First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Landing number 2111; A Landing A Day blog post number 539.
Dan – Oh my. Five OSers in a row, and I’m beginning to worry about jumping back into the 150s, thanks to this landing in . . . NV; 82/76; 3/10; 149.2. Here’s my regional landing map:
My local map shows my proximity to the state line and the “town” of Goshute, UT:
Zooming back a little, here’s Tippett NV and Ibapah UT:
Here’s an oblique Google Earth (GE) shot, looking south:
Here’s another, looking east towards the Deep Creek Mountain Range:
My drainage heads due north (to the left in the above photo), with the hypothetical drop of water traveling from my landing to the Bonneville Salt Flats. In a historical rain storm, the drop would eventually end up in the Great Salt Lake (13th hit). Here’s a regional GE shot showing what I’m talking about (you can also see an earlier landing spot, documented in my March 7, 2014 Dugway UT post):
The main feature of this post is going to be the Goshute Indian tribe (as I landed in their ancestral lands), but I’ll start with some info about Ibapah & Tippett. First Ibapah, from Wiki:
Ibapah is a small unincorporated community in far western Tooele County, Utah. The site was originally established in 1859 by Mormon missionaries sent to teach the local Native Americans [i.e., Goshutes] farming methods. Ibapah is currently inhabited mostly by Goshute people, with scattered farmlands and a trading post belonging to more recent settlers. The community is the headquarters of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, a federally recognized tribe.
Originally named Deep Creek for a creek of the same name in the area, the name was later changed to Ibapah, an anglicized form of the Goshute word Ai-bim-pa which means “White Clay Water”.
The Deep Creek Mountains are the north-south mountain range east of my landing. The highest peak in the range is Ibapah Peak (el. 12,037’). Here’s a Wiki shot of the range:
And now, moving over to Tippett, this, from Donna Frederick’s write up on SilverStateGhosttowns.com:
Tippett was named for John Tippett, an Englishman from Cornwall. Tippett and his partner Frank Bassett owned the Glencoe Mine, located in Antelope Valley. They made some money from the mine before the gold ran out.
[The town struggled on into the twentieth century, but was pretty much done in by the Depression.]
The store at Tippett catered to the miners and ranchers in the area as well as the Goshute Indians. For many years, government regulations did not allow whiskey to be sold on the reservation at Ibapah, Utah and the thirty miles of dirt road from Ibapah to Tippetts became well traveled. This road was called “Whiskey Road” and is still designated as such on some maps.
Check out the most local of my landing maps above. You’ll see that I landed just south of Whiskey Road . . .
Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of “Tippett’s Road” by Grover Cleveland, just north of Tippett. I don’t think this is part of Whiskey Road, but it’s a cool shot:
Turning now to the Goshute. Although there is a dot on my Street Atlas map (and a small community) called “Goshute,” there really isn’t a town at the location; just a small collection of houses, as shown on this Panoramio shot by L Sessions:
(Note: This is my third use of a Pano shot by L Sessions. The two other posts with his photos are far flung: Blanding, in far southeast UT and West Point IL.)
Anyway, as mentioned earlier, Goshute is the name of an Indian tribe. Here’s a shot of a Goshute mother & child, from ILoveHistory.Utah.gov:
The Goshute lived in the most desolate part of what is now the western portion of Utah and eastern portion of Nevada.
[Which is where they are now. So, unlike other tribes who were forcibly relocated from their homelands by the U.S. Government, the Goshutes are where they’ve always been.]
In aboriginal times they lived at a minimum subsistence level with no economic surplus on which a more elaborate social structure could be built. Organized primarily in nuclear families, the Goshutes hunted and gathered in family groups and would often cooperate with other family groups that would at least temporarily make up a village.
Most Goshutes gathered with other families only two or three times a year, typically for pine nut harvests, communal hunts for no more than two to six weeks, and winter lodging which was for a longer period.
The Goshutes hunted lizards, snakes, small fish, birds, gophers, rabbits, rats, skunks, squirrels, and, when available, pronghorn, bear, coyote, deer, elk, and Bighorn sheep.
Hunting of large game was usually done by men, the hunters sharing large game with other members of the village. Women and children did the gathering, harvesting nearly 100 species of wild vegetables and seeds, the most important being the pine nut.
They also gathered insects the most important being red ants, crickets and grasshoppers.
When I read the above, I was immediately struck by similarities with the Bushmen (or San) people of southern Africa. In historic times, the Bushmen were generally limited to hunting & gathering in the Kalahari Desert, where their lifestyle was likely very similar to that described above for the Goshute.
I’ve read several books about Bushmen (the most notable being A Story Like the Wind by Laurens Van Der Post), and have long been fascinated by their pure (evolutionary) hunting and gathering lifestyle. By the way, A Story Like the Wind is right at the top of my “best books ever” list. To say I highly recommend it is gross understatement.
Anyway, looking for internet support for my feeling that the two groups are similar, I Googled Goshute and Bushmen together. I found less than I thought I would, but what I found was very interesting. First, this from a May 2000 edition of Outside magazine which discusses the amazingly small-minded prejudices towards the Goshutes. It then includes the Bushmen in a shocking quote by Mark Twain:
Living in a place that white visitors considered an infernal wasteland, the Goshutes were seen as abject, almost subhuman. When Jedediah Smith, the legendary mountain man, first laid eyes on the tribe in the 1820s, he called them “the most miserable objects in creation.”
Similar appraisals followed. “Those who have seen them unanimously agree that they of all men are lowest,” wrote historian Hubert Howe Bancroft. “In their persons, dwellings, and habits, they are filthy beyond description. Their bodies swarm with vermin, which they catch and eat with relish.”
After encountering a handful of “Goshoots” during his journey through Nevada and eastern Utah in 1860, Mark Twain devoted a long passage in his book Roughing It to this “sneaking, treacherous-looking race…always hungry, and yet never refusing anything that a hog would eat, though often eating what a hog would decline.”
Twain also produced an unusual theory on the tribe’s evolutionary origins: “The Bushmen of South Africa and our Goshoots are manifestly descended from the self-same gorilla, or kangaroo, or Norway rat, whichever animal-Adam the Darwinians trace them to.”
Yo Mark. I’d like to see you and your kin survive for a hundred generations in a desert surrounded by hostile tribes. . .
By the way, note that the Bushmen were similarly reviled by white men in southern Africa.
I also stumbled on a blog called “Aahhtt,” by Susan Overfield, a dog trainer. She writes a blog called “Bark Outloud,” and one of the posts is “Man’s Earliest Use of the Dog: A Conjecture.” Click HERE for a link to the post.
The first part of the post discusses a book by Christopher McDougall entitled “Born to Run” which is about mankind and running (nothing about dogs). In that book, Mr. McDougall discusses “persistence hunting,” which is simply chasing an animal to exhaustion so that it could be killed for food. The Bushmen figure prominently, but the Goshute are also referenced. More-or-less quoting from the blog (I did some paraphrasing for clarity/simplicity, both of the blog and the “Born to Run” quotes. I can’t help myself!):
As discussed in “Born to Run,” man had the physiology that made running his greatest asset. The evolution of man as a running hunter is known as “The Running Man” theory. Paraphrasing from Born to Run:
The problem was this: Chasing an animal to death is evolution’s version of the perfect crime. Persistence hunting (as it’s known to anthropologists) leaves behind no forensics—so how do you build a case that successful persistence hunting took place?
David Carrier, PhD, professor of biology, University of Utah: ‘The frustrating thing is, we were finding [persistence hunting] stories all over the place… but we couldn’t find anyone who’d done a persistence hunt. In fact, we couldn’t even find someone who’d even seen one.’…Throw a dart at the map, and chances are you’ll bull’s-eye the site of a persistence-hunting tale. The Goshutes and Papago tribes of the American West told them; so did the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana, the Aborigines of Australia, Masai warriors in Kenya, the Seri and Tarahumara Indians in Mexico…” (pg 230, Born to Run)
But in the 1980s, at age 20, Louis Liebenberg, a Cape Town student of applied mathematics and physics, had an epiphany, dropped out of school, searched for and found a renegade group of Kalahari Bushmen, and spent the next four years living with them. THEY introduced him to a persistence hunt.
“He’d heard a little about persistence-hunts, but he ranked them somewhere between an accident and a lie: either the animal had actually broken its neck while fleeing, or the story was out-and-out baloney. No way these guys were going to catch one of those kudus on foot. No way.
’This is how we do it,’ Nate [one of four Bushmen hunters] said, and then proceeded to show Louis. The four hunters ran swiftly but easily behind a herd of bounding kudu. Whenever the animals darted into an acacia grove, one of the hunters broke from the group and drove the kudu back into the sun. The herd would scatter, re-form, scatter again, but the four Bushmen ran and swerved behind a single kudu, cutting it out of the herd whenever it tried to blend, flushing it from the trees whenever it tried to rest….
He watched it (kudu) weave drunkenly…its front knees buckled, straightened…it recovered and bounded away…then it crashed to the ground.
‘ …(the hunts) kept the Bushmen on the run for three to five hours (neatly corresponding, one might note, to how long it takes most people to run our latter-day version of prehistoric hunting, the marathon.)”
There you have it.
I’ll close with this Pano shot (by LittleGrins) of a mining shack up in the Deep Creek Mountains east of my landing:
That’ll do it.
© 2014 A Landing A Day