements seeming to track a target, and the quick movements symbolizing darting and quick changes in direction. The slow purposeful fluidic movements the female dancers demonstrated; to the quick decisive movements the men made that had a virility to it that had the audience captivated.
From the hypnotic twinkle of the jingle dancers, the power and color of the fancy dancers, to the trance like rhythms booming from the drum players as they sing ancient songs, sung in ancient languages, that have withstood the test of time; this was an unforgettable experience.
Here are the winners from Saturday night at the Indian Relay Races:
Indian Relay races
Ladies Relay - 1st Place Triple T rider Brailey Tissidimit, Gibson, Idaho
Warrior Race - 1st Place Taylor Wagner, Browning, MT
Indian Relay 1st Heat - 1st Place Little Badger Boys, Browning, MT
Indian Relay 2nd Heat - 1st Place Aims Back Relay, Heartbutte, MT
Indian Relay 3rd Heat - Carlson, Two Medicine, MT
Indian Relay 4th Heat - 1st Place Young Money, Two Medicine, MT