PYGMIES IN WYOMING (Really ?)

My father and I were in Fort Wasakie one evening for a meeting with elders of the Shoshone. I was about in the 7th grade as I recall and tagged along with my father.  He was working as a Boy Scout Executive in those days, promoting scouting all over Wyoming. After his talk to those assembled about the good things scouting does for young people, several of the elders stayed and visited with he and I.  Somehow the subject of tribal history came up in the conversation and this very old Shoshone elder began telling stories of times long ago that had been handed down by word of mouth for many generations.  His eyes widened when he related the story of a race of pygmies that often raided the tribal villages. He said the pygmies would carry away any small child that had strayed too far from the teepees. It seemed the villagers feared the pygmies and were very unhappy about the loss of their children as one would imagine.  At some point in time the tribal warriors decided enough was enough and gathered together to seek out the pygmies and destroy them. His story continues saying that eventually the warriors surrounded the pygmies in a meadow with very tall grass. They set the grass on fire thus destroying the pygmies.  

Stories of pygmies in Wyoming have been handed down as tribal history from many other tribes. In addition there have been several discoveries of mummies that were claimed to be  pygmies in locations around the state.  One famous mummy was found in 1932 and later was examined by experts. However, differing opinions were given after the tests. Was the mummy of a small baby or a very old man with a height of only fourteen inches?  This mummy seems to have disappeared.

More interesting stories about pygmies in Wyoming can be found on the web including a review of the subject on Wikipedia.  It seems the Shoshones had a name for the pygmies, Nimerigar and other tribes had a somewhat different view of their relationship with the pygmies. 

The conversation in Fort Washakie that evening also included some discussion about the Dunwoody caves as a possible location long ago for some sort of weird and dangerous creatures. A study of the petroglyphs in that area certainly makes one wonder. A current vogue is to claim aliens from outer space visited these areas where rock art depicts strange beings that do not look like humans as we see ourselves anyway.  Just another interesting story from Wild and Wonderful Wyoming. 

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Dinwoody Rock Ar

4 thoughts on “PYGMIES IN WYOMING (Really ?)

  1. it’s fun to explore things that seem different and out of place to us in this day and age! Enjoyed it!

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