Crawford Mountains

The Crawford Mountains rise out of the prairie along the Utah and Wyoming border near the Bear River in this image lensed while exploring the wilderness along the Bear River on a stormy fall morning. Long before Wyoming had borders on the map of the United States, this land was part of a huge expanse known as the Great Plains. This land was inhabited and traversed by many First Nations native tribes before the appearance of European settlers.

These were the homelands of the First Nations Cheyenne, a nomadic group who moved frequently in pursuit of buffalo. These sudden shifts in location allowed the Cheyenne tribe to view the entire land as a home, which provided food and shelter. The buffalo was their primary source of survival and were used not only as a source of food but for clothing, shelter, and trade. This lifestyle was not easy as the tribe would travel for miles, tracking down the buffalo. Once they had found them, there was a true danger and difficulty in killing them.

In researching this area I came across a very odd story I had never heard before. The legend of the “Little People of Wyoming”.  Oral traditions of many Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow, tell of “little people” who stand from just 20 inches to three feet tall.

In some tribes they are known as “tiny people eaters,” in others they were known to have been spirits and healers, and some believed them to be magical, similar to leprechauns or fairies. In any event, the legends were well known among Indians across the nation, long before the Europeans set foot upon these lands.

To the First Nations Shoshone Tribespeople of Wyoming , this small race of people were known as the Nimerigar and their legends told of the little people attacking them with tiny bows and poisoned arrows. The Nimerigar were also known to kill their own kind with a blow to the head when they became too ill to be an active part of their society. Though part of the legend, this practice of sometimes killing the infirmed was also a regular part of life for many of the nomadic Indian tribes. To read more about this please take a look at this Research Source.

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