digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Death Valley Indian Community, looking west toward the village from a hill one mile away across highway 190

The Timbisha ("Red Rock Face Paint")[1] are a Native American tribe federally recognized as the Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone Band of California.[2] They are known as the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe[1] and are located in south central California, near the Nevada border.[3]


Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California

The Timbisha have lived in the Death Valley region of North America for over a thousand years. In 1933 President Herbert Hoover created Death Valley National Monument, an action that subsumed the tribe's homeland within park boundaries. Despite their long-time presence in the region, the proclamation failed to provide a homeland for the Timbisha people. After unsuccessful efforts to remove the band to nearby reservations, National Park Service officials entered into an agreement with tribal leaders to allow the Civilian Conservation Corps to construct an Indian village for tribal members near park headquarters at Furnace Creek in 1938. Thereafter tribal members survived within monument boundaries, although their status was repeatedly challenged by monument officials. They also lived in the Great Basin Saline Valley and northern Mojave Desert Panamint Valley areas of present day southeastern California.


Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. (See Population of Native California.) Alfred L. Kroeber put the combined 1770 population of the Timbisha (Koso) and Chemehuevi at 1,500.[4] He estimated the population of the Timbisha and Chemehuevi in 1910 as 500.[4] Julian Steward's figures for Eastern California are about 65 persons in Saline Valley, 150-160 persons in Little Lake (springs) and the Coso Range, about 100 in northern Panamint Valley, 42 in northern Death Valley, 29 at Beatty, and 42 in the Belted Range.[5]

Tribal Recognition[edit]

With the help of the California Indian Legal Services, Timbisha Shoshone members led by Pauline Esteves and Barbara Durham began agitating for a formal reservation in the 1960s. The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe was recognized by the US government in 1982.[6] In this effort, they were one of the first tribes to secure tribal status through the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Federal Acknowledgment Process.

Reservation Land and Residence[edit]

The tribe's reservation, the Death Valley Indian Community, was established in 1982. Located within Death Valley National Park at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, Inyo County, California.[3] In 1990 it was 40 acres (0.16 km2) in size and had a population of 199 tribal member residents.[7]

Despite their federal tribal recognition and diminutive 1982 reservation, the Timbisha still faced difficulty and conflict with the Death Valley National Park's National Park Service in regaining more of their ancestral lands within the Park. After much tribal effort, federal politics, and mutual compromise, the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act of 2000 finally returned 7,500 acres (30 km2) of ancestral homelands to the Timbisha Shoshone tribe.[3]

Currently the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe consists of around 300 members, usually 50 of whom live at the Death Valley Indian Community at Furnace Creek within Death Valley National Park. Many members spend the summers at Lone Pine in the Owens Valley to the west.


The Timbisha have been known as the California Shoshoni,[8] Northern Death Valley Shoshone,[9] Panamint Shoshone[10] or simply Panamint. Julian Steward distinguished Northern Death Valley Shoshone from the Southern Death Valley Shoshone or Kawaiisu. Harold Driver recorded two Panamint subgroups in Death Valley, the o'hya and the tu'mbica in 1937.[9]

In the Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs periodically listed in the Federal Register, their name is presented as "Timbi-Sha", but this is a typographical error and ungrammatical in Timbisha. The tribe[11] never hyphenates its name. Both the California Desert Protection Act [12] and the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act[13] spell their name correctly.


  1. ^ a b "Timbisha Shoshone Tribe of Death Valley." National Park Service. (retrieved 10 December 2009)
  2. ^ The name has been widely misspelled as "Timbi-Sha". This, however is an impossible spelling since "timbisha" is from tɨm 'rock' + pisa 'paint' and cannot be divided into Timbi-sha.
  3. ^ a b c California Indians and Their Reservations. SDSU Library and Information Access. (retrieved 10 December 2009)
  4. ^ a b Kroeber (1925), p. 883
  5. ^ Julian Steward, Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups (1938, Smithsonian)
  6. ^ Pritzker, 242
  7. ^ Pritzker, 241
  8. ^ Hinton, 30
  9. ^ a b Thomas, et al, 280,
  10. ^ Miller, 99
  11. ^ "?". Schat.net. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "The California Desert Protection Act". Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act" (PDF). Retrieved 3 September 2010. [dead link]

See also[edit]


Additional reading[edit]

  • Crum, Steven J. (1998), "A Tripartite State of Affairs: The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1934–1994," American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 22(1): 117-136).
  • Haberfeld, Steven (2000), "Government-to-Government Negotiations: How the Timbisha Shoshone Got Its Land Back,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 24(4): 127–65. (Author, as of 2009, is exec. dir., Indian Dispute Resolution Service, Sacramento,CA.)
  • Miller, Mark E. (2004), Forgotten Tribes: Unrecognized Indians and the Federal Acknowledgment Process (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004). The Timbisha are one of four cases reviewed.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbisha — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
345 videos foundNext > 

The Spirituality of the Timbisha Shoshone People

(Location: Lida, Nevada) Pauline Esteves, Timbisha Shoshone elder, speaks about the spiritual connection her people have with their homelands spanning ...

Timbisha Volcanic Hill Dec 2015 Furnace Creek Death Valley

Four miles south west of Furnace Creek and the Timbisha Shoshone Village lies a black volcanic hill. Walk with me along the electric power line and across the ...

Timbisha Shoshone

Purple Werewolf?

13-16182 Timbisha Shoshone Tribe v. US Department of the Interior

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and others appeal the district court's dismissal of their action against the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, ...

Human Rights Should Be Respected - Joe Kennedy, Chairman of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe has filed a lawsuit to stop an Act of Congress that threatens to take a fund of money belonging to the Timbisha Shoshone and the ...

Robert T. Coulter on why the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe filed a lawsuit to stop an Act of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe filed a lawsuit today to stop an Act of Congress that threatens to take a fund of money belonging to the ...

USA Death Valley National Park Tal des Todes Homeland of The Timbisha Shoshone

Der Death-Valley-Nationalpark (Tal des Todes) liegt in der Mojave-Wüste und ist der trockenste Nationalpark in den USA. Er liegt östlich der Sierra Nevada, zum ...

Snowflake Reflects on a Visit to Timbisha

Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone Homeland USA Nationalpark Vacation Part 12 Canon PowerShot G3

Death Valley USA Nationalpark Vacation Part 12 Canon PowerShot G3.

Indiana Jones and the Ruins of the Timbisha

345 videos foundNext > 

508 news items

Kern Golden Empire

Kern Golden Empire
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 19:15:00 -0700

A proposed $29 million gaming casino could open in Ridgecrest near the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The Timbisha Shoshone tribe wants to build the casino to help members of its tribe with things such as medical costs and education.

Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:08:37 -0700

As locals squared off at the casino town hall meeting Wednesday, passionate opinions were offered on both sides. The meeting was intended to update the public on possible plans for a Timbisha Shoshone casino within city limits and also to allow them to ...

Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:56:15 -0700

That, in a nutshell, is the reason the Timbisha Shoshone tribe is interested in starting an Indian casino in Ridgecrest, according to tribal Chairman George Gholson. Gholson spoke up at the Town Hall meeting on the proposed casino development Wednesday ...
Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:17:29 -0700

The Ridgecrest City Council at their meeting Wednesday will decide whether or not to authorize City Manager Dennis Speer to execute a municipal service agreement with the Timbisha Shoshone tribe as a preliminary to building an Indian gaming casino in ...

Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:02 -0700

Daily Independent stories on the subject have garnered dozens of comments on Facebook, and a new facebook page Ridgecrest Timbisha Casino Working Group had 1,354 members as of Monday afternoon. Developer Nigel White, meanwhile, released ...

Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 23:45:26 -0700

The meeting is open to the public. The sole agenda item is the continued discussion of executing a municipal services agreement with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, the first step toward building an Indian gaming casino in Ridgecrest. The topic was tabled ...

Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 23:45:26 -0700

Agenda item number 12 was specifically asking council to approve a municipal services agreement with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, a first step toward an Indian Gaming Casino within Ridgecrest City limits. Council eventually decided to table the ...
Ridgecrest Daily Independent
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 00:18:45 -0700

Technically, the agenda item council decided to postpone was whether or not to approve a municipal services agreement with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, which would be a first step toward a casino in Ridgecrest. Approval to postpone was unanimous by ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight