Culture of Idaho

Culture of Idaho
An Idaho icon: the Owyhee Idaho Spud.

Although the culture of Idaho is reflective of the broader culture of the United States to some extent, a few distinct influences should be noted. Some of the forces that have shaped the culture of Idaho are ethnographic, geographic, and historical in nature. Additionally, the culture of Idaho is reflected in the state's symbols, traditions, stories, art, and cuisine.


Ethnographic Influences

Idaho is home to several immigrant groups with notable histories.[1][2] Specifically, Idaho is home to significant numbers of people with historical English, Native American, German, and Mexican historical ties [3].

Cultural centers in the Treasure Valley region of southern Idaho include the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho [4] and the Basque Center [5] in downtown Boise.

Geographic Influences

Geography has shaped the Idahoan identity, imprinting aesthetic and recreational aspects upon the culture. For example, consider that the world's first chairlift was built in Sun Valley and that skiing is cherished as an Idaho pastime [6]. Additionally, the rivers and high mountain lakes of Idaho contribute to a rich fishing culture within the state [7]. The significance of Idaho's fishing culture is partly revealed by the impact of fishing recreation on the economy of Idaho [8].

Other cultural variations arising from geography should be noted as well. For example, the state features some areas that could be classified as urban (such as Boise), and others that could be classified as decidedly rural.

Historical Influences

In examining historical influences upon the culture of Idaho, the effect of Mormon and European settlers holds a notable position.


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