Escorted by Fort Hall Tribal Business Councilman Nathan Small, Taylor Thomas, 20, of Fort Hall was crowned the 2013-14 Miss Shoshone-Bannock Queen in front of hundreds of spectators at the festival arbor in Fort Hall Friday.
The annual crowning of Miss Shoshone-Bannock is a tradition at the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival, this year being the 50th anniversary of the highly anticipated event.
Thomas, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe, grew up in Fort Hall learning the traditional Native dances and studying the history of the tribe.
As part of the talent category in the Miss Sho-Ban competition, Thomas recently presented an oral history of the tribe at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Event center describing how indigenous people became great horsemen and horse thieves.
"Stories are very important to our people, because we share our history orally," she said.
Thomas said she is thrilled to be the new Miss Sho-Ban and "will represent the tribes to the best of her ability."
"Now, I am excited for the next big event...the Eastern Idaho State Fair," she exclaimed.
Taylor will be entering her fourth year at Idaho State University this fall, where she is studying political science.
The runner-up for the title of Miss Sho-Ban was 18-year-old Naivitsi Yabeney,
The Shoshone Bannock Indian Festival festivities continue through Sunday with the All Indian Parade at 10 a.m and the grand entry Powwow at 7 p.m. today. There's a final powwow at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
For more schedule information go to www.sbtribes.com/festival.