Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Gregory Campbell

Committee Co-chair

Dr. Douglas Macdonald

Commitee Members

Dr. Nataniel Levtow, Dr. C. Riley Auge


Vision Quest, Religion, Sacred, Fasting, Shoshone, Dream


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Cultural History | History of Religion | Metaphysics | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Nature and Society Relations | Other Anthropology | Other Environmental Sciences | Other Geography | Other History | Other Philosophy | Other Religion | Photography | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Theory and Philosophy


This document will approach the multifaceted concepts that arise through the study of rock art and the cultivation of culture and belief through vision. Through this document the audience will encounter conceptual ideas regarding belief systems, ritual, experience, cognition, sacredness, and space/landscape — and how these are all essential dynamics that take place in the processes that cultivate the Shoshone visual culture. This document will employ an anthropological lens on the mentioned subject matters, while also approaching these concepts with an interdisciplinary curiosity of how they intermingle; creating a cohesive experience that focuses on these processes which empowered these people[s] to document their visions upon the landscapes that they existed within.

In closing, I assert that the data, methods, and theories being implemented from multiple fields can — and will — continue to guide scholars to crystalize educated hypothesis regarding cross-cultural phenomenon such as sacred experiences and visions; along with the propagation, cultivation, and revivification of rituals with specifics to the creation of visual culture.



© Copyright 2019 Aaron Robert Atencio