Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups

This volume constitutes one of the earliest and most comprehensive ethnographic reconnaissance of the Western Shoshoni and some of their Northern Paiute, Ute, and Southern Paiute neighbors of the Great Basin. At the same time, it tries to ascertain the types of Shoshonean sociopolitical groups and to discover their ecological and social determinants.

First published in 1938 as the Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 120, this study is a classic in the field of Great Basin ethnology. Steward is considered one of the foremost exponents of cultural evolution in the United States, and his work is a major contribution to the study of social organization and to North American ethnography.

Julian H. Steward (1902–1972), one of the foremost exponents of cultural evolution in the United States, made important contributions to the study of social organizations and to North American ethnography. He published his monumental seven volume Handbook of South American Indians while working as an anthropologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution.

Table of Contents:

• Objectives of the study
• History of the Basin-Plateau

Geographical environment and subsistence
• The physical landscape
• Plant foods
• Animal foods
• The economic pattern

Population density

Sociopolitical groups of different areas
• Western localized Northern Paiute bands: Owens Valley
• Western independent Northern Paiute villages
• Western independent Shoshoni villages
• Western independent Southern Paiute villages
• Northern Shoshoni bands
• Western Ute bands

Analysis of data
• Ecological determinants
• Social determinants
• Social and political patterns

Some general implications of the present study
• Sociopolitical groups among hunters and gatherers
• Ecology in cultural studies

A. Tribal distributions
B. Vocabularies
C. Kinship terms
D. Native names of plants
E. Miscellaneous uses of plants
F. MH's biography
G. Status terms